Word travels fast about good food. When it comes to bagels in Charlotte, the name that kept coming up was Poppy’s. Located at the harried intersection of Providence Road and South Sharon Amity Road, Poppy’s Bagels and More is doing true New York-style bagels, sandwiches, soups and deli-style sides.
It’s owned by Long Island native Ron Rippner, who named the place after his father. Well, his father’s nickname. Like many New Yorkers, Rippner couldn’t find a “proper” bagel when he first moved here, so he took to replicating it himself.
Of course, if I’m hitting up the bagel shop, there’s only one thing to order — an everything bagel with lox and cream cheese all the way ($6.99). That is, with lettuce, tomato, onion and capers.
The locale for Poppy’s is very Providence Road — a clean, unremarkable interior with upstanding tables and chairs. A screened-in patio offers a comfortable place to read the paper and sip coffee, especially in the coolness of the early mornings when the whoosh of cars passing up and down Providence Road is almost meditative.
But the interior is not why people line up at Poppy’s. It’s the bagels, made from scratch daily. Once the doors open, especially on weekends, it’s go-time.
The everything bagel is made the traditional way. Scratch-made dough is mixed and proofed before being boiled and then baked off in the oven each day. The everything bagel at Poppy’s comes with a perfectly lacquered exterior adorned in salt crystals, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried garlic and dried onion that make the everything, everything. The interior is chewy and perfectly pliant, like that of a delicious memory foam mattress.
Poppy’s slathers real Philadelphia cream cheese on both sides of the bread, a key move for perfect sandwich structure, and then layers it with lox and all the fixin’s. Together, they become a savory amalgam of parts that transform into a joyous whole. One bite of Poppy’s bagel with lox and the occasional hankering is now a full-blown obsession.
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