Jersey bagels !!
I think it is the water ! I have worked in Metro NYC
for almost 10 years. In that time I have eaten bagels
from just about everywhere. I have found time and time
again that the best bagel I have had is from a discreet
Bagel shop in Fairlawn, NJ - Saddle river Rd.
The first time I asked for some butter on my bagel
(this place was kosher) the owner said our bagels are
so good you do not need butter !
These bagels are trully a gift to a prince !
Speaking of which, dating someone in Queens has brought
to my attention another great Manhattan-satellite bagel
joint. Turnpike Bagels (yes, that's really its name)
at the corner of Union Turnpike and Chevy Chase St. in
Jamaica Estates makes the best bagels I've ever had.
Notably crusty, but not so much as to incur dentatonic
distress -- they beat H&H and Ess-a-Bagel hands down.
re: Christy Veeder
not sure which bagel place in fair lawn on saddle river
rd. is exactly the one, but on the main street in
englewood cliffs across from starbucks is a bagel/bialy
place that has huge, crispy, and chewy but not overly
so bagels in the usual pumpernickel, sesame, etc.
varieties. the bialy scene is o.k., too, but i go in
for an everything bagel with scallion cream cheese. the
help is from central america, and a few well-placed
words of Spanish will get you the biggest serving
(what's the opposite of schmear?)ever for $2.50.