Palma – Bagel

There are a lot of closed restaurants in Palma on a Monday afternoon in the off-season, but I noticed that Bagel had started to open on Mondays in the run-up to Christmas (I’ll try to avoid using that bloody word too often)…..

I like this traditional look, very nice, with the restaurant being spotlessly clean.

The selection of cakes in the counter.

I dithered about with what to order, which is a little unusual for me, but I was trying to debate whether I was actually hungry enough for the avocado bagel, which sounded quite filling from the menu description (that sounds a bit millennial and something Nathan might say). I know avocado is bad for me because it’s green, but anyway, the member of staff said that they didn’t have any avocados and so that option wasn’t available. That was quite handy, it made my decision for me.

And, rolling back a moment, I’m going to say that the service here was brilliant, verging on exceptional. I really don’t like places where staff make sole diners unwelcome, and I’ve been noticing far too many negative reviews about restaurants in Palma doing exactly that. I can’t recall a city where this has been such a noticeable problem, but it’s not a habit that I like.

The sole diner thing hasn’t been a problem for me yet, although I have noticed one culprit, which is La Mémé at Avinguda del Comte de Sallent, which refuses to accept on-line reservations for individual diners and charges them a higher amount than for those in group sizes of two or more. That’s up to them, but it’s not a good look and they’re the only ones doing that I’ve seen in Palma (although I’ve no doubt that there are others).

I’ve given up caring long ago about dining alone, but I know it’s a big issue for many people and making them unwelcome isn’t great. There were numerous pub and restaurant chains in the UK that did this with their ridiculous buy one get one free offers (which are equally useless to groups of three and to single parents with children), but these are being removed at some pace, really (or in my world anyway) it’s just Greene King and Marstons who persist with the practice.

Anyway, I mention this because the welcome that the staff member here gave me was engaging, conversational and really warm. And, he did the same to a sole female diner who arrived later on, even though by doing this he had given away his last table. The staff member also made a German group warmly welcome, again, even though the seven of them were taking up nearly half the seats in the small restaurant and just ordering drinks. Friendliness always shines through and it didn’t take me long to love this place.

The beer option was cheap and cheerful, it’s not a style of beer I know much about, but it tasted fine.

The basic bagel with oil, tomatoes and rocket. The component parts of this were excellent, the tomatoes had a real depth of flavour, the oil tasted better than some wines I’ve had and the bagel was warm, toasted and added texture. For the price of just over £4, I thought this was excellent, with the beer being just over £2.

Unlike my own self-centred pub of the year award, I don’t have one for restaurants. But, because of this place, I think that I will. Absolutely brilliant and I’m irritated at my self-imposed rule not to go to the same restaurant or cafe in the same visit, as I want to go back.