Bagels, donuts, and biscuits are a carb lover’s trifecta, and Big Dom’s Bagel Shop, which opened in downtown Cary in late August, is a one-stop shop for expertly executed takes on these bakery staples. And it’s no wonder—the shop is owned by Amber and Zach Faulisi, the folks behind popular Cary pizza joint Pizzeria Faulisi, who have earned a loyal following for their pies and signature dough crafted with a blend of Italian- and North Carolina–milled flours.
Big Dom’s, named after the Faulisi’s son, specializes in Montreal-style bagels, which are smaller and denser than New York bagels and have a slightly sweet taste, since they’re made from a malted dough and boiled in water sweetened with brown sugar (honey water is used in Montreal). The Faulisis add their own touch by baking bagels with a schmear of Crisco to help crisp the bottom, producing a bagel with a satisfying crunchy exterior and a sublimely chewy interior. B’donuts, a baked cake donut made with loads of browned butter, and biscuits crafted with a blend of three flours, round out the menu.
Vibe: The aroma of rising dough mingling with everything bagel seasoning greets you as you step inside the cozy shop. The storefront is small but has an open feel with white walls, an angled ordering counter, and a blonde-wood counter lining the windowed walls; a perfect spot to people watch while you nosh and sip. Friendly and efficient counter staff keep the order line moving, and kitchen staff quickly deliver bags of baked goods and drinks. You can either grab-and-go, eat at the counter, or nab a bench in the outside garden or a seat under the covered patio.
Menu: The menu is spelled out on an old-school letter board and features biscuits, b’donuts, and hand-rolled bagels. Bagel flavors include the usual suspects such as plain, sesame, everything, asiago, cinnamon sugar, as well as the gluten-free GFY (Gluten Friendly Yo). Extras are all schmearable and include cream cheese, butter, jam, avocado, and nut butters. There’s also a lineup of sandwiches including a bacon, egg, and cheese; a BLT; and the Italian deli-inspired prosciutto, mortadella, and hot soppressata combo. Big Dom’s teases menu specials on social media, including flavored schmears such as blueberry, cannoli, and spicy pickle. Drinks include hot and iced coffee from Wake Forest’s Black & White Coffee Roasters and specialty teas.
What to order: I came to North Carolina by way of New Jersey, so the bagel bar is set high. I’m pleased to report that Big Dom’s Bagel Shop’s hand-rolled bagels possess an ideal crispy-chewy texture; toasting is optional, and unnecessary when bagels are served fresh from the oven. Plain bagels best showcase the Montreal-style’s signature delicate sweetness, but everything bagels are my go-to, and at Big Dom’s, the tops are amply scattered with the onion-garlic-sesame-and-poppy-seed seasoning. I paired my everything bagel with cream cheese and a cup of full-bodied, nutty iced coffee, which was so good as-is, it didn’t need cream or sugar.
Price point: Bagels, biscuits, and b’donuts are $2 each; the GFY bagel is $3. A dozen bagels or biscuits is $18. Sandwiches are $7-8.
Perfect for: A grab-and-go breakfast or lunch; a weekend carb-fest; an office bagel party.