A Bagel and a Schmeer
The BCs were in the mood for a really good bagel this weekend, and if there's one thing you can't find in D.C., that's it. At least, not that we've ever found. Oh, we've sampled some round brown things that resembled bagels here in the DMV, but they just didn't measure up to the (high) standard we set for a really good bagel. Mostly they are missing that perfect chewiness. You know it when you've had it, and we pretty much haven't had it anywhere close to home.
We've also noticed that people selling "bagels" in D.C. ask if (or worse yet, assume) you want them toasted. No! No! No! A genuine fresh bagel should never be toasted. Never! It's like ordering a steak at Morton's and asking for ketchup. People do it, the restaurant obliges, but it's still just wrong!
So on Saturday, the BCs hopped a plane to Chicago in search of a good bagel. We could have gone to New York, of course, but since dear friends of ours happened to be getting married in Skokie (a Chicago suburb) that day, we decided on the Windy City for our bagel hunt.
We're pleased to report that the weekend -- including our bagel hunt -- was a complete success. First and foremost, the wedding ceremony was moving and beautiful. It was a perfect celebration of our friends' love and commitment, in front of their families and friends. It doesn't get any better than that. We are so grateful that we could be there. Thank goodness there was no early season Chicago blizzard to stand in our way!
The wedding was Saturday night, so that left all day Sunday for our search for that perfect bagel. We scoped out the area around Skokie, and zeroed in on a place called Bagel Country. It was located in a strip mall. The exterior was nondescript. There was nothing about it from the outside that screamed "perfect bagel." So we were a little skeptical. But when we walked in, all it took was one glance and we knew we had chosen well. Here's a tip: when you enter a bagel establishment and notice not only that it's crowded but also that every male customer is wearing a yarmulke with a hair clip, you know you have come to the right place. And indeed we had! So we ordered a couple of bagels with cream cheese and couldn't wait to try them. All it took was one bite into that perfect chewiness, and the BCs were in bagel heaven.
As we were finishing up, an elderly gentleman named Neil who appeared to be the owner was making the rounds with a tray of chocolate chip cookies, stopping at every table to talk to the patrons and offer cookies. (Free cookies . . . on top of perfect bagels!) When Neil got to our table, we saw that he was wearing a name badge proclaiming him to be the "Chief Schmoozer." He was aptly titled, and we thoroughly enjoyed our good long schmooze. We told Neil how much we loved the bagels, and tried to convince him to open a second location in D.C. -- a city not only in need of a good bagel -- but one that also values a good schmoozer. Neil looked at us with a twinkle in his eye and told us it would be much easier if we would just move to Skokie. Those bagels were so good, we're considering it!
Unfortunately, our Midwest
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