SAN ANTONIO — What does a Louisiana boy know about making bagels? Brannon Soileau should be cranking out beignets and coffee, right? Instead, he and wife Christie are the owners of Boss Bagels.
"I took a Montreal style bagel which is wood fire bagels and I morphed it with a New York-style," He said. "And, then it kind of morphed again when we came to San Antonio."
The Soileaus were restaurant owners in Lafayette, Indiana before setting up shop in the Alamo City to be closer to family.
He is a product of the Culinary Institute of America who went back into the classroom after they walked away from two restaurants in Indiana.
When San Antonio came into play, Soileau knew he wanted to do bagels. But his dream was laughable to others who thought a bagel place would never make it in Tex-Mex heaven.
"Don't tell me it can't be done," He said. "I didn't care if it was the thing. Folks are coming from all over the world here."
His instinct paid off. Boss Bagels opened two years ago in Alamo Heights at 6458 N. New Braunfels Ave.
The menu is a combination of bagels, coffee, smears and bagel sandwiches.
"18 varieties, 20 smears, 16 sandwiches," Soileau said.
They use fermented dough with Agave before the bagel is dumped into water and put on a cedar blank for baking.
High customer demand for the wood fire bagels forced Boss Bagels to add some automation to their formula. Prior to that all of the bagels were hand-rolled.
The restaurant smears or cream cheese come in eye-catching and mouthwatering. Soileau said smear means the cream cheese is smeared with flavor like pesto, strawberry, blueberry, lemon dill, loaded baked potato or Jack Daniels.
Boss bagels prides itself on combining the old world bagel making and infusing that with new ideas for menu offerings. Soileau said he can take a fine dining plate and turn it into a bagel sandwich.
Neighborhood Eats took him up on his offer. Boss Bagels provided a sampler for a taste test.
The Slammin Salmon is a phenomenal sandwich. It comes with salmon brined and cured by Boss Bagels for three days. The fish is put on a sesame seed bagel with sliced hard-boiled eggs, capers, lemon dill smear and shaven red onions.
The Country Ham Hangover is one heck of a sandwich too. On an applewood bacon red onion bagel (Yep, all that!), they put Ozark ham, loaded baked potato smear, cracked black pepper, cheddar cheese, an egg over easy and green onions.
Boss Bagel also does seasonal offerings like "A Taste of Fall." The chef put together a chicken sausage patty with caramelized Fuji apples, caramelized onions, garlic and maple syrup. The sausage is placed on a cinnamon raisin bagel with cheddar cheese. Pretty good.
Their popular Rainbow bagel is a sweet delight. Picture multicolored dough swirled into a bagel. Of course, any smear is available but the true experience is trying it with birthday cake smear.
The real chew: Boss Bagels is a hopping bagel spot. It's a great option that will definitely fill you up. The space is nice. The menu has good choices. And, the Soileaus mix it up with special offerings all the time. If you can't get to Alamo Heights they're going to be in the San Antonio airport soon.
Give Marvin your review of Boss Bagels. If you have a restaurant suggestion for him send him an email (Mhurst@kens5.com), tweet (@Mhurstkens5) and post it on his Facebook page. #KENS5EATS