Any recent visits/comments? I’m interested in the bagels themselves, not the prepared foods, but comments on that are welcome, too.
I like them.
That Montreal style is foreign to me and doesn’t satisfy my craving for a real old-school Brooklyn-type bagel, but that aside I’d rather eat Beauty’s than any of the other current bagel choices around here.
R.I.P. Schmendrick’s. Looking forward to Wise Sons.
We liked the bagels very much. Good chew, decent flavor. The real “old-school Brooklyn-type bagel” barely even exists in NYC anymore. These were at least as good as the bagels I’ve had on my past several trips to NYC, albeit a somewhat different creature.
I like them, particularly for the density and chew. But it isn’t love. However, I will make a stop there occasional for their rugulach, which are not traditional in size or flavor, but are fantastic. A little larger than most, and with a moist/chewiness that is truly addicting. I know you were mostly looking for bagel feedback, but I had to mention these. No grandmother of mine ever made such delicious rugulach.
I agree with this. They’re OK but it’s not a destination. Schmendricks was the only Bay Area bagel that was destination worthy to me. I’m going to give Wise Sons a try when they get rolling but based on their pastrami I’m not hopeful that they’ll rise beyond good into greatness.
Have you tried Authentic Bagel Co near Jack London Square? A bit more expensive and, for me, still not the holy grail, but certainly worth checking out. A bagel with lox and cream cheese is 12 or 13 dollars, so if I had it to do over again I would start with just a bagel with cream cheese.
I tried Authentic. Round poofy bread. I’ll take Baron’s over that.
I have tried a few from Authentic, albeit “day old” type brought home and not eaten right away, and toasted. They were nothing remarkable nor unremarkable.
“Round poofy bread”—hahahaha! Sometimes I don’t trust my own judgment. I didn’t like mine, but the hype led me to think I must be missing something! Still searching.
I don’t generally eat bagels in the Bay Area as I don’t find the quality to justify the calories, but a recent NY trip had me craving some with lox for Christmas morning. Since I’ve had all of the usual suspects I thought I’d try someplace new and had my (ex)wife pick up some from Shorty Goldsteins since she works around the corner. Turns out they recently started making their own. Nice crust and super dense and chewy. They’re bigger than Schmednricks used to make them. $2 per bagel.
I’m not a fan of Shorty’s pastrami, but these were easily the best bagels I’ve had in SF (aside from the dear departed Schmendricks)
Well . . . yes and no. I do agree that, as Jilly originally said
but disagree with the statement that “it’s not a destination.” I mean, where else in the Oakland/Berkeley area would you go? It’s a destination by default, perhaps, but they are my “go to” place – nothing else (so far) comes as close . . . . (YMMV)
I have not been to Beauty’s, so cannot help there. Does anyone have feedback on Levy’s in Alameda?
See above - Shorty Goldstein’s are better IMO.
Also, just because something is the best in the area doesn’t make it a destination to me. For me there are certain foods (e.g. bagels) that I’d rather just eat when I go to NY 2-3 times a year than eat a mediocre version here.
We can agree to disagree on opinionated matters of individual taste.
In the abstract, I would agree. However . . .
[quote=“brisket44, post:13, topic:190”]For me there are certain foods (e.g. bagels) that I’d rather just eat when I go to NY 2-3 times a year than eat a mediocre version here.
And for those of us who don’t visit New York (or Montreal) 2-3x a year . . . ? (I would hazard a guess and say that most participants of the SF Bay Area board do not.)
Beauty’s is probably not as good as H&H used to be, but there’s no way to do a side-by-side taste test. But for me, I am happy to go to, and blissfully content that, Beauty’s is but a short “jaunt” from my home.
Shorty’s is good, I am not denying that. But even if I preferred them to Beauty’s (which I don’t), I wouldn’t go there. I live in Berkeley; I work in the East Bay; parking there is much worse than in Oakland; and while I go to the city a fair amount, when I want a bagel, a drive into the city and a drive back to Berkeley just to toast a bagel for brunch just ain’t gonna happen . . .
If you can satisfy your craving for a bagel with what you can get here, nice for you.
I am actually in NYC once or twice a year. The sad reality is that getting a great bagel isn’t like it once was (kind of like getting a great steak in Buenos Aires). It was probably about 20 years ago when I had an “OMG, now I get it” bagel moment in NYC. When I am there now, I don’t have time to spend an hour+ to travel and get a bagel from the “top rated spots.” Not only that, even when you do, it generally leads to disappointment.
I think Beauty’s are good. Nothing will ever compare to my first OMG NYC bagel. I don’t even try anymore.
And for those of us who don’t visit New York (or Montreal 2-3x a year…
I grew up in Montreal and do visit 2-3x a year. I gotta say beauty’s isn’t bad. It’s not a Montreal (st viateur) bagel exactly - probably not as dense and sweet/smoky as THE BEST BAGEL in the world but it’s an adequate substitute!
Previously I had only thought of Beauty’s for takeout bagels, but now I know it’s great place for sitdown eats, too. You can get a full bfast all day for <$10. Easygoing Oakland vibe, some outdoor seating, younger crowd and families. I also enjoyed the bagel, very fresh with just enough chew to keep it interesting.
Got a plain and an onion bagel. Not toasted, no schmear, no sammy or anything else. Bagels were pretty good. Hard exterior and chewy interior as it should be. Did not think they were sweet as the Montreal style bagels I’ve had in the past were. Flavor was good. Are they H&H? No but who cares. These are pretty good bagels, especially for California, at least to this Jewish east coast transplant.