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House made bagels

hyperbowler Feb 21, 2014 08:40 AM

20th Century Cafe in Hayes Valley and Marla Bakery, on York St., in the Mission both have house made bagels. Is this a thing, and are any other places or bakeries doing small batches of bagels? I've not been able to have either when they're still warm, so can't offer a fair opinion of either.

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  1. Melanie Wong RE: hyperbowler Mar 1, 2014 08:53 AM

    Further north, I've had a pretty good bagel from the Santa Rosa Junior College culinary arts program's cafe.

    Downtown Bakery in Healdsburg and Savvy in Cloverdale also make a small batch of bagels in-house. I have not tried either.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong
      richardc RE: Melanie Wong Mar 10, 2014 10:32 AM

      Did you ever get to Home Grown Baking in Sonoma. The owner is from Brooklyn and makes the real deal.

      1. re: richardc
        Melanie Wong RE: richardc Mar 10, 2014 10:53 AM

        Thanks for the reminder. I have not, but there are definitely fans here,

    2. cfarivar RE: hyperbowler Mar 10, 2014 10:09 AM

      No love for some of the small and new bagel shops in Oakland, like Authentic Bagel Company at Jack London Squrae?

      10 Replies
      1. re: cfarivar
        Robert Lauriston RE: cfarivar Mar 10, 2014 10:13 AM

        That seemed like a below-average generic modern bagel shop to me.

        1. re: cfarivar
          Melanie Wong RE: cfarivar Mar 10, 2014 10:15 AM

          Here ya go:

          Beauty's Bagel

          Baron's Baking

          Authentic Bagel Co

          Who else in Oakland?

          Do you like Old Brooklyn Bagels & Deli?

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            The Dive RE: Melanie Wong Mar 10, 2014 11:06 AM

            I had a bite of a plain bagel from Old Brooklyn the other day. It was pretty good -- nice and chewy. However, a bite of a cheese bagel was just typical California fluffiness to me.

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              scohen850 RE: Melanie Wong Mar 10, 2014 11:28 AM

              Since you are including the East Bay I have to nominate Levy's Bagels in San Ramon as not only the best but also closest to what I was used to on the East Coast. Too many bagel specialists forget about onion flats, bialles, good hommade half sour pickles, etc. Levy's is only open from early in the AM until about 1:00. I'm there every Sunday. Obviously I'm not the only one that's discovered this sweet spot, it's always busy but never slow to get you in and out.

              1. re: scohen850
                Ruth Lafler RE: scohen850 Mar 10, 2014 12:42 PM

                Levy's was (or is) a small local chain that used to make above-average bagels. The Levy's in the SF Financial District is long gone, but there's still one in Alameda. I don't know if the San Ramon Levy's is operated by the same people, or if they sold off the stores separately.

                I had forgotten all about the Levy's in Alameda until I stopped in there recently. Still an above-average for California bagel, but nothing to write home about. IMHO.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                  lindacas RE: Ruth Lafler Mar 10, 2014 02:03 PM

                  There's a Levy's in Alameda?? Please tell me where! I've lived here since '98 and have never seen it.

                  Update: I found it on Webster. Who knew?

                  1. re: lindacas
                    Ruth Lafler RE: lindacas Mar 10, 2014 04:11 PM

                    I know, it's well hidden! That's why I forget it's there, too.

                  2. re: Ruth Lafler
                    scohen850 RE: Ruth Lafler Mar 11, 2014 11:51 AM

                    I'm pretty sure the Levy's in San Ramon is owner operated. I'll find out for sure this Sunday when I pick up my usual Onion Flats. They make everything on premise and generally the bagels are still warm. My wife loves their cheese bagels, which isn't my deal but she swears by them. The only thing they don't have, which I've seen in a few places are skinny bagels. I'm a traditionalist, but my wife scoops the breading out of everything with a crust!

              2. re: cfarivar
                hyperbowler RE: cfarivar Mar 10, 2014 12:07 PM

                No love :-) Some of the best bagels I've eaten have been first tries from home cooks, small bagels fresh from their oven, so I was wondering if similar products might be emerging.

                I've only had Authentic Bagel at a place they distribute to, so it wasn't fresh. Not the fairest way to judge, but I didn't like them. Does the brick and mortar have fresh bagels throughout the day?

                The novelty of the Montreal-style bagels at Beauty's Bagels wore off once I tried the much superior bagels at St. Viateur and Fairmount in Montreal. Still, they get credit for having a constant output of fresh bagels.


                Old Brooklyn's bagels weren't that great either : http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8635...

                1. re: hyperbowler
                  OliverB RE: hyperbowler Mar 29, 2014 03:20 PM

                  Local Montrealer here... Beauty's Bagels get a big yawn from me. I personally chose to not eat bagels outside of QC/NY. There are so many other great things to enjoy, that I'd rather save those that are distinctive to a certain city or region, for when I'm visiting.

              3. j
                jam_loss RE: hyperbowler Mar 10, 2014 06:17 PM

                This bagel conversation makes me miss Roland's all the more.

                1. l
                  lindacas RE: hyperbowler Mar 11, 2014 12:47 PM

                  The one thing that seems to be missing, though, at all the bagel shops I've looked into - not a thorough investigation by any means - is egg bagels. If I ask about them, they all look at me funny.

                  Does anybody else love egg bagels who is also disappointed with the seemingly scant supply thereof?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: lindacas
                    dunstable RE: lindacas Mar 11, 2014 01:44 PM

                    Yes those were my favorite type of bagels back east. I basically stopped eating bagels when I moved here. When I visit my parents in NJ, I get bagels almost every morning (from Bagelmasters in Shrewsbury, if you happen to be in that part of the world.)

                    1. re: lindacas
                      scohen850 RE: lindacas Mar 11, 2014 03:46 PM

                      My niece loves egg bagels and has one every Sunday with us when she's in San Ramon visiting from the city. Levy's has egg bagels and she love them!

                    2. p
                      pauliface RE: hyperbowler Mar 11, 2014 02:36 PM

                      I had a startlingly good bagel recently at "The Bagel Bakery" on Townsend street.

                      I was passing by and was going to get a coffee, but the bagels looked oddly delicious. Turns out they make them there with the proper double-process.
                      Like a proper bagel place, there was one kind that was warm because it had just finished cooking.

                      1. farmersdaughter RE: hyperbowler Mar 29, 2014 12:03 PM

                        I had the salt bagel from Marla Bakery for breakfast this morning. It's actually a good bagel by SF standards but doesn't compare to some of my favorites in New York, like Tal Bagel, Ess-a-Bagel, even Russ & Daughters (not sure who makes the R&D bagels). The exterior was too "done" for my taste and was crunchy and blistered all over. To me that means it was baked at too high a temperature. The flavor of the bagel was great, and the internal texture was perfect. The other issue I had with it was that the bagel was simply too flat compared to the other NYC bagels I mentioned. I don't mean that it should be fluffy or cakey, but it wasn't high enough. They served it lightly toasted with dilled farmers cheese and some pickled baby carrots alongside. For $5 as compared to a plane ticket to New York, I'll go back to Marla again, but I can't say it's close enough to a New York bagel to make me completely satisfied. I'm thinking I need to just roll up my sleeves and make my own to see how hard it is to approximate the kind of bagel I'm looking for.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: farmersdaughter
                          gnomatic RE: farmersdaughter Mar 29, 2014 04:22 PM

                          I gave up on bay area bagels ...and went the route of making my own. I got very good result from this recipe http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

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