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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

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  1. 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.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Spatlese

      Saul's still had the Barons Sunday evening. I got two everythings. I enjoyed them a lot. Nice dense crust. I agree they got stale quickly. I toasted the second one, and it toasted well. I liked them better than Beautys.

    2. 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...

      4 Replies
      1. re: TheCrawmama

        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.

        1. re: Spatlese

          Are these bagels available at Saul's everyday? I ask because back when Saul's was selling Beauty's Bagels, it was only on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

          1. re: majordanby

            I was at Saul's today and I asked. They said they have these bagels every day. They advised getting their early for the best selection.

        2. re: TheCrawmama

          At Stag's, $3.50 gets you the bagel loaded with cream cheese, tomato, capers and lightly-pickled red onion. I don't know what the plain or just cream cheese run.


        3. 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.

            1. re: Pius Avocado III

              Interesting. Diastatic malt, long fermentation, salty lye water.

            2. Of the East Bay bagel places, I would rate

              1) Authentic Bagel Co.
              2) Baron's
              3) Beauty's

              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.

              1. Saw the article in the NYT and decided to give them a try today. I was pretty disappointed. The crust was decent and pretzel like. Interesting some people call these chewy. To me the texture of these bagels was completely wrong. The bagel was too dense and lacked the toothsome chewiness of good east coast Bagels. The texture is an important part of what I appreciate in a good bagel. Otherwise they are just donut shaped bread. These don’t really come close to the bagels my parents mail us from back east. Don’t really understand why they can’t make a decent bagel in CA, maybe it really is the water because people do seem to be trying. I am curious to try the other supposedly good new bagel shops that recently opened.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Ridge

                  Which bagels do your parents mail you?

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    The bagels from our parents are either from Bagel Master on Long Island:


                    or Bagel City in Maryland:


                    I was really looking forward to trying the Baron Bagels and wanted to like them. We got a half dozen ate two of them and were so dissapointed we threw the rest out. The bagels we tried were from Sauls in Berkeley on Sunday. Could they have been different bagels?

                  2. re: Ridge

                    Try the pumpernickel bagels when the Cheeseboard has them and also their bialys. From what I remember, the bialys are just as my grandfather made them 50 years ago--crispy crust, poor dough, kind of light as a feather (the only Jewish comestible I remember being light)

                    1. re: rccola

                      I like pretty much everything the Cheeseboard bakes; and their pumpernickel bagels are no exception.

                      But I'm just not sure they have that from-the-old-country, "authentic" (tricky word, if there ever were one!) something. I think of their provenance as Gourmet Ghetto rather than the "real" one.

                      That said, eager to try their bialys on your say-so!

                      1. re: sundeck sue

                        I don't remember my grandfather making pumpernickel bagels. Pumpernickel was pumpernickel. Bagels were bagels. The fancy bagels they have now would have made him spin in his grave. Asiago? Jalapeno? Cranberry? Coming from Podolny outside of Odessa, he wasn't into fusion

                        1. re: sundeck sue

                          Haven't tried the Cheesebaord bagels but love the bialys and focaccia. Recently tried their pita bread. It was fantastic. Hands down the best pita bread outside of Greece that I have tried. Haven't seen pita bread there since so I wonder if it's only made on one day a week or something. Next time I see it I am going to stock up and stick a bunch in the freezer.

                    2. We were walking past Saul's so we stopped in for a couple of onion bagels with lox schmear, to go. Good thing we weren't in a hurry, because it took more than ten minutes. After five or six, the guy behind the counter said "your bagels will be coming out shortly," which seemed funny, especially since the place was nearly empty. Also 5.50 each is pretty outrageous.

                      On the other hand, I liked the small, chewy bagel quite a bit. My husband said it was "different" and thought it was too chewy. Neither of us has ever had a proper New York bagel. I'd get them again, but would skip the schmear.

                      1. Best bagel I've had on the West Coast by far. I like the small size, the chewy- (but not heavy-) ness, the slightly malty flavor. Chop Bar toasts them unless you ask them not to, but what's the point of having a great bagel if you're going to toast it?