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Nov 2, 2010 12:26 PM

Reviews of Einstein Bros. Bagels and Genghis Grill Solicited

Both of these joints are soon opening in my town. Never been to either. Are they any good? And I must say that we're bagel-deprived down here, so just about anything would be a step up in that department.

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  1. Einstein Bros. is your standard bagel chain. Better than supermarket bagels, but not as good as the really good stuff you'll find near the bagel meccas/homemade. Probably best to stick to the fancier, sweeter bagels that don't really require too much cream cheese. They have a pretty good chocolate chip bagel that was pretty tasty and not too sweet...

    Can't tell you about Ghengis Grill, but sounds like a standard Mongolian grill place to me...

    13 Replies
    1. re: yfunk3

      Thanks, funk.

      And, yes, Genghis Grill is a Mongolian BBQ place. I look forward to giving it a shot.

      1. re: yfunk3

        I live in one of the bagel meccas, have had Einstein twice when out of town. To me, they are pretty much white bread shaped like a donut and baked. No bagel crust, no bagel chew.

        1. re: sbp

          Well, I don't much like the sound of that.

          1. re: Perilagu Khan

            It all depends on your personal taste. If you want crust and chew as in day-old bagels then Einsteins is not for you. Einstein's (and Noah's) have a softer, fuller texture; puffier, so that the hole is almost closed.

            1. re: mucho gordo

              The crust and chew in a real bagel is not comparable to day old. That's staleness. It's a matter of boiling the bagel in a malty bath before baking, and gluten development. You are giht, Einstein is soft and puffy - like Wonder Bread.

              1. re: sbp

                Nothing is as bad as Wonder Bread, sbp. Soft and puffy works better for me; easier on my teeth and gums and the absence of a large hole allows me to spread more goodies on it. Something like egg salad, for example, needs a soft bed as opposed to the firmness of the crusty/chewy that my wife prefers. Bite into it and everything squirts out the hole and sides; it's a mess.

                1. re: mucho gordo

                  Do you believe Einstein's bagels are prepared in the traditional manner--boiled and then baked? I don't necessarily have to have a bagel that has the consistency of jerky, but I do want one that has a nice flavor and is firm enough to not be confused with a donut.

                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                    I really don't know how they're prepared; doesn't matter to me. I'm not so intransigent that I can't accept and enjoy both types. It's no different than any other type of food that can be prepared in different ways.

                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                      I don't know for sure, but I do know that even in New York, the run of the mill delis/bakeries selling bagels do not make them "the right way." They take shortcuts, the same way most pizza places do not make and hand toss their own dough.

                      For bagels, if you peer around the back and don't see a giant round vat, it's a good bet they are just baking the bagels. Many bakeries just purchase frozen raw dough pre-shaped into rounds. They just defrost and bake, then claim "home baked."

                    2. re: mucho gordo

                      I understand why you might prefer it. And I have nothing against "Wonder Bread" style bread - that is, your basic soft crust, tender even crumb white bread. I like good white bread too.

                      Just pointing out that the texture and crust are part of the defining characteristics of a bagel. Shaping a more or less white bread dough into a circle and baking in such a way to promote a soft crust and tender texture results in a bagel shaped white bread. Which isn't a bad thing if that's what you want.

                2. re: Perilagu Khan

                  If you've got a decent bakery that makes french bread, I'd stick to that instead of a pale imitation of a bagel.

                3. re: sbp

                  SBP, you are too generous in describing Einstein. I ate at one in FL. re:sbp
                  Horrible is the only adjective that fits.

                4. re: yfunk3

                  white bread bagels. They are better the next day. I once went in and they didn't have anything in the bins. One of the employees came out and said they were just taking some out of the oven. Now that's sounds great doesn't it. The bagels were squish soft and hot and deformed in the bag by the time I got home. When they are a day or two old they get closer to a real bagel.

                5. If your local supermarket chain has a fresh bakery that makes bagels daily, then you've already had Einstein's bagels. They aren't bad for what they are -- doughy and soft bagels closer to dinner rolls than anything else. But if you want a NY-style bagel, look elsewhere.

                  I will say this about Einstein Bros. ... In all my travels, they probably have some of the best coffee I've had around. Good brew. Mediocre bagels. Take your pick.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Sadly, we don't even have this (that I'm aware of, anyway). West Texas is truly a bagel wasteland.

                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                      Perilagu, I don't think Einstein's bagels are bad at all. If you're in a bagel wasteland, it will be awesome. :)

                      1. re: joonjoon

                        I hope you're right. And I'll find out when the place opens in about three weeks. :)

                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                          Not "real" bagels, but I suppose better than no bagels at all. Some of the sandwiches are decent (though they change their menu semi-regularly and I can't speak for current offerings, because I haven't been in ages) -- probably better than, say, Subway but don't expect anything "fine" or gourmet.

                          I've completely given up on Einstein's breakfast sandwiches, tho', after trying several different ones on several different occasions over the course of several years. I'm not sure how you can put together bread, cheese, egg and bacon (for example) and get ZERO flavor, but Einstein's seems to do it every time. For breakfast, just go with the bagel & schmear & save yourself some money & disappointment.

                          Years ago they actually made a really excellent grilled cheese sandwich, but the last time I tried one (again, some years ago) it was as bad, if not worse, than the breakfast sandwiches. NO flavor. I didn't even finish it I was so disappointed. :(

                          1. re: Bax

                            My only interest in Einstein's is the bagels. Good sammages and breakfasts are fairly plentiful in these parts; good bagels are not.

                            1. re: Bax

                              I completely agree with you regarding the absolute lack of flavor in Einstein's breakfast sandwiches. The egg is tasteless and so is the bacon. It took me several trips of always thinking it will be better this time before finally just throwing in the towel and getting a toasted schmear. Definitely cheaper!

                              1. re: pollymerase

                                Einstein bagels are NOT boiled; rather they use a steam proofer to achieve the crust......that they fail miserably on achieving, In my opinion Einstein's produces a big "cakey", bread like, puffy bagel. it is not chewy in the least. Maybe that appeals to some folks; but having grown up in Northern New Jersey where there were a number of independent bagel bakeries that all boiled their bagels prior to baking in a 7-9 row, rack oven, not a rotating, roll-in convection/steam oven. once again, the chain operations have taken out the skill of the individual baker. all in the name of efficiency and standardization, and at the expense of taste and texture.

                                1. re: ospreycove

                                  Don't blame the chains for that. They're just catering to a mass market that ultimately dictates tastes through its purchasing power. And most folks, seeking convenience and economy, are willing to scrimp on flavor in the bargain. The people who are not willing to do so (or can afford not to) will continue to patronize the independent mom and pop operations.

                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                    I agree the chain is not marketing to those that know real bagels. White bread bagels have been around in the form of supermarket bagels. They just took it up a notch with the many flavors and such. I swear they get better as they age. Not that I am an Einstein fan but sometimes it's the only alternative for some of us. We do have a place called Clearwater Bagels not that far away but they sell out early in the morning. They are the real deal

                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                      Peril.......EXACTLY...."No one ever went broke underestimating the taste level of the consumiing public".

                            2. re: joonjoon

                              After moving to a "bagel wasteland", I discovered "Ray's NY Bagels" in our Publix's frozen food section. They're not the best I've ever had, but they're far from the worst & better than anything being served locally. They website will let you know if anyone carries them in your neighborhood.


                              1. re: cavandre

                                Thanks for the tip. I'll have to check our Publix on this side of the coast.

                                1. re: cavandre

                                  Sadly, no Ray's in my neck o' de woods. Thanks, though.

                          2. I kinda like Einstein Bros. They have a sun-dried tomato bagel thats pretty tasty. I live in the hometown of Genghis Grill and have to say its kinda fun once, but I've never been compelled to go back.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: CharlieKilo

                              I remember several years ago, on a Sunday morning driving over TO the Einstein Bagels(the new place in town) to get hopefullly a good NY style bagel. The place was closed! ON A SUNDAY MORNING! Never went back.

                            2. living in SE Florida I see no reason to patronize an Einstein's when we have plenty of independent delis that do a better job. As others have said they are too puffy and doughy.

                              1. Okay, most of the posts here have been about bagels.
                                I'll weigh in on the other part of it...
                                We have a new Genghis Grill in Tally. I've only been once and was not impressed.

                                1) I was a little bit skeeved out by the setup of the ingredients bar... lots of stuff being tossed about and mixed in with the ingredients next door. I'm not finicky at all about this sort of thing, but it was just messy.
                                2) I think most of the sauces are very sweet... I can't remember which I chose, but I didn't expect it to be sweet at all and it was gloopy, syrupy sweet.
                                3) The seafood choices looked downright sketchy. I'm guessing it is farmed shrimp from Taiwan and fake "punch out" scallops. Not sure. But, none of the seafood choices interested me at all.

                                I might try it again and see if I could make better choices.

                                Here's a tip... if you want more veg than meat/protein, you need to put the veg in your little bowl first, then put the protein on top. This will disrupt the flow of the line and annoy those around you. :-) But, if you put the meat/protein in the bottom and the veg on top, you'll be dropping veg off the sides all the way to the grill station.

                                Bottom line, I'd probably choose to go another mile on down the road to our local Indian buffet place, where I'd get better food for less money.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: onrushpam

                                  Went to GG for lunch, yesterday. Not bad, but I think the key is sussing out how to create the ideal bowl for you. And this means experimenting with the sauces. The Khanzu sauce was, indeed, quite sweet but the garlic-chile sauce much less so. I also suspect it's best to thin out the sauce with a couple of ladles of the garlic water making sure not to scoop too much garlic in the process.

                                  And very good tip on switching the meat/veg order! I'll have to try that.