day ten: the collegetown bagels mega-poll
May 19, 2011 § 5 Comments
A post about Collegetown Bagels feels unnecessary. I mean, I doubt there is a person in all of Ithaca—and nary a person who has but passed through Ithaca—who has not at some point in time or another eaten something or another from Collegetown Bagels-slash-Ithaca Bakery.
That said, for all of the options Collegetown Bagels offers, I find that I’ve actually tried very few of them. Staring up at the CTB menu, I often see nothing but a morass of chalky nouns and inscrutable sandwich names. The line of impatient consumers piles up behind me while I try to decipher it all and decide which sandwich I might actually enjoy. Made mute by indecision and feeling pathetically exposed in front of the vaguely bemused counter personnel, I cave in and order…the same thing I always do. Because it’s good and I know I like it.
Or so I think for a while. But I am a creature of variety. Novelty. Eventually, I burn out on my Sandwich of the Year and can never even consider ordering it again. Which is a shame, because I usually think my Sandwich of the Year is pretty good. Yet, what would I know, with the taste of so few other CTB sandwiches to compare it to? Sandwich of the Year is a dubious honor, indeed, with questionable evaluation criteria. Previous recipients of the award include: the Tuscan Verde (roast chicken breast with pesto, spinach, tomato and provolone cheese served on rosemary foccacia*), the Brooklyn on a Long Island (bacon, scrambled egg and Monterrey Jack cheese on an everything bagel), and the Jonah’s Jive (hummus, spinach, tomato, cucumber and parsley-garlic dressing on ultra-thick multi-grain bread), a hearty vegetarian option and my favorite of the three.
This week, by sheer accident (a.k.a. leftover reception food), a new contender for Sandwich of the Year emerged, and, I think, is my favorite CTB offering thus far: the Flat Rock, which has roast turkey, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar served on a baguette. I can’t believe it took me this long to try it. Or that in four years, I’ve only eaten five different CTB sandwiches.** Nonetheless, given the opportunity to order a different CTB sandwich for lunch the very next day, I decided against something different, and ordered the Flat Rock again for the second day in a row. Because that is how, it seems, I roll.
Dear readers, I and others need your help to get out of this kind of rut. CTB may not change, but we can and do. Think of this post as a community service. Share your favorite CTB sandwich in the comments section so that tomorrow we each may step up to the counter with confidence and try something completely and totally different and new.
* The counter staff once recommended that I mix it up and try this sandwich hot, pressed like a panini, but I much prefer it the way it’s usually served, cold. (The heat ended up wilting the spinach and tomato in an unsavory way.)
** The fifth sandwich, the Euro, I’ve had only once. The Euro is a ham, brie cheese, red onion and Dijon mustard sandwich on ciabatta bread. I liked it, but don’t think of ham and brie as an “everyday” kind of sandwich, hence eliminating it from the dubious Sandwich of the Year competitive field.
Price: Student-friendly (< $9)
Hours: Vary by location
Locations: Ithaca Bakery has 2 locations, one downtown on the northbound side of route 13 at the corner of Court and Meadow, the other at the Triphammer Mall; Collegetown Bagels has 3 locations, one in Collegetown across from the Schwartz Center, another across from the Commons at the corner of Seneca and Aurora, and another up at East Hill Plaza.
Recommended: Help fight the rut! Post your own recommendation in the comments section.
Website: Ithaca Bakery
Delivery phone: Free lunch delivery M-F, 11am – 2pm. Call (607) 273-7110.