BEST BAGELS (1999)
Unlikely as it may seem, the local bagel picture is getting bleaker. Not content with having added corrupting influences like jalapeño, blueberry, and chocolate, now those crazed bakers seem to be trying to fuse muffins and bagels in unholy demon-child flavors--lemon-poppyseed, chocolate-cherry, orange-almond. Only Big City Bagels makes the crusty boiled wonders the way they're supposed to be, with a dense crumb, chewy, glossy crust, and indelicate seasonings like garlic, sesame seed, and crusty piles of plain old salt. Frankly, the only way Big City could improve matters further (they also toast bagels, make bagel sandwiches, and melt cheese on bagels--mmmm, cheese) would be by taking out a contract on these double-raspberry-streusel bakers for us.