day ten: the collegetown bagels mega-poll

May 19, 2011 § 6 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.

the Flat Rock, day 2

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.

Collegetown Bagels on Urbanspoon


§ 6 Responses to day ten: the collegetown bagels mega-poll

  • Casey says:

    The best is the Autumn Sky. The ingredients, if I can remember them all:

    * sourdough bread
    * sliced turkey
    * crispy bacon
    * spinach
    * sharp cheddar
    * whole-grain mustard
    * sliced apple

    It’s a fine, fine sandwich, but it used to be better: when they introduced it, they were using tart Granny Smith apples, but the last few years they’ve used (bland, mealy) Red Delicious instead. Still, it’s a really complex and well-balanced construction, available only at the Collegetown location.

  • Sam Baker says:

    I always had the bagel w/ lox … they make it right w/ red onions and capers for not too much $ … lame I know but just adding my data

  • Ali says:

    I have a very fond memory of the Cascadilla Crisp (Sliced cucumber, roasted red peppers, fresh tomato, red onion, sprouts and parsley-garlic dressing) on gluten-free bread, which is astonishingly good at CTB!

  • Timothy Weber says:

    Your description of the process is eerily familiar, down to the vague bemusement. I think the Jonah’s Jive is also my Sandwich of the Decade, though I sometimes blurt Cayuga Croissant and that doesn’t cause catastrophe. I believe last decade had something with Aurora in it, but that seems to be gone now.

    Great job with these!

  • sezi seskir says:

    Two of my favorites: Sweet Rachel, which includes:Smoked turkey, Muenster cheese, Honeycup mustard and sliced red onion on hand-sliced pumpernickel bread. It is a little on the heavy side but on days when I need a power boost or don’t want to eat for many hours that is my choice. As a hungover morning treat take a Huevos Sonora: Scrambled eggs, avocado, fresh salsa and cheddar cheese in a honey-wheat wrap.

  • Celeste!

    It may have been a couple years since you wrote this article, but it is still very much appreciated by everyone here at CTB! Please contact us if you are still in the area, we would love to send you something for your kind words!


    Katherine Banko
    Marketing Director at CTB

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