News & Features

Reno Misses Mark w/Hipster Bagels

December 04 2012 - 1:16 AM

A good bagel place is not easy to find in…anywhere that isn’t New York. It’s surprising, but a legitimate crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside bagel is a commodity. I had my hopes up that I’d found the real deal at Logan Square restaurant Reno, the Telegraph group’s new spot and neighbor. It might have been my lofty expectations for luscious cream cheese, crunchy bagels and an assortment of varieties, but I was seriously let down.

The decor of Reno definitely speaks to its neighborhood. Seemingly handcrafted wooden chairs and sturdy tables are paired with brick walls and plenty of windows looking out onto the square. The bakery case is enticing, there is no wait for tables during the brunch rush and the food that passed us by while we were waiting (a long time) for our own food looked incredible. We got off to a rough start. At about noon on Sunday, they were out of two popular bagel varieties (everything and olive and herb) and only let us know after about a ten minute wait.

We recovered. The cappuccinos and lattes boast bold flavors, and the fresh squeezed orange juice really is fresh. We were content to wait a bit longer. As soon as our food finally arrived we could already taste the disappointment. Our orders got a bit messed up, which can be understandable for a new restaurant. I ordered cucumbers on my bagel and was met with pickled cucumbers, also known as pickles. I love pickles, but these are not the same thing. And eyeing these bagels we knew these were no competition for New York. They do have the fresh crunch on the outside. They are definitely on the small side, unlike any pictures I’ve seen to promote the restaurant, and they’re missing the chewy center.

The cream cheese disappointed, too, in a big way. Artichoke cream cheese has to be good, right? It couldn’t hold up against the bagel, melting out the sides. The flavors are there, yet the consistency is far too soft. My friend ordered her bagel with cheese, eggs and avocado. The cheese was replaced by cheddar cream cheese, and the entire mushy mixture completely oozed out the sides. It was not a pleasant sight to watch. I wish I could’ve snatched a photo of my own unremarkable sesame seed bagel, but I was far too hungry (both before and after eating)

I realized Reno’s bagels are a little too much like many of the Logan Square residents. These are hipster bagels! They’re way too skinny, try too hard to be different and are probably going to be a short-lived trend unless they get their act together. It seems Reno is a bit of a betting game. Other sandwiches, salads and pizzas looked delicious. Would I venture back to Logan Square to try them out? Absolutely not after this experience. But if you live in the neighborhood, I would give Reno a chance.

2607 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647


–Marly Schuman