One of the big, unfortunate gaps in the Austin dining scene has long been bagels. We have a couple of spots for a dependable bagel, but everyone knows we need more. Tom Rosen is ready to jump in and help fill the gap.
The graduate of the Arizona Culinary Institute has been hosting bagel pop-ups in recent months and following a series of Saturday pop-up events at Brew & Brew (500 San Marcos St.) this month, he will move his Rosen’s Bagel Co. operation into the popular coffee and beer bar at East Fifth and San Marcos streets.
Rosen serves about a half-dozen varieties of bagels, including everything, poppy seed, sesame seed and rosemary salt, and tops them with a variety of schmears, from the traditional plain and scallion to more creative offerings like maple syrup almond and lemon-basil. Rosen’s Bagel Co. will operate out of the Brew & Brew kitchen, likely starting in mid-August, with customers ordering their bagels at the same counter where they order their drinks.
Rosen, who also has history working in fine dining, earned a graduate degree in sociology studying gender and food issues, but after school, he couldn’t “ignore the creeping influence of wanting to do something creative.”
The Topeka, Kansas native attended Vanderbilt University for his undergraduate education frequently visited his friends’ families’ homes on the East Coast, which originally turned him onto bagels.
“It was a transcendent experience,” Rosen said.
Confounded by the lack of great bagel options in Austin and the question of whether East Coast bagels could be replicated here, Rosen started working on his bagel recipe about 18 months ago before landing on his current recipe. Recognizing that the famed water in which New York City bagels are boiled is more basic and softer, Rosen changed the pH levels of Austin tap water to arrive at his current recipe.
In addition to the regular bagel and schmear offerings, Rosen’s Bagel Co. will also serve a lox sandwich special and have a breakfast and two lunch sandwiches on the menu daily, with a vegan option at both breakfast and lunch.
You can get a taste of what’s to come at Brew & Brew with Rosen’s Bagel Co. pop-ups on July 15, 22 and 29 starting at 9 a.m.