John Feit is an architect on Capitol Hill, and works at Schemata Workshop. He blogs frequently on design and urbanism, with a focus on how they relate to and effect the Capitol Hill community.
There is something quintessentially urban about the bagel, at least that’s my own romantic musing. Perhaps its Eastern European, Jewish origins make it somewhat exotic, or maybe it brings up memories of the East Coast and its larger metropolises. Better yet, it is probably because it is only in a city that one can hope to find a decent one! Sold in super markets and bakeries alike, most bagels (in both cities and suburbs) are based on the misconception that if you use bread dough, form it into a circle, and put a hole in it — you have a bagel. City dwellers have generally experienced better, except for those of us living on Capitol Hill, where, much to my chagrin, we had not a decent bagel joint. That has changed, thanks to Eltana ( http://eltana.com). I will not purport to be culinary critic, but do encourage you to pay them a visit, and give them a try. I suspect you will be pleased.
The bagels are hand made on the premises, and baked in a wood fired oven, making them the so-called Montreal Bagel and the favorite of Eltana proprietor Stephen Brown.
The shop is located in the newly opened Packard Building, in a space designed by friends and colleagues Graham Baba Architects (http://www.grahambaba.com/), whose office is just down the street. Built with a lean budget indeed, the space none-the-less has a couple of noteworthy touches that revealed the ingenuity of their designers: a blackened steel wood storage bin as well as a clever way of displaying the aesthetically pleasing bagels.
Back of house there is the wood fired oven, while up front are some bar seats with views to 12th Avenue and a large, centrally located , rustic family-style dining table.