I first had Call Your Mother bagels at a charity I volunteer at, as they regularly donate bags of bagels. Their bagels were quite distinctive, so I made a mental note to eat at one of their locations. A couple of years later — post-COVID — I made the time to do so. As good as their bagels are, fresh from the oven they are even better.
Call Your Mother is a small bagel chain local to Washington DC started by Daniela Moreira and Andrew Dana in 2018. Both Chefs are Jewish and their goal was to recreate the eclectic food from their childhood. They have several locations in DC, including Capitol Hill, Bethesda, Georgetown, and the West End. The location I visited is in Park View, not too far south of the Petworth metro station, which turned out to be the original location.
Their bagel offerings include cinnamon raisin, cheddar, plain, and everything. My favorite bagel is the Zataar. I’ve mentioned Zataar before; it is a middle eastern spice commonly served on flat breads. Turns out, it is great on a bagel. One of the things that stands out about Call Your Mother‘s bagels is that that, unlike most delis, their bagels are completely covered, top and bottom, with the seasonings. This makes them perfect for sharing or even saving half for later.
In addition to bagels, the deli offers coffee, ice drinks, and sandwiches. There are two kinds of sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, which are served on a bagel, and lunch sandwiches, which are served on bread – challah or rye.
On the day I was there, I went with the bagel sandwich. I chose the Sun City – bacon, eggs, and both American and Cheddar cheese, all on an everything bagel. The bacon was thick and tender, just the way I like it, the cheeses were oozing over the sandwich, and the bagel was dense but soft. All together, it was delicious! For good measure, I had a pickle on the side.
Every time I passed it, I had always seen long lines at Call Your Mother. Therefore I decided to order ahead of time. They also have signs advising this. While I was on the metro heading there, I placed my order. While doing so, the estimated time jumped from 20 minutes to 40 and I ended up arriving 20 minutes early. I checked in with the clerk at the counter and they graciously expedited my order. The food came out in short order. Several people who placed an order after I arrived, got their order either shortly before (for small orders) or shortly after I got mine. So I’m not sure it matters much whether or not you place an order in advance. Nevertheless, I recommend doing so with large orders.
The Park View location has a small, but pleasant outdoor dining area. I love the painting on the wall, providing a bright, cheery atmosphere in a laid back setting. From what I gather, all their locations have similar bright colors with the same vibe. The seating area was full when I arrived but space cleared up shortly. I had a seat not too long before my food was served.
For great bagels in the DC area, Call Your Mother is hands down my favorite.