Exodus Bagels looks and feels the part. The Jamaica Plain spot is about 75 percent kitchen and 25 percent shop, and the humble, two-table space has few decorations save a couple of plants and a hanging print of a cream cheese spreader.
An enticing scene, for sure—but frankly, not worth a damn unless the bagels can back it up. Fortunately, Exodus is the real deal. All it takes is one bite to experience the just-right flakiness of the surface and the nearly elastic chewiness that seems to snap back. A total of 11 varieties are served, including the ingenious “everywhere” bagel that’s essentially an everything on both sides.
Cream cheese is schmeared liberally, while sandwich fillings are just as generous. The G & G follows the lox formula to a T, but piles on much more salmon than we’re used to. We love the vinegary kick from The Cluck’s chicken salad and hot peppers, and appreciate the balance provided by thick-sliced smoked gouda. The aptly named Monumental, stuffed with cream cheese, bacon, and hard-boiled egg, has us considering a return to bed.
Amid all that frenzy, it’s easy to overlook the sweets and non-bagel baked goods that appear on weekends. We never miss the cornflake blueberry muffin, which manages to be just as flaky as we want yet fall-apart-soft. Sometimes we just have to take it home.
Two vegan options, a beet-topped vegan sandwich and the ability to substitute cream cheese for white bean spread, ensure that those with dietary restrictions won’t be left out.
Check the handful of special flavors, written on bagel-shaped signs to the right of the counter, which run the gamut from house-made ricotta and pesto to baked ham and pineapple.
For a lighter snack, ask for one of the “nubs”—micro-sized bagels in varieties like plain, sesame, and everything.
Before going into bagel-making full time, founder Adam Hirsh was a Boston Public Schools teacher.
Tastes of Exodus Bagels
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