If you’re going to call yourself a house of bagels, you better have the process to back it up — boiling bagels before baking them. That’s exactly what House of Bagels Central Coast delivers.
Both locations (Paso Robles, which opened in 2005, and San Luis Obispo, launched in 2006) first began as contract stores with the House of Bagels in San Francisco, explained co-owner Mike Prowse. That involved getting frozen bagels from the landmark Bay Area store and baking them off locally, a business model that eventually proved too costly with rising transportation costs.
“We also just couldn’t manage the quality as much as we liked,” said Prowse, so in 2007 they dissolved the contract arrangement and became House of Bagels Central Coast. More importantly, the San Luis Obispo location evolved into a bakery to make all the chewy, crusty, New York-style bagels for both stores.
To team up with the bagels, there’s not only traditional cold-smoked salmon lox, but also house-made cream cheese “schmears” in flavors such as garlic herb, honey walnut and now the seasonal vanilla almond. Locally roasted coffee from Coastal Peaks (SLO) and Joebella (Paso) is also available.
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Any bagel can be used for the menu’s sandwiches. For breakfast, go for any of the various scrambled egg-topped options, especially the guaranteed-to-perk-you-up “Eggs and Hotties” with sausage, pepper jack cheese and jalapenos. Lunchtime bagel topping choices include house-made tuna, chicken and egg salad, plus deli meats and fresh roasted turkey.
Prowse also noted that “we’re more than just bagels.” You can opt to have your sandwich as a panino on a locally baked ciabatta bread, order up a Cobb salad or a shaved ice smoothie, or have an individual bagel pizza or a bagel dog — a 100 percent beef hot dog wrapped and baked in onion bagel dough.
Beyond authentic bagels and quality ingredients, another key facet of House of Bagels Central Coast is the employees, said Prowse. “Most of them have been with us since the beginning. They’re very important to us, and our customers really appreciate them too.”