The Jew And The Carrot

New York's Bagel Wars Continue

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share
Thinkstock

Updated Wednesday at 1:45pm

When the Forward reported in January that H&H Bagels was evicted from its iconic West 46th Street bakery — a move that followed the closing of its Upper West Side storefront — it looked like curtains for the beloved purveyor of doughy discs. New York bagel lovers mourned the closing like it was the death of their favorite uncle.

But late last week, it looked like second coming of H&H was imminent. A routine listing of new commercial leases in real-estate mag The Real Deal included 1,800 square feet at 125 Fulton Street, leased to one H&H Bagels. And Grub Street reported that new tenants filed with the New York City Department of Buildings to convert the existing retail space into a “new bagel store.”

But this morning, the Wall Street Journal tells us that while the new space will be called H&H Bagels — it won’t be the same bagel company that New Yorkers mourned earlier this year.

The new spot (which will become part of a chain) will be owned by Randy Narod, owner of the Long Island Bagel Café chain. But, former H&H owner Helmer Toro says Narod doesn’t have rights to use the H&H name, saying that the two had been in talks about a partnership, but nothing had been finalized. Narod, spat back in the New York Times saying that he purchased the trademark — and more importantly, the secret recipe — from Toro and hired him as a consultant, leading to a big doughy mess.

No matter who the owner is, if H&H is revived, the bagel makers will face some tough new competition. Brooklyn’s nouveau deli Mile End will begin baking its own bagels come fall, Grub Street reported. Unlike H&H’s New York-style bagels, Mile End’s Noah Bernamoff will replicate the Montreal bagels of his (and my) youth — smaller, chewier, more flavorful. “Our goal is to make what I call an old-fashioned bagel. We want to take bagels back a notch, the same way we did with deli,” he told Grub Street.

One bagel connoisseur who won’t be lining up for them: Author and former New York Times food critic Mimi Sheraton, who’s made her distaste for Montreal bagels clear: “Montreal bagels are atrocious,” Sheraton told the Forward by e-mail. “I have tasted samples from the famed St. Viateur and Fairmount… No salt, but sugar — yuck. The rings are much too thin, and so encrusted with seeds of various sorts it’s like eating broken glass.”

So where can New Yorkers find decent bagels these days, asked the Forward? Across the pond, Sheraton said. “About seven years ago I had some good bagels in London, on Brick Lane.” Sheraton was referring to London institution Brick Lane Beigel Bake, which Time Out hails as “brilliant.” Maybe NYC vs. London is the next frontier in the bagel battles.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: New York Bagels, Mile End Bagels, H and H

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.