The battle of the bagels…she is on
Everyone who lives in New York knows his or her or their bagel store on their corner is the best bagel store on the best corner of the effing city. Don’t challenge me, you might be saying, because my bagels can beat up your bagels any day of the week.
Anyway, my bagels are the best. Seriously. Stop looking at me like that.
I’ve had your H&H, and to them I say, “Where’s my damn cream cheese?” I spent a year living across the street from the Tal on 54th and 1st, and to them I say, “Nice job, Tal. I’d like to live somewhere else besides Murray Freakin’ Hill North, now.”
Then, as you might have noticed, I moved to Brooklyn, and discovered the wonders of Bergen Bagel. The difference between there and everywhere else is a thing to behold, and this is coming from someone who grew up in Massapequa, where the bagels and the Jews come from. At least, according to my revisionist history. The people who work there are delightful, though they don’t seem that in love with the increase in the hipster factor over the past few years, though it certainly can’t be bad for business. They’ll only sneer slightly if you ask them to toast, because they know their bagels are so damn fresh that toasting would be like ordering the filet mignon and then drowning it in ketchup. And not once, in five years, have they failed to jokingly hold up a gigantic carving knife when I ask for a plastic knife with which to redistribute my cream cheese. Now that is local comedy.
Bergen isn’t even my current bagel store. Since I moved a little deeper into Park Slope, I’ve ended up smack dab next to La Bagel Delight, which replaced another store my brother and I used to cleverly refer to as “Horrible, Horrible Bagels.” La Bagel Delight is a lovely, if hoity-named, substitute. I’ll go there if I need a cup of coffee or something on a weekday morning when my legs ain’t made for walking. But if I need a real bagel, I’m walking to the corner of Flatbush and Bergen and wishing there were some damn available seats.