I’ve been hanging around lately with a couple of bagel snobs who look down their noses at the faux bagels sold by Einstein Bros. and Panera. Apparently, those establishments steam their bagels instead of boiling them in the proper fashion. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never had a “real” bagel.
I decided it was time. Before I headed into Chicago recently, I searched on the Internet and discovered the New York City Bagel Deli, located just two blocks from the train station.
It probably won’t surprise you to discover I ordered a ham and cheese bagel sandwich. It was excellent, although next time I’ll probably do without the cucumbers. There was so much stuff on the sandwich, I couldn’t really tell what the bagel was like.
The place was set up rather weird, with the line in the middle and a handful of tables around the edges. I found a lone stool at a counter in the corner where I had a lovely view of the Chicago River to my left and a corner of the Sears Tower in front of me.
I bought a half dozen to go. The cinnamon-raisin ones were bland. The pretzel salt ones were delicious — once I’d scraped off about 80% of the salt. And like bagels are supposed to be, they were chewy on the inside with a thin crunchy crust.
I haven’t attained bagel snobbery yet, but I’m pressing forward on my quest.