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Tompkins Square Bagels

I’ve been meaning to go to Tompkins Square Bagels ever since they opened. My friend Shawn Chittle made a documentary on the shop and the owner, check it out here:

The owner, Christopher Pugliese hired local artist, Jim “Mosaic Man” Power to do the sign out front and the the bagel and sandwich restaurant was first reported on EV Grieve, who continued with follow ups right up to the opening. Well, in honor of these three gentlemen who support TSB, Christopher named sandwiches after each one of them. And so today, I’m meeting frequent guest star on TWM, The Duncester to try all three sandwiches and check out Tompkins Square Bagels. I feel a bit Hannibal Lectorish as I head out to eat, Shawn, EV Grieve and Mosaic Man. I’m hoping there’s fava beans and a nice chianti on the menu!

It's not far from where I live, so we'll hoof it over to the East Village.

And here we are. I like the way the front is open, it makes the place look inviting to the neighborhood.

The Mosaic Man's unique one-of-a-kind mosaic sign hangs over the store. Really nice to see local artist's employed to do signage to a store as opposed to something generic. It's touches like this that keep the flavor alive in the East Village.

It's a lot bigger in here than I thought it was going to be. The front has a large counter and cooking area.

And the back half is large as well, with a counter overlooking the bagel making area and tables and chairs. There's a garden area in the back that they're getting ready to fix up for the summertime.

There's a large wooden communal table in the back to enjoy your food and drink. Nice to see magazines on a table instead of iPads and iPhones!

Here's a shot from the back of the shop.

This glassed in case houses the fresh and local food for the sandwiches and salads available.

There's a familiar face at the cash register...

It's owner Christopher Pugliese, holding a piece of art from neighborhood artist, VH McKenzie. I love this piece of art, which says, "Just Say No" to Starbucks, 7-Eleven and Subway. Three businesses that have been bulldozing in on the East Village and hurting local businesses. You can read about the making of this art and the thoughts behind it here: "The Chains Are Coming..."

All the art on the walls is works from local artists. This month's featured artist is PJ Cobbs.

Christopher points to one the pieces on display, the artwork is colorful, 3-D scenes from different neighborhoods in New York.

It's a friendly atmosphere in here, here's Chris with a regular and a bagel maker himself, Kim.

And speaking of bagels, Chris was nice enough to allow me to see the entire process of how a bagel is born here. It starts down in the basement, after the dough has been hand-rolled and refrigerated.

As you can see, these aren't your everyday run of the mill bagels, these are works of art. Beautiful!

Chris opens up the specially made bagel vat...

And the bagels go in.

After about a minute or so, they float to the top and swim around in the vat for a bit.

Then they're taken out and place on wooden boards.

And here, Jonas puts the bagels into the oven. And not just any oven, this is a special bagel oven that Chris bought and brought from Florida. It's a one of a kind oven that rotates on the inside and cooks the bagels perfectly.

Here's Jonas with a tray of the finished product. They take their bagel-making seriously here and it shows!

After seeing the bagel-making process, I met Chris' partner in the restaurant, James Peterson. James owns his business, Green Army Interiors and literally built Tompkins Square Bagels from the ground up.

And at this point The Duncester shows up and it's time to sample the three specialty sandwiches of the house.

The Grieve, The Chittle and The Mosaic Man, three sandwiches named after three men that have definitely made a mark in the East Village and deserve to be on this board. Now, let's check them out.

The first up is The Grieve which is chicken cutlet, mozzarella cheese with peppers and onions. Very tasty and zingy as the blog and the man it's named after.

Here's the Chittle, smoked turkey, bacon, swiss cheesewith lettuce and onions. Chris told us that out of the three, this is the best seller.

And last but certainly not least, The Mosaic Man, Virginia ham, smoked turkey, provolone cheese with lettuce, tomatoes and spicy mustard. Delicious and the taste is as colorful as Mosaic Man's artwork. One thing Chris told me he really wants to do with Tompkins Square Bagels is create an atmosphere where everyone is welcome and feels at home in here. From the veterans of the neighborhood to those that have just got here. I have to say, that he's certainly done that. It's refreshing to sit in a local shop with artwork by artists from the neighborhood and eat sandwiches named after three men who have made a difference in the East Village. The Impov Comedy Troupe from Chicago, The Second City has always taught that when you're onstage, you should try your best to make everyone around you look great and not worry about yourself. Then when everyone else is shining, so are you. Christopher and Tompkins Square Bagels have embraced the neighborhood in the short three months they've been open and by featuting local talent and saluting others, they're shining like a pair of shoes done up by Don Ward! Stop in and have a bagel when you're in the neighborhood, you'll be happy you did. And you'll also be having the best bagel in town!

Tompkins Square Bagels
165 Ave. A ( @10th St.)

Further Reading: EV Grieve, chomp chow chew and The Local East Village.

It's not the DMV cause it˛ˇ doesn't make you wait.
It couldn't be a taco cause it isn't very crunchy.
It couldn't be an Olson cause it isn't Marry Kate.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!


Bonus Wndows on the World Art From Danny The Freelancer!

Yesterday in the comments section, the restarurant, "Windows on the World," came up. Sadly, as we know, the restuarant went down with the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. TWM commenter, danny the freelancer, sent in this art from a pass from a series of Go-Go parties that were happening back in the day. Very cool, thanks, Danny!

Reader Comments (33)

Marty when will you get a sandwich named after you? Let's nominate yuu today for a sandwich...PARTY!

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTerry

wow, those bagels look amazing! i think i'd like the grieve sandwich the best, love chicken cutlet. great that they support local artists, this is what new york should be! damn the 7-11's and full speed ahead!

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D

You're an intrepid blogger for trying all 3 sandwiches at once!

Anyway, cheers to Chris for creating such a warm, inviting space for the neighborhood.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEV Grieve

What would a Marty sandwich consist of ?

Love the surprise link !

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

As the owner said, the vat is the old fashioned way, meaning he does not cut corners with his bagels, no pun intended here. The vat boiling creates that delicious crust just prior to putting those puppies in the oven. I like the way this guy does it. I like my bagel toasted with chive cream cheese and sliced nova with some fresh onions and a squeeze of a fresh lemon on top,,,,hope this place has much success, support it, people.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

What a nice place! From the artwork to the open-air to that sweet wooden table. And, man, that food looks fantastic! The bagels, they're beauts! Huzzah to Chris and the Tompkins Square Bagels crew for showing the chains what for.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Terry: They've already got the Marty sandwich, it's called the ham sandwich!

@Bobby D: The bagels there are amazing and it was cool to see the whole boiling baking process!

@EV Grieve: I'm glad I sampled them all, fine sandwiches named after three fine New Yorkers! So cool to see a place like this on the block as opposed to another sterile chain store!

@GENE: See my reply to Terry! Glad you liked that surprise link!

@Al: I never knew making a bagel was such an involved process. Most places don't go to this trouble and Chris and his crew certainly know how to do it the right way!

@Biff: It's just one more place to add to your list when you come here! Looks like you're going to have to stay for a month or so to squeeze them all in. This is a must stop!

March 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I want a bagel right this minute ... the "marbled"-looking variety are gorgeous! I also want to go back in time for Spy Fi Fridays.at Windows on the World.

"Featuting"is my new favorite word :) :)

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterroadsidewonders

Oy Gevalt! Nothing like a bagel and a schmeer to make your morning. I saw a roast beef bagel ssndwich on the menue and I probably would have gone for that one first. Then I would have taken a sackful home and really pigged out....

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Those bagels do look delicious. The lowly bagel is a funny thing though. Is the cost of a bagel 50¢ more then it was 5 years ago, or did it double in price? Inflation, or does everything just cost more? Economic indicators, food for thought or a buzz-kill?

@Danny: I went to WoW on the Lounge Friday night. The martinis 15 years ago cost more then a dozen bagels today, but I wasn't bitching about that price. I may be a hypocrite. Of course, girls in cocktail dresses skew my thinking.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

A Tripping with Marty sammich has: cream cheese, chives, Psilocybin mushrooms and 400 micrograms of Lysergic acid diethylamide.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAldous Huxley

I'm not big on bread or bagels, so it means a lot when I say I'm in there twice a week now. My fave weekend treat is the multigrain with egg, bacon and cheddar, but I've recently discovered the French toast bagel with apple-cinnamon cream cheese. YUM! TSB has been a really great addition to the neighborhood and I hope they continue to thrive.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

i'm headed down that way tonght. Even though I'm on a limiited carb diet, I may have to indulge. Otherwise, why do all this healthy stuff - to live longer and be miserable?

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave - Everywhere

@roadsidewonders: I loved the look of the marbled-ones too! Regarding "featuting" is there a typo I'm not seeing?

@Jaws: Next time I go I'll try the roast beef bagel just for you!

@csp: I don't know about the rising cost of bagels or food, all I know is that these are worth every cent! That's food for the stomach!

@Aldous Huxley: I had a few of those sandwiches in the '70's!

@Goggla: Glad to hear you stop in there and support a local business!

@Dave - Everywhere: I agree! Everyone deserves a treat now and again and there's plenty tasty treats to be had at TSB!

March 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

A bagel is something that the east coast truly owns...Something about the water...
I dont eat fish so I've only had lox once but other than that i'll eat almost anything else on a bagel..
I think a Marty Bagel should have BACON on it...
I'd use an egg bagel.. a little lighter and sweeter..so not to drown out the bacon...

Love the old WoW banners...not only is it a good piece of history past but it also shows the time of the dance craze in Manhattan..
are they from around the same time as club kids and lImelight?
I had a friend who DJed at Limelight.. I used to have flyers from there.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Marty, I love that Mosaic Man sign, I see that Guy everywhere making mosaic's on poles & walls, very cool. Thanks for putting up my Windos's on the World pass. You should try to do a story on the World Famous Pontani sisters. They are the best of NY BURLESQUE .

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanny the Freelancer

@Gidget: I'm assuming you're not talking turkey bacon! And I agree about the WOW art, I can't say for sure, but I bet they are from the Limelight era.

@Danny the Freelancer: Mosaic Man is a legendary artist! I love that sign! Thanks for sending in the passes, very cool! I've never heard of the Pontani Sisters, send me information on them if you have any!

March 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Awww Marty, this review warms my heart. So glad you enjoyed the place. Chris is the best isn't he? The food, the ambiance, everything - it's perfect... as are you!

All the best.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShawn Chittle

@Shawn: It's perfect as was your documentary that you shot! And you taste great! That should give you nightmares!

March 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Awww man! I would love to see the bagel creation process! Right now, I"m trying to control my carb intake with Fairway's mini bagels, hehe. WHat's your favorite bagel flavor? My office orders from Ess-a Bagel every Thursday. Jumbo size!

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkim

@kim: I like all different kinds of bagels, but if push comes to shove I like sesame the best. If you're office is near the East Village you should try TSB sometime!

March 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I used to like the poppy seed bagels the best. I've since switched to sesame as well.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElaine B.

They need a sandwich called the Wombacher.

The bagels looked incredibly good. I prefer poppy seed myself, hot out of the oven with butter.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveW

@Elaine B: To the sesame seed bagel I hope you try one soon at TSB!

@DaveW: Thanks! Poppy seeds are good too, try one there if you get a chance!

March 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I love these people..they are Brooklyn and so am I. The place is beautiful..never knew who constructed the place and I never knew that who the main bagel man used to have a shop called Pennyfeathers I believe in the Original EV..Alphabet City.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

How ironic,,,,,Murray Lender died the same day you posted your Bagel story.

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Al: that’s not irony, it’s coincidental. For something to be ironic, there must be a disjunction of some kind, usually between the denoted and the connoted.

@Melanie: It's a great place and I didn't know that about Pennyfeathers either.

@Al: I know, kind of kooky!

@Isaac, etc: That's easy for you to say!

March 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I denote sleep with that woman.

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBill Clinton

I connote tell a lie.

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Washington

Irony go home.

My brother in law is a baker and makes the best bagels I have ever tasted, those look like they would be up there. A good bagel just toasted with cream cheese makes me very happy. Hope their business does well, looks like a great place to have in the neighborhood.

March 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkari

@kari: They make great bagels, you need to check it out on your next trip here!

March 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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