Saturday, May 16, 2009

BAGEL WATCH: Pick-A-Bagel Rocks

As Bagels Go, This Neighborhood Gem Continues To Shine

I was recently privy to an argument about a bagel chain that was planning on moving into Manhattan to set up shop.

On one side, several people who had enjoyed the bagels abroad (like, uh, in Ohio somewhere) were glad to know they would have a familiar bagel in the city. Please note: I love when those who are not exactly connected to the NYC food scene try and convince NYC foodies that their local chain food can take over Manhattan (Chick-Fil-A not included, of course).

On the other side of the fence, were the New Yorkers who were basically begging them not to come... as a courtesy.

Think about it. Moving to New York to open a bagel shop that is part of a "chain" is like moving to Mexico City and opening a Taco Bell.

Case in point, my bagel shop of the day, Pick-A-Bagel, on 3rd and 23rd. A local gem that cranks out one of the Top 5 bagels in New York City, bar none. (Insert your Top 5 list here).

Now you should know, I love my bagels. I am not the biggest H and H guy in the world, having tasted the incredible bagels served by Tal Bagel (have you had the flat bagels?)... but I love the fact that so many shops in NYC actually make their bagels in house. This is the case at Pick-A-Bagel.

Additionally, these guys can really dress the thing. I'll leave the lox and stuff to my Hebrew brethren... (I just don't have the smoked fish for breakfast thing happening mentally yet) and focus on cream cheese, as well as my fave, the bacon/egg and butter.

If you have spent the last minute reading this, you are one of those people who know that all bagels are not created equal. There are bland bagels, stale bagels, tough bagels... blah, blah, blah.

And then, there are good NYC bagels. Warm or hot.... crusty and crunchy on the outside and chewy perfect on the inside.

This would again, be Pick-A-Bagel.

What sets them apart?

They have a killer assortment of cream cheeses, etc... but who else on the planet sells BACON CREAM CHEESE?

Not kidding. Bacon. Cream. Cheese. And if you can't stomach that, they also have TOFU Cream Cheese. I can't make this up.

So there you have it, Fork New York's Bagel Pick of the Day, Pick-A-Bagel.

(and if you don't like bagels, you can get loaded at the pub next door)

297 3rd Ave
(between 22nd St & 23rd St)
New York, NY 10010
(212) 686-1414