If any of you grew up within 600 miles of New York City, you may know that New York is well known for its bagels. And bagels are often associated with folks of those parts as a “Jewish” food.
Well, it may or may not surprise you to know that in the early days of the State of Israel, the 1950s – 1970s, it was very difficult if not impossible to find a bagel in the Jewish State. I was first in Israel in 1980, and I cannot remember eating bagel while there. I remember pizza, especially Richie’s pizza. But not bagels. Pita, fresh rolls, yes, but I don’t remember bagels.
It was a nice surprise on this past trip to Israel (my fifth time visiting) that we enjoyed not just one but two bagel shops in the city of Jerusalem. At left my son is happily chomping on a poppy seed bagel from Bonkers Bagel in the Old City.
However, the bagel story in our home town of Highland Park, New Jersey is a bit of a sadder tale. We used to have this wonderful bagel shop just over the border in Edison on Rte. 27. They served delicious fresh bagels, and I remember buying the egg salad bagel with tomato and red onion when my son was a mere babe. However, at some point that bagel store departed, and a new one opened in Highland Park. The new bagel shop wasn’t nearly as good as the old one, both for reasons that the bagels weren’t as good and the service was, well, lousy. The new bagel shop changed owners and then closed completely. There is a Bagel Dish Cafe here in Highland Park, but alas, it is not kosher.
Now when we want bagels in Highland Park, we go to: Dunkin’ Donuts!
I should tell you the best part of our Dunkin’ Donuts is great service. Part of the way they give great service is they yell at you if you are chatting online, and it’s your turn to give your order. They keep the line moving fast, and the people behind the counter remember you. And what you ordered last time. The friendly service is quite nice. Personally, my favorite is the multigrain bagel, because of the oatmeal and sunflower seeds on top.
During the school year some teenage boys ran a service where you could order bagels from Teaneck. I don’t know much about the service or about the Teaneck bagels, but as my son will be going to school in Teaneck in September, I expect I might ask him to buy a few bagels for us.
Years ago when my husband and I were dating we used to go to a nice bagel shop on 72nd Street on the West Side in Manhattan. They served bagels, coffee, orange juice and scrambled eggs for one price, and under the glass on the tables were comic strips. Whatever it was called, it probably is no longer there.
In Brookline, Massachusetts (I grew up in nearby Newton) at Kupel’s Bagels on Harvard Street you could get green bagels on St. Patrick’s Day. Probably still can.
Any decent bagel shops where you live?
If you haven’t had enough photos of bagel shops in Jerusalem, visit Dina.