An Examination of the Bagels That surround us
By Cecilia Majzoub
*Oprah’s I-love-carbs voice* I love bagels! It’s become a running joke among friends, but now a serious acclamation and my alter ego. I not only want to share personal adoration for the bagel, but the college-kids need for the cheap, quick, easy and wonderful carbohydrate.
Now, let’s rate five bagels within a half-mile of BCC. They will be ranked according to texture: Are they dense enough? Too crispy? How about the bagel to schmear ratio? Does the schmear hold its coolness, or does it fade away alarmingly like our innocence when we found out that the Berenstein Bears are actually the Berenstain (I’m still not convinced)? The culinary journey will be treacherous, but I must test the bagel for my fellow students.
K’s Coffee House 2002 Center St.
First up, the closest location to BCC: the lovely K’s Coffee House. This café is a staple, and so are their bagels. I prefer the whole wheat sesame option, but cheese is by far highest in demand. Sociology student Kinsey D effused that, “the mystery fruit bagel, which might be blueberry or raisin” is their favorite. “It’s got a cinnamon quality that makes you question what you’re eating, but in the best way… with a little butter and honey…the crispy edge…yes.” K’s bagels are a solid 5/5. Location is key, the product is ideal, and the guys behind the counter are friendly. Good people, good quality bagels, what else could you ask for?
The Butcher’s Son 1941 University Ave.
For Saturday classes, vegan deli The Butcher’s Son has your back. The options feel healthier (whether it’s actually healthier or not, I cannot confirm.) They have more sandwich-style options than simply cream cheese which is accommodating to mood, but can make a decision difficult! The Butcher’s Son is a 3/5. They lose one point due to weekend availability only and the cream cheese is grainy rather than smooth, silky, and cooling. Another one point was taken for the bagels themselves not being toasted thoroughly.
Nuha’s Café 2115 Milvia St.
Nuha’s Café, like The Butcher’s Son, also has non-schmear options, but the bagels are not the most alluring. They taste like Thomas’ brand. I mean, it’s food, so it feels extravagant to say anything super negative, but… I would not recommend them: 2/5. On the other hand, Max A., student of Political Science at BCC, expressed his positive revelations about Nuha’s bagels. He prefers them because, “The crunchy crust acts as a capsule to deliver the delicious cream cheese, which lingers on your taste buds.” You do you, Max.
Lox Stock & Bagel 2043 Allston Way
LS&B offers the idyllic, dare I say, the holy grail of bagels. This is the only other bagel receiving 5/5. The texture is entirely flawless. Dense enough, without being doughy, and the schmear holds up to the test! The ingredients are fresh, an imperative detail usually forgotten. The service is not as friendly as K’s, but LS&B still gets 5 stars because the bagels are that good.
Bagel Street Café 2148 Center St.
Bagel Street Café is the right place if you prefer more of a buzzing atmosphere. The shop resides between BCC and UC Berkeley, so there is generally more foot traffic. Their bagels are more hollow and not as dense as LS&B, or as generic as Nuha’s; the Bagle Street Café is somewhere in between. They also have more bagel-sandwich options, if that’s what you’re looking for, but I stick with the plain schmear for rating purposes. The cream cheese is softer and to my dismay, does not hold up to the heat of the bagel. 2/5.
Bagels are a critical element of the collegiate diet, and there are plentiful options for BCC students. Hopefully this assessment has helped open your mind to the options that surround you and your peers and intrigued you to dive into the holy world of the dynamic and mysterious bagel.