Why 5 Borough Bagels?
Josh: I have never heard of this place before. It was a couple weeks ago (early January 2017) when a couple people told me to try it. They recently were closed on Sunday’s and that’s when we usually do our breakfast dates. They finally changed their hours and we were able to take advantage of it. A new breakfast place to try!
Grace: All that ^ PLUS I love bagels. I was happy to go!
Josh: I have never been to New York City before (I’m an upstate kind of guy). That being said, I had no idea what the difference was between a New York style bagel and a Midwest bagel. (is that a thing?). Grace has been to New York city and she gave me the lowdown:
- They make it like a sandwich. Even if you order it with just cream cheese and no additional toppings, they still smash it together.
- They load that b**** up with cream cheese.
Well, friends….They do both.
I’m not a big bagel sandwich guy. I’m not sure what it is, but I have never liked them. Maybe it’s because the bagel being a bun is odd to me. It makes no sense but I tend to not get bagel sandwiches. So I tried two of their bagels instead. I got an Everything Bagel with Chive cream cheese and a Cheddar Bagel with Plain cream cheese. I also got an iced mocha as a beverage.
The coffee was really good. It wasn’t overly chocolaty and tasted extremely smooth. The closest thing I’ve had to this smooth iced mocha flavor was in Kansas City at Mud Pie. It puts Cafe Diem’s iced coffee (which I reviewed favorably at the time) to shame.
The bagels were also really good. They loaded those bad boys with cream cheese and I loved every second of it. They loaded it so full and it was so filling that I had to share some of my bagels with Grace. That doesn’t happen often, folks.
The cheddar bagel was my favorite. I had that one with Plain cream cheese and I should have put the Chive cream cheese on it instead. That would have made for the perfect bagel. The Everything bagel was still good, but it was a tad tough on some bites. The Cheddar was perfectly crispy on the outside and chewy once you started chewing. Both were still fantastic.
Grace: HELLO! As stated above, I love bagels. Before I visited my sweet BFF Kaitlin in NYC I thought Panera bagels were the shit. Lol. So naive. Panera bagels are
Kaitlin has always been the adventurous one in our friend-lationship, and I usually love anything she suggests, so when it was vegan bagels & cream cheese in Brooklyn, I said #yolo (actually, I hemmed and hawed a little at it because I talk like I’m big and brave but I get freaked out by new foods. Sup. It’s ok.) and tried them. SO GOOD. I hadn’t had a toasted bagel before (sad!) and I had never had so much cream cheese on a bagel in my life (double sad!) so, needless to say, I was a changed woman. That’s what happens when you visit #TheCity. All this to say, New York style bagels are dope. And so is Kaitlin. Aww.
I’m still having some dairy issues, and I’ll leave it at that, but I wasn’t looking to have a dairy bomb on this fine Sunday morning. I had perused 5 Borough’s Facebook page before we left and saw they had vegan options. Hooray! I got a whole wheat bagel with vegan spinach artichoke cream cheese, spinach, tomato, and onion. Holy moly. It tasted just like what I had in NYC (aka so delicious I wanted to die).
The owner is from around here and moved to New York about 10 years ago, where he met his wife, fell in love, and they both moved back here and opened this glorious bagel shop. They know what they’re doing. The cream cheese was so rich and garlicky. And it didn’t taste like feet! Every vegan cream cheese I’ve had here (store-bought only, because no other bagel shops that I know of sells it) has been straight disgusting. One time Josh’s mom bought me some for her famous 4th of July bagel feast and I powered through because she’s a nice lady and I wanted to impress her/show how grateful I was that she was so thoughtful, but it wasn’t great (sorry Tina) 😦
This cream cheese was made from tofu, which is like the chicken of vegan eating because it pretty much just takes on the flavor of whatever you cook with it. Tofu can also be blended to be super-fine, and the texture of this was absolutely perfect. I can’t say enough. It was so good. I only wish there had been more on it!
Note: There is another vegan cream cheese option, cinnamon walnut, that I can’t wait to try next time!
I also had an iced soy latte and again, delicious. Whatever coffee they’re using is working! They only have one size for coffee drinks, but hopefully that will expand as they grow. I had a sip of Josh’s iced mocha as well, and it was one of the best I’ve had. Not too sweet, not too bitter. Kudos!
Atmosphere, Service, Price
Grace: It’s very cute and modern inside this little shop! I especially appreciated the subway tile and crazy lights over the counter, as well as the curtain made of greenery right when you walk in. You wouldn’t expect any of that from the outside.
It’s pretty tight inside, but that’s to be expected. It was nice and busy, which is great to see for a local spot! I hope it stays that way, because everything about 5 Borough was great. The owner was there and was greeting customers, helping people decide what they wanted, and even came around to see if our food was alright. Prices were comparable to the Einstein/Caribou combos that keep popping up, but the coffee & bagels were better – go try it now!
Josh: This bagel shop is on the west side of Clive near West Des Moines in a strip mall. You’d easily pass it if you weren’t looking for it. It’s small but unique inside. It’s very modern and has a cool vibe to it. I love the lighting and the decor brings it all together.
They have bagel sandwiches (one for each borough of New York) and they of course have individual bagels with numerous cream cheeses to choose from. They also have vegan options as well!
This is easily my new favorite bagel joint. It was Einstein Bagels but this easily destroys Einstein’s. Before my Ankeny peeps get mad at me: No, I haven’t had CJ’s Bagels yet but I will soon. Promise.
Oh… Bagels > Doughnuts. Everyday.