Yeah, you read that headline right. Flour & Salt—the favorite weekend morning stop for most students—is without a doubt the most overrated restaurant in Hamilton.
To clarify, I’m not saying that Flour & Salt isn’t good. If you just happen to arrive when the line doesn’t stretch out the door, or if you manage to find a time when the online order system is functioning, or if you somehow find an open table, then you might have a shot at a good experience.
But if you plan on eating Flour & Salt on a Saturday or Sunday, then these conditions almost certainly will not be met. Instead, your experience will go something like this: roll out of bed at around 10:00 a.m. with a seething headache, realize you’re hungry, try and order Flour & Salt online and discover that the online service is unavailable. Next, you muster the strength to drive over with some friends, wait in line for ten minutes and realize the bottle of water you’ve been drinking is about five dollars overpriced. When you finally arrive at the cash register, you notice that your top two bagel choices are out of stock. You reluctantly order some weird flavor, wait another ten minutes for your bagel to be ready, take your bagel home because there are no seats available, witness all your toppings fall out of the bagel after you take your first bite because it wasn’t cut in half, try to act strong and cry.
And don’t even get me started on the bagel quality. It’s certainly admirable that Flour & Salt employees bake their bagels from scratch every morning, but why are they so small and thin? I want a bagel. Not a cracker.
Even worse, each bagel only has seasonings on its upper half, meaning that you’re only experiencing half its potential flavor. If I were to order an everything bagel—assuming that they would be in stock, which they probably wouldn’t be—I’d receive an undersized, paper-thin bagel with a meagre supply of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion, garlic, salt and pepper on only one half of the bagel.
In theory, the menu is solid. There’s a great mix of vegetarian and meaty options, like the Super Bagel, with peanut butter, banana and honey, and The Adler, with an egg, steak, cheese sauce and chipotle mayo, and the pricing for all of them is fair.
But, it’s not good enough to make up for the long wait. And if the quality of the bagel is subpar, nothing can be done to increase the value of the resulting sandwich.
I’d also like to point out that, unless you ask otherwise, each sandwich comes with a single egg. That means that you’re not only receiving a bagel that’s baked both too small and too thin, but you’re also receiving a sandwich with an insufficient amount of egg.
I shouldn’t have to ask—and pay more for—two eggs. It should be standard, especially at a place that makes its earnings serving hungover college students.
To be fair, the coffee at Flour & Salt is some of the best available in town, and their pastries are pretty incredible. However, with a name like Flour & Salt, they’re making it clear that their bagels are the focal point. Unfortunately, their bagels––and I really take no joy in saying this—suck.