First Look

First Look: Sclafani's Adds to Dallas' Big Bagel Bender

The Beastie Boy Burger at Sclafani's
The Beastie Boy Burger at Sclafani's Lauren Drewes Daniels
Carbs have a bad rap these days, and it's largely undeserving. A recent influx of bagels into Dallas feels like an organized movement to change that. Like Hands Across America, but it's Bagels Across Dallas.

Sclafani's, the latest bagel pusher, opened in Preston Center in January.
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There's plenty of space to sit and enjoy a bagel and coffee inside Sclafani's new space in Preston Center.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
The Sclafani family ran a bakery in Italy before immigrating to the U.S. in 1890. Once in New York City, they continued with bread but also learned how to make bagels from their local Jewish community. The owner of the Dallas location, Christopher Sclafani, who previously owned a bagel shop in Virginia, has opened this spot, with help from his daughter Alyssa. All the bread and bagels are made here in the shop daily.

Sclafani's has a full menu of breakfast and lunch sandwiches in addition to bagels and schmears. All the sandwiches have New York themes. The Park Avenue comes with smoked salmon, choice of schmear, tomato, onion and capers ($10.99). The Sinatra is the cheapest breakfast sandwich at $5.75 and comes with just egg and cheese.
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Clockwise from top left: poppyseed, plain, everything and whole wheat.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
The bagels at Scalfani's have a little snap from the exterior and are dense in the middle. Each bite has some bounce to it. These bagels are thick, too. At home it was easy to slice one on the horizontal not once but twice, rendering three "slices" of one bagel. Toasted then slathered in a fatty butter, it was wonderful.

Schmears can be bought in large or small to-go containers. There are both savory and sweet variations from garden veggie to birthday cake. We can vouch for honey walnut, and that it's good enough to eat off a spoon alone, not that we'd do that.

We tried a Beastie Boys Burger ($8) on a cheddar bagel (even though the NYC rappers are all vegetarian or vegan). The burger had a flame-broiled flavor to it and definitely rose above our burger-at-a-bagel-shop expectations.

Sclafani's also serves "gourmet" coffee, although we didn't try any the day we visited.

Many online reviews tout this spot as the closest thing to New York bagels in Dallas. It seems maybe they've had some long-ish waits some mornings and, according to responses to comments online, they're learning to manage that better and adding extra ordering kiosks.

During our visit, the service was friendly and our order came out quickly. There's ample space in their nice dining room to eat or they'll package things up to go.

Sclafani's New York Bagels and Sandwiches, 6135 Luther Lane, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday., 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Closed Monday.
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.

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