My New Year’s Eve can either be considered a huge success or miserable failure, depending on how you look at it. I certainly got my money’s worth at the open bar, but consequently ended up huddled over my garbage can in bed before 2 O’Clock. My roommate, Ariana, and her boyfriend sat at the end of my bed rubbing my feet and coaching me to drink water (great friends, I know). I managed to survive the evening, but felt like death when I woke up in the morning. Naturally, I figured that some food would cure me of all my ailments (head ache, stomach ache, throat ache, ect…)! Since I was still in no shape to drive, Ariana and her boyfriend, Harry, decided to go to breakfast with me (yes, still taking care of me 10 hours later!). We agreed upon Bagel Emporium. As we headed there, I sat in the backseat trying to strike up deals with God. You know, promising I would never drink again if only he would make my headache go away (we’ve all done it at some point or another!). Needless to say, he didn’t take me up on my offer—I think he knows better by now—and so I am writing this post over a nice glass of red wine!
Back to my review though! Bagel Emporium is a college hot spot located on US 1 across from the University of Miami campus. When you live in the dorms freshman year, you go to Charty’s (the campus dining hall) to recap your drunken escapades from the prior evening. When you live off campus, you go to Bagel Emporium (which is now more commonly referred to as just Bagel Emp by girls that feel the need to abbreviate every word in their vocabulary). I would say that about 70% of the diners at Bagel Emporium on any given weekend are UM students; 50% of which are hung-over, 10% which are still drunk, and the other 10% of which are some combination of the two and still in their clothes from the night before. Yes, bagel emporium is one of the few breakfast’s spots where you are guaranteed to see a girl in a mini-dress with 5-inch heels and eyeliner half down her face. And no, she did not just come from church…that micro-mini and those stripper heels are not exactly worship apparel. But, I am not passing judgment, as I have been that girl once or twice–its a writ of passage into womanhood, I think.
Bagel Emporium is so popular because the portions are huge and the prices are cheap (they also have the best bagels in Miami!). Furthermore, it is the only food place in South Florida that reminds me of home because it is like a Jewish Deli crossed with a diner, neither of which exist anywhere else in Miami. I like to start my meal off with a bowl of Matzo Ball Soup, which is prepared with their homemade chicken noodle soup and a singular large matzo ball. It is such comfort food—warm, salty, and delicious. I also oddly enjoy their French Onion Soup, which is not particularly gourmet but successfully satisfies a sodium craving! As my main dish, I usually order the Vegetable Omelet with Broccoli, Onions, Mushrooms, Peppers, and Tomatoes. I also add cheddar cheese to that, and all omelets can be made with egg whites for just a $1 additional charge. Each and every massive omelet is made with 4 eggs and served with your choice of grits or home fries or french fries or sliced tomatoes and toast or bagel or bialy with butter or cream cheese. So for just $7.95, I get a 4-egg omelet with home fries and an everything bagel toasted with cream cheese. It’s such a great value. I don’t really like the home fries very much because they are oily and lacking in flavor, but the bagels are absolutely incredible! Just make sure that you request for your omelet to be cooked well-done because they often undercook them, resulting in runny eggs. Ewe!
I would recommend ordering breakfast at Bagel Emporium, but I have also enjoyed their Greek Salad with Romaine Lettuce, Feta Cheese, Kalamata Olives, Boiled Egg, Cucumber, Pepperoncini, Red Onion, and Tomato. The food is not gourmet, so keep it basic and order diner classics like salads, and reuben sandwiches, and bagels. The Sweet Potato Fries are notably good, and served with a ranch dipping sauce.
Overall, I like Bagel Emporium primarily because it is classic college spot serving massive amounts of food for cheap. I think that Greenstreet in Coconut Grove has a way better omelet (and the most incredible home fries) for a comparable price, and I would recommend it for a more gourmet breakfast seeker. However, Bagel Emporium has a larger menu selection, much better bagels, and larger portions. So it really depends what you’re looking for.