We arrived back in New York to a brutal heat wave and the even more brutal news that H&H Bagels on 80th Street and Broadway had closed down after almost forty years of supplying the perfect ovoid vehicle for the transportation of lox, cream cheese and various condiments to the greedy little fressers of the Upper West Side. Apparently the owner had some holes in his financial reporting.
My memory of H&H is sensory on a number of levels, but aroma topped them all. I used to belong to a gym that was located on the floor above and I would inhale the glorious smells of bagels baking – sesame, onion, rye, poppy seed and the extraordinary, unmatchable Everything Bagel – while I was shvitzing away on the treadmill. Talk about counter-productive.
Ah, well. Now we’ll either have to adapt to the softer, bigger, doughier Zabar’s bagel – which is not really to my taste – not dense enough, more like bread than
bagel – or hunt up a new specimen somewhere.
Enter Absolute Bagels on the eastside of Broadway between 107th and 108th Streets – right next to the big fruit and vegetable market. It’s a schlep for me, but I went today, despite the heat, to provide my readers with the all-important first-hand tasting. Well okay, I did it for myself. The result? Fantastic bagel – chewy, crusty, dense, well-coated with the various seeds, onions, etc. And a good price – a buck a bagel.
Maybe we could convince them to deliver?