Like barbecue and pizza, bagels inspire fervent debates among aficionados. And while Atlanta can lay claim to some really good cue joints, and recently has become home to a couple of winning za spots, stellar bagels are harder to find.
But BB’s Bagels & Diner in Alpharetta has gained a loyal following among folks who stop in for the New York-style bagels, along with hearty breakfasts and deli sandwiches and burgers.
Situated on McFarland Parkway about a mile off Ga. 400 exit 12, BB’s is housed in a roadside building tricked out to resemble a vintage railroad car diner. Inside, the long, narrow space is usually buzzing with locals bellying up to buy bagels or grab a seat at the counter. Further back, the L-shaped dining room is both cramped and convivial.
Owners Eddie and Anna Siino employ a cadre of friends and family, who reflect their New York and New Jersey roots and help create a brash but friendly atmosphere that feels more Manhattan than Atlanta.
Big, fat bagels
Eddie Siino is a baker and bagel shop veteran who takes pride in his hand-rolled, kettle-boiled creations. His really big, fat bagels are bready and chewy, with a wonderful pretzel-like crust that gets more crispy after a turn in the toaster. Flavors range from plain, egg, sesame and salt to blueberry, marble rye and cinnamon raisin walnut, plus specials, such as cheddar, French toast and chocolate chip. Cream cheese spreads include the usual (vegetable, scallion, sun-dried tomato) and the more unusual (olive pimiento, chocolate chip, Kit Kat).
Breakfast all day
Not surprisingly, bagels are a staple of the all-day breakfast menu.
The classic New Jersey breakfast pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich is made with Taylor ham. Egg or omelet platters come with toast or a bagel and home fries or grits, and tasty variations, such as lox and onion, and the “Pastramolette,” with pastrami and Swiss cheese, lean to the deli side of BB’s menu.
The lunch menu has plenty of deli favorites. A turkey or pastrami Reuben on crisp and buttery grilled rye is loaded with tangy sauerkraut and creamy melted Swiss cheese and Russian dressing, served with a side of macaroni salad. The Balboa is a simple but flavorful combo of juicy hot roast beef and melted provolone on freshly baked garlic hard roll. Among the multiple burger offerings, the Bronx Bomber is manly melange of bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, mayo and barbecue sauce.
Siino bakes a daily array of sweet treats, including old fashioned coffee cake, gooey Danish pastries, brownies and black and white cookies.
BB’s Bagels & Diner, 770 McFarland Parkway, Alpharetta 770-475-1818
Signature dish: Bagels
Entree prices: $3.99-$12.99
Hours: 6 a.m.- 2 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 7 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays.
Credit cards: Yes
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