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Jul 15, 2011 09:35 PM


i cant wait for a real bagel coming to the bay area next week

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  1. Thanks for the link, I am awaiting those bagels with baited breath. . .

    1. "Spot Bagel won’t have any local shops. Rather, starting the second or third week of July, its baked-daily bagels will be in self-service bins at some local markets: Bi-Rite, Real Foods, Canyon Market and Good Life Grocery in San Francisco; both Berkeley Bowls; and Earthbeam Natural Foods in Burlingame. They also will be served at a few local eateries, and sold at two farmers markets (the Ferry Building in S.F. and Temescal in Oakland)."

      Berkeley Bowl
      2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

      Good Life Grocery
      1524 20th St, San Francisco, CA

      Canyon Market
      2815 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        ..and one of them will be the "Duboce Park Cafe" on Duboce and local b'fast haunt! I spoke with Rachel the owner and they are coming...I assume her "Dolores Park Cafe"
        ' and new branch on Portrero (don't know if it's open yet or what it's called) will have them as well..

      2. Since the author of that article seems to think H&H Bagels are laudatory, I'd take his opinion of Spot bagels with a grain of salt. Baking onions INTO the dough? The Horror! And I'll bet the plain "yosemite" bagel name was inspired by the Contemporary Jewish Museum's Yo! Semite tee shirts.

        2 Replies
          1. re: soupçon

            The pumpernickel bagels of legend (NY in the late 60s) did have bits of onions in the dough. Not that that sounds like what Spot is aiming for.

            Even Ess-A sells blueberry bagels.

          2. The plain "Yosemite" is named after the water they boil them in. The focus on flavors is troubling, but it seems like it's worth a try. Pieced together from their unorganized Facebook page:

            We make your bagels using a time honored, eight-step artisan production process. You get delicious flavor and texture in each bite.

            1. Fresh local ingredients ... only organic flour and fresh local herbs and produce

            2. Mixing: We use the patent-pending Sancassiano Hydra Mixer to mix and knead our dough. Designed for better gluten devlopment and low hydration, these mixers make the best bagels while using less energy. This ensures you get the tastiest bagel possible and that we minimize our carbon footprint.

            3. Dividing & Forming

            4. Proofing

            5. Aging: Like a fine wine that matures with age, so do true artisan bagels. After our bagels are proofed (risen) we place them in our ager at 38 degrees for 8 to 16 hours. This is a similar process to a Sourdough or Levain and develops better flavor in the dough.

            6. Boiling: We boil our bagels in a specialized 50 gallon stainless steel kettle filled with water from Yosemite & The Sierra (brought to us through Hetch Hetchy). The unique boiling Bay Area water produces a crispy crust and chewy center in every bite.

            7. Boarding & Topping: Each bagel is gently placed on a “bagel-board” and is then covered on both sides with fresh local toppings. You get organic, real flavors in every bite (not dehydrated or sulfur-laden toppings like some other bagel companies).

            8. Baking

            2 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              "water from Yosemite & The Sierra (brought to us through Hetch Hetchy)"

              That's what comes out of my kitchen faucet.

            2. Has anyone tried the H&H bagels at Crossroads cafe? Can't imagine that air freighted bagels are a good idea, I prefer to snatch them fresh out of the oven, but I'm curious.

              19 Replies
              1. re: BernalKC

                They're fine. Bagels freeze well, like any bread.

                1. re: BernalKC

                  If you toast them, air-freighted or frozen are fine, if you don't, only fresh will do.

                  Bagel Hole beat H&H in a blind tasting.


                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    As an aside, I read that same article when it came out, called Bagel Hole and the guys there were more than happy to ship out a couple of dozen bagels every so often. They were exactly the bagels I had been hoping for -- dense, the right size (i.e., not super sized), made the right way (boiled then baked). The flavor shined because there was a little sweetness and a little salt flavor but not too much of either, just not flat like the bagels I've had in Vancouver.

                    1. re: stacyc

                      Here's the tasting that article is based on. And basically, it demonstrates that a bagel that's a few hours old loses all its oomph.


                  2. re: BernalKC

                    Real bagels ship well. The ones my mother sent via Fleet Post Office started in Detroit and arrived within the week where I got them in Da Nang and toasted them, still good. Not sure how the not completely baked things that pass for bagels around here would do in similar circumstances.

                    1. re: wolfe

                      They may have passes through my hands. I worked at the APO/FPO San Francisco facility at 390 Main St. from 1965-67. Bagels were probably the one thing we couldn't break.

                    2. re: BernalKC

                      For what it's worth, here's Josh Ozersky's take on H&H bagels and the state of bagels in New York generally. I think he pretty much nails it. I'm old enough (70) to remember what New York bagels used to be.


                      1. re: soupçon

                        That sounds like House of Bagels...15 years ago. Eat them that day fresh or use it as a paper weight or throw it through a window. Any a 4th gen Californian from the other shore that's as close as I get.

                      2. re: BernalKC

                        H & H was shut down.

                        House of Bagels has a lot of similarities to H & H style (the slightly undercooked middle comes to mind), and while not the best bagel you've ever had, they're not bad, and sometimes they're good enough to spark a nice memory of how bagels used to taste. Mind you, New York's bagel scene has been given an infusion with the introduction of Canadian bagels.

                        1. re: sugartoof

                          Just the Upper West Side retail store shut down, H & H bagels are still available thru other channels.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            When people speak of H & H they're almost always talking about the location that closed.

                            Maybe they'll still be able to produce and ship at least.

                            1. re: sugartoof

                              H & H has a big wholesale operation that supplies places like SF's Crossroads, which was the subject of BernalKC's question. I posted about the H&H bagels at Crossroads a few years ago.

                              Crossroads Cafe
                              699 Delancey St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                They do, but the reason for closing their retail store wasn't poor sales or a rent increase, it's half a million dollars in unpaid taxes by the owner. Presumably he's trying to sell the wholesale operation, if anyone would trust his books (unlikely, given the circumstances).

                                From the NYTimes:
                                In November 2009, Mr. Toro faced state tax charges. He was accused of pocketing almost $370,000 in payroll withholding taxes owed to state and federal authorities from 2003 to 2009. In May 2010, he pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the case. He was sentence to spend 50 weekends in jail and pay more than $500,000 in restitution.

                                1. re: Windy

                                  Wow, was the biggest bagel baker in NY not Jewish. I just always assumed, but this article implies that Mr. Toro was not. Very NY/American.


                                  And, H&H stands for Helmer Toro and Hector Hernandez. Learn something new every day.

                                  1. re: jman1

                                    According to this New York Times golden oldie, some of the best bagels in New York are made by Thais.

                                2. re: Melanie Wong

                                  The city seized the business, and NY Times was reporting the Hells Kitchen factory stopped answering phones, so who knows how long they'll ship....Even so, the wholesale product was never considered as reputable.

                                  Maybe Crossroads could still stock H & H bagels from the East Side business (same name, unrelated business, thicker bagels).

                          2. re: BernalKC

                            anyone have montreal bagels shipped to them?

                            1. re: BernalKC

                              Years ago, I was told that they brought in the bagels un-baked and baked them in house. Is that not correct?

                              They are pretty good (as compared to what is locally available in SF).

                              Their website says:

                              H&H Bagels, "the world's best bagel" are flown in from New York and bakedoff daily by us.

                              Not exactly sure what bakedoff means.


                              1. re: jman1

                                My guess is bakedoff means the bagels are mixed, rolled, proofed, boiled but not baked until baked/finished locally. It addresses the 20 minute window of edibility described above by at least giving you 20 minutes.