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Feb 25, 2012 03:07 PM

Authentic Bagel Company - only 90 perfect bagels made daily [Oakland]

It has been so long since I've had an authentic bagel, I can't even remember what they taste like. They should taste as good as Authentic Bagel.

These are the best bagels I've had since moving to California decades ago.

The plain had a nice chewy crust, not so hard as to leave the crowns of your teeth like some bagels. There is a nice dense interior yet still soft and tender.

They have a shop, but I haven't been there. I bought these at Telegraph, a new sausage joint. John said that Authentic Bagel only made 90 daily. I don't know why that is.

The owners, Jason and Mark Scott, are brothers from Boston who according to their website 'were sent to the west coast to give you a real chewy bagel! Boiled never Steamed! Because everything else is just white bread with a hole! California has been missing out on a good New England style bagel. Now you got one!"

Ok bagel purists ... this might rub some Chowhound fur the wrong way ... but there are flavors

Cinnamon Raisin
Peanut Butter chocolate chip
Cinnamon crunch
Maple Bacon
Specialty announced daily

I say deliciousness trumps pure authenticity.

They are just fabulous toasted as well. On the way home, I decided i wanted to get a good smear in honor of the bagels, so I stopped at a respected local bagel shop. As a test I got a plain bagel there. It was like nothing. No competition at all.

Telegrah, the sausage joint, also had some sort of hummus sandwich on the bagels one day.

Telegraph opens at 8 am weekdays and is on Telegraph Avenue at Grand just across the street from Taco Bell. It is a nice stop if on your way to work and you need to pick up a bite for breakfast and coffee. Telegraph also sells Pepple's donuts.

Address and website of Authentic Bagel Company

Address and website of Telegraph ... and try the sausages too

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  1. Yelp is wrong. As you can see on their Web site, they don't have a shop. It's a side project of the chef at Monaghan's in Montclair, which is the address some clueless Yelper posted. There was a post about ABC here a while back but I guess it got removed, maybe as spam.

    Some more places to get them are mentioned on Facebook:

    Telegraph is the former Mama Buzz, several reports:

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Actually I was the one who was wrong in my OP. I saw the address and jumped to the conculsion there was a shop.

      As you can see on the facebook link you provided, the info link on facebook has the same address as yelp.

      So I guess they only sell business to business. Some of the places they sell from their facebook page cafe yesterday, Good Bellies, Uncommon Grounds, Emery Bay Cafe, Coffee Mill, Telegragh on Telegragh, Rick and Ann's, Philz coffee on Shattuck!

      Hmmm ... reading their facebook wall it seems that the special one day was cinnamon and butter scotch. That is so wrong and yet I want that bad boy.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Monaghan's is not in Montclair.

        Its in Woodminster at the foot of Joaquin Miller road in the "The Hights" (sic)

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          They might not have a shop, but apparently from Facebook, as RWO points out, they do have an address which matches the Yelp listing (and Monaghans).

          Most new places on Yelp are manually entered by the First To Review person. The First To Review on Yelp is Jason S. who happens to only have 1 review for Authentic Bagel.

          Could be Jason Scott, one of the bagel brothers, who you point out is the Exec Chef @ Monaghans, which would make him not that clueless, but also reviewing your own business is a No-No . . .

          Anyway, what's your beef with Yelp?

        2. I should know better given the half-life of bagels, but I had an untoasted bagel at noon today at Telegraph. It was leaden, the dough not uniformly cooked on the inside, and strangely cold. I'm going to have to stop in one day at 8AM to assess these when they're fresh.

          On the upside their whiskey and fennel sausage sandwich was awesome.

          1. "Peanut Butter chocolate chip".
            "Maple Bacon".

            What kind of fehcockteh bagel bakery makes bagels like that? You don't need to be a bagel purist to know those are dead wrong. Hope the consistency is good, 'cause the flavors are way out of line.

            13 Replies
            1. re: Rapini

              i look forward to your post on actually trying one of the bagels in the more traditional flavors rather than speculating on what may or may not be wrong.

              If other baked goods can change flavor profiles why not the bagel. People will trip all over themselves to get that bacon cupcake or whatever the gross cupcake flavor of the day is ... there was one place that made a chicken and waffle cupcake that had real fried chicken on top.

              it is not like almost every bagel joint doesn't have fruit flavored, chocolate chip or savory bagels with cheese or jalepenos. So this isn't such a big leap.

              Actually, if you think about it a breakfast sandwhich with an egg on a maple bacon bagel might work ... depends on what they mean by maple bacon.

              1. re: rworange

                I'm sorry but a peanut butter chocolate chip thing in a round shape is not a bagel, it is a chimera.

                1. re: rworange

                  My question is when they make 90 perfect bagels day is that of each variety or is it 90 divided by 11 or 12?

                  1. re: wolfe

                    That was just the number tossed at me by Telegraph, so I have no clue.

                2. re: rworange

                  I make no judgment about the regular bagel. I'm sure they're tasty. I look forward to trying one--plain or poppy seed, most likely.

                  As for authenticity, I'm of the view that if you want an authentic NY bagel, you go to NY. If you want an authentic cheese steak, you go to Philadelphia. And so on. I just look for a bagel (in this case) that approximates what I enjoyed when I lived back east, and accept it as what's available here.

                  But a person must have standards; and maple bacon (not gonna be kosher, is it?), PB, chocolate chip and the like are way beyond where I draw the Bagel Line.

                  Just one 'hound's opinion.

                  1. re: Rapini

                    >>>> maple bacon (not gonna be kosher, is it?

                    OK, that's making me laugh. i had not thought that thru.

                    It lis like the year Noah's went ecumenical and had gingerbread bagels. Sadly, i kind of liked those and was sorry to see they regained some sanity and never made them again.

                    1. re: rworange

                      And no one loves bacon like us of the Jewish faith. Yeah, some of us are still kosher but most of the rest of us adore bacon. I think some bagel flavors are nasty and non-traditional but my main beef with west coast bagels is the awful non-authentic texture. I appreciate the mention of these and will try them for myself. Thanks

                    2. re: Rapini

                      Finding an old-fashioned bagel isn't much easier in New York than it is here. There's one place in Brooklyn.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        I agree, but sadly, I'm here to tell you the one place in Brooklyn you mentioned previously in another thread is unlikely to still fit the bill. They're giant bready things now.

                        One of the oldest, if not oldest bagel places out near Coney Island is still producing a faithful version, with the new Muslim owners keeping to tradition.

                        The last H&H factory which was supplying one or two places in SF was set to shutter again, likely for the last time.

                        1. re: sugartoof

                          I hear Bagel Hole's still the real deal. A rabbi I know who grew up in New Jersey was in Brooklyn last weekend, I told him to check it out, his family bought four dozen. He did think it was odd that they sell ham.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            They're not old style, they're oversized, bigger than Ess-a-bagels, and bigger than Pick-a-bagels. Could still fit someone's idea of "real deal" of course. Maybe I was there on "big bagel day", and it was fluke.

                            The place I was thinking of is Coney Island Bialy and Bagels, opened in 1920.

                    3. re: rworange

                      I've had their bagels in the traditional flavours and they were pretty crappy in my opinion. they seemed boiled and baked or only baked. the texture was off and it didn't have the right chew. In terms of saltness/sweetness is was in between a Montreal and a NYC bagel. I prefer NYC bagel to Montreal even being a Canadian and I still bring a bag of bagels back with when I visit brooklyn so I'm probably a harsh judge.

                      Also anytime someone uses the ones Authentic, Artisan or handcrafted for food I get the feeling it's anything but that.

                      The bagel doesn't need to change cause when you have a good Brooklyn bagel just made, it so perfect, you don't need anything on it at all and you don't need to do anything other than eating even a smear is too much.

                      1. re: rworange

                        Re: rworange's bagel rant several posts up from here. WHAT SHE SAID! I don't understand why folks have to be so rigid about "proper" or "real" or "authentic" foodstuffs. I might find a caramel bagel disgusting, but if the plain or onion bagels made my the same bakers are great......who cares? I just stay away from the weirdo flavor combos.

                        Sometimes I get a tremendous yearning for a good bagel or other deli stuff and wish I could teleport myself back to Langers in L.A. It's heartening to find that there are some good bagels nearby.

                    4. I stopped by for a sausage at about 11:30 today and grabbed a bagel while I was there. Apparently they open at 11AM, so I don't think their bagels could be eaten any fresher. Again, it was dead cold, so I had them toast it.

                      The bagel makers say they are "2 Brothers sent from New England to give the west coast a real chewy bagel!" I didn't realize that New England had a unique style, and if it does, I can't comment on their authenticity. From my NY bagel baseline, their bagel tasted like bread and lacked the malty flavor I look for. The crust wasn't fully developed and didn't have the signature thickness of a NY bagel either. In light of my previous experience with their untoasted bagel, this one was pretty light.

                      I don't know why I even bother writing about this... bagel discussions are the least rewarding of all food discussion. I've taken several visitors to great NY places for pastrami, pizza, hot dogs, pickles and they either acknowledge their superiority or vehemently fight for their own local style (e.g., Chicago). Non-NY'ers seem at best neutral to the NY bagel. Good NY bagels qualitatively differ from others, but their superiority is largely guided by personal/local and nostalgic preference.

                      I was pretty happy with Schmendrick's bagels at their recent pop-ups, but I think I'll take Rapini's advice and stick to bagels when I'm in NY. Even if most NY bagel places are nowhere near as good as Schmendrick's, context and nostalgia add quite a bit.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: hyperbowler

                        They changed hours? They opened at 8 am. This surprises me as they had a steady stream at that hour.

                        I didn't think nabbing them as they were made would do much for you. You just don't like them and they are not to your taste.

                        I had one at 9 am., another at night and two more the next day. I liked them all equally. I still think they are better than anything else sold in the area ... especially, hopefully the demised Spot Bagel

                        1. re: rworange

                          Phew... I thought I was going crazy... I was wondering why I said in my earlier post that I should go there at 8AM!

                          Open Daily: Tue-Fri: 11am - 10pm / Sat-Sun: 10am - 10pm

                          Thanks for getting me to go there though--- the veggies and bread didn't work well for me in their banh mi sandwich, but that whiskey and fennel sausage sandwich is one of my favorite east bay sandwiches.

                      2. Thanks for the report! I just went to Telegraph today to try it out after this thread. Having been a transient in New Year for 3 years, I am not a bagel purist, but I have had my share of bagels from H&H, Hot Bialys and the ubiquitous corner bagel shops. Authentic's bagels are pretty damn good.

                        After being deprived from a good bagel in the Bay Area for a few years, I was so terrified of missing out on my opportunity this morning to try it that I called ahead to order the take out. The lady who answered the phone mentioned 5 flavors, plain and 4 other flavors that didn't interest me (sorry for not remember the details because I was that eager). I got there around 10:30, and had the place all to myself, which I assume had something to do with DST screwing with everyone else. The lady was just finishing up my order as I got there, so no idling time, for the bagel, wasted. When I got home to eat my bagel 10 minutes later, the thing that impressed me was the crispy skin in contrast to the chewy dough in the center. It was definitely lighter than a NYC bagel, but it's our favorite in the bay by far, with Berkeley Bagel coming in second (we haven't tried Beauty Bagel yet). All I need now is for them to mass produce, while keeping the quality, so I don't have to pay $4 for a bagel with cream cheese. Great find!

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: ricegeek

                          Glad you liked it.

                          Before I left the Bay Area for a year, Berkeley Bagel was my favorite. However,I just revisited and they weren't as good as I remembered.Have you been recently? Have they changed?

                          1. re: rworange

                            Don't know exactly when, but Berkeley Bagel did change -- from ok to not ok.

                            1. re: rworange

                              The bagel I tried at Berkeley Bagel was better than the ones at its dreadful predecessor Boogie Woogie Bagel Boy but nothing special.

                              1. re: rworange

                                I have not been back for 6 months now, and it's sad to hear that they change for the worst. They seem to be an ideal family business to thrive in that area when we visited them back then.

                              2. re: ricegeek

                                Was the bagel toasted? (I'm wondering if this is a requirement, or if I just happened to go on days when their bagels weren't fresh)

                                1. re: hyperbowler

                                  It was toasted. The flavor and density of the bagel definitely deviate from the NY bagels, but for me, the texture is what sold me.

                                2. re: ricegeek

                                  with the Coffee Mill about ten minutes from our front door, stepped in to see about the bagels today. this unpretentious neighborhood cafe has pleasant, friendly counter staff, probably members of the family that own it. chose a whole wheat and sesame, varieties that usually tell me enough about the baker's skills.

                                  they're not quite traditional, because the crumb is just a bit too fluffy and airy. but they have a properly chewy skin and decent flavour. probably have to give a slight edge to Beauty's bagels, for their superior crumb density, but they're much less accessible. flavour-wise, they probably get the nod over Boogie Woogie bagel in Alameda, who do a decent job, and they're much closer than Sonoma or Arcata, the other places that do a pretty good, traditional, non-chain bagel. none of them have the density and chewiness of the Brick Lane Beigelry in the east end.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      Homegrown, on Napa St., it's off the street in a small shopping plaza. recently, have tried the whole wheat only -- they've been in business 30+ years.

                                      1. re: moto

                                        I went into Coffee Mill today, and the lady at the counter said she didn't think their bagels were from Authentic Bagel Company, though I mentioned how the cafe was listed on the ABC website. She said she thought it was from some other place, and that they were organic. Maybe she just misremembered?

                                        Anyway, I gave a buttered sesame bagel a shot anyway ($1.75 -- would have been $1.25 just for the bagel). It was too late in the day to risk it untoasted, as would have been my preference, but it was fine toasted.

                                        Flavor was very good, as moto noted, but definitely NOT what I think of as a traditional East Coast bagel. Not very dense at all and only a little bit chewy. It grew on me, though. Like I said, the flavor was great. I'd certainly buy one again, but fear the untoasted version might not be up to snuff.

                                        1. re: abstractpoet

                                          bought a bagel a few weeks ago from the cafe zoe location. It was $1.95 just for the bagel. not as expensive as schmendricks, but a few dimes more than beauty's. i think mochimunchie's description is apt - crisp chewy crust wih soft interior. I got the everything bagel - tasty.

                                          1. re: majordanby

                                            Huh. Well, that pricing difference leads me to believe they must not be ABC bagels at Coffee Mill. But it's weird that they're still listed on the ABC website.