Bantam Bagels, a new bagel joint in the West Village, is trying to redefine the New York City staple.
With a background in finance -- as opposed to baking -- Nick and Elyse Oleksak are still managing to make waves in the food world with their new restaurant Bantam Bagels. In an attempt to appease health-conscious New Yorkers, the Oleksaks, created doughnut hole-sized balls of bagel dough filled with a variety of cream cheese. They call their tiny bagel hole creation a “Bantams” because Dunkin Donuts has trademarked the Bagel Hole.
Just like the bite-sized portions of Baked by Melissa, Bantam also proves that good things come in small packages. Co-founder, Nick Oleksak told TODAY.com that the idea came to him in a dream, “One of the most iconic New York City foods is the bagel… but people shy away from it now because the food world is trending toward smaller-sized options. We’re taking that into account and making sure they can still enjoy their New York City bagel.”
These Bantams come in 15 regular flavors and boast about five rotating specials. They might be smaller in size, but they are not a low calorie item.
While Bantam’s provides typical bagel-like items like plain filled with regular crème cheese or sesame filled with vegetable cream cheese, the restaurant gets creative with its specials. The Bleeker Street, named for the shop’s location, features a pizza dough bagel with pepperoni and packed with marinara and mozzarella cream cheese. The Hot Pretzel is made with a salted pretzel bagel filled with cheddar Dijon cream cheese filling.
Bantam’s wildest creation to date is The Honeymoon. Named for the Oleksak’s – you guessed it! – honeymoon destination, the Thai basil cayenne pepper bagel is topped with thinly sliced hot chili and full of green curry coconut cream cheese.
The Oleksaks are already thinking about the next step. Nick hopes to expand the product outside New York, “We want to be everywhere, we want to change the way you bagel...we want to make bagels accessible to people everywhere.”
Look out Cronut, there’s a Bantam bagel ball coming right at you!
Check out the slideshow above for more bite-sized treats!
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