Liz Foster ’22 and Hunter Savery ’20
When Steve’s Bagels first landed on Trinity’s campus, the Tripod email was flooded with requests for Liz Foster ’22 and Hunter Savery ’20 to review the hot new bagel joint, thus we had no choice but to spend an entire afternoon dissecting and discussing the enigma that is Mr. Steven Bagels. The following is a conclusive report featuring both editors’ experiences in trying out Vernon Social’s latest breakfast offering. The opinions expressed in this article are the editor’s own, but should be considered martial law. Take that as you will.
LIZ’S HOT AND COLD CUTS:
Arriving at Steve’s Bagels, there was an aura of mystery about the venue. The highly anticipated follow-up breakfast joint, after the ominous disappearance of Goldberg’s, has arrived in full force. As I stood in line, accompanied by Arts & Entertainment editor Hunter Savery ’20, the sweat dripped down my back. The essence of Vernon Social overwhelmed me as I ordered bagel dish after bagel dish. Soon enough, the words “I’ll have a Big Steve please” fell out of my mouth. The woman working at Steve’s proceeded to ask me how I liked my eggs, something that caught me off guard. From suburban Dunkin’ Donuts to the delis of Greenwich Village and everywhere in between, I’ve never been questioned about how I wanted the eggs on my bacon, egg, and cheese. Confused, I stuttered back, “fried?” My voice raised on the end of the word, showing the Steve’s employee just how unsure I was. I was equally jarred when asked about the type of bagel I wanted for the “MPB” I ordered. Unfortunately, I cannot recall what these initials stand for, but the dish spoke to me because it was a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a glazed donut. It went against anything I’ve ever known or loved. A kaiser roll? Sure. A bagel? Love to see it. But a BEC on a donut? The idea was bordering on blasphemous and I needed to know its inner workings. Naturally, I was confused when asked what kind of bagel I wanted for this delicious donut dessert-breakfast. Following the panic of ordering, Hunter and I proceeded to a nearby table where we realized just how open-air Vernon Social is. When our food was ready, I was more acutely aware of the vulnerability I faced as I ate my breakfast foods at 3:30 in the afternoon.
To find a starting place with Steve’s is to ask to summarize a conglomerate of tastes. Steve’s offers a wide variety of foods, notably breakfast sandwiches. From Steve’s, I’ve successfully sampled multiple bagels, cream cheese spreads, and obscure sandwiches. The infamous “Big Steve” is, in fact, one large Steven, complete with bacon, sausage, two eggs, and cheese on an eight-inch grinder roll. After shoddily splitting up our Big Steve and MPB, Hunter and I cheers’d our sandwiches and I bit into the massive Steve-o. Though overwhelming initially, the blend of flavors was fairly satisfactory. The bacon was crisp and flavorful, and though the eggs and cheese looked messy together, their creaminess was well-balanced. An element throwing off the sandwich was the sausage, which had been chopped into small pieces and had a less than desirable texture. Additionally, the grinder roll was a confusing choice as I found myself craving the firm yet doughy sensation of a bagel. However, an eight-inch bagel was clearly not a viable option for this breakfast sandwich.
A standard bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel is always a sure-fire way to satiate your morning hunger, but I’ve found Steve’s Asiago bagel to be his best work. Cheesy, but not too cheesy, the Asiago complements the meat, cheese, and egg combination swimmingly. Adding a splash of sriracha mayo on top only makes the dish better and I cannot recommend it enough. Though the bagels of Steve’s are quite satisfactory, I do believe calling them “New York bagels” is a bit of a stretch. Steve’s Bagels got off the Metro-North at Stamford. His bagels call the Olive Garden in Times Square a “delicacy.” I’ve had better bagels for less bread, but at the same time Steve’s is a step up from the Bistro’s circular wheat products. Overall, Steve’s Bagels is an enthralling addition campus if for nothing more than good ole Steve. 6.9/10.
HUNTER’S TEPID OPINIONS:
Do you Steve what I Steve? Steve’s Bagels is Trinity’s hottest new restaurant, easily eclipsing the ’stro and Mathèr, but is it any good? That is what I set out to discover as I arrived at Steve’s Thursday afternoon with eminent art critic and Milton graduate Liz Foster ’22. Arriving at Steven’s we soon realized that we were entirely unprepared to order and especially to answer questions like: “What kind of bagel would you like?” Running the gauntlet that is ordering at Steve’s we decided to sample two of Steve’s more distinctive offerings: the Big Steve and the MPD. I am aware that neither of those sandwiches involve bagels, big deal, tell it to the judge.
The Big Steve was a daunting behemoth, consisting of fairly standard breakfast sandwich actors, namely eggs, bacon, sausage, and cheese. The novelty of the Girthy Steven, which ought to be its real name, was that it was thicc as can be. That sandwich had wagon, my lord, as the meat and eggs and cheese were heaped atop an 8 inch “grinder roll.” The actual flavor and texture of the sandwich were not outstanding in any regard, but were serviceable. The true gift of the Big Steven, aside from its size, was the unlimited joy of eating a sandwich called the Big Steve. That sandwich alone made it clear that Liz and I would spend more time making jokes about Mr. Steven Bagels than thinking about the food.
I never laid eyes on Steve, but if the logo is any indication he may look like a potato holding a cup of joe, for everyone’s sake I hope that’s the case. I would also like to marvel at the fact that his name is Steve Bagels, I mean what are the odds? Checkmate, atheists. However, I must digress. The MPD was the other sandwich du jour and while I have no idea what it stands for, its defining characteristic is its doughnut base. The MPD is essentially just a bacon, egg, and cheese on a donut instead of a bagel, which may sound off-putting. but I can assure you it not only seems off-putting, but is in fact quite unsettling. The flavor profile is surprisingly nice, the sweet doughnut actually pairs well with the bacon, but the texture is what throws you. I kept chewing as if I were eating a bagel, which is to say far too much for the soft doughnut. Every time I took a bite it felt like the wires in my brain were getting crossed. I’ve had an outstanding fried chicken sandwich on a savory bagel at a restaurant in DC. This was nothing like that though. there was nothing solid enough in the sandwich to balance out the doughy soft doughnut. Overall, I would recommended avoiding the MPD unless you’re stoned out of your mind and have a toothache, but not one caused by a cavity, because this is one of the few egg sandwiches with a high sugar content.
In conclusion, Steve’s is best summed up by its mozzarella sticks, they aren’t very good, but I keep buying them at Trivia because it’s still better than Chartwells and I’ve accepted that Goldberg’s isn’t coming back. Steve is an old pal. He’s there for you when you need him, especially when you’re drunk, stoned, or hungover. Yeah, he isn’t that great and in the real world you probably wouldn’t hang out that often, but he’s reliable and maybe he doesn’t exactly fill the hole in your heart left by Goldberg’s, actually maybe he does, just in the artery clogging way and not in the romantic way. I’m not in love with Steve and his bagels, but maybe I’ll learn to love him, and after a year of only Chartwells and cash-only food trucks, maybe its time for us all to settle. 6/10.