Every week, Bwog’s Elizabeth Self and Lorna Hale venture around the city comparing treats. This week our bold snackers took on a New York giant: the bagel. Read on for unexpected onions, bland blobs of bread, disastrous disagreements, actual artistry, and some stuff about bagels.
As we all learned from the movies, New Yorkers are supposed to cram down a bagel for breakfast everyday with coffee, preferable while running up a sidewalk, looking intent. (See: The Devil Wears Prada.) In the spirit of helping our fellow wee freshmen first-years get the hang of their cosmopolitan image, this week we decided to snoop out the most scrumptious of bagels nearby for you, so you don’t have to waste your time waiting in line for second-rate ones.
Further, since, if you’re like us, you’ve promised yourself you’ll eat better and resist that last bit of freshman 15, we tested whole-wheat bagels, which are totally better for you, or something like that.
UNI Cafe, $1
Now, before you get your gourmet feathers all ruffled, you should know that we only tested UNI Cafe for shits and giggles, and because it was so close by. Seeing that the walls were decorated in stock images and all the food was already wrapped in cellophane, we didn’t really have high expectations. From that angle, we weren’t disappointed at all! The bagel did in fact have the shape of a bagel, but it was distinctly lacking in bagel taste. In fact, this dry chunk was lacking any taste at all, except maybe that of the 89ȼ white bread one buys when times are tough. After we were done tasting it, we literally couldn’t give it away.
Westside Market, $0.60
The product we bought from Westside Market was initially a hit. Though it had an odd color for a bagel, it had a remarkable aroma and nice texture. However, we at 2girls seem to have fallen victim to a case of unadvertised onions, as our “Whole Wheat Bagel” had about 2 bits of onion and a really strong onion taste, though it took a second to place. Maybe it was contaminated, maybe it was mis-labeled, maybe Westside just really wants everyone to get in their daily quercetin. In any case, it was a good bagel, just maybe look out if you have food allergies.
Milano Market, $0.75
Mark it down in your diaries, buy your T-shirts, prepare the stories you’ll tell your grandchildren: This taste test marks the first distinct disagreement in analysis by the 2girls. The bagel from Milano had more of a sweet taste than all the others. One girl thought it was nice, but the other girl (who, incidentally, is writing this article) thought it tasted sickly, and has therefore moved it up the list away from the first place. (Is this what it feels like to be a Greek goddess interfering with wars? The power … )
Nussbaum and Wu, $1
This bagel was the first one that had the appropriate bagel texture, tough on the outside without being rubbery and soft on the inside. It even had the bonus of looking artsy. Our dilemma lied in the fact that we had a hard time articulating the words to describe its agreeable flavor while one girl tried to hoard the whole thing at once. When she was done getting, “one more bite,” we determined that the taste was most like that of good French bread inside.
Absolute Bagels, $1
Yes, we know, we know, Absolute Bagels are the best, and a New York classic. We most wholeheartedly agree, what with its ideal texture and uniquely wheaty flavor. However, is it worth the walk? Is it worth the line? We’ll let you decide.
OM NOM NOM via Shutterstock