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Brooklyn Bodega Bagels and Deli

November 14, 2022

  • 10 Jefferson Avenue SE
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • (616) 724-4275
  • Website
  • Menu

It seems like every industry is dealing with staff shortages right now. Mine company included.

Because of that, I’m spending more time in Grand Rapids. I still do the majority of my shifts in Kalamazoo but every so often, I’ll need to pick up a shift in the Grand Rapids office due to staff shortages.

I was up there a few weeks ago on a day shift. My workload was fairly light. My co-worker and I completed our task pretty early in the day then headed back to the office to finish the paperwork. I had a fairly big gap for lunch and I drove by a spot not too far from the office that looked to be right up my alley.

Brooklyn Bodega is a small, carryout only restaurant on Jefferson Avenue just south of Fulton on the edge of downtown. The restaurants is part of a small commercial building with five storefronts. The last time I was in this particular building was 2014 when it was Cvlt Pizza.

I could have put an order in online but I was close so I decided to just go in to the shop. It’s not that far from work and I had a little bit of time.

The restaurant isn’t a “bodega” in the traditional sense of the word. It’s pretty much just a counter service restaurant. Bodegas in New York are more grocery stores. A lot of them have food counters though which is where this place takes their name from.

The space is set up with deli cases enclosing the kitchen. The order counter is near the back next to a hallway that leads down to what I assume are the restrooms. There is a space here you could eat in if you wanted to. There’s a high ledge with chairs next to it but they were being used mostly for storage.

I put in an order for the Pastrami sandwich and an order of fries. When I look online, it gives you the option of bagels but the lady taking my order just went a head and made it a sub. Not a bad option but it is usually $3 more in sub form. I don’t think she charged me that though. I also added on an order of fries. The total for both was just under $20.

I started with the fries on the short drive back to the office. They were the frozen battered kind of fries. They were tasty but there wasn’t very many of them. You can almost count how many there were in the picture I took.

I waited until I got back to the office for the sandwich. The sub came with pastrami, Swiss cheese, lettuce, and yellow mustard. It was a good sandwich, but like the fries, there wasn’t a lot there. I think there were two thin slices of pastrami on the sub which definitely isn’t “New York.” The bread was delicious. It was soft on the inside yet slightly crispy on the outside. I just wish there was a little more pastrami between the bread. This was the most expensive sandwich on the menu. I get food prices are out of control right now but I paid over $15 for essentially a lot of bread.

I still want to like Brooklyn Bodega and I won’t give up on it. I’ll just order something different next time. I don’t work in Grand Rapids that often but my favorite thing about bagel shops is the breakfast sandwiches. I will most definitely be stopping for one of those next time I know I’m working a day shift with my Grand Rapids colleagues.

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