A New York bagel scene in … Union County?

Tom Hanchettbagel
When I think about big-city life, I think about going out for bagels on Sunday morning. Now that ritual can be found in Charlotte’s Union County suburbs.

Back in college, a Jewish buddy took me to his parents’ home in New York over a spring vacation. Would I like to go out for bagels? I discovered this was no grab-and-go.

Instead the whole family lingered over plates loaded with soft swirls of cream cheese, the thin-shaved salmon called lox, sliced onions, tomatoes and tart little berry-like things I learned were capers. Not like any sandwiches this small-town boy knew. But the food and the camaraderie made me a convert.

So when Levine Museum opened its current exhibit “Down Home: Jewish Life in North Carolina,” I began asking visitors if Charlotte has a bagel scene. They pointed to Poppys on Providence Road, to the Bagel Bin & Deli in Huntersville. But the most enthusiastic nods were for Poppyseeds in Union County between Matthews and Stallings.

Stallings? That used to be where suburbia trailed off into farmland, the antithesis of “big city.” But in recent years, Stallings and Union County have become the Charlotte area’s fastest-growing destination for newcomers.

Kim Porto, a transplant from Suffolk County, Long Island, opened Poppyseeds two years ago. She grew up in her family’s bagel deli in Selden, New York.

“We try to make everything just like back home,” she says. “Whitefish salad. Black-and-white cookies. Coconut macaroons. Special-flavor whipped cream cheeses.”

And handmade bagels in more than a dozen flavors. Porto sliced me an egg-glazed “everything” bagel, slathered it thick with cream cheese, a layer of lox, onions, tomatoes and capers.

A big bite of the big city.

Poppyseeds Bagels
Monday – Saturday 5:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday 5:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
1311 Chestnut Lane at Potters Road
Matthews, NC 28104
704-234-0247

foodheader
Center City & nearby
Carolina apple cider
Indian street food
Greens from South Carolina
Upstate NY Italian sausage
Swiss-German bakery
Blackberry memories of Brooklyn
Puerto Rican kabobs
South Boulevard, South Tryon & southward
Mexico meets Greece – holiday treats
Cuban box pig
Snack foods from India
SC meets Vietnam @ Lyly’s
El Rinconcito — El Salvador
Arepas Grill — Venezuela
Indian sweets for Diwali
Colombian soup
Korean at China Wing
Indian food in south Charlotte
Mexican take-out
Laurita Tamaleria — Mexican tamales
Fort Mill — real Chinese
Independence Boulevard, Monroe Road & environs
Taste Nigeria in east Charlotte
Korean BBQ
Brazilian bakery
Secret Greek grocery
Colombian BBQ & snacks
Detroit hot dogs
New York bagels
Halal Latino
Russian-Turkish Grocery
Iran Kabobs in Matthews
Ramen in Matthews
Peruvian comfort food

Central Av, Albemarle Road & vicinity
Family-style Ethiopian
Dominican street food
Jamaican black cake
Somali stew and sides
Schawarma from Jerusalem
Oriental buns
Greek pastry at Central Coffee
Bosnian sausages
‘Tis the Season for Champurrado
Latino bakery feeds a region
Taste Monterrey, Mexico
Tamales in Plaza Midwood
One restaurant, three Latino traditions

North Tryon, UNCC area & northward
Asian Moon Cakes
Mexican carnitas
Beef on Weck from Buffalo
Indo-Chinese
Dominican fruit shakes, pressed subs
Mexican ice cream
Louisiana Viet crawfish
Salvadoran comfort food
NYC pastries – Lake Norman
Vegetarian eats from south India
Westward
The Patio at Our Lady of Guadalupe
NC fish camps
Fried baloney
Grits & cornmeal
El Tamarindo
Laos in Kings Mountain