Now Open: Eltana Bagels

The much anticipated Eltana Bagels has finally opened on the SW corner of the Prescott Wallingford complex (nee, “The Big Pit”), at 3920 Stone Way N. The bagel purveyor specializes in hand-rolled artisan bagels that are baked in a wood-fired oven, which customers can see right as they walk in the door.

I’ll admit, I was a little worried I wouldn’t like them since I read that Eltana’s bagels were not the traditional NY-style bagels, but closer to Montreal-style bagels. Having lived in Bergen County, N.J. for the first 15 years of my life, I consider myself somewhat of a NY-style bagel junkie aficionado, so when I read “Montreal-style” bagels, I promised myself I’d keep an open mind since, honestly, I can’t find a single NY-Style bagel on the west coast that’s worth a damn.

At Eltana, I was treated to an “everything” bagel (a bagel with sesame and poppy seeds, salt, onion, and garlic) and loved it. The bagel is definitely smaller and denser than a traditional NY-style bagel, and it’s got the slightest crunch when you first bite into it; but it was flavorful and not at all dry (which is what I feared most, truth be told). I could eat the entire bagel dry (sans spread) without needing water to chase it down. The best part was that the seasoning and seeds were harmoniously slathered on both the top and bottom of the bagel.

The plain bagel had a little more of that initial crunch (nice, in my opinion) and the inside was softer and less dense than the “everything.” My husband took a piece of the plain and said, “This tastes just like a soft pretzel, minus the salt.”

Before they’re baked in the wood fired oven, the bagels are hand-rolled (which gives them a little extra chew) and boiled in a honeyed water (which makes them sweet and shiny).

I met with co-owner Daniel Levin who told me that his business partner, Stephen Brown went to school in Montreal, and the bagels back there stuck with him for decades. They opened their first store on Capitol Hill about two years ago and last May, they opened a kiosk at the new Armory at Seattle Center.

“We take the bagel out of its deli context to bring a deliciously different bagel to the west coast,” Levin explained to me. And it’s not just the bagels that are different. The spreads are also creative–from sweet: honey almond, date walnut, fig apricot (with sundried tomatoes, red wine and spices), or fresh ground almond butter, to savory: carmelized onion hummus, red pepper and walnut (with pomegranate molasses), fava bean mint (with mint and caraway), white bean and feta (with sundried tomatoes, lemon, and parsley), and spicy garlic (with garlic, ginger, cayenne, and red chilis). The best part is that you can experiment with these flavors by sampling them, like you would in an ice cream shop. Eltana also offers soups and stews including their signature “Shakshuka”, an Israeli stew made with egg and feta.

Eltana is open 7 days a week, from 7:00am to 5:00pm. The bagels are a buck a piece, or $11.50 for a baker’s dozen. They’ll deliver to groups, parties, and offices. For the rest of us, there is free parking in the garage on the 39th Street side of the building. If you give them a try, let us know what you think!

  • Dan

    That’s the SW corner, isn’t it?

  • Margaret

    Thanks, Dan! You’re right! In my head, I was thinking it was the NW corner of 39th and Stone. Thanks for catching that.

  • Jack

    Wish they’d moved into Wallingford Center. I miss the old bagel shop there.

  • Donn

    Wallingford Center is so yesterday, along with N 45th in general. Today it’s all about colonizing Stone Way with trendy eateries, expensive condos, office parks etc. Pretty soon N 45th is going to be lucky to have a taco truck.

  • http://tinkerbean.tumblr.com Melissa

    Just stopped in today and had a great experience. The place is bright and cheery (as is the staff) and they had plenty of space for our large group. The kids liked seeing the bagels go into the fire! Food was great.

  • Michael H.

    Wallyhood readers are doing their part to get rid of the taco truck by leaving one-star reviews on Yelp.

    I like the bagels at Eltana but they’re small! I recommend getting some and taking them home; eating one of their bagel+topping deals leaves me pretty hungry.

  • eeggg eee yyeeggee

    right on

    Re the Taco Truck.. there was soem agreement between the truck people about cleaning up the donut place. Cant we enforce it? It looks terrible.

  • Margaret Hamilton

    Opaque paper on the windows would do it. Nice and neat. The outside areas are cleaned up. That said, more lighting on the Thackeray side might light up what has become a hidey hole at 45th and Thackeray, SW corner.

  • evidence speaks for self

    call them.. its a huge step from words on th e internet to a reality

  • Michael H.

    Have you called them?

  • Rob C

    My wife and I look forward to checking out Eltana. We have regretted for years the fact that Mount Royal didn’t survive – anyone else remember that Montreal-style bagel joint, which used to be where Pudge Brothers is now? Mmmmmmm….

  • gregf

    The best Wallingford bagel place IMO was Spot in the NW corner of Wallingford Center now occupied by Pharmaca. Bagels made NY style, boiled and baked, plus a pretty respectable deli for sandwiches. They went wholesale supplying grocery stores, closed the retail store, and sadly did not survive.

    Looking forward to Eltana, but a bit concerned that it sounds like the bagels are not boiled.

  • gregf

    Oh, and closest NY style I have found in Seattle is Bagel Oasis up on 65th (and formerly on Leary in Fremont). Dense and chewy. Also, Noah’s at U-Village QFC has recently changed names to Einstein’s (out of Denver?), although I find those to be a bit on the bread-y side… and large. I do not know if Einstein’s will be making any changes to the Noah’s recipe to make it more NY style.

  • Margaret

    Greg, Eltana’s bagels actually are boiled, first, in honeyed water. They are then baked in a wood fired oven. I was worried about that, too, at first, but then I went in and learned about their process.

  • info

    Spot was great, sad to lose them. As was the little French restaurant which was there for awhile

  • tri-p

    Tried Eltana’s this weekend. Yummy!!!! Will definitely be going back. Brings back memories of visits to Montreal.

  • Meg

    I was sad to move away from Eltana in CH, glad they followed us to Wallyhood :) If one bagel doesn’t fill you up, their beet and greens salad with lemon tahini dressing is the perfect pairing and will round things out a little nutritionally.

  • neighbor

    average at best.

  • Fruitbat

    Gregf–Einsteins is a long-running chain. In fact, they have the same corporate owner as Noahs; I don’t know why they would change a storefront from one to the other, but trust me, the bagels aren’t going to get any better.
    Stick with Bagel Oasis or Eltana.

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