If you live or work anywhere near the Village Commons shopping center, and miss the old Big City Bagels, there’s good news: Whitney’s Bagels & Deli has taken over where Big City left off. And if you've ever visited Ocean Beach on Fire Island in New York and recognize the name, that's because this is the southern cousin of Whitney's Market on the Island.
Whitney’s kept most of the Big City furnishings, but in a slicker silver/gray/black color palette. Otherwise, the fixtures look pretty much the same. There’s plenty to choose from for breakfast and lunch, fresh bagels throughout the day and it’s a convenient stop for grocery store shoppers or anyone doing banking business or topping by for a workout.
- Whitney’s is a deli big on morning classics: bagels with house-made cream cheese spreads, egg platters any style, bagel egg-wiches, pancakes, French toast and fruit-filled blintzes.
- There’s the variety: a simple plain omelet, a NEO (Nova, eggs and onions), or selections offered with either pastrami or corned beef. The French toast is made from the Jewish egg bread called challah, and offered plain or covered with strawberries, bananas or chocolate chips. Really hungry patrons can order one of the signature Hungry Man breakfasts, which include steak and eggs, or two eggs, two pancakes, four meats and a bread choice.
- Lunch continues the deli theme, with sliced meats, chicken, shrimp, tuna, whitefish and egg salad. Or just get a shmear of chopped liver, for something really classic. You can get lunch as a sandwich, a salad or a platter.
- The bagels are all-important here, and they are not the thick, doughy, chewy New York-style bagel. They are thinner, with an easier bite that still holds together well. You’re not obligated to dig out the centers in order to enjoy the rest of the bagel.
- And speaking of the bagels: while Whitney's offers the usual flavors (rye, garlic, onion, salt, sesame, poppy, pumpernickel and plain), you will also find whole wheat, whole wheat everything and asiago cheese. And a recent 2 p.m. stop turned up bagels that were still plentiful - and fresh.
- The restaurant offers matzoh brei: pieces of matzoh dampened with water, mixed with beaten eggs, seasoned and then pan-seared. The result is a combination of matzoh pudding meets an omelet, and you simply have to try it, especially with onions.
- If bagels, toast or wraps aren't your carb thing, you can always try a bialy. A bialy is a softer version of a bagel, minus the hole.
- The outdoor seating is especially nice here. You wouldn't think so, given how busy this parking lot can be, but the setback, plus the potted plants, keep the patio hidden and the noise level acceptable.
- The service: very nice, very fast and no question is too strange to ask this staff.
- The prices: Three platters come in over $10. Everything else is well below that price.
Whitney’s Bagels & Deli, 871 Village Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL. Phone (561) 242-6004. Open daily 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Outdoor seating and kids menu available.
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