It was a rainy day in 2002. I was a wee lad without a care in the world. Oh, I miss being 5. My parents packed up our belongings, and we traveled to our new home in a city called Rio Rancho.

One of the first things I remember seeing was The Bagel Deli & Bakery. I thought to myself, “Maybe I will eat there one day.” Fast forward to November 2023, and I finally ate there. It only took 21 years.

Believe me, I wanted to go, but it just never worked with my school schedule or my sleep schedule on the weekends. I am very serious about my sleep; I need at least 12 hours or else I am a mess. Whenever I woke up, The Bagel would already be closed, and my mom would be screaming at me to do my homework. I do not miss being 12.

There is no denying that The Bagel Deli & Bakery is a staple of Rio Rancho and has been a favorite among locals for decades. So, I was happy to finally try the O.B.’s of Rio Rancho … O.B. meaning Original Bagels.

“We definitely were missed while  we were closed, and we felt the love when we opened. It’s been an adventure for us,” manager Samantha Caputo said of the shop’s recent relocation and reopening.

I walked in and was immediately hit by the aroma of fresh bagels. I could have sworn that my feet left the ground; I felt like those cartoon characters who float when they smell pie.

There were so many bagels to choose from, including sourdough, jalapeño, blueberry and cinnamon raisin to name a few. They also had tons of cream cheeses available, including honey almond, green chile, loaded bacon and plenty more.

I looked at the menu and, after consulting the staff, I decided to order three things: a Genoa salami bagel sandwich, a cinnamon roll and an iced cookie butter latte.

For the sandwich, you choose your bagel and cheese. I chose a green chile bagel and provolone cheese.

First came out the cookie butter iced latte. It was a work of art and tasted amazing. It had bits of cookie inside of it, the cookie butter was smooth and sweet, and everything nicely complemented the bold and rich taste of the espresso.

The cinnamon roll came out warmed up, and it was buttery, doughy and delicious. However, what I liked the most was the icing. It was robust, and there was a hefty amount on the cinnamon roll, which was amazing!

The Bagel cinnamon roll

Finally came the bagel sandwich. The sandwich came with Genoa salami, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo and mustard on a toasted green chile bagel. It also came with a pickle spear and a side of potato salad.

The green chile bagel was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The Genoa salami had fantastic complex flavors and was sublime with the potato salad. It was the perfect lunch sandwich.

Also, they loaded up my sandwich with a generous amount of salami. My dad ordered an Everything bagel with cream cheese, and they gave him a colossal amount of cream cheese. They don’t skimp on portions here. That’s just good business.

Stop on by and experience the delicious taste of Rio Rancho history.

I paid $4.25 for the cinnamon roll, $10.49 for the Genoa Salami bagel sandwich, and $5.50 for the Iced Cookie Butter Latte.

The Bagel Deli & Bakery is located at 3301 Southern Blvd. SE with hours of 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. If you would like to contact the shop, call 505-206-5763

Where should I go next? Email me [email protected]