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Dec 15, 2010 04:34 PM

Three Weeks Remaining to Eat Gluten - FOREVER! What would you include??

Bloodwork indicates strongly I have Celiac Disease. Am awaiting official diagnosis by colonoscopy and gastroscopy January 4. Prior to this I was off gluten 5 months. Now I am almost in a panic as I want to eat all the things I love containing gluten while I can. It is so sad to say that "I will have this for the last time in my life" as I reach for a French pastry or pasta or ciabatta bread. In addition to wheat, flax, barley, malt (and all derivatives) celiacs cannot have regular soy sauce, kecap manis, Lea and Perrins Worcestershire (in Canada), MSG, ponzu, and so on. Not easy.

Question: If you were given three weeks to cram all you can think of into your diet for the last time, what would you choose? Amongst other things my list is comprised of:

- pasta of all sorts
- gnocchi
- breads of all sorts
- butterscotch cake
- many Thai dishes
- Steak and Ale Pie
- Yorkshire Pudding
- all types of pastry
- Italian pizza (last time we were in Italy I had no gluten - very tough)
- phyllo and puff pastry
- shortbread

And so many more - too many to list. Can you help me out? I don't want to miss anything!!

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  1. Couple things...

    If you're basically an unconfirmed Celiac, won't stuffing yourself with gluten turn into a rather terrible experience?

    Secondly, Celiac disease seems to be EXPLODING. Everywhere you turn lately, there's a gluten free option, alternative, etc.

    Many of the items on your list can be made to be gluten free. It takes a while to trial-and-error your way through new or tweaked recipes, but Celiacs is by no means as difficult a lifestyle as it was even three years ago.

    I honestly didn't realize how easy it is to live gluten-free until I tried - my ex-gf had a severe case of Celiacs which basically meant I might as well have ;) As I said before, it's a little tough at first but you get the hang of what adjustments need to be made pretty quickly and it just becomes second nature.

    I know this doesn't really address your question, but I wanted to let you know it's not as bad as it first seems :)

    11 Replies
    1. re: Chow_Down

      Fortunately for me I have no symptoms. I feel absolutely no different on gluten than I do off. I've been back on gluten for nearly a month and loving it!

      I teach culinary classes and know that many things can be made GF BUT some things just cannot compare (i.e. most breads). The town in which I live has very few GF options in stores - zero in restaurants. However, I don't like the GF food anyway - I'd far rather make my own. It's true - I do feel sorry for myself at times. When I first went GF it was literally cold turkey - I was far more anal about it than most celiacs I know. The first few days back on gluten were hard mentally but now it's such a pleasure. I know that once I get into it again I will be just fine. The trickiest thing for me is eating in different countries and avoiding patisseries in Paris, pizzerias in Italy and so on. Sure, there are definitely delicious options but I still find it rough.

      I am just so obsessed with food that at times it seems daunting!

      1. re: chefathome

        Cross contamination is also an issue, obviously. Most fine restaurants' staff are well trained. However, average places can be tricky. For example, I went to a restaurant and ordered some sort of salad (the only thing on the entire menu I could have) and made it clear I could not have croutons. So, the server brought me the salad with croutons. After I reminded him he literally took the croutons out and gave it back. I had to insist on a brand new salad. That kind of thing drives me crazy! I do have restaurant cards in different languages but it is difficult to explain things in detail in various languages when traveling. When we have get togethers with family there are lots of little ones who touch the cheese then the bread then the whatever, making it difficult for me to eat at homes. Social functions are also tricky, as I'm sure you've found! Once I was unable to have one single thing at a dinner. Zero. Sometimes I just take my own thing along. But what others have just looks so good! Perhaps if I were symptomatic it would almost help in a warped way. Even though I do not exhibit symptoms I know precisely what is going on inside my body which is incredibly scary, however.

        But I'm not the only one - just venting!

        1. re: chefathome

          If you are asymptomatic why are you cutting the gluten out and why bother testing for it? Please feel absolutely no force in answering. I am just curious. I have a relative that has made a decision to be completely gluten free. It now rules her life. I also understand that if you are asymptomatic that you may end up being so if you go back heavily on gluten after eliminating it - like there is a rebound effect.

          If you have not a confirmed problem absorbing gluten, why put your cart before the horse? Why eat what you dislike if there is no ill effect from eating gluten?

          Please do not think in any way that I am trying to be rude and if it comes off that way I am truly sorry.

          1. re: Sal Vanilla

            Cutting out gluten will reduce her (his?) morbidity by a huge amount.

            However, she (he?) will need to do the colonoscopy on a full "normal" diet, otherwise it's pointless. The colonoscopy is to biopsy for presence of inflammation, which can only happen, assuming it is Celiac's, when gluten is ingested.

            Good luck, and eat well!

            1. re: xIcewind

              Like Sal, I am a bit unclear about this subject and I don't want to appear callus or rude. I am, however, fascinated. xlcewind - Could you please point me in the direction of any data, studies, etc. supporting a causal relationship between gluten consumption and morbidity rates? Or, were you referring only to eventual symptomatic Celiac's?

              Edit - I'm sorry, chef, as I didn't mean for my curiosity to take the thread off-topic. If I were on the eve of going gluten-free, I think I'd spend the first week in San Francisco devouring as many breads as I could. Week two would be doing a bagel-fest in New York. On week three, I'd probably retire home to attack the rest of the list.

              1. re: MGZ

                I second all of this right down to stealing the thread.

                I would park myself in front of a big Sunday ragu and some garlic bread and then spend the rest of the time at the bakery. I find non gluten bread and all things flour mix to be the pits.

                1. re: MGZ

                  Hey, sorry for the late reply,

                  Celiacs and morbidities can be found on numerous publications. The difficulty, again, comes down to how the study was done, since it relates to management of a chronic disease, and gets into the spectrum of autoimmunity that the general population has.

                  The major one I can think of would be fatigue and anemia.

                  I just looked this up: Again, it is tough to associate a causation or effect on things.

                  On topic though: Definitely wait for your small bowel biopsy. The tests aren't perfect, but without the biopsy, the diagnosis can't be confirmed.

                  Good luck!

                  1. re: xIcewind

                    Thank you. I had to read it through a couple times to get it! Interesting that so many have it (in varying degrees) and that it could be a sort of secret source of maladies or play a part in maladies, but not considered.

                    I also thought morbidity meant like cause of death and NOT just disease or illness. So you can imagine my being stunned when reading your first post! Sometimes you have to laugh at yourself. I am completely medically clueless.

                    But anyway, thank you.

                    And best of luck with your tests Chefathome. I hope they find there is no need to cut the gluten and that this is merely a fun exercise.

                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                      "I also thought morbidity meant like cause of death and NOT just disease or illness. "
                      that's a common assumption (and honest mistake!) by people who haven't studied or worked in a medical or health-related field - it's confusing :)

                      FYI, morbidity refers to the incidence of illness within a population, whereas *mortality* refers to the incidence of death.

                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                        I'm so sorry to have confused you regarding morbidity and mortality!

                        1. re: xIcewind

                          Oh it was not YOU! LOL. It was purely my ignorance. I readily admit that. YOU cleared it up.

          2. I don't fully understand your predicament. But I'll answer your question.

            There is decent gluten-free pasta made by Tinkyada. So I'd probably indulge in pasta that Tinkyada doesn't make such as ravioli. btw, when cooking with brown rice pasta, key is to rinse the pasta (I know, a big no-no with wheat pasta). Otherwise the pasta will stick to each other. Many Thai foods are gluten-free (unless you're talking about eating at a restaurant where you may encounter cross contamination and some dishes made with soy). If you're cooking your own Thai food, you can use wheat-free tamari instead of soy sauce and make your own ketjap manis using tamari as your base. You can also make your own ponzu as well.

            I'd concentrate my efforts on breads, cakes, pastry, pizzas, etc -- really have not found an appropriate substitute that can compare to the wheat versions.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Miss Needle

              Sorry - when I was talking Thai I was thinking more of restaurants where cross contamination is an issue. Thankfully I love to make Thai at home. The examples I used above probably weren't great (such as ponzu) - you're right - they are makeable at home. Which I do - I make my own mustards, ketchups, seasoning blends (many spices have gluten in their fillers but I love to buy whole spices and grind anyway).

              I need to look at it as a challenge in a good way - not the negative so much. I am the only one where we live who teaches culinary classes and also the only one who teaches GF classes (working in conjunction with the medical professionals). So, in that way it is a good thing for others. It is certainly gratifying doing something you love and help others at the same time! It truly is seeing things differently and a great deal of education.

              Most days I am ok with the prospects - sometimes it's hard when I see someone slurping pasta and munching on delicious bread at the next table when I am stuck with a lonely salad with greens (and a dressing if I'm lucky!). The good thing about not having ANY good restaurants in town is that we don't go out to eat often and can control that at home. Oh, well. I do fully realize things could be so much worse!

              Although it is currently -25C outside I feel a sudden craving for a Dairy Queen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard coming on!! Oh, and onion rings (which I otherwise never crave). Hurray!

            2. Sorry to have been so unclear! When one has celiac disease even a couple of grains of wheat can cause havoc internally. It is an auto-immune disease - your body's villi in the small intestine cannot absorb nutrients such as vitamins, iron, etc. This, of course, increases the likelihood of certain cancers by many times. It can also cause organs to eventually shut down. It is so serious that when I got my bloodwork results back my doctor told me to go off gluten 100% immediately. Getting tested is not part of routine bloodwork; I requested it as my sister has CD and it is hereditary. So, not thinking I had any issues I requested the specific bloodwork which is 98% accurate (so that is why my doctor and GI surgeon both strongly believe I have it!) my numbers were off the charts. I was shocked, considering I was asymptomatic. My sister exhibits all sorts of horrible symptoms. The one negative thing about being a "silent" celiac is that you do not know if you accidentally ingest gluten or not (i.e. at a restaurant). Therefore dieticians feel silent celiacs are in more danger.

              So, it is not just symptoms that are a pain (literally) - it is the actual internal damage it does that is even scarier. In order to be tested definitively you must have a colonoscopy and gastroscopy. One reason is that you can claim groceries up to a certain point (they are EXPENSIVE - i.e. a tiny loaf of bread can be $6-$7) and you cannot claim without the "gold standard" diagnosis. In order to have these scopes you must go back on gluten for 4-8 weeks, depending how long you were off, as the villi damage can be clearly seen. Most people do not want to go back onto gluten as it causes much pain. I, for one, am really enjoying having gluten. Of course there is a teeny weeny chance I am not celiac but very minute. There is also a difference between gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease - when you are intolerant you will likely have GI symptoms BUT will NOT have internal damage. Sort of like lactose intolerance - it can be annoying and painful but at least your insides will usually not be affected. If a celiac ingests a tiny bit of gluten it can set you way back to where you where when initially - that is why it is so crucial to not have any. My husband and I were told to use separate bread knives, separate toaster ovens, no double dipping in jars and so on.

              My doctors and dietician gradually put me back on gluten and now I can have however much I want. In fact, I must have at least the equivalent of four pieces of bread daily.

              Does that explain things better? My dilemma is this - I'm suddenly in a panic mode, thinking this may be the last time I have such and such. I am such a carb/gluten person! Now I crave things I never used to like doughnuts and obscure recipes I've only made once or twice in my life. So, if you were given only a few weeks to basically go wild and pig out while you could, what would you choose to eat (with gluten)? It sounds weird but I am scared of missing something...

              4 Replies
              1. re: chefathome

                The possibility of having Celiac's without any indication of it is a food geek nightmare for sure. I'm certainly still interested in learning more.

                I think my approach would really be quality first. The BEST bagels. The BEST bread. The BEST beer. Go out with a bang!

                1. re: MGZ

                  You make an excellent point. For three weeks I am going to have the BEST of the BEST of whatever I choose! As someone so obsessed with food it is indeed nightmarish to think about. My husband and I travel a lot and as such miss out on a lot of experiences we would otherwise have. We travel for food!

                2. re: chefathome

                  Just FYI - my two nephews were told, based upon blood work, that they have celiac. They had been having stomach problems since their teen years, and finally got checked out. Well, after years of being gluten free, they were re-diagnosed as having IBS, with some level of gluten intolerance. One nephew is still gluten free, the other is not, and they are both doing OK, with occasional flare ups.

                  Good luck to you - we have a dear friend with celiac, and we are always concerned about keeping her safe at our parties. We're having a fondue New Year's party, and we are giving her her own cheese pot to avoid any contamination.

                  1. re: jeanmarieok

                    That is very interesting! My doctor himself was very surprised with my bloodwork so I have always had a teeny bit of hope in my mind of not having celiac. I am assuming I do but it would be lovely to be pleasantly surprised!

                    You are a very kind and considerate friend, giving her her own cheese pot! Wow - she must really appreciate it so very much.

                3. I would make sure to include sausages, something that is roux-based that you've loved, and beer (if you are a drinker). I would also think about breakfast foods, like biscuits and gravy, or pancakes, or waffles but those would come into heavy competition with the cold pie I would want to eat with my morning coffee. I would eat a lot of bagels. I would also have to hit up the local taqueria for a burrito, flour tortilla and a filling of meat and rice. Also, I would have to have a pastrami on rye. Or salami on rye. Or anything on rye with *mustard*. I love soy sauce, and I know my extra spicy singapore noodle dish would be on the menu for sure. I would make a batch of chili. And a nice potpie. And some fried chicken. I would eat *many* boxes of Triscuits, in between bags of my favorite seaweed rice crackers. I resisted adding 'with beer' to every item on this list.

                  My boyfriend's mom is a celiac, and the first few gluten-free months were a shock for her, but she's adjusted very well, and feels so much better. Good luck.

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: onceadaylily

                    You're right - I need to focus more on savoury things as well as sweet. In fact, my preference is almost always savoury over sweet. I would take a great home-grown sausage over a piece of chocolate cake (except for now, of course). Bagels are an excellent idea. As mentioned above our town has very little GF stuff - the nearest city is a 3-hour drive so when (and if) necessary we will stock up like crazy.

                    One of the yuckiest GF things in my mind is cereal. BLECH. I believe in the U.S. there are a couple of regular cereals that are GF but not here in Canada. It tastes like air with a bit of crunch! There are lots of differences between products in the U.S. versus Canada. When my husband was in Phoenix September he brought back Worcestershire sauce, cereal, etc. that we cannot get here. Well, we can get WS but it has malt in it here.

                    One of the first things I made was chicken pot pie - soooo satisfying. I still plan to do fried chicken. It's funny you mentoin Triscuits - I went through about 6 boxes and at this point don't want to see one for quite a long time. I still need to make more waffles and pancakes and crepes. Oh, and bread pudding.

                    I think that if I felt better off gluten it may be easier but for the 5 months I was off I felt no difference whatsoever. That would certainly be good incentive! Great to hear about your boyfriend's mom who is feeling much better. My sister is, too. I feel for her as she is also lactose intolerant - it would be tough not to have gluten AND dairy!

                    1. re: chefathome

                      And rice pudding!

                      Sushi would be at the top of my list as well. My favorite unagi roll would be stricken from the list. I know you could specify no rice, or soy, but cross contamination would be a bit of a worry for me, as you've pointed out concerning the Thai food.

                      You seem to have a very good attitude about this. I think this situation is likely easier for someone who likes to cook, and can rise to the occasion, compared to someone who doesn't enjoy their time in the kitchen.

                      1. re: onceadaylily

                        Oh, of course - rice pudding and sushi! Man, my list is growing longer and longer. It is so true that it is easier for someone like me who is so passionate about food (and pretty darned informed) in a way. Cooking GF for me is not daunting. In fact, it actually is fun to experiment and play with a whole new set of ingredients. I currently have 8 types of flour (each with different properties) that I have experimented with but nothing will ever, ever come even remotely close to my homemade pastas and breads and pizza doughs! I am bound and determined, however, to find the right ratio to make the perfect thin crust pizza and pasta. I must!

                        1. re: chefathome

                          I'm almost certain that rice is gluten free...

                          1. re: link_930

                            +1. Rice is gluten free unless it's been cross-contaminated with a gluten-containing grain.

                            Link to a great guide from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center....scrolling down will show full list of common gluten-containing ingredients, and common gluten-free ingredients below.


                            1. re: 4Snisl

                              Bags of lentils can contain wheat kernels. The last time I was going to make lentil soup I sifted through the bag and found 4 kernels. But the lentils were obviously cross contaminated unfortunately. And they are the good lentils de puy, too...

                            2. re: link_930

                              You're right - rice definitley is gluten free. I wasn't thinking of the rice in the rice pudding but rather the non-traditional stuff I add to it.

                              Today I am making pecan sticky buns.

                            3. re: chefathome

                              Rice is definitely gluten free. A good friend of mine at work has celiac and she eats rice cakes all day long. Quinoa is also gluten free.

                              1. re: valerie

                                Thanks for the clarification. I had more than one GF-free customer tell me they 'couldn't have' rice, so I just assumed it was a cross-contamination thing. But maybe it was just the . . . 'self-diagnosis followed by lazy research' thing.

                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                  lily, don't be too quick to judge - a large proportion of Celiacs also struggle with intolerance or allergy to one or more additional non gluten-containing foods, and rice is one of them (as well as soy, corn, eggs and dairy)...and some just can't tolerate *any* grains whatsoever.

                                  but yes, assuming the person is NOT rice intolerant, rice is safe because it is GF.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    You're right, I was being a little quick on that trigger, GHG. I was thinking of a specific customer who was 'severely allergic to gluten', but was mystified by the word celiac. My time in the field has jaded me a wee bit. :)

                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                      i figured you had a reason for the knee-jerk reaction...and having heard it, i have to say it does sound as though this particular customer might be full of it ;)

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        It's nice to be given the benefit of the doubt on CH. ;) I just dislike seeing what is such a real health concern for some to be treated as a fad (though, truthfully, I have no idea if that particular customer was doing such a thing, it was just what I sensed).

                                        I read threads like this in closet preparation: the boyfriend's mom is celiac, with one of his brothers undergoing the diagnostic process to determine the severity of his intolerance (he is exhibiting many of the same signs his mom did). The boyfriend is being urged to get checked out, as he has many digestive issues.

                                        And here I am with a brand spanking new pasta maker. But I like reading how people who love food as much as we do adapt to these things.

                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                          "And here I am with a brand spanking new pasta maker. But I like reading how people who love food as much as we do adapt to these things."
                                          looks like you'll just have to become an expert at homemade GF pasta dough ;) adapting isn't "easy," but it's most certainly doable...and gets easier with time as awareness increases and we all share our successes, failures, tips, tricks & discoveries. Chowhound is such a blessing in situations like this!

                                          keeping fingers crossed and sending out positive thoughts for BF's diagnosis. but even in the worst case scenario, you know where to come for advice & help :)

                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                            Just how attached are you to this boyfriend?!? I'm VERY fond of my pasta attachment. J/K :)

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              He's a keeper. Who do you think bought the pasta machine for me?

                        2. the things i'd kill for and i wish i'd had the opportunity to gorge on after my diagnosis (no chance, i went GF *immediately*):
                          - true NY/NJ bagel
                          - NY pizza
                          - Kossar's bialy
                          - *really* good pumpernickel, sourdough and rye bread
                          - ethereally flaky croissant
                          - beer
                          - baklava
                          - cold cereal (believe it or not, one of the things i miss most is simple bran flakes!)
                          - pretzels
                          - regular soy sauce

                          there are more, but those are the things that haunt (and taunt!) me on a regular basis.

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Where I live in Canada (prairies) we unfortunately have no access to fresh NY bagels but I am making my own (plus my own pizza, pasta, breads, noodles). I've had awesome sourdough and fabulous croissants. We recently purchased about 3 lb of various types of baklava at a tiny Lebanese bakery in a city a few hours away last weekend. My teeth are actually growing sick of it! ;-D

                            I keep thinking of more and more things to eat such as Chicken and Dumplings, scones, onion rings, cous cous, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Banoffee Pie, licorice, barley risotto, orzo risotto, anything with panko crumbs, sourdough croutons, ice cream cones (and many kinds of ice cream), tabbouleh, angel food cake, root bear, cherry (or any) pie, many blue cheeses, fish and chips with malt vinegar, seitan... The list is just far too long and daunting. Thankfully there are many naturally-occuring GF foods but I love food far too much to not plan each and every meal meticulously to include gluten right now.

                            GF quick breads can actually be pretty good so am not worried about muffins and such - the yeast breads are a different matter. Oh, and I have a superb recipe for GF chocolate chunk cookies that are better than regular recipe.

                            1. re: chefathome

                              It sounds like you're on your way to enjoying your favorite gluten-containing foods.
                              How about Twix? Or onion rings?

                              I do want to make a plug for Nature's Path gluten-free cereals. Their Mesa Sunrise is especially good; not like most gluten-free flakes. And it's a Canadian company, so they shouldn't be too hard for you to find. There are also some pretty decent GF ice cream cones out there. Root beer should always be gluten-free.

                              I used to sometimes buy an all-purpose GF baking mix from Bob's Red Mill, which had a recipe for pizza crust that was outstanding. It looks like Bob's has switched around their product line some (they now have a GF pizza crust mix, which uses a different recipe), but I think that this recipe is the same one I've had success with in the past:
                              I've had many, many, many gluten-free baked goods, and this pizza crust comes closer to its gluten-containing counterpart than any other. It did kill two cheap hand mixers, though.

                              1. re: guilty

                                Yes - I totally forgot about chocolate bars! And onion rings is on my list. Thanks for mentioning Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise cereal - I have not seen it around but will definitely look for it if I need to!

                                I have yet to encounter a GF root beer - perhaps it is different in the US? Funny thing is, I don't even drink root beer anyway!!

                                1. re: chefathome

                                  Perhaps root beer *is* different in the US than in Canada; the root beer I'm familiar with has no more reason to contain gluten than any other soda. Virgil's is the best by a mile, if you can find it.

                                  1. re: guilty

                                    I think root beer in Canada contains malt. It is on the dietician's NOT TO HAVE list. Unsure about all the brands. I'm not really a pop drinker at all but suddenly when I know I may not have it again I want it! Yes, I'm weird...

                                    1. re: chefathome

                                      FYI, Virgil's is indeed gluten-free. And once you try it you'll want it again--and you'll be able to have it :)

                              2. re: chefathome

                                i forgot about panko - that's a biggie, as is malt vinegar.

                                really good GF onion rings are easy to make, and you can make or buy GF ice cream cones. there's also GF licorice. and i personally never focus on couscous or tabbouleh, because in both cases quinoa makes a perfectly acceptable substitute for me.

                                oh, and i wholeheartedly second guilty's recommendation for Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise cereal - it's one of the only GF flake cereals i like (i can't stand the texture of their GF corn flakes). Arrowhead Mills Maple Buckwheat Flakes are great as well.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Awesome - thanks so much for the cereal recs!

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Hmm, I like Nature's Path corn flakes just fine . . .

                                    1. re: guilty

                                      they're okay if i let them get soggy in milk, but i love snacking on dry cereal sometimes, and when dry they have a weird texture to me. i'm not sure how to explain it, they're almost tough and *too* crunchy, and they make a weird, almost squeaking noise when you chew them! i'll stick with the Mesa Sunrise :) speaking of which, do you still buy the Mesa in boxes? they seem to have disappeared here in LA - every store carries the two new flavored varieties in a box now (Vanilla & Maple, i think), but i can only find those huge eco-pak bags of the original Mesa...

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        Ah, in bygone days I preferred Post Toasties to Kellogg's Corn Flakes because the Post's was more crunchy. Different style of corn flakes, I guess. Who knew?

                                        I *think* I've seen the Mesa Sunrise boxes where I live, though I started buying the larger bags when they became available a few years ago. Truth be told, I haven't bought either for a while. But Virginia is not *quite* as eco-conscious as California, so that may be a factor in the packaging available.

                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  You list "true NY/NJ bagel", but I have lived in NJ for 33 years and have yet to find a decent bagel. People in NJ think bigger bagels are better bagels. Every time I'm in Manhattan I stop by H&H and load up. If anyone knows of a good bagel place in NJ I'd love to hear about it.

                                  1. re: Hugh DeMann

                                    ha! H&H bagels are hardly puny :) but my comment was more about taste & texture - size never made much of a difference to me because i'm a scooper anyway.

                                    "If anyone knows of a good bagel place in NJ I'd love to hear about it."