Last June I completed my first extensive blog about Brooklyn and bagels.
It was by no means my first such blog, nor as you will see here, will it be my last.
Aside from pizza, bagels are one of my most favorite foods. They are so versatile.
You can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can have them with eggs, cold cuts, or even make pizza with them. You can have them on the sweeter side like cinnamon raisin or if you are like me and crave salt, then an everything bagel is for you.
There is really no wrong a bagel can do, EXCEPT when it is not crispy on the outside and chewy (but not doughy) on the inside. Just like my previous blog about the perfect first bite of pizza, the same is true about the first bite of a bagel.
Thankfully I live in Brooklyn, a town that is known for perfection when it comes to carbs. The bread found here continues to be a reason I get a warm welcome whenever I bring samples of these goodies to family and friends who live elsewhere.
My latest, and current bagel obsession, is with Dyker Park Bagels.
I first discovered them several months ago when I was at a doctor’s office nearby. I simply Googled “best bagels in Brooklyn” and their name appeared. However, that day my appointment ran longer than expected and I didn’t have time to go.
I have finally made that up to myself.
After driving around the blocks surrounding Dyker Park Bagels to find a spot, I managed to get inside.
There was a short line and I was happy to wait.
The smell inside this place was amazing as well was the amount of beautiful food I was looking at. You don’t normal hear about food being described as beautiful but it should be. When something you haven’t yet tasted, looks so incredible you end up adding on to your planned order while standing at the cash register (as I did here), the food is beautiful.
While on line I saw the sign for the sandwich made famous by Dyker Park Bagels: “The Chicken Ridiculous”. Though that sounds delicious, I was here for bagels.
The closer I got to ordering the more I was distracted by these beautiful baked goods I was not expecting to see. There was a variety, and I mean variety. Not just one or two flavors, but seemingly endless danishes, croissants, and muffins. More impressive was that each and every single one looked so good if I had to pick just one to sample I would not be able to. It would be the “Sophie’s Choice” of pastry challenges.
Finally I placed my order. I got one of my standards: an everything bagel with vegetable cream cheese. I also ordered a plain onion bagel for later and a cheese croissant for my mother. A small iced coffee with milk and sugar would complete my purchase.
Once I got to my car and took my first sip of coffee, I had all the information I needed. My iced coffee was very good and wasn’t even as light and sweet as I normally demand. It was incredibly delicious and satisfying. I knew I was about enjoy my breakfast!
The bagel was crispy, chewy, and had salt, which a proper everything bagel should.
Next was the cream cheese. Now I am one of those who always end up whipping off some even though I say: “light on the cream cheese” because it is always too much. However, here I was confused.
Sure it looked like there was four layers of cream cheese but that really wasn’t the case. Instead it appears Dyker Park Bagels truly puts the “vegetable” in “vegetable cream cheese”. I have never seen one more veggie packed and not with just some scallions and maybe a few shredded slices of carrots.
I saw red peppers, carrots, scallions, onions, tomatoes, and maybe even a silver of a cucumber. It was so hearty I may have well been eating a salad. It was SO good, a perfect combination of salt, crunch, and creamy texture. I was immediately kicking myself for not buying some to take home, while simultaneously listing all the people in my head I knew I had to bring here.
That onion bagel I ate the next day for lunch and it was also to die for. I am not normally a fan of onion bagels - garlic yes - but onion bagels never seem to appeal to me. But this one I saw out of the corner of my eye and it was just speaking to me. Again, perfect texture and full of flavor even at a day old.
The varieties of cream cheese and bagels were too numerous for me to photograph but after my first experience I think I will be comfortable being much more daring on my next visit.
As for the cheese croissant, my mother loved it so much I never got a bite.
If you read that bagel blog I mentioned before you will find that one of my all time bagels can be found at Zee Bagels. However, the combo of quality cream cheese AND bagels found at Dyker Park Bagels is giving Zee Bagels a fight for the number one spot.
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