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Richard Kilgore

Is there a great bagel in Texas?

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Since this thread is bagel-centric, and since the "sharp lady named Jennifer" that Luggage mentions below has joined us, thought I'd lift the following post in its entirety from the "Austin Get-Together" thread.

And, you New Yorkers - there is a new bagel shop up here.  It's called Bagel Works.  It's run by a couple of transplanted New Yorkers that couldn't find bagels they liked here in Central Texas, so they went into the biz.  When you come up for the Mexican eGullet Fiesta - you can pick up some bagels as well.

Thanks for the tip on Bagel Works -- Fitz (a/k/a the lovely Mrs. Luggage) and I went there for breakfast this morning, since we live reasonably close by (well, less than 10 miles/20 minutes away) and were curious. We were both impressed by the northeastern-ness of this restaurant, which wouldn't be a remarkable bagelry in NY or NJ, but for Cedar Park, well...I had scrambled eggs on an onion bagel with sausage, and Fitz had a 'bialy benedict' (egg over easy, ham and hollandaise) and we both had coffee and the bill came to under $9, and we left happy. We also ended up having an extended chat with the owner (who came out to see who the people were who'd actually come there as a destination; I'd phoned ahead for directions). She's a sharp lady named Jennifer who left the big bad corporate world and started up the bagel place four months ago in the Railyard shopping center (with actual vintage rail cars on view, resting on the tracks that border the place). Jennifer is from north Jersey, and we discovered that Fitz had once lived a few blocks from where she did in the same town (though they weren't there at the same time).

According to Jennifer, Cedar Park broke ground this very day on what will be a "Disneyesque" town center with a new city hall, Milburn homes and other trimmings. Order out of chaos is in the offing; will Cedar Park become known as "CP," the new, hip destination in the Hill Country? Anyway, the Bagel Works already has a core of regulars and weekend breakfasts/brunches can get crowded. We'll definitely be back -- I have an eye on the Greek bagel pocket (eggs, spinach and feta cheese), among other things.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Almost no one boils bagels any more. One second too short or long in the water means BAD bagels. It's also messy and dangerous, so beside the difficulty of finding bakers willing to do the work, you can't get workman's comp insurance. We, like many others, use a steam-injection oven.

Looking forward to meeting some of you in the near future!

Interesting info on the true bagel method, Jennifer, thanks. You would certainly know better than I. :biggrin:

My info came from years ago, Litwak's Deli, outside Detroit. I spent many weekend lunches there as a teenager and Mr Litwak told me and showed me his bagel secrets. Looking forward to eating your bagels.


Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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A recent topic on Texas bagels didn't mention, as I recall, the very best place.

New York Bagels, in Houston. South Braeswood, go a block or two south on Hillcroft, it's in the shopping center on the right, not far from the Wal-Mart small supermarket.

New York Bagels has been in Houston for a very long time. I quit bringing hom H&H from NYC after I found NYB. I've brought NYB to friends in Dallas and everyone loves them.

Also don't miss their challah (not available every day, and sells out Fridays). Get it unsliced. Plain or even better with sesames on top.

Three Brothers was mentioned in the earlier post. Their bagels and their challah don't compare to NYB.

Three Brothers makes an excellent onion disk, however, which has a chewy bialy-like consistency topped with cooked onions. Outstanding. Some of their other products are also excellent and are equal to some NY bakeries, others are just average.

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WELCOME, texesser! I think you will find eGullet a great place to hang out. I merged your post with this thread so that you can meet all the other bagel chompers in the Texas Forum. :biggrin:

I am glad to hear about New York Bagels. I may be in that part of town over the weekend and will pick some up for breakfast. I may try some of the other goodies too.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Caveat 1: I'm joining in late, so maybe no once cares anymore.

Caveat 2: I can't eat bagels anymore (trick jaw), and am not an expert (native Texan).

BUT...

One place I've always liked is Hot Jumbo Bagel in downtown Austin. Fifth Street, I think, near the post office. Back when I was a bagel eater, their stuff seemed pretty good -- not that I knew the difference, really. But the main reason I like them is that evil corporate mofo Bruegger's moved in two doors down, as was their wont in the late 90s. ([soapbox] They followed the Starbucks business model of moving in nextdoor to a successful competitor, then stealing their business. [/soapbox].)

But after a year, Hot Jumbo put Bruegger's out of business!

I've always had a soft spot for that dumpy little place. I hope they have good bagels so I can justify this post.


amanda

Googlista

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Now Mudpuppie... you don't need to justify that lovely post. :raz::biggrin:


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Thanks for the welcome.

One more thing about NY Bagel. Its adjacent restaurant is very popular for breakfasts and on weekends. Breakfast and lunch, not dinner.

The best thing about the meals there are that they are very inexpensive and of course if you get a bagel, it comes from the bakery that's attached. The food is okay, the social scene is fun if cramped. The coffee is terrible, really, the worst aspect of the restaurant. Or great, if you enjoy cheap tasting robusta blends or Folger's.

As an alternative there's Kenny & Ziggy's the decent deli located just north of the Galleria on Post Oak. Much more expensive. Same bagels, from NY Bagel. Food's probably better.

Also on bagels: I still mourn the passing (five or 10 years ago?) of Bubbie and Zadie's Bagels. They were on Westheimer, I believe, amazingly near River Oaks. They made a sticky, chewy bagel (high gluten?) that was great. Used to sell at Rice supermarkets, too. Anybody remember them or know what happened to them?

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Houston -- Stop what you are doing! Run straight to Barnes & Noble and get Robb Walsh's new book, Are You Really Going to Eat That? Flip over to his article "Bagels Rip My Flesh" for a screamingly funny review of New York Coffee Shop. Then be sure to take a notebook with you when you go to try out their lox and bagels. (I am guessing that this is the restaurant next door to New York Bagels mentioned above by texesser.)

:wink:

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My guess is that he was talking about the contrasting temperment of the two owners. That was his Houston Press review of NY Bagel. I forgot about that. Have to look it up. It should be on the Houston Press web site.

Eddie, one of the owners, is a doll. The other one, well, isn't, but he's actually been getting better.

I think NY Bagel still has a weekday special in the restaurant where you get two eggs, one of their fresh bagels, and hash browns, for just under $3.

I always wish I'd brought my own coffee, however. When I kvetch to the owners, the response is, "people like it."

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New York slang for plain, water bagels is (used to be?) 'cement doughnuts.' They were glossy, tanned, and real tooth-crackers, but worth the trip to the dentist.

With the diaspora of the Jewish communities here in Texas who had strong New York ties, the hard, real - oh, hell - authentic bagel has disappeared. Now the luxurious, soft egg bagel of yore would appear fiercely armored compared to those pitiful, dough conditioner infected, swollen and in need of a Lasix things that are sold as bagels here, and are really just euphemisms for flavorless, characterless conveyances for nastily flavored artificial cream cheese. Please do not let me get started on the 'flavored' bagels!

The best I've found here in Texas are the frozen H&H bagels from New York.

There is, however, one possibility yet to be mentioned, in Austin: Sweetish Hill Bakery. Now I have not had their bagels in eons, however, they make my most favorite of Eastern European Jewish breads: bialys. And their bialys are quite good. I believe they have received the approval of both Mimi Sheraton (author of The Bialy Eaters, and Roy Mirsky (Librarian of the UT Law School & authority on The Supremes - court, that is - whose family was once partners with Kossar's in New York. He remembers as a child in NYC delivering bagels and bialys fresh from Kossar's ovens to bakeries and restaurants. Kossar's is the gold standard for bagels and the platinum standard for bialys).

I will drag out my copy of The Bialy Eaters and check - I believe that Kossar's delivers. I do know that Patricia Bauer Slate of Sweetish Hill went to Kossar's to learn bialy making.

It hurts the heart (and not from the cardiologist's point of view) to have a valiant bagel, split, toasted, with a schmear, a gossamer veil of Novy laid over it, and a garnish of hair-thin slices of red onion.

I leave you weeping,

Theabroma


Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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Thanks texesser for making me home sick! In Houston, i lived 2 minutes from NY bagels...i was reading the post and was surprised that nobody had said their name. Three brothers just can't compare although they have great challah. Ed is a personal family friend of ours, though, he is a personal family friend of 100s of families. He definitely keeps the other guy in balance. It is defenitely one of the first places i'm going when i go back to houston.

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Welcome to eGullet. :biggrin: Since you were in Houston, I hope you will visit this forum often.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I have heard about the above mentioned New York Coffee Shop, and here's the review from The Houston Press(I believe it's the same excerpt form Robb's book) by Robb Walsh. It's pretty hilarious, but it sounds like the bagles are good!

(hello all-first time poster, longtime reader)

http://www.houstonpress.com/issues/2001-08...ml/1/index.html


Edited by franktex (log)

Frank in Austin

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And a warm Texas eGullet welcome to you franktex! :biggrin:

Thanks for that link. That one is one of the funniest. If I am in that part of town, I plan to stop in if just to watch the goings on. I may even bring a notebook just for the hell of it. :laugh:


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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