The concept of Bagali’s is very enticing to me. I really, really wanted to like this place. But after two visits, I just don’t think I’ll go back.
First off, Bagali’s is “New Orleans Inspired Italian” which sounds like an interesting concept to me. And after visiting the oldest pizza restaurant on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain a couple weeks ago, it’s not as strange as you might thing. The idea, as the manager explained to me on our first visit, is mixing traditional Italian food (like pasta and tomato sauce) with traditional New Orleans food (like blackened catfish). So if you’re wondering where to go to get blackened catfish spaghetti, Bagali’s is the place. In reality, though, the restaurant (or at least their patrons) seem to be most interested in their fairly ordinary pizza.
Our first visit was marred by spotty service. It was just a bunch of little things, like the waiter taking away my one fork with my salad plate and then not bringing me another. And the way he mis-pronounced items from the menu (“cannelloni” became “cantelloni”). But the manager came by and Beth and I talked to him for a long time. He seemed genuinely interested in our opinions and concerned about making his restaurant the best it could be. I gave him tons of free advice, and then went back about a month later.
Sadly, that visit also was marred by spotty service. Again, it was little stuff, like the waiter telling me they don’t serve Limonata when they do (he later apologized and gave me a can to take with me as we were on our way out the door, after the dishwasher told him where they’re kept). But on that second visit, I came to realize the quality of the food just wasn’t good enough to make up for the so-so service. And that means there’s just no real compelling reason for me to want to go back.
If you’ve had better (or worse) experiences at Bagali’s please leave a comment!
I had to get the oil changed in our truck the other day, and it was around lunchtime, so I stopped at Oscar’s for a sandwich to take with me to the auto repair shop. Oscars is a tiny little building that’s about a block down Vance from 120th. If you don’t know it’s there and don’t pay attention as you speed down 120th, you might never even see the place. But it’s at 119th Place and Vance, “between Grease Monkey and Meineke” as the to-go menu says.
Oscars serves pizza and sandwiches, and so I decided to have the “Beef Cheddar Mushroom” sandwich. They were out of cheddar cheese, said the proprietress in her eastern European accent. So I had mozzarella instead. The sandwich was just those three things on a very nicely toasted submarine roll. It was very tasty, especially after I added a little bit of yellow mustard (from a packet I took from the concession stand at the baseball park). The sandwich probably could’ve used some tomatoes and onions, but was still very good as-is. With a can of pop and a bag of chips, it was $6.75.
In addition to a variety of pizzas – including take ‘n’ bake pizza – and the hot and cold subs, Oscars also has fresh baklava for $2.99, a few salads, calzones, and gyros. In fact, the Oscar’s to-go menu brags that they are “Broomfield’s Only Gyros Restaurant”. That’s not really true, since the Mediterranean Cafe at FlatIron Crossing also serves gyros, but it’s enough of a statement that I think I should try their gyros next. I’m pretty sure it’s of the variety that comes out of a box as thin slices of meat that you grill, as opposed to the big spit of rotating meat to be sliced off.
Oscar’s takes cash and credit cards, but no checks. They’re open 11 to 6 Monday through Friday, 11 to 5 on Saturday, and closed on Sunday. They have seating indoors and out.
11890 Vance Street
Broomfield, CO 80020
This rapidly growing chain of sandwich shops opened a store at Highway 287 and Miramonte a couple years ago. I was pretty excited, thinking we’d have a real New York style delicatessan so close by. But after visiting a couple times, I can tell you that Heidi’s is neither from Brooklyn nor a deli. I was really hoping to get stuff like Nathan’s hot dogs, chicken matzo ball soup, and omelets for breakfast. But I had their hot dog and it was a disaster – microwaved and then manhandled so badly the bun was nearly falling apart by the time it got to me. The soups look and taste like something from a Campbell’s can. And they don’t have anything really good or unique for breakfast.
Since they don’t have an actual stove or grill in the place, everything is microwaved. For a hot dog as good as a Sabrett’s or Nathan’s, microwaving is a sacrelige. And the lack of a grill means they make things like Reuben sandwiches by microwaving, and – optionally – sending it through one of those little toaster ovens with a conveyor belt. Yuck.
In all fairness, they do make decent sandwiches, on freshly sliced (but not freshly baked) bread. They’ve got a wide variety, and they make them with abundant meat and other ingredients. And they always have a small handful of sandwiches on a rotating “specials” menu. But in my view, the sandwiches are only a half step up from Subway, and not even as good as Quizno’s was in their heyday.
After the Broomfield restaurant opened up, it took me a few months to realize that this Heidi’s was in the same chain of restaurants as the Heidi’s in Highlands in Denver. I remember going to that restaurant several years ago and had a good meal, including some very tasty pie. But it looks to me like Heidi’s has given up what made them unique from all the other sandwich shops. I fear Heidi’s is on the same path as Boston Chicken – overexpand, start skimping on quality, and then implode into something far worse than the original concept.
Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli
1170 Hwy 287 Suite D 100A
Broomfield, CO 80020