Since the closure of Rude Brothers, South Lake Tahoe has been clamoring for bagels — and that call has finally been answered.
After running a coffee shop and bakery in Santa Cruz for 11 years, Caitlin Parker is now pumping out delicious bagels, made fresh daily in the heart of South Lake Tahoe.
From Thursday – Sunday, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m., Parker and her partner E.J. Gammage can be found inside of Blue Angel Café serving her unique bagels and sandwich concoctions along with coffee.
"I started Firefly Coffee House in Santa Cruz when I was 20 years old kind of on a whim, and it did really well. But about four years into it I wasn't happy with our bagel supplier and I thought to myself, 'how hard can it be to make a bagel?'" said Parker. "Well, it is a little hard, but I dabbled with some fun recipes and finally came upon a mixture of what I really liked and I've been doing it ever since."
After selling the coffee shop in December after three years of commuting between South Lake Tahoe and Santa Cruz, Parker decided to start making bagels in Tahoe under a new name: Dragonfly Bagel Co.
And they aren't your average bagels.
"Like a New York bagel, we boil them, but instead of putting the ingredients in the dough, we put it on top, so they look crazy and super fun," said Parker. "They tend to be a little lighter, a little airier, because during our boiling process they also steam up quite a bit."
Currently Dragonfly serves nine flavors of bagels: plain, cinnamon sugar, tomato herb, everything, spicy garlic herb, cheddar, tomato cheddar, onion cheddar and jalapeño cheddar.
Customers can top them with cream cheese, goat cheese, homemade hummus, pesto, Nutella or jam.
The menu also features out-of-the-box sandwiches like the Cheez-It Bagel — made with cream cheese or goat cheese, pulverized Cheez-Its, tomato and a choice of bacon or avocado — and The Situation Sandwich — a bagel with egg, cheddar cheese, home fries or Spanish black bean hash, and cream cheese.
After a night of over-indulging, Dragonfly's Hangover Helper could be the cure: a bagel with cream cheese and bacon, a 20-oz brewed coffee with a double shot of espresso and one packet of Emergen-C.
Dragonfly Bagel Co. will stay inside Blue Angel Café at least through the end of July.
"From there we are going to look at what the plan is. We've been completely overwhelmed with how wonderful this town has been. I underestimated how much Tahoe needed bagels since Rude Brothers closed," said Parker.
But Parker has bigger plans beyond bagels, ones she hopes she can carry out in Tahoe.
"I'm planning on opening a restaurant in the long run. It's going to be a fancy Southern breakfast spot and an inn. We're hopefully going to do light farming in the back," said Parker. "We're definitely thinking about Tahoe because we're in love with it here, but we're also looking into Savannah, Georgia."
Until then, catch Dragonfly Bagel Co. at Blue Angel Café, located at 1132 Ski Run Blvd., and follow along on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/dragonflybagelco.
"We're really thankful for all the love and support we've received so far," added Parker. "It's been really great."