Food Review by: Howard Steven Frydman
Restaurant: Isaac’s Bagel Café
Location: 16B Mountain Avenue
“A simple enough pleasure, is to have breakfast” – and that one should “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” I freely admit that I enjoy a hearty breakfast, I am far from being a King but there is absolutely nothing in the world more “regal” than a well-prepared leisurely breakfast. I have recounted many a times my sojourns as a youth to downtown Hartford, and my times spent at the counter of “Jupiter’s”, a well known department store, and having the 35 cent special consisting of a large glass of orange juice, two lightly turned sunny-style eggs, thick rations of bacon, home-style hash browns, and hot buttered toast topped with strawberry jam. Awwwwwwwwwwwww!!! What a breakfast–fit for a King!
Now folks, just like you, when I have breakfast, I want to be pampered, I want to be treated like a “King” and enjoy the simple pleasure of having a picture perfect egg-cellent breakfast. So if a Kingly or Queenly breakfast is what you truly desire as well – then it is by royal decree – that I joyously announce that I have so discovered a most majestic restaurant, “Isaac’s Bagel Cafe” in the heart of the beautiful hamlet of Bloomfield. Here you will find a gentleman, Mr. Isaac Suttar, that many have proclaimed “the” nicest man you will ever meet. Isaac wakes each morning before 3 am, heads to his cafe and as as you can guess- begins his daily routine of making aroma filled, hot from the oven bagels- the best you have ever tasted and serving freshly made country style breakfasts for the “Royal” in everyone. My friends, Isaac’s is where eggs rule and the “art” of breakfast is indeed what it was designed to be -a leisurely pleasure.
On a beautiful Connecticut autumn morning, with scarlet, ruby and golden red foliage falling lazily downward, I eagerly make my way to Isaac’s Bagel Café, folks young and old have already queue up inside and out the door to add a savory bagel to the start of their day. Mr. Isaac Suttar, aka “Isaac of the Morning” and his wife Shaista warmly welcome me to their ever busy cafe, both are dedicated to the creation of gastronomic excellence be it from the fruit of the egg or the “Nosh of a Bagel”. Regarding bagels, Isaac prepares over 30 various bagel types a day, with choices ranging from poppy, sesame, spinach, fresh toast, onion, cheddar, jalapeño Asiago, everything, blueberry, bialy, and the list continues- my favorite- Cinnamon Raisin.
So? What’s a bagel with out a tempting topping- oy! So many choices – sliced toasted bagels lavishly schmeared with an array including plain cream cheese, chive cream cheese, jalapeño cream cheese, or honey walnut cream cheese, plus all the fixings too, from piled high lox (smoked salmon) to capers, tomatoes and red onions to my brother Harvey’s favorite combo, a toasted onion bagel, a schmear of cream cheese, a succulent draping of morning lox and topped with a fried egg- so what’s not to like? Delish-
Isaac’s café has seating for about 40 patrons, intimate tables surround. A large center board at the entrance to the café announces the breakfast and lunch menu along with any daily specials. Please note, no matter what time of day, Bloomfield townies and students from neighboring University of Hartford are constant customers, both groups infusing an electrifying air with talk of either town politics or Uhartt happenings while happily enjoying their breakfast or lunch entrees. The cafe has an open-air kitchen allowing you to watch as your meal is being prepared especially for you- this is a great old school concept.
I begin my sampling of the extensive “Isaac’s Cafe” breakfast menu with an appetizer of the “Fresh Fruit Salad” a large, freshly made, overflowing bowl of fruit consisting of diced pineapple, cantaloupe, honey dew and sliced strawberries-fresh and delicious! Next up I sample two of the various omelets offered including “The Lox Special”, an endearing egg entrée of smoked salmon, scallions, draped in a chive cream cheese. My personal favorite is the “Veggie Omelette” a mammoth presentation of fresh onions, peppers, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese- superb! All omelettes are served with home fries and toast.
Isaac’s Café prepares eggs any style, with various accompaniments including: bacon, ham, sausage, turkey bacon, pastrami, and steak, If I thought their omelettes were “out of this world delicious”, you may have not lived until you have tried “the piece de resistance”- their freshly made “French Toast”, Buttermilk Pancakes, and authentic Belgian Waffles – all served with warm, real maple syrup – this is a case of “Yum Yum Yummy in my Tummy”! Pancakes may be ordered either plain, or with various fruit toppings, berries, bananas or even chocolate chips.
Besides breakfast, Isaac’s additionally serves lunch with offerings including, soups, salads, grilled burgers, wraps, paninis, various classic sandwiches such as BLT’s, Roast Beef, tuna and egg salad, Nova Scotia Lox, Philly Cheese Steak, plus Isaac’s famous “Grilled Cheese Sensation Special”, a massive toasted grilled cheese sandwich topped with bacon, tomato and served with a cup of tomato bisque and a small salad. For those with a sweet tooth, please sample a freshly made muffin, danish, cookie, or cinnamon twist along with Isaac’s always freshly brewed coffee or my usual during the cold months, a hot cup of cocoa adorned with a buoyant dollop of whipped cream.
We applaud Mr. Isaac Suttar, his wife Shaista and his entire staff for making breakfast special again and offering so many egg-cellent choices that you might end up taking a kingly amount of time just choosing between either sunny-style, scrambled or even that “Howard Favorite”- breakfast sandwich, a toasted onion bagel, cloaked in cheddar cheese and regally enriched with a sunny side up fried egg. Yes, dining on breakfast is a simple pleasure and it is a pleasure to dine at “Isaac’s Bagel Café. Enjoy.
“Isaac’s Bagel Café ” has two locations, 16-B Mountain Avenue, and 927 Blue Hills Avenue, Bloomfield, Connecticut. For catering or to book their cafe for a special event call the restaurant at 860-243-8704. “Isaac’s Bagel Cafe” is open from 6am till 3pm daily serving Breakfast and Lunch.
Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.