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For Bagels That Are a Big Deal: “Black Seed Bagels”

There are only a handful of people whose opinions I take seriously when it comes to food. I am not one of those folks who believes in the hype of a newly opened up restaurant or one that has a long standing history just because it is popular. Very often I am in the minority and find myself struggling to understand what “everyone” loved about that place. 

My best examples include “Carbone” (, hardly the best Italian food in the city, as well as “Lucali’s” pizza in Brooklyn ( The latter has played host to JayZ and Beyonce, yet it was one of the worst pies I have ever had. Sooooo not #pizzaFriday worthy.

Now have a new place to add to that ever growing list: “Black Seed Bagels”. 

Black Seed Bagels are very popular in NYC especially on social media. Once you have seen pictures that have you drooling it is very tempting to fall for what is essentially propaganda. This is my plea for you not to.

Black Seed Bagels was opened in 2014 by Noah Bernamoff and Matt Kliegman featuring Montreal style bagels, created by executive chef Dianna Daoheung. This style of bagels are boiled in honey water and seeded before being baked at high temperature in wood burning ovens. This process is supposed to make the bagels have the perfect combination of chew and crispness. I found them dry, without flavor, and most of all dull. They completely lacked luster of any kind.

Black Seed Bagels have four locations in Manhattan and a brand new shop now in Brooklyn Heights, ironic considering had a waited a month longer to visit I wouldn’t have had to schlep to the city and pay tolls on top of needing lunch once I threw my sandwich out.

These bagels are Instagram stars but I have had better bagels at stores I went in that had no power. I kid you not. 

I ordered a chicken salad sandwich, with well done, bacon on a rye bagel. I got this variety of bagel because I had never seen it before. I got my mother an everything bagel with cream cheese and she too was very unimpressed. 

Aside from the disappointing bagel, was the chicken salad. Usually I wouldn’t have ordered such a thing from a place where I have never tasted it before but this was supposed to be the land where sandwiches good do no wrong. I told you I believed the hype. 

Their chicken salad was extremely bland, and worst yet had such thick uneven pieces of chicken it was more like someone had scrapped off their dinner plate onto my bagel. The bacon was not well done and again not good. I forced myself to take two bites of my sandwich before I gave up and got rid of it. 

I had also ordered coffee and despite adding more milk and sugar I couldn’t manage to finish that either. Black Seed uses Stumptown Coffee, which again seems to have mass appeal with everyone but me. 

My experience here left me with a bad taste in my mouth, pun intended. But in a city like New York, there are good bagels to be had, especially in Brooklyn. So far, I can recommend Bagel Hole ( and The Bagel Store ( 

Lately I have been doing more exploring in this area and have found bagels that seem to get better and better with each location I try. It is with this new found appreciation for those lesser known but more delicious, high quality foods, that I am currently working on a bagel blog. I will tell you where to go, what you can get, and why you will be happy you followed my advice.

This is research I am taking very seriously; one bite at a time.

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