Thursday, February 25, 2010
The bagel. It's sort of like the Switzerland of foods. I've never heard anyone say that they have a strong dislike for bagels. They are vegan, and if you are one of those gluten-free types, I'm pretty sure you can get them in that fashion. They even have low-carb, for the Atkins set. They come with all sorts of toppings, and you can put anything on them.
There is, however, one problem that the bagel faces in New Paltz. No one can seem to get it right! I have been to pretty much every place in this town that makes bagels (key word makes, not sells, as those who sell bagels can get them shipped in from anywhere), and have yet to find one that strikes me as out-of-this-world-delicious. It really is disappointing.
What makes a good bagel? I hear that the higher gluten content, the better. Not such great news for those with an allergy (or those who are so trendy, that they have developed a gluten allergy....). I also hear that it's all about the water. The reason why New York has the best pizza and bagels is due to our water supply. In fact, I hear that places in the midwest have New York water shipped to them in the hopes of making their pizzas and bagels less lousy.
My good friend Layla is pretty much the authority on good bagels. Her favorite place is Goldberg's in Southampton (my hometown, ironically). I think that she is absolutely right. Too bad Goldberg's isn't a chain and can't set up shop in New Paltz! Layla likes Lox and Cream Cheese on her bagels, and says that "New Paltz Bagels suck hardcore. The place by the movies (Hot Bagels) used to put salt on their everything bagels, and now they don't. It's all about the salt". She went on to say that "All the bagel places in New Paltz suck hardcore, I can
t pick a favorite, I'd rather buy a bagel from the supermarket". I agree, Layla!!!!
A good bagel (in this blogger's opinion) is sort of hard and crusty (but not stale-like) on the outside, and warm, bready, soft, and perfectly doughy on the inside. I am going to base this entry around my (and Layla's) opinion of a good bagel.
New Paltz Bagel Cafe (Hot Bagels)-As Layla said, they used to put salt on their everything bagels, and they no longer do. Also, they microwave their egg sandwiches. Gross! The bagels in this place taste like those large pretzels you get at the Fair or in the city, only with poppyseeds on them. They continuously win Hudson Valley Magazine's award for the best bagel in the Hudson Valley, and I can't figure out why for the life of me. People who like this place have clearly never been to Brooklyn!!! New Paltz Bagel Cafe- Always a disappointment. One final point-My brother Jimmy was always irritated that we would order "Flagels", and they would have no idea what we were talking about.
Dunkin Donuts- You would think that you would get some relief from the terrible New Paltz bagel scene in this chain that America apparently runs on. These bagels are always hard all around, and are way too large. But really, what do you expect from corporate America? These bagels obviously lack the key ingredient of love.
Stop N Shop-Actually, these are not so bad. Layla and I like these. Mike, my boyfriend, likes them too. When asked if he liked his everything bagel from Stop N Shop, he said, "Yeah! It was good". They are REALLY good toasted, and are pretty cheap. I'm pretty sure they make them on-site at the New Paltz Stop N Shop, and unlike the Dunkin Donuts bagels, you can taste the love. In fact, my friend Tommy's sister WORKS at the bakery there, and I *know* she puts love in those bagels. They are not exceptional, and cannot hold a candle to a good NYC bagel. At least they stave off the cravings until I can get Mike to bring me a good bagel from the city, or until Ariana's parents visit with the gift of Brooklyn bagels.
The Bakery-These are my favorite bagels in New Paltz, hands down. Many say that they are too doughy, but I like them. I know that my friend Sam likes them too, as I run into her there frequently in the morning. They are doughy on the inside, and have a nice bagel-shell to them. I get them NOT toasted, with cream cheese, with an orange juice. Really, I have no complaints. Ariana, who is also a person I would consider a bagel authority, prefers their Bialy's. However, many people are not satisfied.
SUNY Campus-Sodexo. Need I say more? They will do, but you can't even toast them without waiting on a long line. You pay far too much, and far too much extra for cream cheese. Then, the cream cheese is either warm or watery. It's like eating a hockey puck. Ew.
There are plenty of other places in NPZ to pick bagels up, but none of these places actually make them on premises (to my knowledge), so I don't think they count. Robin says that she won't let mediocrity hinder her enjoyment of carbohydrates, which I admire and agree with. In conclusion, I really, really, really hope that for mine and Layla's sakes, that New Paltz steps it's bagel game up. Because really, I can't keep taking friends who visit from home to Bistro for breakfast.