okay, so i didn’t get the hype about bagels until i tried one in nyc in 2007. bagels, growing up in australia, came in packs of four from the supermarket, and tended to be a bit heavy, dry, and flavourless. experiencing the real deal has ruined me for life, and coeliac disease and the relative lack of gluten free bagels on the market has made the whole experience that much harder.
if you’re thinking i’m about to announce that bagels & beans is your saviour… er, don’t. having said that, their gluten free bagels have neither the weight and texture of a rock, nor the general consistency of pound cake (which seem to be the two standard options in gluten free bagel-ing), so i suppose they’re still leading the gluten free pack. just don’t expect miracles.
i opted for cream cheese and smoked salmon on mine. if i had my time over, i’d probably ask them to dial back the capers and red onions a bit (pretty sure i had killer breath for a while afterwards), but overall it was reasonably tasty. hey, i’m a coeliac traveller – the bar is set pretty low, expectations-wise. i’m usually grateful to get something (a) palatable, (b) satisfying, (c) not too expensive and (d) legitimately uncontaminated. see?
i also ordered an iced coffee, but was informed by the very cluey waitress that they made it with instant coffee, which as all experienced coeliacs know, tends to be a red flag. she offered to make me an iced latte instead – proper espresso, milk, and ice. sorted.
service was slow, but this seemed to be a combination of circumstances: a (very) rainy day, peak sunday brunch time, two floors of customers with only two waitstaff and one more on food and drink prep. in spite of this, service was friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about coeliac disease.
bagels & beans have a number of outlets around amsterdam. you can find your closest one, as well as their menu, on their website. yes, they do a functional english version (hallelujah!).