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Jun 4, 2009 06:44 PM

Why Is Einstein Bros. Bagel So Magically Delicious?

Seriously. It's 9:45pm at night, and all I can think about is waking up tomorrow to a warm, toasted, Asiago Cheese bagel with a schmear. Holy Morning Hunger, Batman: their bagels and cream cheese are so good.

Stopping by on my way to work has become something of a routine. Any other Einstein fans that recommend anything else?

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  1. Magically Delicious?? ...I thought that was Lucky Charms. Are you sure you are feeling OK?

    1. I don't enjoy their bagels, but I think their coffee is quite good.

      1. Their bagels are decent to me, but I love their sundried tomato schmear. (I think that's the one I'm remembering.) I also agree that the coffee is good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: alliebear

          I've yet to try the coffee. I'll have to give it a whirl.

        2. Frankly calling it a bagel is an insult to the real bagel. They opened and closed here in NYC so fast if you blinked you missed it.

          14 Replies
          1. re: rolise

            Agreed. Tried them for the first time last year. I had heard such raves about them that I was so excited to try. So disappointing. I can't remember exactly, but they were crazy expensive, and if you knew me, you know I usually don't care about these things, but if I found it expensive, then I think they were. They were at best, average for me, and I had regular cream cheese. Too chewy and not in a good way. Coffee was excellent.

            1. re: Greekfood Koukla

              Insanity = going to Einstein Bros. over and over again and expecting a decent bagel.

            2. re: rolise

              I should've added a disclaimer: I was born in Northern California, grew up in Southern California, and attended college in Central Florida. I have never had the pleasure of being introduced to the "real deal" in NYC, so this has to make do.

              1. re: kkachurak

                But hey, if you like it, then who cares what anyone else says? Enjoy it with your schmear!

                1. re: kkachurak

                  Having grown up in Florida I understand this completely! Yes, enjoy!!! :-)

                  1. re: kkachurak

                    Understood. I live in NY area, and first had an Einstein while with the family in Orlando. By NY standards, they ARE pretty awful. But if you have no decent alternatives, what can you do? FYI, here's the difference -- Einstein (and many other "
                    "mass appeal" bagels) are like white bread shaped like a donut. Very tender crumb, easy to eat, soft interior. A New York bagel is made with pretty hard dough, the gluetn is really developed, it's boiled in water with some barley malt in it. As a result, the outside is crusty (but not crackly), the inside is very chewy with fairly big air pockets. Moishes on the Lower East Side used to make a bagel that would take ten minutes to eat, and when you were done, your jaw ached. But it was a GOOD ache!! Sadly, even in New York, these kinds of bagels are disappearing.

                  2. re: rolise

                    Haha, I was waiting for a New Yorker to chime in. However, not everyone has access to NYC bagels...

                    1. re: Jacey

                      well that explains. He is from the Left coast. I knew something was fishy. Oy vey. case closed...

                      1. re: Jacey

                        Nor does everybody prefer NYC bagels. Since when were they THE BEST?

                        I love having Einstein Bros. here on campus at USF. They make a decent breakfast. The cinnamon sugar bagel is excellent, especially with strawberry cream cheese (but not the standard amount they put on; that's too messy). The Blenders, especially the Cookies and Cream blender, is excellent, although they are expensive (3.99 for a regular).

                        1. re: tvdxer

                          NYC bagels may not all be the best (there are many different bagel bakeries in NYC). But by and large the better ones represent a close approximation of what constitutes a properly made bagel. Some other cities do have good bagel shops -- Montreal and Cleveland come to minds. But Einstein bagels are not made according to a traditional bagel recipe, don't taste like a traditional bagel, and are not preferred by people who want a traditional bagel.

                          You are free to prefer a non-NYC style bagel -- but that doesn't make your preference "better" with reference to an objective standard. Better for you, of course.

                          I recently had Pad Thai that had no fish sauce, no tamarind, no thai chile, no tofu, no bean sprouts, etc. etc. It was basically rice noodles tossed with some crushed peanuts, sugar and a spritz of lime. I'm sure that there are people who prefer it, but I wouldn't say that, because "to each his own", it is impossible or inappropriate to distinguish good food from bad food. Isn't the whole point of a site like Chowhound to discuss good food?

                          1. re: tvdxer

                            IMO Einstein should not call these bagels. They may have a hole in the center like a bagel but are not bagels. You may like them. That is your right just don't call them a bagel. Cinnamon sugar with a hole in it sounds more like a donut to me anyway.

                            And yes I agree with sbp you can get a good bagel in Montreal. They are not exclusive to NYC. Never been to Cleveland. And I have had bad bagels or bagel rolls as i like to refer to them in NYC too. I like the coffee from the corner cart but his bagels are horrid.

                            1. re: rolise

                              In Detroit, the cinnamon sugar things are called fragels. I do not know where the fr comes in. You call them bagel rolls, I call them bread bagels.

                              1. re: Fibber McGee

                                "I do not know where the fr comes in"

                                It's an abbreviation for food reject, usually applied in Detroit to those poor fools that eat chain hell crap like Einstein and actually think they are bagels.

                                1. re: Fritter

                                  Maybe they should be called fagels or fakels.

                      2. As a ex-NYer now living in East Central FL, I had just about given up trying to find a decent bagel in the area. But in the frozen food section of our local Publix I found "Ray's New York Bagels". You have to bake them in your oven for 6-7 minutes. The result is a pretty good NY style bagel. It's not the best I've ever had, but I remember worse from my days in NY. The fact that you can enjoy a warm, crusty bagel without getting out of your PJ's doesn't hurt!

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: cavandre

                          Go down to Ft Lauderdale/West Palm Beach area and you can find some good bagels/delis. That's where all the NY snowbirds live and they are, and old//NYers are extra picky about their food!

                          1. re: Jacey

                            Depending on the I-95 traffic, we're a 2-3 hour drive north of there. While I love a good bagel, that's a bit much

                            1. re: Jacey

                              One caveat: the bagel bakers in the Ft. Lauderdale/Boca/West Palm area cater to the chewing ability of the local clientele. This area has the softest bagels you'll ever find. I spent 10 years visiting my father in Boca, and not once did I find a bagel that offered any sort of resistance.

                              In short, the local clientele might be ex-NYers, but the bagels are a far cry from what you can get in NYC.

                              1. re: Bob W

                                I though Flakowitz on Federal was pretty good.

                                1. re: Fibber McGee

                                  Wow! There was a great old-style Jewish bakery in Hicksville (North end of Route 107) called Flakowitz that disappeared about 15 years ago. Could it be they moved to Florida?

                                  1. re: Fibber McGee

                                    Oh yeah, that was our go-to breakfast spot. Great babka for anyplace and pretty good bagels for Florida

                                    1. re: Bob W

                                      Now that's a magical area to blow your diet. Flakowitz, plus Cannoli Kitchen for cannolis and egg creams, Fran's Chicken Haven for great fried chicken and Sonny's Gelatto Cafe to top it all of.

                                    2. re: Fibber McGee

                                      Bagels & on Jog Rd and Boynton Beach Blvd. has great NY style bagels and absolutely wonderful, authentic NY bialys. Better than Flakowitz. Check out the following: