Gotham Bagel Cafe - 1508 Main Street

Posted by The LunchMen Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gotham Bagel is an improvement over Rising High, the previous tenant at 1508 Main, but not much of one.

Let's face it. Rising High was bad. Really bad. First and foremost, the service was deplorable, almost abusive. Second, they ran out of most food that you would want to order every morning, so if you tried to get a bagel at lunch, you were just out of luck. Third, aside from the baked breads, I never had an appetizing meal at Rising High. So when it shut its doors, we were excited to see what restaurant would take its place.

Gotham has been up and running on Main Street for months now. Gone is the deplorable service of Rising High; the awkward service of Gotham has taken its place. Placing customers in a line to order food is expected at an Uptown lunch spot, but Gotham confuses patrons right away with its ordering system by failing to provide even a line. Rather, there is just...space. You stand in space with other patrons vying for position until you find a warm body behind the counter to scribble down your order. Then you mosey over to the register and get in a line to pay for the order you just placed. It seems to the Lunchmen that this process could be streamlined by simply having orders placed at the registers....

As for the menu, Gotham offers up a good number of sandwich options, some of which even are intriguing (on paper). No matter which combination I've tried, however, each time I've found myself somewhat dissatisfied with the result. Sometimes the bread is too dry; other times the roast beef too brown or the grilled chicken over-cooked, or the ingredients on the sandwich just don't pair well. Whatever it may be, something always seems to stand in the way of Gotham giving me a good sandwich. I'm not just being picky, either. Rabbit, Captain Understatement, Pizza the Hut, Fabio - they all agree. Gotham consistently is putting out below-average cuisine for us at lunch.

Look, if you are needing a morning bite in Uptown, go grab a muffin or bagel at Gotham. These alone are almost good enough to keep Gotham off of our "Boo List." Gotham even has all sorts of flavored cream cheese for your bagel if you are seeking a day's worth of calories before 9:00 a.m. However, for lunch, there are too many other good sandwich options Uptown, even within a block of Gotham, to warrant many trips to 1508 Main Street.

- Tank

gotham Bagel Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. The bagels (namely the blueberry bagel)are phenominal and if you are trying to only get half a days worth of calories consider the minis. Sure you may be right about lunch but for breakfast, it's delicious.

  3. north2south Says:
  4. The bagels are an abomination and do not deserve the name.
    And is trying to praise a bagel store by singling out its *blueberry* bagel some kind of joke?

  5. West Cola Says:
  6. Their hambuger's are great, meat is juicy and tasty. You're right about the line but on the other hand they have great poetry, music and drama(plays) and wine so stop by for a glass after work, listen, watch and enjoy the simple things life has to offer because judging others takes time away from the joy you could be having if you focus on that and not the topping of of a sandwhich :>))


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Rabbit, Tank, and The Publican are three dudes just trying to get through the work week here in Columbia. Rabbit is a Columbia native, Tank is from Charleston, and The Publican hails from Greenville. Rabbit's favorite lunch spot is the No Name Deli on Elmwood, where you may find him putting down a grilled chicken salad and a side of vinegar pasta. The Publican usually wants to find food to cure his all-too-common hangovers. Tank claims no favorite lunch spot - he lives for the thrill of the hunt.