Behind the Menu: Lox Bagel gets creative with its offerings of homemade bagels, sandwiches

Gary Seman Jr.
The Columbus Dispatch
Breakfast bagel with egg, bacon and avocado from Lox Bagel Shop

Kevin Crowley is giving a modest food item a fresh spin at the Lox Bagel Shop in the Short North.

The basis of the business, naturally, is the homemade bagel.

Crowley starts with high-gluten organic flour to create the dough, which proofs for two days in the cooler. The bagels are hand-shaped, boiled with malt syrup and oven-fired for nine to 14 minutes.

He stresses quality over quantity, as he produces two dozen bagels at a time a few times a day.

“There’s a strong possibility that what you’re eating has been out of the oven for 15 minutes or so,” said Crowley, a Culinary institute of America graduate.

Bagels, like pizza, are very personal. Crowley said his bagels ($2.25 each) have a crispier outside with a dense interior.

“We’re more of a Montreal bagel than a New York City bagel,” Crowley said.

They come in four flavors — plain, sea salt and herb, sesame and everything — with a choice of seven cream-cheese toppings.

Crowley said he gets the base cream cheese from a Pennsylvania producer and his restaurant adds various ingredients to give them personality, such as chive $1.25, roasted garlic ($1.75), lox ($4) and a vegan version ($2.60).

Fresh lox, meanwhile, is delivered to the store three or four days a week. The bagel shop cures the salmon in lemon zest, salt, sugar and cold smokes the fish for a couple of hours and hand slices the portions. The process takes three days from start to finish, Crowley said.

It shows up in several dishes, such as the lunch sandwich ($12.5), with also offers capers, onions and cucumbers. Add egg for $2.

There’s also a vegan option ($10.50), where carrots are substituted for the fish and dairy-free cream cheese is used.

Lox bagel

The cured carrots are cooked in an immersion circulator, air-dried and smoked.

“They get about as much love the as the fish does, and it’s just a carrot,” Crowley said.

General Manager Silas Caeton said the pastrami also is prepared on-premises.

The brisket is lightly trimmed and brined with a spice blend for 10 to 14 days. It’s then rubbed with mustard and more spices, smoked for 12 hours and grilled before serving.

The pastrami bagel ($10.75) gets pickled onion, yellow mustard, horseradish sauce and Swiss cheese.

“It’s got smoky, spicy and a little bit of sweetness from brown sugar in the brine,” Caeton said. “Some acid in the pickled (onion) and mustard cut through the fattiness and richness of the meat."

Crowley opened the Lox Bagel Shop in December 2018 at the corner of Warren Street and Pearl Alley, although it has a High Street address.

He said the doors are still closed as a COVID-19 precaution but guests can order at the front door or through the store’s website. There is some patio dining at the bagel shop.

Lox Bagel Shop is open for breakfast and has hearty sandwiches for those on the run. The egg, cheddar cheese, bacon and avocado bagel ($9.50) is served with a special sauce that has mayo, mustard, roasted garlic and chipotle puree.

“It’s a huge complement to the sandwich,” Crowley said. “Even when people don’t want it, we suggest they get it on the side.”


At a glance

Where: The Lox Bagel Shop

Address: 772 N. High St., Suite 106, Short North

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Saturdays and Sundays

Contact: 614-824-4006, www.theloxbagelshop.com