I have a lot of bagel opinions. And there are—at all times—several bagels fighting for top position in my bagel-shaped heart. Spielman Bagels is frequently at the tip top of that jumble for their beloved chewy, untoasted "Portland bagel." Today's Takeout Club celebrates Spielman for that AND their technology-forward approach to takeout, which is seamless, easy, and without hiccups.
My god is it easy to get a contactless coffee and bagel from Spielman. Part of the focus of Takeout Club is all the off-the-wall eccentricities businesses accrued as they acclimated to new modes of service, like low contact or contactless pickup, outdoor dining, etc. But with Spielman, you just order from their site though Square. No fancy stuff. You don't need to log-in (a modern torment). If you've got Apple or Google pay going, you're basically almost done and the site autoloads a 20 percent tip—don't get me started, you'd better tip your bagel person.
Spielman owner Rick Spielman calls the Spielman bagel his approach to a "Portland bagel." It's long and lean with slightly more cream cheese than is truly necessary—but the amount that is desired. I usually eat my Speilman bagels untoasted (you have to ask for toasting) and the chewiness is such that I walk down the street moving my head back and forth like a terrier, trying to make headway on their kettle-boiled sourdough. It's pretty terrific!
Bagel, cream cheese, and coffee has to be one of the best tastes this life affords, but if you want something more sustaining, Spielman also has a number of sandwiches that are delicious and well packaged to travel. I'll mess around with that egg and cheddar, if I'm feeling fancy, and the bacon, cream cheese, arugula, and strawberry jam sandwich also earns high marks.
The old story with Spielman is that they began as a shade grown coffee business whose bagels quickly outshined their coffee drinks. They also entered Portland's bagel zone right as beloved Portland bagel-ers Kettleman's were being acquired and subsequently ruined by Einstein Bros. They say that a bagel hero will save us, and that hero was Spielman Bagels.
There are four Spielman locations in the Portland metro area, but each one still feels like its own little shop, rife with funny drawings and personality. This is likely related to Raf Spielman—who started the business with his father, Rick—as he's been a familiar face around many of the city's creative projects, like the Woolen Men and Free Spirit News. Each store is taking its own approach to indoor seating—they're all different sizes and have different occupancy levels—so feel free to check in on them like they were your local little shoppe. For now, all locations offer pick-up and delivery.
Spielman Bagels, 2200 NE Broadway, (503) 467-0600; 2111 SE Division, (503) 946-8297; 2314 NW Lovejoy, (503) 208-3083; 7713 SW Capitol Hwy, (503) 206-6024; spielmanbagels.com