Rescue Bagel: Rescuing Portland From The Evil Empire


Inside this nondescript little white box on the corner of SW 6th and Columbia is a bagel shop well deserving of its name.  To understand why, we need to have a short history lesson.  Once upon a time in Portland…

We had an awesome bagel company called Kettleman’s Bagel Co.  Kettleman’s was your classic feel good start from nothing making it big kind of story.  The owner, Jeffery Wang, a Taiwanese immigrant, came to Portland in 2001 from New York.  Mr. Wang had been making bagels since the 1980s.  When he came to Portland he brought that bagel making talent with him and founded a company called Kettleman’s Bagel Co.   A company whose startup capital was raised through craigslist and credit card debt.  At it’s peek Kettleman’s had 5 stores in the Portland area and was turning out legit New York style bagels.  Then Mr. Wang realized every small business owners dream, he sold out to a larger company and called it good (I don’t fault him at all by the way).  In 2011 Einstein Bros. Bagels bought our wonderful little bagel shop and promptly KILLED IT.

Every Kettleman’s in town turned into an Einstein and worse yet they didn’t keep Kettleman’s recipe, instead they started selling their own bagels.  Their own hard as a rock boring bagel (they claim to sell a couple of Kettleman’s style bagel which I’ve tried and don’t believe it).  Portland being the foodie town that it is shed a tear for our beloved and now dead bagel company.  Willamette Week even held a taste test to find the next it bagel in Portland.  The winner? A freaking sandwich shop, that’s how bad it was.

So with that backdrop in mind, in walks Rescue Bagels (love the name by the way, totally appropriate).  I first heard about Rescue Bagel this week from the folks over at  With the current state of affairs I decided to walk on over in the morning before work and give Rescue Bagels a try.


I ordered the sesame seed bagel and I was pretty happy when I unwrapped it and gazed upon it for the first time.  This is what a damn bagel should look like, crisp and flavorful.  But what about the inside, would it be soft and chewy?



Even before I took the first bite, I knew the answer was yes.  Look at all those tiny little air pockets!  And then when I took that first bite I was not disappointed  The bagel was exactly what you want in a great bagel.  The outside was crisp, the inside was chewy, and the entire bagel was full of flavor.  I know nothing about making bagels.  I don’t know why it is so hard to get the crisp outside, soft inside thing right, but many don’t. Rescue Bagels gets it right, so quit going to Einstein!

Rescue Bagels on Urbanspoon

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3 thoughts on “Rescue Bagel: Rescuing Portland From The Evil Empire

  1. Just met Kevin the other day and he’s a real cool dude. Another great bagel in pdx is made by bowery bagels over on NW broadway, or you could walk from Kevin’s rescue cart up to park and montgomery to Quick & Dirty coffee cart for a bowery taste test

  2. Pingback: Today is Portland Travel Tips Second Anniversary | Portland Travel Tips

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