A trio of Solomon's donuts, including Bavarian cream and cherry glazed
It will be interesting to see what it’s like to hang out at Solomon Bagel Company. North Park’s newest donut and bagel destination has been open a few weeks, only since the shutdown started. So despite having plenty of seating room and large windows looking out across 30th Street, all of its business thus far has been socially distanced take-out.
4152 30th St, San Diego
That doesn’t seem to stop a steady stream of customers from showing up to form a line at six-foot intervals. I’ve been seeing such lines stretch from the counter to the far end of the shop, enough to see some products sell out by late morning — I still haven’t shown up early enough to get a maple bar.
I won’t complain though, because despite my love of maple, and the pleasure inherent in a delicious chocolate glazed Bavarian cream, my new favorite donut has to be Solomon’s cherry glazed ($1.70). The simple confluence of cherry, sugar, and raised dough is so successful, I’m left to wonder why I’ve never found a cherry donut in San Diego before. Maybe cherry donuts are the first to sell out at every other donut in town? Or maybe I need to start waking up earlier.
New York-style everything bagel made into a So Cal style sandwich: BLT with avocado
While my own immediate attention may have been temporarily drawn to the sweet stuff, as its name suggests, Solomon Bagel is a bagel shop first. It offers more than a dozen flavors of taut New York City style bagels. Those $1.70 bagels range from everything bagels to rye, multibrane, poppyseed, salt, and cinnamon raisin, each boiled then baked on stone in a custom-built oven.
Solomon bagels: sesame and cinnamon raisin
Jeffrey Wang, the “bagel maestro” behind Solomon, reportedly learned his craft in New York prior to launching the Kettleman Bagel Company chain in Portland, Oregon. That brand was successful enough to be bought out by the national company responsible for the Einstein and Noah’s bagel chains. I would suppose because they didn’t like the competition.
Bagel and donut fans line up six feet apart at Solomon Bagel Company.
In other words, there’s plenty of bagel pedigree behind this new, independent shop. It may look a nightmare for those heavily invested in a gluten-free diet, but for those of us who can’t get enough of the elasticity gluten gives dough, I don’t see it getting any better than the satisfying chew of a sesame seed bagel. A vegan friend tells me the vegan bagels are habit forming as well.
Solomon becomes an automatic top spot breakfast sandwiches, owing to its egg and cheese bagels and the option to include bacon, ham, sausage patty, and veggies. You can go for lox and schmear, as is the New York way.
Solomon brings more bagel and donut options to North Park.
But it’s not all breakfast sandwiches, as demonstrated by my order of the California friendly BALT (bacon, avocado, lettuce, and tomato), which cost $9.50, plus a buck more to add Muenster cheese. I’d call it a pretty good sandwich, made better by the fact I could leave the shop with extra bagels and donuts in tow. Next time, maybe I’ll be able to stick around and eat it inside the shop….