Bryan – Downtown Bryan is booming in the Brazos Valley. With an assortment of watering holes and restaurants, it’s hard to pick just one. But if a grocery store with a bakery and deli is what you seek, Zeitman’s Grocery is a great stop!
“It hits home. It’s good. You can tell they’re fresh,” said customer Jacob Palat.
“It means a great deal to downtown Bryan,” said Brandi Lampo.
“I love downtown Bryan. The community is hyper-local. They support each other, which I think is amazing,” stated owner Blake Zeitman.
Blake was born in Houston but he spent his high school and college years in the northeast. One fateful trip to the Brazos Valley changed all of that. “My mom made the mistake of bringing me to a Texas A&M football game and I had a bunch of friends that were here and there were dollar beers and beautiful women. And I was like, that sounds like a good deal to me,” joked Blake.
He grew up Jewish and that kept certain kinds of foods off his plate for a time being. “We didn’t eat pork. We didn’t eat shellfish and then I turned 14 after my bar mitzvah. They let me do what I wanted to do and I became a Texan. So, I ate all the things,” joked Blake.
Take bacon for example. It’s big here and Blake didn’t get to try it till later in life. Now he loves it and so does his stepfather. “He and I both share love for bacon, two Jewish guys from the east coast, eating bacon. He likes to say it’s not pork. It’s bacon. It’s its own thing. It’s a direct gift from God,” joked Blake.
And what goes better with bacon than bread? At Zeitman’s Grocery, you’re in luck because Blake bakes everything in house! From rye bread to bagels, it’s a smorgasbord of buns. “They make the fresh bagels. You can’t get a good bagel here in town. There are other places that have them but it’s a good New York style bagel,” said Brandi.
“I call it a garlic bagel for a reason. It’s got garlic all over the top, onion bagel, onion all over the top. They’re not kidding,”said Jacob.
“Well, I’m super excited because I’m from New Jersey and Philly was right across the way. So the fact that they have Philly cheese steaks and good bagels, I am enthralled with it,” stated customer Kelsey Evancho.
You heard that right too. Blake’s sandwiches are what take this place to a whole other level. “We just amp them up a little bit,” stated Blake.
“Good local spot to get some really good sandwiches,” said Jacob.
“They’re tasty, they’re delicious, they’re hearty,” said Kelsey.
Well Blake didn’t just want to feature one or two sandwiches, he wanted to feature three! So Blake got started on a couple breakfast bagels and one of his signature Reubens.
First up was the Lox bagel. It starts with a toasted sesame seed bagel that is made here in house. Once toasted, it gets smeared with double whipped cream cheese. A tomato slice and 1/3 of a pound of salmon swims right on top. Topped with red onions and capers, that’s all she wrote.
Sandwich number two is The Richie Rich. An onion bagel starts this one off. Then while that bagel is toasting, it is topped with over easy eggs, Vermont cheddar and bacon. Lots of bacon! Seven slices of bacon!
This behemoth of a breakfast sandwich is as messy as you’d imagine.
“When you speak of the quality of the ingredients, the bacon tastes better. You can tell they’re putting some good bacon in there,” stated Jacob.
And finally, the New York sized, I mean Texas sided Rueben. It starts with three slices of seeded rye and a silly amount of sauerkraut and Swiss! Then comes the pastrami that’s cured in house and smoked in house. This sandwich sure is a double-decker! “And then we’re going to take our anti-Putin dressing. We’re going to stack this bad boy. Just like that,” explained Blake while finishing off the sandwich.
Well, now we have the two other sandwiches here at Zeitman’s Grocery and the first one, The Richie Rich, obviously incredible. So now we’re going to move on to the lox, a little bit of a healthier breakfast option, I guess you could say.
First things first, the cream cheese obviously gets everywhere, but it is amazing cream cheese. The sesame bagel brings out so much flavor, but it’s all about that salmon. Absolutely fantastic.
“It’s hard to find a lox, bagel. A true lox, New York style bagel,” said Brandi.
A sandwich with salmon on it might be a fish out of the water here in the Lone Star State, but you want to dive in for this one! “It’s just such a great mix of flavors. It’s smokey, you have the cream cheese, which is just delicious and all of it together. It just works,” explained Kelsey.
Onto the gigantic Ruben, our third sandwich on this trip of The Texas Bucket List. But Blake just has that many amazing things to try here.
“It’s probably one of the best Reubens I’ve ever had,” said Brandi.
I’ve had this sandwich in New York City and this is better!. Normally, I don’t have to eat this much sandwich on camera, but we’re just making sure we got it.
Well, if you’re looking for a bountiful breakfast, full of bacon or salmon, or just one of the most incredible Reuben sandwiches I’ve ever had, come into downtown Bryan and trying Zeitman’s Grocery is definitely well worth a stop, on The Texas Bucket List!
“Texas is a melting pot of cultures and people, we all came from somewhere and we got here as quick as we could and we’re serving up great food. The size of Texas pallet,” stated Blake.
“To have a place like this, that I think is so unique and so different. It opens Texans up to a whole different realm of food. Again, I think it’s incredible,” expressed Kelsey.