We ventured up to Fountain Hills to see if the rumors of real New York style bagels were true, and we confirmed it: DJ's Bagel Café is an authentic, East Coast bagelry.
If you've never had a real bagel -- or if you've been craving one since your last -- we have to say, DJ's is a hell of a lot closer than the Big Apple and well worth the trip.
On our latest trek, we grabbed the egg salad on an everything bagel. The bagel was that classic crispy on the outside, thick, soft and succulent on the inside that you've come to expect. Plus it was loaded with onion, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic, and even raw sea salt. This thing is a meal in itself even without the egg salad and veggies in the middle making it nearly four inches thick.
Yes, FOUR INCHES THICK. Our egg salad was fresh and fluffy, pile on lettuce, tomato, onion, sprouts and mustard, plus a pickle and a side of summer picnic pasta salad, and you have a lunch we had to split.
Click through for DJ's exhaustive lunch-on-a-bagel options and the one time you DON'T want to be at DJ's.
Get your bagel plain - in white, whole-wheat, seven grain, pumpernickel, rye, sourdough or egg - or doll it up with cinnamon and raisins, blueberries, French toast, parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, etc. DJ's has 22 different types of bagels plus daily specials and minis.
The sandwich options are nearly as comprehensive as the bagels: egg, cheese and breakfast meat; every cold cut imaginable - from turkey to Genoa salami - as well as shrimp salad, chicken salad and grilled veggies. Add your choice of 12 cheeses and any vegetable/sauce under the sun... and you've got one hefty bagel. To which you can add any side salad or a bag of chips and a drink - all for less than $10.
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The only time we'd recommend you STAY AWAY FROM DJ's is weekdays from 11:30 a.m. 'til noon, when it's swamped by local high school kids. Luckily we got our order in right before the masses, but seriously, we'd rather not have relived our teenage cafeteria experience. Especially while eating a damn fine bagel.
Speaking of which, since WHEN do kids get to duck out of school for fabulous bagels instead of paper-bagging plain old PB&J or lining up for bad cafeteria pizza? Luuuuuckyyyyy.
Next time you're in the neighborhood to see the world-famous fountain or laundry machine horse, swing by DJ's for a New York bagel. (Or more realistically, next time you make a trek to Fountain Hills to get your bagel fix, check out the fountain and the horse.)
DJ's Bagel Café 13693 N Fountain Hills Blvd Fountain Hills 480.816.4155