by Alice Levitt
377 Pine Street, Burlington, 863-5013
Since April, much has changed at Myer's Bagel Bakery. That month, Colin Bloch and Adam Jones, who bought the bakery from longtime owner Lloyd Squires, put some delicious plans into action. The expanded bakery quickly became something of a venture center for Burlington-based food businesses.
Emily Conn started making her delicious almond cakes under the name the Bakery at the Farmhouse Kitchen in the wood-fired oven (not to mention scrumptiously fruity blueberry muffins and some irresistible cookies), while her husband Chris makes the café dishes for Myer's. Her varied baked goods sit alongside doughnuts from Barbara Nedd, the Rockville Market Farm baker whose treats were recently named among the best in New York City. Paul Bedrosian makes his Chick Peace Hummus there, too. It's sold from the refrigerator case, but also spread on bagels for sandwiches.
But of course, food hub or not, the main reason to visit Myer's is the skinny, Montréal-style bagels and their fixings. On Sunday afternoon, I grazed my way through an indulgent brunch and was mightily impressed with Chris Conn's offerings.
But none more so than the Three Seventy-Seven, a sandwich made of brined and long-smoked LaPlatte River Angus Farm brisket.
You want that sandwich and you want it now. Or maybe that's just me. Bagel pickings were slim by the time I got to Myer's around 1 p.m., but the sesame-and-sunflower-seed bagel served the sandwich well. The thick slabs of fall-apart-tender, lightly smoky meat got an elegant little burn from a dose of horseradish mayo, while fresh lettuce, onions and pea shoots from Arethusa Farm contributed a fresh taste of summer. I'm pretty sure that in heaven, this is what nonpracticing Jews like me eat for brunch every day.
Conn's mango gazpacho was a cool, refreshing palate cleanser before trying the Southender salad. A delicate hint of sesame permeated the spinach salad, which was showered with seeds over its citrus vinaigrette. Chunks of goat cheese stuck to the folds of the spinach, while griddled mushrooms lent a meaty taste and texture.
Finally, I couldn't resist ordering one of the Sunday specials: trout and eggs. Basically, it was a thyme-speckled omelette with a slab of moist, smoky trout inside.
Sound weird? You're wrong. Or maybe you're right, but the fish and egg worked wonderfully together, creating an effect not unlike a fish served en papillote. Except the wrapping was not only edible but delicious. And, hey, there was a bagel with it. I ended up taking it home for another day.
Not that I won't be returning to Myer's soon. Friday pizza night is calling to me. And I can't resist the Semitic siren song of that brisket for long.
Alice Eats is a weekly blog feature devoted to reviewing restaurants where diners can get a meal for two for less than $35. Got a restaurant you'd love to see featured? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.