For over twenty years I’ve frequented Ess-a-Bagel, one of the best bagel shops in NY. It’s got its charm, what with the “bagel facial” (the steam from the bagels being cooked) that blasts you when you enter (you’re lucky when it’s cinnamon raisin— the garlic bagels attach to your clothing all day). The same guys have worked there for years and thankfully they all know what I order (I get claustrophobic very easily, and hate waiting). However, recently something has driven me away from my beloved bagel shop.
Many women (the kind who have small dogs, big purses, gym clothes and, when they leave, a Blackberry in one hand and a bagel in the other) have requested their bagels be “scooped” [i.e. stripped of the interior dough —Ed.] — a word I associate with ice cream. I’m surprised Ess-A-Bagel allows such un-kosher terms to be spoken in their establishment. What’s a bagel without the dough? That’s like a pizza without cheese.
This morning I called the store’s manager, David Wilpon, and he knew right away what I was kvetching about: “People think less dough, less calories. But the crust is no different, nutritionally, than the dough.” He agreed that the scooping process holds up other bagel lovers, but when I suggested they sell half bagels, a West Coast trend my uncle from LA told me about, he declined.
If you want your bagel “scooped,” do me a favor and do it yourself. After all, you do it for that flea-infested mutt under your arm all the time… Lately I’ve been going to David’s Bagels, a block south from Ess-a-Bagel where the line is never long, and the bagels are… [tears up] better.