I didn't plan to look for bagels in Paris - that doesn't make too much sense. I'm more than happy with the breads and cakes in any of the 66,000 patisseries here. I stumbled into Bagel Tom because it's 25 feet from my front door. I walk right by it on my way to the metro.
I took a look at the choices on the chalkboard outside - bagel sandwiches, both sweet and savory. In the sweet category is stuff like peanut butter and nutella. In the savory category are various meats, cream cheese, salmon, etc. They also have donuts, cheesecake, muffins and carrot cake.
When I stepped inside I noticed all the other American products for sale. Stuff like pop-tarts, jello, Aunt Jemima pancake mix, oreos and even fluffer nutter. It was like a cartoon essence of America, from an outsider's point of view. I don't mean that as a criticism - we Americans eat all that stuff. These are simply the more cliched foodstuffs, the things you likely ate as a kid as you watched Bugs Bunny or Power Rangers, depending upon your age.
The place itself is cozy, I counted out space for 14-15 people. I sat at one of the seats near the counter, and took this shot. They offer free wi-fi, which is a huge plus in Paris - it's not so easy to find here as in NY. I chatted for a bit with the owner, Thomas, for whom the place is named. He's a super-friendly guy, who from appearances, mans the place on his own.
I perused the savory bagel choices, which are named for American football teams, and was forced to pick a "Broncos" special. I say "forced" because I'm a Giants fan - but didn't like that combo. The Bronco is salmon, Philly cream cheese and cucumbers on an everything bagel. Being a snobby New Yorker, I didn't expect much, but I must admit, it looked pretty good when it arrived. It was served on a bed of potato chips and coleslaw, which is a strange combo. Nevertheless, after the first bite I was happy.
The bagel was decent, not fabulous - but the Philly cream cheese - fresh salmon combo was just like home. The thinly-sliced cucumbers rounded it out nicely - adding a crunchy counterpoint. I didn't pause at all after that first bite - it was gone within minutes. Next day I went back for a toasted bagel with peanut butter, which was good too. Bottom line, there are times when I will be tired of Paris, when I'll be missing home. I now know I've got a small piece of NY nearby to lessen the sting. Thanks Tom, I appreciate that.