October 2, 2018

First Look at Forage Market

I've been stalling on writing this post. It has nothing to do with the lovely, newly opened Forage Market in Portland, but more because I'm not ready to wade into the bagel fray. I'm not trying to publicly declare who makes the Best Bagel in Portland. Or Why Your Favorite Bagel is Inferior. 

You see, there are now as many bagel places in the Greater Portland area as there are opinions about bagels. There's *takes a deep breath* Mr. Bagel, Scratch Baking Co., 158 Pickett Street, Union Bagel, The Purple House, Rover Bagel, Rose Foods, and now Forage Market. Professor A. of Portland Food Map called 2017 the Year of the Bagel, and the bagel madness continues into 2018. 

I love most bagels in the Portland area. I have always loved bagels—I grew up eating frozen Lenders onion bagels in the suburbs, so you can form your own opinion about my authority on the subject. Lately I have very few qualms about eating a Scratch salt bagel smeared high with herb cream cheese for breakfast several times a week. While some are certainly better than others, I've yet to meet a bagel I didn't enjoy. 

Forage bills itself as a market, but really it's a bagel place. Broadturn Farm shares a small corner of the new space on Washington Ave. in Portland, so you can buy some fresh flowers with your bagel. But Forage's menu is largely bagels. Some lunchtime sandwiches are available on baguettes. But we're here for the bagels. 

The space is large and industrial, with high ceilings and large windows. A wood-fired oven faces the seating area, so you can watch bagels being fired while you enjoy your meal. This would be a large place to spend a morning working, although I don't know about the existence of Wifi or not.

Because I like strong flavors, I got an everything bagel with a Kalamata olive cream cheese. This is one of the few places in Portland that services Kalamata olive cream cheese, which is my absolute favorite. (Some places serve olive cream cheese, but it features the inferior green olive.) 

The bagel itself is crunchy, thin, and airy, with big holes in the baked dough, in the Montreal style of bagels. But really the minute I saw the black olive cream cheese, I was won over. Forage Market's bagels moved to the top of my personal leaderboard of bagels. 

Did I just say they're the best bagels in Portland? You'll have to stop in and see for yourself.