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Gilpin's Bagel & Deli (Lunch Review)

By Alice Blaney · August 19th, 2009 · The Dish
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After seeing the little flyer hanging up in the CityBeat elevator every time I came to the office, I’m glad I finally got to visit Gilpin’s Bagel & Deli (37 E. Seventh St., Downtown, 513-421-GBAD).

I was welcomed with a nice retro display outside when I arrived for a recent visit. There was grass turf spread out on the sidewalk with a nice seating area, including an amazing retro-style green couch. Gilpin’s really stuck out, which is hard to do in a place like downtown Cincinnati.

As my friend and I walked in, I was hoping the wait staff would be just as pleasant as their outdoor seating area, and I found that to be true. The lady working the counter immediately helped my friend and I out with the menu after realizing we had never been in before. The menu had quite a large selection, not to mention the build-your-own-bagel menu, which had an array of items as well.

Something called “Bagel Marketing” caught my eye. This is when a customer creates his or her own bagel, makes a drawing with all the contents on it, posts it up on the wall and, if it sells well for six months, Gilpin’s adds it to the menu.

This included items such as “The Playboy Club,” “Little Italy” and various other concoctions.

I chose to go with something called “The Winner” ($5.27) which was part of the Bagel Marketing wall. It had turkey, pepper jack cheese, vegetable cream cheese, banana peppers, sprouts and tomato all squeezed between a sesame seed bagel.

It definitely lived up to its name. The flavors were fantastic, and I liked that there was a heaping amount of turkey and not just two small slices. The banana peppers went great with the pepper jack cheese, and the sprouts gave it a nice fresh taste. I wouldn’t be surprised if this bagel made it on to the actual menu.

My friend decided to go with something on the regular menu called the “4 Real” ($4.25) — spinach cream cheese, provolone cheese, tomato and onion melted between a plain bagel. I wasn’t as fond of it as my choice, but it still tasted very good. It was almost like a pizza on a bagel — nice, hot and steamy.

While eating our awesome bagels, one of the Gilpin’s managers gave us the low-down on what the place is all about. What’s really neat is that they have local artists’ paintings all up on the wall, which are for sale. They will also be adding a lounge in the upstairs area where there will be more couches and TVs.

Another cool part about this bagel and deli is the drunk menu. It’s a big poster board with five delicious drunken choices customers can choose from if they come in late on the weekends. The manager joked that even though the letters are so big on the board that people still have trouble reading it in their drunken state.

Overall, my friend and I were very happy with our selections. Both bagels also came with chips for an extra 75 cents, along with a drink if you wanted it. Beer and wine are also served, even Natural Light! Gilpin’s also delivers both food and alcoholic beverages on Segways if you would like, which is a pretty good deal if you ask me.

Gilpin’s has great food, a great atmosphere and great employees. It’s a good place to go if you’re looking for a quick meal to go or just want to sit around and eat while talking to friends on your lunch break.

dining tips and news: hsmith@citybeat.com



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