Bag a Bunch of Bagels

Twin Cities bagels, revealed, celebrated, or mocked mercilessly, depending on which paragraph you read

 

Einstein Bros. Bagels; multiple locations
www.einsteinbros.com
Bagels: Good. Second-best of the chain bagels, nice toppings, good brownness, the kind of bagel that's totally acceptable.

Weight: Decent heft, but not so much that you could distinguish an Einstein bagel from another chain bagel by sight.

D'oh! St. Paul Bagelry boasts the best of the homegrown crop
Jayme Halbritter
D'oh! St. Paul Bagelry boasts the best of the homegrown crop

Location Info

Map

Crossroads Deli & Bakeshop

2795 Hedberg Drive
Hopkins, MN 55305

Category: Restaurant > Deli

Region: Hopkins

Extra points: None.

Crime against humanity: Owned by the New World Restaurant Group, which is part of a nearly 700-shop group which includes sister chains Noah's Bagels, Manhattan Bagel, and Chesapeake Bagels. I feel a certain personal anger at Einstein for the crimes of Chesapeake. Hey, Einstein, if you're so smart, how come your sister puts icing on bagels?

 

Crossroads Delicatessen, 2795 Hedberg Dr.,
Hopkins; 952.546.6595

www.crossroadsdelicatessen.com
Bagels: Gruesome. The day I went to Crossroads, the bagels were of a ghostly, otherworldly paleness. The onions on the onion bagel were white, translucent, and wet. Even though it was early in the morning and they should have been fresh, the bagels smelled strongly of icing, the odor absorbed, I assume, from the frosted treats that were also in the case.

Weight: Like dandelion puffs on the roadside.

Extra points: The best matzo ball soup in the metro can be gotten to go in the deli, a big old two-ball portion for $7.59 is all but guaranteed to bring summer colds to their knees.

Crimes against humanity: The next time I go to Hopkins they're probably going to shoot flaming arrows at my car. If this interferes with my ability to get that matzo ball soup, I am going to kill me.

 

Big Apple Bagels; multiple locations
www.babcorp.com
Bagels: Overall, not bad. I found Big Apple's bagels to be just chewy enough to be recognizable as a bagel, but nothing worth going too out of your way for.

Weight: Light.

Extra points: They keep you on your toes, Big Apple does. The last time I visited this chain, a few years back, I thought they had excellent bagels. What a difference a few years makes: When I visited the Maplewood location for this story I found that they are the leaders of the sugar-bagel field, and seem to be functioning these days more as a coffee shop than a bagel store.

Crimes against humanity: Considerable. First, let me tell you about the strawberry bagel, a pink-and-brown bubble that tastes exactly like Strawberry Quik and looks exactly like you can't believe you're not wearing flamingo-tinted glasses. Worse are the chain's premium "Bab's Choice" bagels, like "cinnamon-laced apple pie," "white chocolate swirl" (with a streusel topping), and "blueberry cobbler" (with a crunchy, crumby cobblerlike topping). At first I thought, "Heavens, who is Bab, and does she know that putting a streusel topping on a bagel is both unspeakably tacky, and a nutritional choice sure to lead to grief?" Then I realized that Bab stands for Big Apple Bagels, which explained a lot.

Specifically, right at this very moment, as you may or may not know, all of New York City is scratching their heads as to why their politicians are seeking to replace the city's old slogan with the lame "The World's Second Home." But the people of New York can never understand the answer the way we can: If someone named a white chocolate, swirl-streusel-topped bagel after me, I'd change my name too.

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