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Bodega Bagel to bring taste of New York to Henderson

Updated September 1, 2022 - 3:44 pm

Boil! Bake! Bagels!

On Tuesday, Bodega Bagel opens in Henderson, offering New York-style bagels crafted in the traditional method: boiling the bagels after shaping and proofing, then baking the bagels after coating with toppings. Cue the crusty and chewy.

Bodega Bagel, on Eastern Avenue just south of St. Rose Parkway, is chef-owner Sonia El-Nawal’s love letter to New York, specifically the historic Jewish neighborhoods of the Lower East Side, and the name Bodega nods toward the convivial corner convenience stores found across the city.

“Bringing a little New York to Las Vegas has been a dream of mine for a long time,” El-Nawal said. “I am thrilled to open the doors to my brand, Bodega Bagel, and share the flavor and flair with the community and beyond.”

Bagels and beyond

The shop began as a pop-up at Vegas Test Kitchen, the downtown culinary incubator. At the new bricks-and-mortar store, the menu is built on bagels like plain, sesame, poppy seed and everything (sometimes called United Nations) made daily, with toppings like horseradish, tofu schmears, house-cured lox, sturgeon, smoked salmon and house whitefish salad.

For breakfast, the menu also moves beyond bagels.

Shakshouka (eggs baked in spicy tomato sauce) features a Jerusalem bagel, airier than the standard version. For eggs and caviar, soft-scrambled eggs, crème fraîche, caviar and chives join a latke potato pancake. Brisket and eggs are served with home fries and choice of bagel or bialy, an only-baked cousin of the bagel with a flavored hollow instead of a hole. Homemade challah stars in challah French toast with caramelized bananas.

At lunch: Look for soups like borscht, mushroom barley or chicken matzo ball; for salads, think a chopped version, a Waldorf chicken salad or an Israeli salad made with diced vegetables; and for sandwiches, consider brisket, hot pastrami or hot corned beef.

Beverages? There are La Colombe coffee drinks, iced tea, beer and micheladas. Bagels be boozy when paired with light-bodied, low-intervention wines, and with pitchers of mimosas or sake bloody marys.

International career

El-Nawal has been a culinarian for nearly 40 years, working alongside top chefs like Julian Serrano, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and pastry chef Pierre Hermé, and cooking in cities from Paris to Miami, New York to Mexico City to Las Vegas.

The Libyan-born Armenian Lebanese chef has long been a bagel booster, bringing her New York-style beauties to new audiences. In the early 1990s, for instance, she moved from New York to Brussels and opened the popular Spoonful Diner, introducing Belgians to bagels (and supplying American expats with a schmear of home).

Bodega Bagel will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays at 10075 Eastern Ave. Visit bodegabagel.com; follow @bodegabagel on Instagram.

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ItsJLW on Twitter.

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