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Rosenfeld Bagels, Newton Centre

  • g

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. 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.

      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. glad you enjoyed them galleygirl!

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

      1. 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)

          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. 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

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

            1. re: Karl S.

              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

                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

              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

                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

                  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. 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

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

                1. re: yumyum

                  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. 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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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

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

                        1. re: lergnom

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

                          1. re: galleygirl

                            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. 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

                          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

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


                            1. re: Blumie

                              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

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

                                  1. re: eenie1

                                    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!!!