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MSP Bagels in the Twin Cities [split from "Donuts in MSP" thread]

[The Chowhound Team has split this discussion from the "Donuts in MSP" discussion http://www.chowhound.com/topics/420145.

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Speaking of bagels, I just found out the Zeno has honest-to-god H&H bagels. I'm heading there this weekend to try the new breakfast menu out, and I can't wait to see if they are the real deal - just like the ones I had in NYC. I haven't enjoyed a bagel since I had H&H - they all pale in comparison. I will write a report once I've been there.

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  1. Last I checked, Pastrami Jack's also shipped in H&H bagels.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Danny

      and brother's deli, but I am convinced that they hype over NY Bagels is just that, hype, and regionalism.

      1. re: FishMPLS

        Have you had H&H Bagels? I'm thinking not because you would rather quickly realize hype has nothing to do with it. It's like the difference between a burger at McDonald's and a burger at Bulldog or Vincent. The difference is very large.

        It's entirely possible that the H&H bagels that get imported here aren't as good. In the NYC store, they're no more than an hour old when you eat them.

        1. re: pgokey

          I'd be interested if the bagels are fresh. SimonDelivers also started offering H&H bagels. These come in a four-pack of frozen bagels, for about a dollar per bagel. They are quite good for frozen bagels ... but that's about all the praise I can give them. Fresh bagels from Bruegger's beat them, hands down, and cost far less.

          Fresh H&H bagels, though, would be something else...

          1. re: Jordan

            I've been to lots of places that import H&H bagels and imported they're just okay. Not bad - but not really representative of a good NY bagel. I've been to H&H several times and while I don't even think that they are the pinnacle of NY bagel making (I've been to smaller bagel shops in NY that I prefer), they're much better fresh compared to when you have them out here.

            1. re: katebauer

              Do you recall any specific names of other bagel sources in NY? I certainly did not exhaust my bagel options there. The idea of something better than an H&H....mmmm...bagels...mmmm.

              1. re: pgokey

                I'm probably of no help to you because all my regular bagel spots are on Long Island near my parents.

          2. re: pgokey

            Yes, I've had them in NYC at least a dozen times. While I admit that they are good, are they the be all end all? No. To each his own, I say. Locally, I would much rather have Breuggers.

            1. re: FishMPLS

              See how quickly a bagel can kill a good donut? I'm sorry I brought up that word. I was afraid this string would happen. ;)

          3. re: FishMPLS

            I've eaten (and baked my own) bagels -- aggressively looking for good ones -- in Madison, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Boston and New York. NYC is far and away the home of good bagels -- it's not even a contest. I don't know how H&H hold up after shipping, but on their home turf they are hell of solid. My personal favorite are Terrace Bagels in Park Slope.

            I'm also a real fan of Bagels Forever in Madison, actually. But I've yet to find a decent bagel in the Twin Cities. The search goes on.

            1. re: jrnorton23

              If you haven't yet, try St. Paul Bagelry in Roseville. I've never had a true NY bagel experience, but I have tried a lot of bagels in the MSP area over the years and find SPB's stand out among them.

              -----
              St Paul Bagelry
              1702 Lexington Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55113

              1. re: diesel

                i really have liked st paul bagelry's bagels in the past, too. but a note that the company has changed hands-- i think a couple of times-- recently and i don't know if it has affected quality at all.

                1. re: soupkitten

                  I took one for the team and just tried (again) the bagels at St. Paul Bagelry and I'm sad to report that they just aren't the same as they used to be. I guess this is an official "downhill" alert. They are just a lot more puffy and breadlike than dense. Probably still better than Bruegger's, though.

                  Bummer. It was good while it lasted, I guess.

                  ~TDQ

              2. re: jrnorton23

                Terrace is great. As are the bagels at Kossar's, Bagel Hole and Bagel Spot. I used to like H&H, but on a couple of recent visits they've seemed slightly sweet.

                Nothing like them here. Yet. We need bagels and more bakeries with good pie (something I think would come easily to this area--and don't talk to me about Betty's--a big disappointment). More doughnuts like the apple cider ones at the St. Paul Farmer's Market. And I'd kill for an Italian bakery (apropos?).

          4. Common Roots Cafe at 26th and Lyndale says they make their own. They just opened this week and I haven't tasted them yet. From my quick view from a distance, I'm not especially hopeful that they'll be the real thing -- but I'm willing to try.

            4 Replies
            1. re: bob s

              I hate to add to the conversation about bagels in a donut thread (about the only common to them is the hole), but there were reports in another thread about the Common Roots Cafe (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/419918) that might interest those following this part of the thread.

              1. re: bob s

                As long as this thread has been split off and bumped to the top, I'll add some places link.

                Also, there was a bagel place in the Tex-a-Tonka strip mall in St. Louis Park that I went to a while (several years) back. Has that place closed?

                -----
                St Paul Bagelry
                1702 Lexington Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55113

                Common Roots Cafe
                2558 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405

                Zeno Cafe
                2919 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                Pastrami Jack's [CLOSED July 2009]
                6407 City West Pkwy Ste C7, Eden Prairie, MN 55344

                Brothers Deli
                50 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                1. re: bob s

                  I'll add to the thread (which was posted elsewhere, can't recall where) that the H&H bagels at Zeno were nothing to write home about. I am sure that the goodness gets lost in translation.

                  1. re: pgokey

                    I live close to the SP Bagelry and I go every Saturday morning to get one. I always get the everything with garlic/herb on the side. I'm a fan of the bagels even though it has switched hands (don't really like the maui wowwie concept but oh well) - the bagels are still much better than Brueggers or the other corporate bagel places. I grew up in NY - and if you are a true carb freak, like bagels in general - then there really isn't any comparison. It does not even have to H & H bagels- I remember walking to the corner bagel shop (don't even remember the name) when I lived in East Meadow NY as a child - they put on the cream cheese 3 inches thick. Now THAT's what I remember.

                    I prefer mine without the dense chew factor - I like a little substance so I know I'm eating a calorie-filled bagel, but I dont want a hockey puck. I need to get over to Common Roots...

                    Happy bagel eating people..

            2. I was going to lay out of the discussion but all this talk of NYC gets me going. I'm of the belief that it's impossible for a bagel in MN to measure up to those of NYC. Bear with me....

              It's not because a place can't duplicate and perfect a NYC quality bagel here although, similar to pizza dough afficianados, NYC bagel connoisseurs will claim that there's some magical quality to the tap water in Brooklyn that gives the bagel or pizza crust an impossible-to-duplicate essence. Huh...whatever.

              No, it's more about what comes WITH the bagel that makes a NYC bagel impossible to duplicate, and I'm only partly talking about toppings. I'm afraid that, even on the corner of Hennepin and Lake or on Nicollet Mall downtown, Minneapolis just can't compete with the magical experience of grabbing a bagel minutes from being made and downing it with an egg cream amid the endless horn honking of cabs, construction noise and other assorted hustles and bustles unique to NY.

              It's not hype or regional bias for me. I've decided that the bagel is one of the very few foods with a SOUL. There are requirements beyond ingredients and preparation. I just can't get excited about a bagel in the reaches of the Midwest Chowhound board the way I can about bagels in New York City. I'll agree that, as far as local versions go, the St. Paul Bagelry and Common Roots do an OK job. But this leads to the other big, fat, hairy problem we have here: Nothing good to put ON those bagels.

              To reuse the pizza reference, when we talk about great bagels here in MSP, it's like talking about having world class pizzas while ignoring everything but the crust. The first bite of a fresh bagel with an obscene pile of sable causes my entire youth to flash back before my eyes. Or the smell of a bag of onion bagels, lox (salty) and whitefish. A place here could make a bagel that shot $100 bills from its hole, but it would still frustrate me because I have nothing good to put on it. A bagel without an array of accoutrements and delicacies is like a frowning Mona Lisa or driving 300 miles out into nowhere on a crystal clear night, looking up and only seeing black.

              I still get my bagel fix at the above places and, yes, Brueggers, but it's something done with a yawn, not a smile. If they're marked "Hot", the Brueggers salt bagels with lox do the trick. But this is one of those foods that I just wait until I can get to NY to really enjoy or, on a super-special occasion, will make an order from Barney Greengrass or Russ & Daughters and have a bix box of food and memories shipped out overnight.