Hometown Eats: Donnie D’s Bagels & Deli
DALEVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - One of the most frustrating things about going on vacation is finding a regional food, then looking for something similar back home.
For lots of people that’s New York bagels. in this week’s Hometown Eats we point you in the direction of some big apple bagels in Botetourt.
“Most everyone who comes in here thinks I’m from New York or whatnot, but I’m born in Virginia and raised in Virginia,” said Donnie D’s Bagels & Deli owner Donnie DeGeorgis.
DeGeorgis opened Donnie D’s in Daleville in 2018. He’s a southern Virginia boy who is breaking the mold in who can make a good New York-style bagel.
“Usually if you teach us folks down here in the south, we can pick up most things pretty easily,” joked DeGeorgis.
And if you’re one of those who says a New York bagel can only be made in New York because of the water, he has a clever answer for you.
“As long as it starts with a B, Botetourt, Brooklyn, it’s the same thing, water is water,” said DeGeorgis.
But before we get one of these plump bagels, we have to go back 24 hours. Once the dough is run through a mixer, it’s cut into strips before being weighed out into 5 ounces of dough because like we do in the south, we make it bigger.
“Most New York bagels are 4, 4.5, ounces but I just wanted a bigger sandwich, I just wanted a bigger bagel, I wanted everybody to get their money’s worth, I guess,” explained DeGeorgis.
The bagel is formed in specially-made tubes, spaced out on a board covered in corn meal to prevent sticking, and put onto a large rack to take a nap overnight in the cooler to harden.
“A bagel now has nothing now but this one here you have almost a crust that is going to give you that chewiness,” said DeGeorgis.
Then each day at 3 a.m. the baker comes in to put the final touches in motion with a boil then bake in what looks like a big oven, but in the bagel world it’s small.
“It’s probably half the size it would’ve been if I had a traditional space but we’re running it kind of like a submarine in here. It’s very close quarters,” said DeGeorgis.
But bumping elbows ain’t so bad when you work with good people.
“My team consists of two of my oldest sons, then I also have my wife working here and everybody else I feel like they’re my family,” said DeGeorgis.
And on quality control, Donnie and wife Ashley’s young son Mason.
“Their bagels are fabulous, just like the ones I ate in NYC,” said Linda, who drives more than thirty minutes a few times each week to come get her favorite bagels at Donnie D’s.
Bagels that didn’t sell from the day before are put through the bagel chipper, dried out, seasoned, then baked one more time for a unique alternative to chips, served with a bacon cheddar crème cheese.
If you’re in a hurry, you can choose from over a dozen different bagels, several deli meats, and don’t forget the crème cheese.
But if you’ve got the time, come in, sit down, and slip away to your memories of Manhattan.
“Without a doubt this is the place to come. I just can’t recommend it enough,” said Linda.
Donnie D’s Bagels, a Mason approved hometown eat.
Donnie D’s Bagels & Deli is at 70 Market Center Way, Daleville, VA 24083.
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