When driving considerable miles on a road trip, you generally don’t want to sit down to a lengthy meal. What you want is quick, delicious and affordable. Character helps, too, which eliminates all those fast-food chains that just specialize in fast.
Big Bang Bagels, in the southeast B.C. mountain town of Fernie, ticks all those boxes, as I was pleasantly reminded on a recent drive along the Crowsnest Highway (3). It’s the perfect stop for a fabulous bite. Why? Because it keeps things simple, efficient and high quality.
As the name suggests, everything revolves around bagels. I’m not normally a fan of bagels, which are typically thick, dry, throat catching. But when, at Big Bang, they’re hand-rolled, boiled, baked and fresh as can be, I happily make an exception.
There are three-dozen bagel choices, ranging from standard poppy and sesame to pesto spinach and jalapeno cheese. But the rest of the menu is pared down to just 10 breakfast and lunch bagelwiches, featuring fillings like roast chicken, Montreal smoked meat or smoked salmon.
Now, many cafes equate efficient with pre-made. Not so Big Bang. Every bagelwich is built to order. A cook manning a little grill, in the open kitchen, is perfectly frying an egg for my Mr. Fernie, which also boasts melted, aged white cheddar, ham, avocado and grilled onion, all squeezed inside a toasted multigrain bagel.
It’s a first-rate, considerable breakfast (for about $8) delivered piping hot in all of five minutes. Throw in the best Americano I had on a week-long road trip (using San Francisco espresso blend beans from Lethbridge’s excellent roaster Cupper’s), and I’d say it doesn’t get any better than this.
Big Bang Bagels
502 2 Avenue, Fernie, B.C.
Daily 7 am-5 pm