The Art Of The Bagel

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 25, 2020 12:24 PM GMT
    He wanted to have a bagel this morning. “I feel like a bagel today,” he announced.

    “Funny, you don’t look like a bagel,” I replied. Very bad old joke, but really how it went. icon_redface.gif

    He had bought some the other day, from a local store, a chain that’s pretty good here, Einstein Bros. Bagels. We get them unsliced, because they stay fresher longer that way.

    But then the challenge is slicing them yourself, they’re rather hard, awkward to hold for a straight cut. You can lose a finger that way, and I’m very fond of all 10 of mine.

    So a few years ago I got a bagel cutter from Williams-Sonoma (pictured below). It cleanly slices a bagel in half beautifully. Works like a guillotine. Sometimes I say “Mort au Roi!” as I drop the blade. I’m sure there are other similar devices available, perhaps just a holder to safely use your own large knife.

    Our toaster also has a bagel setting, that inactivates half the heating elements. Ideally you only toast the sliced side of the bagel. You can accomplish the same thing with a countertop toaster oven, or a stove broiler or grill.

    Today he got cream cheese and strawberry preserves on his bagel. In New York City, near where I was raised, lox on a bagel is popular (thin-sliced smoked salmon). Though oddly I never had lox until I was 24, when a fellow Army Lieutenant, who was Jewish, had me over to his place for breakfast.

    To this day I love lox, though not always on a bagel. Sometimes just piled on a plate, at a Sunday brunch buffet (when those hopefully resume).

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  • carew28

    Posts: 1504

    Jun 25, 2020 4:14 PM GMT
    Bagels with cream-cheese and lox were definitely a New York City thing, but they did spread up to some southern New England cities that had Jewish populations. They were very good. There also used to be bagels with cream-cheese and chopped green olives, also very good. Now, the New England Jews have all moved out to the suburbs, and no longer maintain any ethnic identity. Nowadays, it's all Dunkin bagels with flavored cream-cheese, or generic egg and bagel sandwiches. I miss the old ethnic food.
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    Jun 27, 2020 9:45 AM GMT
    carew28 said
    Bagels with cream-cheese and lox were definitely a New York City thing, but they did spread up to some southern New England cities that had Jewish populations. They were very good. There also used to be bagels with cream-cheese and chopped green olives, also very good. Now, the New England Jews have all moved out to the suburbs, and no longer maintain any ethnic identity. Nowadays, it's all Dunkin bagels with flavored cream-cheese, or generic egg and bagel sandwiches. I miss the old ethnic food.

    Both of us miss them, too. He misses authentic Italian delis, and I miss New York Jewish delis.

    When I was a kid we had a deli in our town, where my Mother would take me. Often after she picked me up after the kids’ Saturday matinee at the local movie theater. When you had Loony Tunes cartoons first, and maybe a short news or travelogue featurette before the main movie. Then often a double feature: a bad “B” movie followed by the good one.

    If I’d been a “good boy” my treat would be a brown paper bag of pretzels when Mom picked me up. And she’d get “cold cuts” and other fresh things. Because in the mid-1950s there weren’t many fresh foods in the supermarkets, mostly canned.

    Home refrigerators with big freezer sections, along with deep freezers, were just becoming popular. Frozen food from BirdsEye & Swanson were just being introduced. If you didn’t want canned you bought the food fresh and ate it that day.

    And that deli was so antique. It had a 14-foot ceiling, that was covered with embossed, pressed tin squares. The shelves were so high they had ladders with wheels, attached to rails along the walls, and poles with grabber claws on them, to bring things down. And higher up were ceiling fans turning very slowly.

    There were real wooden barrels with lids, holding pickles and other things. Your meat selections were wrapped in brown “butcher” paper from a giant roll. A different world.

    And then my Mom might take me to a nearby bakery. Where again, if my behavior had merited it (my life as a child was entirely conditional), I might get a chocolate chip cookie almost as big as a pizza. Or, a chocolate eclaire. Not the rip-offs sold today, with whipped cream. But filled with yellow custard, weighing as much as a brick.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 22715

    Jun 27, 2020 1:18 PM GMT
    carew28 saidBagels with cream-cheese and lox were definitely a New York City thing, but they did spread up to some southern New England cities that had Jewish populations. They were very good. There also used to be bagels with cream-cheese and chopped green olives, also very good. Now, the New England Jews have all moved out to the suburbs, and no longer maintain any ethnic identity. Nowadays, it's all Dunkin bagels with flavored cream-cheese, or generic egg and bagel sandwiches. I miss the old ethnic food.
    That goddamned moving to the suburbs has ruined this great country. Not only has it resulted in architecturally hideous sprawl and environmentally unsustainable development, it has also ruined even exterminated most of the unique ethnic cuisine traditions and ethnic oriented businesses. Instead of awesome quality ethnic foods, we have the ubiquitous McDonalds, Starbucks, and Dunkin all over the damned place and almost all of it is car centric. Horribly sad but true icon_sad.gif
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    Jun 27, 2020 6:43 PM GMT
    One of my early jobs was an overnight waiter at a coffee and bagel shop. I loved the people who ordered lox because for some reason they always tipped better. (a phenomenon noticed by other servers too)

    But ready access to fresh woodbaked bagels was a definite benefit to the job!
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    Jun 27, 2020 7:12 PM GMT
    argus said
    One of my early jobs was an overnight waiter at a coffee and bagel shop. I loved the people who ordered lox because for some reason they always tipped better. (a phenomenon noticed by other servers too)

    But ready access to fresh woodbaked bagels was a definite benefit to the job!

    I don’t know about woodbaked bagels. There’s a place here that brags about water bagels, another thing unknown to me.

    I don’t eat bagels, anyway. Something my husband likes, that I serve to him, made by others. I slice, toast and slather them with cream cheese and jam.
  • ObscureAndFuz...

    Posts: 1517

    Jun 27, 2020 11:39 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    I don’t eat bagels, anyway. Something my husband likes, that I serve to him, made by others. I slice, toast and slather them with cream cheese and jam.



    You are not married. He is not your husband.

    Show some respect to those of us who ARE in a same-sex marriage.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 22715

    Jun 28, 2020 2:47 AM GMT
    ObscureAndFuzzy said
    Art_Deco said
    I don’t eat bagels, anyway. Something my husband likes, that I serve to him, made by others. I slice, toast and slather them with cream cheese and jam.



    You are not married. He is not your husband.

    Show some respect to those of us who ARE in a same-sex marriage.
    Do you have any valid proof or documentation stating that Art is not married or are you just flapping your jaws in the breeze with your negative attacksicon_razz.gif
  • ObscureAndFuz...

    Posts: 1517

    Jun 28, 2020 2:42 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    ObscureAndFuzzy said
    Art_Deco said
    I don’t eat bagels, anyway. Something my husband likes, that I serve to him, made by others. I slice, toast and slather them with cream cheese and jam.



    You are not married. He is not your husband.

    Show some respect to those of us who ARE in a same-sex marriage.
    Do you have any valid proof or documentation stating that Art is not married or are you just flapping your jaws in the breeze with your negative attacks



    Only what he himself has posted here, claiming that he is not able to be married due to his "complicated financial affairs" and that before same-sex marriage was legal gays (and bi-sexuals like him) frequently called their boyfriend "husband."

    So to answer your question, do I have "valid proof" - well, no, because the source I am basing it on is Art Deco himself, a known liar.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 22715

    Jun 28, 2020 3:31 PM GMT
    argus saidOne of my early jobs was an overnight waiter at a coffee and bagel shop. I loved the people who ordered lox because for some reason they always tipped better. (a phenomenon noticed by other servers too)

    But ready access to fresh woodbaked bagels was a definite benefit to the job!
    What coffee and bagel shop was this, inquiring minds want to knowicon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 28, 2020 4:02 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    argus saidOne of my early jobs was an overnight waiter at a coffee and bagel shop. I loved the people who ordered lox because for some reason they always tipped better. (a phenomenon noticed by other servers too)

    But ready access to fresh woodbaked bagels was a definite benefit to the job!
    What coffee and bagel shop was this, inquiring minds want to knowicon_smile.gif


    It had the rather pedestrian name of Bagel Classics. Its main rival was Bagel Bagel.
    And coffee. Lots of coffee.

    Our restaurant became to goto place for AA people after meetings. Liked them but they occupied tables for hours and only drank coffee. They were a lot of work but didn't tip well. (I don't think a lot of them were in a position to tip well, poor guys) But alas a restaurant on the main strip needed eople who actually bought food to survive. Bagel Classics was doomed to close. I left there to open a theatre.
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    Jun 28, 2020 7:48 PM GMT
    argus said
    roadbikeRob said
    argus said
    One of my early jobs was an overnight waiter at a coffee and bagel shop. I loved the people who ordered lox because for some reason they always tipped better. (a phenomenon noticed by other servers too)

    But ready access to fresh woodbaked bagels was a definite benefit to the job!

    What coffee and bagel shop was this, inquiring minds want to knowicon_smile.gif

    It had the rather pedestrian name of Bagel Classics. Its main rival was Bagel Bagel.
    And coffee. Lots of coffee.

    Our restaurant became to goto place for AA people after meetings. Liked them but they occupied tables for hours and only drank coffee. They were a lot of work but didn't tip well. (I don't think a lot of them were in a position to tip well, poor guys) But alas a restaurant on the main strip needed eople who actually bought food to survive. Bagel Classics was doomed to close. I left there to open a theatre.

    The other issue today is mobile devices, especially in coffee and donut shops. People plant themselves for half the day drinking coffee with their notebooks & touchpads. Even at Starbucks prices that doesn’t generate enough profit.

    I know some owners here who refuse to provide free customer WiFi. Of course then the dilemma is whether that keeps customers away, especially if competitors do have WiFi. Their business model, menu, customer demographics and so forth also helps determine that decision.

    And then some people will just use cellular instead. I have seen places impose time limits on tables. In fact, a cafe I visited Friday had new signs limiting table use to 90 minutes, unless food was still being served & eaten. They said the reason was the coronavirus; forced to operate at only half-occupancy they want faster table turnover. Our umbrella table was outside, anyway, all the other patio tables vacant, because of the Florida heat & humidity. Safer for us.

    We always leave our table promptly when we’re done, anyway, to increase the turnover. Helps the business, the staff, and our server if we have one. More tips the faster that table turns during their shift. There also may be other diners waiting to be seated, and lingering can upset reservation timing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 05, 2020 8:03 PM GMT
    ObscureAndFuzzy said
    Art_Deco said
    I don’t eat bagels, anyway. Something my husband likes, that I serve to him, made by others. I slice, toast and slather them with cream cheese and jam.



    You are not married. He is not your husband.

    Show some respect to those of us who ARE in a same-sex marriage.

    Art did claim recently that he will never take an honor he as never earned. Portraying himself as being in a same sex marriage, to his boyfriend, in a world were SSM is a legal thing now, and no longer used as a form of protest. To call ones boyfriend, husband.

    I don't eat Bagels either.

    They seem to be stale even when fresh, and I don't like that.

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    Jul 05, 2020 8:34 PM GMT
    Dearest half brother. With your fondness for gadgets. I beg you to not, buy your taser and vibrator, in the same colour.