Puyallup High School grads from left, Wade Reynolds, Jordan Caine, Tim Satre, and Scott Reynolds, right, opened Bagel Boyz Bakery July 19 in Puyallup. Photo by Dean J. Koepfler/The News Tribune.
Tonya Reynolds remembers when the idea for Bagel Boyz Bistro was just small talk around her kitchen table.
Her sons – fraternal twins Wade and Scott Reynolds – were kvetching that there weren’t any bagel bakeries in Puyallup. They grabbed a notebook and started jotting down ideas – those ideas formulated the yeasty origins of Bagel Boyz Bistro, which they opened with Puyallup High School classmates Jordan Caine and Tim Satre on July 19 in downtown Puyallup.
The four partners – all 19 years old – are 2008 graduates of Puyallup High School. They run the business with help from friends and family like Tonya Reynolds. The four partners are self-funded – they paid cash to start up the business. Wade is the foodie. He worked as a line cook at The Rose restaurant in Puyallup. Jordan and Wade both were students in the culinary arts program at Puyallup High. Scott and Tim lean toward the business side of Bagel Boyz.
The bagels are not from scratch, but the partners are working on their own dough recipe. For now, they purchase frozen dough, doctor it with add-ins, then proof and boil the bagels before finishing them in the oven – creating a New York-style bagel. Wade said they investigated several styles of bagels, including a raised, baked bagel. "It didn’t turn out the way we wanted, it turned out more bread-ish," he said.
So boiling and baking it was. Letting the dough proof for a short time, then boiling the bagels before baking them give the bagels the chewy resistance the partners like, Wade said. "It takes a little more work to boil them, but it’s worth it. They’re a little chewier, they’re different."
And chewy resistance is a good thing in a bagel. Fans of soft, chewy New York-style bagels will find much to like about Bagel Boyz bagels. Fans of crisp exterior and soft interior need only ask for their bagel to be toasted. The bagels come in seven flavors – plain, honey wheat, pizza, cheese, sesame, cinnamon-raisin and onion. Bagels are 90 cents each (6 for $4.95 or a dozen for $9.90) and toppings range from 75 cents for jam to $1 for regular cream cheese or $1.45 for flavored cream cheese.
For bagels, I’m a purist and prefer mine with just a smear of plain cream cheese. I sampled cheese, plain, pizza and onion and found them all to have a wonderfully dense, chewy texture. I let them sit on my counter for a few days. Actually, four days. They toasted up nicely and didn’t lose their freshness until around day five.
At the restaurant, bagel sandwiches are the bulk of the menu – more than a dozen ranging from $4.50 for the tuna to $5.25 for ham and $5.95 for a Philly.
The young staff is still fine tuning the restaurant, and it shows. On two visits, bagels that were requested toasted arrived untoasted. I saw some people served at tables, and others ordered at the counter. (There isn’t a host to greet or seat, which could be the cause of the confusion.) The small, plastic bagel display case was nearly empty on both my visits. I would have liked to see the bagel choices before ordering.
The salmon lox bagel sandwich ($6.25) came with a generous layer of smoked salmon, salty capers and a healthy smear of cream cheese (but the promised red onions were missing in action). The individual ingredients were delicious, but the overall texture of the sandwich was a bit soft and sticky. Be sure to order it toasted.
A menu of six savory and 11 sweet crepes comprise the bistro side of the Bagel Boyz menu. (They also serve chicken strips and fish and chips, salads and soups.)
I noticed some inconsistencies in the interiors of the crepes. The crepe batter, made in house from scratch, provided a soft, delicious exterior, but the fillings of a few crepes were under-sauced or overcooked. The chicken with white wine sauce crepe ($8.50) came with a delicious, boozy wine sauce and buttery mushrooms that gave the crepe grown-up appeal. The chicken pesto crepe ($7.95) came with chunks of chicken and a swipe of brilliant green house-made pesto, a layer of grilled red peppers and melted provolone.
The turkey and provolone crepe ($6.95) was my favorite – it was a hearty crepe filled with slices of grilled turkey breast, melted provolone, garlic, chopped tomatoes and a healthy layer of wilted fresh spinach.
I didn’t have a chance to eat through the dessert crepes, but I will return to try the lemon delight crepe ($3.95), which comes with lemon curd made from scratch and a drizzle of raspberry sauce. Also on my to-try list: the caramelized banana crepe ($4.50) with caramel and chocolate sauce.
Bagel Boyz Bistro
Where: 109 S. Meridian, Puyallup
Hours: 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays.