Step aside, Squagel; there's a new bagel innovation in town. Say hello to the Bantam, an orbed bagel bite stuffed—instead of schmeared—with a variety of fillings from flavored cream cheeses to butter to lox and tomato. This latest carby creation comes from Bantam Bagels, a brand new bagelry that opened its doors in the West Village this morning. Owners Nick and Elyse Oleksak hope to reinvent the bagel gut-bomb into something easier to eat on the go and less calorically devastating.
All the classic combinations are represented in Bantam form, like Bantams filled with veggie cream cheese, and cinnamon raisin Bantams filled with sweet walnut cream cheese. Flavors go beyond breakfast, like the kid-friendly Box Lunch (plain Bantam topped with crushed, roasted peanuts and filled with peanut butter and strawberry jam); the Grandma JoJo (Italian-spiced Bantam filled with basil pesto cream cheese and topped with a marinated tomato); and the street cart riff Hot Pretzel (pretzel bagel topped with sea salt and filled with Dijon mustard and sharp cheddar cream cheese).
A single Bantam sets you back just $1.35, and you can also order them in large batches, ideal for a picnic brunch or a really aggressive hangover.