If you know me at all (or even if you just follow me on social media) you know how strong of an opinion I have regarding bagels. Being from the bagel capital of the country (AKA New Jersey) it takes a lot to impress me in the 412 regarding those fluffy yet crunchy, chewy yet soft, round and doughy vehicles for cream cheese and tomato or a greasy bacon, egg, and cheese.
Well, I’m here to report that Lola’s Eatery, nestled in the space at Engine 25 at the Roberto Clemente Museum, is delivering the best bagel I have had thus far living in Pittsburgh. Lola, which stands for “LOwer LAwrenceville” and also translates to “Grandmother” in the Filipino language, plays an important role in both of the owners’ lives. Zoe Rieder brings her creative imagination and pastry skills to the kitchen and the overall aesthetic of the brand, with Maximilian Becerra cooking up a menu filled with Filipino and Mexican dishes to the forefront, in honor of his background in both of those cultures.
When you walk into the space, you’re met with an aesthetically pleasing and sunny, open space filled with greenery, a light-up sign, and a counter displaying the bagels of the day for customers to see… similar to the bagel stores I grew up going to. The menu is designed for takeout on those very, uh, hungover mornings, to be blunt (the bagel is called “The Hangover Cure”) to more fork-and-knife, sit-down dishes like chicken and waffles or even their “Send Noods,” which is a breakfast noodle bowl equipped with crispy kale, bacon, and a nitamago egg.
And for the curious, I suggest the Filipino fries, which consists of a fried Spam, fried egg, and a banana ketchup-covered pile of fries.
I am looking forward to seeing a brunch spot that specializes in the importance of a carefully-crafted, yet easy to eat and take on-the-go, bagel sandwich. This has been my biggest struggle to find since moving back, especially a spot in my neighborhood of Lawrenceville.
Lola’s Eatery will soft open for two weeks starting tomorrow, Wednesday 11/13, with a projected “Grand Opening” on December 4th.