The Dish: Providence Bagel Opens

The former Honey Dew Donuts location boasts bagels and cream cheeses made on site, plus a drive-through to get your food on the go.

Time to make the bagels! Providence Bagel scratch-made bagel operation opened this month inside a former Honey Dew Donuts location on North Main Street. The New York-style bagels feature twenty-plus varieties, including asiago, blueberry, French toast, everything, several whole wheat varieties and more, all mixed, proofed and baked on site using quality ingredients and Italian-made equipment.

Owner Chris Wietecha settled on the former Honey Dew spot because it’s close to the highway, the hospital, post office and other businesses, plus a lot of traffic moves through the area. But he had to see beyond the building’s dire state before renovations. "It was all graffiti and overgrown," he says. The project required gutting the structure down to the studs and installing new floors, a roof and walls.

One feature they’ve decided to keep is the drive-through. Customers will be able to stop by the window to get coffee, bagels and sandwiches to go without ever leaving their cars. "In the world we live in today, the ease of access is super important," Wietecha says. "People want things fast, but they want it to be good. Here, you can get quick service and a high quality product."

That high quality product revolves around a recipe for New York-style bagels developed by bagel consultant Bob Iacullo. The Long Island resident has been in the bagel business for more than fifty years and travels across the country seeking out the best ones. "Everything is freshly baked, everyday with all high quality ingredients," says Wietecha.

The process involves mixing the dough, forming the bagels using high-end machinery, proofing the dough to activate the yeast, and then the bagels are refrigerated overnight. The next day, the bagels are popped in the proofer again to acclimate to temperature before toppings are added and they’re baked in the Italian oven. "We are using high-gluten flour and barley malt syrup,"  says Wietecha. "The Italian-built oven basically mocks the the boiling system but is much more efficient."

 

Garlic, Onion, Salt and Cinnamon Raisin deliciousness? #providence #providencebagel #bagels

A photo posted by Opening January 2017 (@providencebagel) on

The dough is always freshly made on site, as well as all the flavored cream cheeses including jalapeño cheddar, honey walnut and bacon scallion. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not New York water that makes New York bagels so good. "There’s literally no difference between Providence water and New York water," Wietecha says. "Twenty-five years ago, the water may have mattered, but now it’s all filtered and it’s the barley malt that is the most important thing."

Equally as important to bagels is the coffee they’re paired with. Providence Bagel will serve Beanstock Coffee, roasted in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The beverages menu includes lattes, espresso and cold brew drinks. Bagels can also be sliced for breakfast and lunch, including egg and cheese and New York deli-style sandwiches like pastrami, corned beef and more. Soups and salads are also on deck.

 

Another added perk? You don’t have to search for parking. Just cruise on by the Providence Bagel drive-through for fast food done well. 695 North Main St., Providence, providencebagel.com

Check Providence Bagel's Facebook page for updates.

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