I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day about bagels. That's right. I said bagels. She was telling me about some people she knows who live in the South, not southern Manhattan, but South like the Carolina’s and Georgia and Louisiana. She told me that in the South they don’t have bagel stores. That’s absurd! Who doesn’t have bagel shops? Well, I guess down there they get their bagels at the grocery store in packs of twelve. It’s a different way of life, but not something I could do.
New York bagels are special. Some people may not believe it, but they are better, fluffier, and tastier. If you want to test this belief yourself, then I suggest checking out Absolute Bagels on Broadway between 107th and 108th. This place always has people in it and if you go at the wrong time you could be waiting in a line out the door. But don’t let this scare you. They move really fast. When you walk by, you can smell the fresh bagel scent wafting out to the street. They make bagels all day long so there is no chance of you getting a stale one. When you get to the counter they have a display with dozens of different types of bagels and in the back you can see the giant oven churning out bagel after bagel. It is quite an amazing site.
I’ve been told that what makes New York bagels different (and better) is the water. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I believe it because there is truly something special about them. Bagels are one food item NYC can claim as its own specialty and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to try something amazing. If you want bagels for the weekend but don’t want a line, I’d say go before Saturday or Sunday morning and have day old bagels when you’re ready. They’ll still taste good, but if you want a truly exceptional bagel experience, grab a good book, head on over to Absolute, and wait a little extra time for a delicious treat.