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Bagel World, Reading or Bruegger's- which bagels are more authentic?

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I like dense chewy bagels- like Aesop's used to have in Lex. So, when I can't drive into brookline, what do CH peo think between the 2 companies above? thank you.

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  1. I'm not sure what you mean by authentic but for dense and chewy (my personal favorite too) bagel world fits the bill more though I haven't been there in a long time. Actually, for really dense and chewy the best I've found are Iggy's which are also sold at WF.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tomaneng

      Iggy's bagels are not quite the right thing for a bagel, nice as they are; they try to be too "artisanal" for a genuine bagel.

      To answer the OP's question, Bagel World. Bruegger's has better pumpernickel I think, though; plain, poppy and onion and everything are good, but overall I prefer Bagel World.

      1. re: Karl S

        karl, thanks much for those particulars. i too love pump bagels; aesop's had some really wonderful ones...sigh

    2. Bagel World all the way. Their bagels rock.

      7 Replies
      1. re: TCourtemanche

        I have to agree...I remember with definite concern, my reaction when Finagle a Bagel came into Reading competing with Bagel World. I even suggested to the owner, Stan (a Pole!) that perhaps he should offer sandwiches with bread, not just bagels. (He tried this at his Peabody location without much success) I am thrilled to report that Finagle a Bagel couldn't maintain in Reading!!! Bagel World is consistent and the staff is remarkably efficient and friendly...oh and the bagels...EXCELLENT!!

        1. re: 4chowpups

          Well, Finagle a Bagel sells something that is not a bagel. It's a bagel-shaped bread thing. But it's not a proper bagel.

          1. re: Karl S

            When I was in Arlington this past week, I stopped in for a bagel at Bagels by Us. The dough is shipped to them from from H & H bagels in NY and they cook them. It was a pretty good bagel, but I'm definitely no bagel expert.

            1. re: Pat Hammond

              I find those bagels flabby and underwhelming.

              1. re: Pat Hammond

                Bagels by Us can say that they fly them in from H & H and who am I to doubt them? Actually, wait a minute, I do doubt them. Especially after I went to my girlfriend's parents house in Arlington on a friday night, went to Bagels by Us on that Saturday morning and then I treked into Manhattan for a family occasion that night and had H & H that very Sunday. After all that I can honestly say that the bagels at Bagels by Us are not only nothing like H & H bagels, they really just aren't that good.

                1. re: itshissong

                  To give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they fly them in unfinished and bake them here. Differences in baking method and oven would have a huge impact on the finished product.

                  1. re: BobB

                    Well, I've been underwhelmed by the bagels at H&H at the mother ship, too.... Perhaps I just got bad examples, but the ones in Arlington reminded me of the ones I got.

        2. Speaking of Aesop's Bagels, does anyone remember the company that made their scones? They weren't made in house, and they were fantastic.

          1. Thanks everyone- On the way to work this am, there was an accident on 93 north, so I decided to take 28 from Stoneham to 125. Great opportunity to stop at Bagel World. I god 4 plain bagels, and some of the garlic/herb cream cheese. The bagel was great- chewy and dense. I hardly ever eat bagels, though I love them- but enjoyed it for lunch with the cream cheese and some sliced red onion. It really was large enough for two or three servings!! Will try some of their flavored varities next time.

            1. I live in West Peabody and frequent both Bagel Worlds, Peabody and Reading. They're the best in the viscinity IMO. My second recomendation, in my area anyway,is Perfecto's on Lowell Stree Peabody (in Walls of Decor strip mall). Nice dense bagels.

              1 Reply
              1. re: AnneM

                Thanks for this recommendation, AnneM! We tried Perfecto's this morning and I like their bagels a lot. A bit on the fluffy side, and a tad too sweet, but a pretty good bagel, all told. Hubby was especially enamored of the poppy seed bagel because it had seeds on both sides, not just the top.

                (He doesn't like Bagel World but I've never tried it.)

              2. For what it's worth, I worked at Bruegger's when I was in high school about 10 years ago now. I was the baker for over year so I saw my fair share of bagels ;-) Bruegger's get their raw dough pre-shaped by refrigerated truck. The bagels are brought out to room temp and dumped in boiling malted water before they are baked on stone in a 500 degree gas oven. So I suppose it depends on who you ask, but I'd lean towards a place that makes their own bagels from scratch at the store.

                1. Another vote for Bagel World -- I think I like them even better than I liked Aesop's, which was a lot.

                  1. Being an ex NYer and Jewish, I can say that my standard NYC H & H or Esse bagels are nearly in league with Bagel World. They are great enough to make me forget the little bagel bakery place across from Kwong Ming in Wantagh I used to go as a kid...

                    Ah Bagel World - I go to the one on Endicott St or over in Salem on Canal St. Their sandwiches are excellent too as is the pimento & olive cream cheese. I almost plotzed when I went to H & H - $11/a dozen - but I bet each bagel pays 30 cents for rent LOL.

                    1. I'm originally from New Jersey, the bagel capital of the world, and the closest that i ahve come to GOOD bagels like what i'm used to is Brueggers. I rarely eat bagels around here because they are just a disappointment, but these are decent!

                      1. Not sure if it's the same company, but there is an Aesop's Bagels in the BU student union on Comm Ave (by the BU bridge).