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Jun 16, 2008 01:34 PM

Bagel & Bialy Sampling...

I would like to take a quick tour of different "types" of bagels and bialy's. Soft, hard, dense, sweet, crusty, blistering, etc.... I am visiting New Haven right now, and was going to take a train into manhattan, but then thought it would be better to do this in Brooklyn or Queens (and go by car instead). I will be heading in tomorrow (Tues) morning.

Could you please give me your thoughts on where you would go to get the different types of bagels and bialys, preferably east of Manhattan (I know Jersey has great diversity as well, but would be a bit harder to get to), and preferably with a car friendly location?

In particular, I am really interested in some historically Jewish shops as well, but that isn't strictly necessary. Thanks for the thoughts...

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  1. Kosher bagel hole (on Ave J and I think E. 16th in Midwood, right near the Q train stop at Ave J) has great bagels and bialys - very crusty with a good chew and a normal size. Best are the traditional kinds (i.e., their wholewheat is subpar, but that's no surprise) and all the things that go along with them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: allieinbklyn

      Bagel hole has a few locations. Best and most consistent in Brooklyn. I had a so so bagel at H&H, which annoyed me as they charge allot.

    2. so where did you end up going? it doesn't look like you had too many responses; I always go with Hot Bagel and Bialy in Kew Gardens.

      this recent thread had a lot of gems:

      2 Replies
      1. re: bigjeff

        As always, I'm with Jeff on this. Hot Bialys is a saving grace in that neighborhood. The place has become something of a habit for me; I find myself hitting it more and more. The bialy, when warm, is a chewy, tasty wonder, so much so that I find cream cheese not to be necessary. The thai family who runs the place - including a somewhat surly but funny cashier who always wears a backwards black baseball cap - gets it right. The only bialy that I've tasted that I might like more - and right now that's a toss-up - is Kossar's.

        1. re: Polecat

          I've been going there since high school and they alway hook me up with the baker's extra extra dozen; they have a great pumpernickel bagel, and its always a tossup between flat (all crust, no "scooping" necessary) or the regular, love them both.

      2. There is a wholesale bakery on 62nd St between 8th and 9th that sells to the public on some days. I don't know if they make bagels/bialys, but their breads are outstanding. It's almost like "bootleg" buying. You knock at the door and someones takes your order and bring it to out you.
        There used to be a bagel/bialy bakery somewhere in midwood (I think) that does wholes sale but will also sell to those who can find it. I recll going there at 3-4 am (Don't ask) and getting fresh, hot bialys...Excellent!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Tay

          Bigjeff, what do you mean by "flat"? I'm intrigued...

          1. re: allieinbklyn

            it is a beautiful hand-rolled bagel, but flattened by some device, then topped with whatever; I think the amount of dough is the same, and you still have a hole, but its literally flat, like maybe half the height, and about 20% wider diameter? the result is plenty o' crust and a bagel you just have to try. great for sandwiches, but also great simply toasted, butter or cc on the side. polecat, care to chime in?

            Hot Bialys and Bagels
            11663 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

            1. re: bigjeff

              i like bagel flats a lot, but can't help thinking that if it weren't for bagel inflation (in which bagels keep getting bigger and doughier) there would be no need for flats. Twas a time when almost all bagels were smallish and had the right chew to crust ratio. I don't remember any bagel flats back then.

              1. re: missmasala

                yeah I gotta ask them why they do the flats. their regular bagels are not that oversize, maybe 4" diameter? in an ideal world, lender's frozen bagel-sized, but actually yummy would be good.

                1. re: missmasala

                  Those smallish, chew-to-crust type are STILL available at the bagel place (formerly Bagel Spot) on 14th Avenue and 43rd Street in Borough Park...I'd venture to say that NO other bagel in NYC is made this very traditional way any longer, for size, flavor and doneness qualities.

                2. re: bigjeff

                  Actually, it was based on your recommendation - from another thread - that I tried the flagel. I liked the crisp factor, yeah, but the plain bialy remains my dark master. Looking forward to trying the pumpernickle.

            2. kossars bialys on the lower eastside of manhattan--grand street. yum and historic

              1 Reply
              1. re: spgayle

                Yes, these are so so so good and supposedley made as they were in bialystock or something... I have never had a bialy that came close, but then I have not sampled around that much. And I know the OP said outer boroughs, but nevertheless, anyone says bialy and I have to say Kossar's.