Baron Baking's Bagels. Anyone tried them?
Just saw an article about the newest Bay Area bagelry is run by a former Saul's employee. They are the sole supplier for Saul's (since early-June, so Beauty's is out), Chop Bar, and the opening tomorrow (?) Stag's Lunchette (from Dogwood folks).
Has anyone tried these? And if so, how do they compare to the other newcomers? Schmendricks, Beauty's (have they opened on Telegraph yet?), Authentic?
Some more details in East Bay Express
I quite liked them - made a point of dropping by Saul's early Saturday morning to buy a couple of them after reading that same EBX article. The varieties offered were plain, sesame, onion, and everything, if memory serves - a good sign that there weren't any Noah-esque flavor abominations as options. Bought plain and sesame, and both had nice chew, fairly dense texture, and as described in the EBX article, the bagel crusts had a nice, if slight, crunch to them. If Saul's were more convenient to me, I'd probably drop by quite often for a fresh bagel fix (along the lines of my recollections of bagels back in New York, these bagels got stale pretty quickly). As it is, I can probably conjure up a reason to make the trek on weekends at least. Wonder if their other clients sell the bagels a la carte?
(I haven't tried Schmendrick's bagels, so can't comment there, and as far as comparison with Beauty's, I haven't actually made it to Wise Sons in awhile, so my memory of those bagels is somewhat fuzzy on the details These seemed at least on a level with Beauty's, in terms of how much I recall liking them.
I picked up a few Baron Baking's Bagels this morning from Chop Bar in Jack London today. The everything is a little salty, but the plain bagels are delicious. I brought them home, they're nice and chewy, excellent crust, even better toasted. Totally worth trying out. I've yet to try Schmendricks or Beauty's, but Baron's are on par with those in NYC (RIP H&H).
The only downside is Chop Bar charges $3.50 per bagel. When I asked for some cream cheese on the side, I was told they usually charge extra for it, but they'd make an exception this time since I had already paid. Is it just me, or is $15+ for 4 bagels (includes tax) ridiculously overpriced?
I heard Saul's charges a $1.25 per bagel, which is much more reasonable...
Hm, that's what I figured would be the case - since Saul's has the whole appetizing counter setup, selling the bagels a la carte makes sense, as opposed to the other outfits (Chop Bar, Stag's) where the bagels become menu items.
And I seem to recall the bagel price at Saul's being $1.50 each as of last weekend - still a good deal for the quality, but a touch more spendy if you're buying a bunch.
I tried a plain ($1.50 to go) from Saul's today. Good crunch, good chewiness, missing whatever special flavor it is that Bagel Hole has.
Best bagel I've had around here in a long time, though I have yet to get my hands on a Schmendrick's.
Of the East Bay bagel places, I would rate
1) Authentic Bagel Co.
Baron's is good but they are too small and a bit too insanely chewy. Authentic Bagel Co.'s blow me away every time, and are great even a week after freezing and water/microwave/toasting back to freshness. I really like eating at Beauty's and their liver/pickles/restaurant is awesome, but the bagels are not as wowing to me as Authentic Bagel Co.