Entertaining doesn’t mean you have to spend the entire day slaving away in the kitchen, or spend a small fortune to impress your guests. Entertaining can be simple and easy, especially if you have a small crowd. All you really have to do provide a happy setting, good company and some simple, delicious food choices, and bars have become an easy way to make simple entertaining a reality.
From dessert bars to appetizer bars to drink bars, you can find one that fits with just about any type of party you want to host and set the stage for guests to serve themselves. They will be full and happy, and you will be able to mingle and enjoy the company.
I may be hosting a brunch for Easter again this year and instead of spending the entire day before preparing and cooking (like I did last year) I am planning a few different bars for my guests to enjoy including a bagel bar with Einstein Bros. Bagels. With today (Feb. 9) being National Bagel Day, I thought this would be the perfect time highlight how I’m planning to be a bagel hero and feed my guests food they’ll love while also enjoying my time with them.
With so many options for bagels and shmears, Einstein Bros. Bagels allows me to give my guests variety and I really don’t have to do any food prep. The $10 Baker’s Dozen Box at Einstein’s Bros. Bagels comes with a complete assortment of 13 freshly-baked bagels and two tubs of the delicious, whipped shmears. They will be perfect for my guests but they are also perfect for early work meetings, the day after Christmas and Thanksgiving or just a weekend brunch get-together.
Check out my spread below. 🙂
Hosting The Perfect Bagel Bar
Pick a variety of bagels
I always like giving guests choices. I’m the type of person that will buy or make five different types of desserts so that everyone always has something they like. I feel the same way about bagels. With all the choices Einstein’s Bros. Bagels offers it’s easy for me to pick savory and sweet options. Giving people a range will ensure they leave with full bellies and if you go with the Baker’s Dozen Box you can pick from the wide selection.
My favorites include the asiago, blueberry, cinnamon raisin, cinnamon sugar, honey whole wheat, garlic, pretzel, plain, everything, French Toast…Okay, I like them all.
Don’t skimp on shmear
I also like variety in my shmear. I have a hard time picking just one so I was happy that the Baker’s Dozen Box included two. I did buy an additional one though because I have a love affair with all things cheese. Plus, the Einstein’s Maple Shmear is probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten so I couldn’t leave that one out.
Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you have the savory and sweet options to compliment your bagels.
Provide additional sweet topping options
I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to my sweet toppings on bagels. I’m happy with slathering a bunch of the Einstein’s Bros. Maple Shmear on my bagel and calling it a day. However, I get that some people like to add more.
On my bar here I’ve shown additional jelly options – raspberry and apricot – and natural peanut butter. The jellies can be added on top of cream cheese to make a delightfully sweet combo of taste and the peanut butter is a good option for someone who wants a bit of protein with their sweetness.
In addition to these toppings I will also probably provide some dry fruit, granola and bananas that can be sliced and added to the top of the bagels. They are not shown here because I started running out of room. However, by the time Easter actually rolls around I’ll have a new, larger buffet in my dining room that will span the wall and will move the set-up there.
You can see some sweet bagel ideas here.
Provide additional savory toppings
A lot of people like to make sandwiches with their bagels so I wanted to provide those options. I included turkey and roast beef with other toppings such as onions, mayo, mustard, cucumbers, etc.
Also, you can’t leave smoked salmon out. I included it here as well as the capers and tomatoes, which most people like to pair with with the salmon. I also included lemon because I like a little squeeze of lemon over my smoked salmon.
Find some savory bagel options here.
Don’t forget about the drinks
While it’s a bagel bar, you need to have drinks. Again for the sake of room I did not show the drink options here but of course we will have coffee, orange juice and probably sangria. I’d also love to add in an option for Bloody Mary drinks but that could be an additional bar all on its own.
Use clear jars and bowls
This isn’t a must do, but I always love that glass jars and bowls let the colors in the food shine through. It makes the whole table pop a bit more when you can see the color of jams and jellies or other spreads you provide. If you have dried fruit, granola or even fresh fruit this adds to the overall liveliness of the table.
Using serving trays that will provide levels on the table will give you more room and will add more interest to the table. I like having the savory and sweet bagels on different trays completely so this double decker tray allows me to make that happen and still make both options the star of the show.
I used a cake stand for the meats and savory toppings because it made them stand out among the other options and helped to bring more visual interest to the table along with color. This is actually the first time I’ve used this stand for anything other than a cake and I’m really pleased with the way it looks.
Add a bit of signage
Cute signage is all the range these days and while I have yet to buy a letter board, I have plenty of chalkboards and banners to make any space feel fun. All you need is one chalkboard to make it feel festive and help to define the area. Also, you can add in place cards and place card holders if you want to provide information of the types of spread you have available.
Complete the look with florals
To top it all off, add a few fresh florals to the table when you put together any bar. I love the pop of color the vases add and the flowers make the whole table feel happy and lively. I also used a combo of real and fake flowers here because I liked the look of each in highlighting different color schemes on the table.
This table took me about 25 minutes to set up and that includes the slicing of the veggies and creation of the signs. Honestly, it’s sort of amazing that I was able to get it done so quickly and this is definitely going to be a breakfast and brunch option for us going forward. What’s the point of hosting people if you have to spend the whole time working?
To celebrate National Bagel Day, Einstein Bros. Bagels wants you to be a bagel hero with the Baker’s Dozen Box. Visit www.EinsteinBros.com/BagelHero to download a coupon redeemable for a $10 Baker’s Dozen Box or print off the one below.
As a reminder you will get 13 freshly-baked bagels and two delicious shmears with this offer! Also, if you’re a Shmear Society member can enjoy a FREE bagel with shmear purchase. Existing members and anyone who signs up for the Shmear Society loyalty club at www.ShmearSociety.com can enjoy free breakfast every day between February 9 – 13th at participating locations.