Fred's Bakery and where to find a bagel
First, a disclaimer. I have eaten out of Fred's bakery for about 55 years, and always thought it was generally better than Beverlywood on Pico.
I know that last year Steve and Sis (Fred's kids) sold the bakery. At first I did not notice significant changes, but then I certainly do not eat bread as I once did.
Then last week I stopped in, bought something for my aunt, got a fruit bar, and talked to one of the counter people. Apparently the old baker is gone. And there are a whole variety of chi-chi breads like the Breadbar which it is not. The fruit bar, which I have loved since I was a boy, was tasteless. I figured odd day.
This week I stopped for bagels for work and was accused of having gone to Noah's. They did look very plump; however, I never go one.
So this afternoon I had a little time and swung by Beverlywood Bakery and Fred's to do a comparison of poppy bagels. Beverlywood was the right size, but was dry and had little flavor. Fred's was fat, tasted like a Noah's bagel. I did this within 20 minutes. I recognize, in fairness to Beverlywood, that 3 pm is not prime bagel time. But it was really the lack of flavor that got me.
Now where to? Any idea for old style, simple bagels like the bagel makers union in NYC used to make that is on the Westside or even downtown. Tomorrow I may swing by Brooklyn and check that out.
I have not checked out the rye and challah.
Your comments and help are appreciated.
Well, I went to Fred's this morning. The salt stick was about the same, the challah was airy; the bagels lacked holes, there was little rye left at 9 am, the day old is the same price.
But I found the answer. The guy who bought it from Sis and Steve sold it two months ago to a person who, based on what I was told in the bakery, had probably never tasted a bagel until she bought the store. It would be like me trying to run a Korean restaurant.
the challah now tastes like fake butter. Also, there used to be a bit of chew to the crumb, and you could watch it resist as you tried to pull it apart; now it's soft and almost cakey.
i get challah from breadworks sometimes--aka brown's bakery. the bagels no longer deserve the name. might as well have sugar on them.
i'm thinking it's time to open an old fashioned montreal style bagel shop here in la--woodfired ovens, burlap sacks. the whole bit. who's in? we can cure our own pastrami, too, and make schmaltzy onions to put on our sandwiches on corn rye, which you can't get anywhere...
We had a challah (the rectangular, not the real challah)recently. When Sis had the bakery, I thought theirs was hands down the best in town. Just a little bit crunchy on the outside and wonderfully eggy soft on the inside.
The challah we got was OK, certainly not like the junk you get in the market, or some other bakeries but just not Fred's. I think its still better than Beverlywood, but the wife is not sure. Why oh why does everything have to change (I asked, thoughtfully) knowing that everything in life must change. But why, I then asked, does it seem so many things change for the worse, not the better. Then I realized its because I'm getting old. I suppose there are some people in the neighborhood who probably think Fred's is better than its ever been. Just not me. I'll probably still get their challah but think wistfully of the old ones.
As far as rye bread is concerned, I was never that big a fan of Fred's even though Sis catered both my sons and daughter's oneg shabbat. My personal favorite is the double baked at Labels.
Any bagel thoughts?
I am thinking of calling Steve, who is in Vegas, for ideas.
It is not just Steve and Sis. Gus the baker is gone, Maria is gone, and there are all new people who when I wanted a 7 layer chocolate cake, told me they had never made one, and actually said they did not know what it is.
There is a bagel shop on San Vicente in a strip mall call with the Runner's Edge store. The bagel place is called NY Bagel. It is just east of the hamburger hamlet...east of Barrington on San Vicente. It is as New York as I have found. Just the simple basics and a rosemary bagel that it my personal favorite.