Bullfrog Bagels food truck ‘hops’ into Tenleytown
Bullfrog Bagels brings its delicious, community-centered bagels close to campus
Ever since Jeremiah Cohen started Bullfrog Bagels from a pop-up stand in 2014, he has taken D.C. by storm with his hand-rolled and — mostly — locally sourced bagel ingredients.
For the past several years, it's been hailed as the next seminal East Coast Bagel, even overtaking the famed New York sandwich.
The water that is used to boil the bagels is sourced from District taps and the bagels are open-fermented with airborne yeast. The bagel itself is not too dense and is served in relatively thin slices. The cream cheese is so light that it is almost reminiscent of whipped cream, which is unusual but ultimately adds to the experience as it allows the customer to enjoy the flavor of the bagel without an overpowering presence of a creamy base.
These delicious bagels just got that much more accessible to American University students. Tucked in the parking lot by the City Bikes on 4810 Wisconsin Ave NW, the Bullfrog Bagels food truck is a bright yellow van with a cute frog sitting atop a bagel painted on the side, peering at you with a welcoming curiosity. This location in Tenleytown is intentionally placed to fill the void of the lack of good bagels accessible in the area, Christian Rowe, the supervisor of Bullfrog food trucks, said.
“It was really good,” said freshman Ava Reisman, who visited the food truck. “Sometimes you’ll go to a bagel place and get a sandwich and it’ll be really filling, but this one was perfect.”
Not only is the bagel locally sourced and artfully crafted, but it is also community-focused on its projects. Bullfrog Bagels recently partnered with Tzedek DC for their “Eat Well Do Justice!” event. This annual fundraiser brings together renowned chefs from the D.C. area to compete with their own spins on classic Jewish dishes. The proceeds of the event went to aiding low-income families struggling with debt, according to the website.
Before the pandemic forced the brick-and-mortar shop locations to reduce capacity, Rowe was a bar manager at Bullfrog Bagels.
While food trucks had always been in the long-term plan, the pandemic has expedited the process, Rowe said. The trucks allow a perfect opportunity for social distancing between customers and employees and allows Bullfrog to keep its payroll, according to Rowe.
This, along with a solid base of loyal customers and a consistently good product, has helped Bullfrog weather the pandemic.
“Turns out carbs are kind of pandemic proof,” Rowe said, laughing.
The thing that Rowe most wants students to know about Bullfrog: its affordability. Ever conscious of its community, Bullfrog Bagels tries to keep the prices of most of its products within the range of most of its customers, Rowe said.
The retail price of a classic cream cheese bagel is a mere $3.45 with the breakfast sandwiches beginning at $5.50, with the top price taping out at just $9.00. The truck is open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends.
If you’re looking for some suggestions for your introduction to Bullfrog, Rowe suggests the Oriole, with hot braised brisket and Muenster cheese. He also suggests the smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese, capers, tomato and red onion.
Pairing that with an everything bagel, in my opinion, is the perfect way to start the day before morning classes.