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Rosenfeld Bagels, Newton Centre

galleygirl Jan 27, 2004 01:13 PM

Okay, this is an open challenge to anyone who says you can't get a good NY-style bagel in Boston....I've tried bagels from all the sources cited in the last bagel thread (see link), including that excretory mistake being propogated at Zarthmary's. Kupel's is my default...I gottah say, Joanie, Ezra, Baruch et all were right; Rosenfeld's is definitely as good as what as one can get in NY these days....(let's not start on, "Oh, they used to be better"...I'm talking really GOOD NY bagels...)

Although I have a hard time giving credence to anyone who considers a chocolate-chip bagel a food(vbg), Joanie was right on about the potato bagel...It tasted like my grandma's potato knish baked into a bagel, full of sweet onion, poppy seeds, and black pepper; nice heat level....The center was chewy, I mean *really* chewy, and the outside bit back...

But the salt bagel, my belwether, really shone..Halite-sized chunks on the outside, and a crust that had the sheen of a street-corner soft pretzel...Chewy and moist all the way thru...I'm in love, it was definitely worth the drive....Bagels 65 cents, $6 a dozen...bialis are 80 cents, but they only have them on Sundays, so I can't rate them yet...

I will brook no dissent unless you've actually tried them! ;)

Rosenfeld Bagels, 1280 Center St., Newton Centre

Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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  1. k
    Karl S. RE: galleygirl Jan 27, 2004 02:27 PM

    I am a fan of Rosenfeld's bagels, too: the use of malt instead of sugar or corn syrup helps keep these to a more authentic flavor and texture (still, they don't quite get completely stale in a few hours -- one of the old tests for authenticity -- probably because they are still somewhat bigger than the original real deal).

    The bialys are OK, but not as good as one used to be able to get in the better NY places. Get them if you are there on Sunday, but don't make a special trip for them, would be my view.

    I like the challah they sell there, but it might be too sweet and moist for the taste of many (it keeps really well).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Karl S.
      yomama RE: Karl S. Jan 27, 2004 03:04 PM

      I'll add my voice to those of Rosenfeld fans. Kupels is great too - it's just chewier - a matter of personal taste, not authenticity. I can live with a Zeppy's bagel too.

    2. b
      baruch RE: galleygirl Jan 27, 2004 02:42 PM

      glad you enjoyed them galleygirl!

      a chocalate chip bagel is not a bagel. Its dessert.

      1. c
        cindywho RE: galleygirl Jan 28, 2004 10:00 AM

        It's been so long since I've had a really good bagel! I don't know Newton at all, is it T accessible?


        1 Reply
        1. re: cindywho
          AlanH™ (formerly AlanH) RE: cindywho Jan 28, 2004 10:10 AM

          Right around the corner from the Newton Center T stop, less than a two minute walk. On Center St, near the corner of Union/Beacon/Center, downstairs.

        2. b
          barleywino RE: galleygirl Jan 28, 2004 01:21 PM

          I know almost nothing about bagels, but I do know the rolling-out-of-the-oven-into-your-paper-bag bagels I had at St Viateur in Montreal blew me away...anybody out there have any thoughts on Montreal bagels vs Boston bagels vs NY bagels? Please educate me ;)

          6 Replies
          1. re: barleywino
            Karl S. RE: barleywino Jan 28, 2004 02:05 PM

            Let's just say the Montreal has the reputation of being the last bastion of the true bagel.

            1. re: Karl S.
              Joanie RE: Karl S. Jan 28, 2004 02:29 PM

              I must have never had a true bagel then (which is probably true growing up in VT) cuz I much prefer Rosenfeld's over St. Viateur.

              1. re: Joanie
                Karl S. RE: Joanie Jan 28, 2004 02:36 PM

                Old style bagels are not exactly easily lovable things. There is a reason commercial bagel baking has migrated to make them more easily lovable (but losing character in the process). Old style bagels were relatively small, dense (they did not use sugar to make the yeast wild and gassy), and something that your teeth and jaws had to wrestle a bit with. They did not come in tons of flavors. They sometimes felt like lead in your stomach (that was the point -- they filled you up).

            2. re: barleywino
              Ezra RE: barleywino Jan 28, 2004 02:20 PM

              St. Viateur bagels are divine - as Karl S. said, they may be as close as it gets to the bagels or yore (which I never tried, but have heard described).

              Rosenfeld's are a great example of what I take to be a new breed of bagel: larger, chewier, more varieties.

              To keep on-topic, the now defunct Zaatar's Oven in Brookline used to actually make (or import?) Montreal-style bagels, which were pretty good as I recall. I have yet to hear of anywhere in town that has them, so please if you know something, chime in!

              Link: http://www.chowhound.com/boards/crave...

              1. re: Ezra
                lbfoody RE: Ezra Jul 16, 2009 12:44 PM

                Walnut Market in Newton bring St. Viateur bagels in from Montreal. Call first to find out if they have fresh or frozen bagels (they freeze them if they don't sell on delivery day).

                1. re: lbfoody
                  veggielover RE: lbfoody Oct 15, 2009 09:59 AM

                  I bought the bagels and couldn't see what the fuss was all about. I thought Dunken Donuts bagels were better. I only admit to having them at work. :-)

            3. s
              StriperGuy RE: galleygirl Jan 29, 2004 09:52 AM

              I will say the Rosenfeld Bagel that I got from Galleygirl the other day was really excellent. I agree, traditional, old school NY style bagel.

              My one other favorite place is a bit of a haul. I have to say, I was recently accused (by Yum Yum) of being perhaps, just a little bit, (I don't remember the exact word) of a kook. Now Gloucester is a little far to go just for a bagel, but:

              Jims Bagel & Bake Shoppe
              (978) 283-3383
              24 Washington St.
              Gloucester, MA 01930

              It has really excellent bagels, and pastries. Bagels and pastries in the same shop, sacrilege, I know.

              I buy at least a dozen bagels and 3 or 4 pastries every time I go.

              Anyhow see the link to my earlier post.

              Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              2 Replies
              1. re: StriperGuy
                yumyum RE: StriperGuy Jan 29, 2004 04:53 PM

                Oh Striperguy -- of course I meant "kook" in the nicest possible way.

                1. re: yumyum
                  StriperGuy RE: yumyum Jan 30, 2004 02:48 PM

                  I wasn't denying it, but rather reveling in it ;-). Who else would drive to Gloucester for bagels (well bagels and fishing)?

                  Not even slightly offended!

              2. p
                pink dress RE: galleygirl Jul 15, 2009 07:07 AM

                I will NEVER go back to Rosenfeld's. The bagels and challah are as good as everyone says, but they were so RUDE. I went for the first time last weekend after reading about them in the Best of issue of in the Improper Bostonian. No matter how good a product is, I refuse to go back to places where the customer service is just awful. It was pretty apparent how miserable the employees were to be there on a Sunday morning and as a result we were treated like crap. Nobody asked "Can I help you?" when I stepped up to the counter. When my husband asked if there was any more coffee left, the employee very grudgingly said "Oh, I guess I can make you some more if you want." So he just said "Forget it." The people working there looked angry and miserable and it made me so uncomfortable to order - as if I was troubling them even more. Then I proceeded to order a dozen bagels and lost count while I was ordering and I asked them if I had a dozen and she said yes without actually checking. When I got home I only had 11 bagels - what jerks!

                8 Replies
                1. re: pink dress
                  Blumie RE: pink dress Jul 15, 2009 07:54 AM

                  Sorry about your bad experience. Most of us don't go there for the pleasantries; we go there for the best bagels in Boston.

                  1. re: pink dress
                    Ralphie_in_Boston RE: pink dress Jul 15, 2009 08:14 AM

                    The people behind the counter aren't always the most pleasant, you're right (but to all the many CHers using New York as a barometer, you should be satisfied ;) )

                    The young lady at the cash register, however (long dark hair, ALWAYS smiling), is such a sweetheart that she more than counterbalances any grumpiness elsewhere.

                    1. re: pink dress
                      okra RE: pink dress Jul 15, 2009 10:45 AM

                      I've been going to Rosenfeld's for about 15 years or so. You have been there now, so you know. You're in a working bakery. These are the freshest/best bagels in the city at this particular time. The coffee has always been an afterthought there - and to be honest it is rare that I ever see anyone buy it. I was pretty sure it was there to keep the staff going. Regardless, buy your bagels, get your (self) out of the store, and go 'cross the street for coffee.

                      If you're over the Tobin, go to Katz's. Another bakery - as I recall they don't even attempt the coffee pot.

                      Katz Bagel Bakery
                      139 Park St, Chelsea, MA

                      Rosenfeld Bagel Co
                      1280 Centre St, Newton, MA

                      1. re: okra
                        steinpilz RE: okra Jul 15, 2009 03:00 PM

                        I've been going to Rosefeld's weekly, lately more often, for 4 years and the staff has always been pleasant (certainly not rude) Sunday morning is very busy though and maybe trying for all. I've never thought of asking for coffee there and didn't know that they had any.

                        1. re: steinpilz
                          galleygirl RE: steinpilz Jul 15, 2009 03:06 PM

                          They had 4 dozen packed and waiting for me on the way to my father's funeral, so they're major mensches in my book...

                      2. re: pink dress
                        lergnom RE: pink dress Jul 16, 2009 07:47 AM

                        People do have bad days. And they also make mistakes.

                        1. re: lergnom
                          galleygirl RE: lergnom Jul 16, 2009 07:50 AM

                          I always insist personnel who don't meet my standards be taken out and shot, immediately.

                          1. re: galleygirl
                            mrwhiskers RE: galleygirl Jul 16, 2009 12:55 PM

                            oh daddy, got all worked up in a bagel lather just reading this yesterday. grabbed mrs. whiskers and headed out to newton. only problem was i misread the address as 120 Centre intead of 1280 Centre. needless to say, we didn't find it and ended up back on the mass pike to cambridge empty handed or empty-bagel-handed.

                      3. e
                        eenie1 RE: galleygirl Oct 14, 2009 10:16 AM

                        I'm usually in Newton for a Dr.'s appt on Mon or Tues so could never try Rosenfelds. Finally had a Wednesday appt so was at their door at 7am when they opened. The car smelled heavenly from the whole wheat sesame and whole grain bagels I bought by the time I got back to RI for work. Cannot wait to try one tomorrow morning!!

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: eenie1
                          Gordough RE: eenie1 Oct 14, 2009 10:25 AM

                          You should have tried one on the spot. My experience with good, fresh bagels has been that they rapidly deteriorate within several hours of cooling.

                          1. re: Gordough
                            Blumie RE: Gordough Oct 14, 2009 11:33 AM

                            A similar claim was made in response to a recent post I made on the Manhattan board:


                            1. re: Blumie
                              eenie1 RE: Blumie Oct 15, 2009 05:28 AM

                              Had already eaten a huge bowl of oatmeal with added oat bran, apple and banana and a big glass of oj. Oh, and coffee on the hour ride to Newton. I was a bit stuffed =)!

                              1. re: eenie1
                                galleygirl RE: eenie1 Oct 15, 2009 07:48 AM

                                That's no excuse!!! We don't require complete consumption, just a bite!

                                1. re: galleygirl
                                  eenie1 RE: galleygirl Oct 15, 2009 09:57 AM

                                  lolol...ok...ok...next time!!!

                                  1. re: eenie1
                                    eenie1 RE: eenie1 Oct 21, 2009 09:54 AM

                                    Okay, wanted to finally get back to everyone with my opinion!! The Rosenfeld's whole wheat sesame bagels are delicious, saltier than I am used to in a bage, but still good with avocado and cheddar cheese. My favorites, however, remain Pain Davignon...pure bagel joy!!!

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