Monday, December 05, 2011

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 bagel wedding sojourn did cause us to miss a Maryland game this weekend. In fact, while we were busy eating our bagels and a schmeer, the Terps were busy schmeering the Eagles at American, 76-42. But that's yesterday's news, and so we presume you already know it. In case you missed the AP story, it's here. The Washington Post couldn't even bother sending a reporter to cover a game between two local teams. (Shame on them.)

The Terps' next victim opponent is Delaware State, on Thursday at 7 PM at Comcast. The Hornets of Delaware State should not be confused with the #22-ranked Blue Hens of the University of Delaware, who Maryland will be playing on Dec. 29, the second day of the annual Terrapin Classic (assuming no upsets on day one).

Go Terps! . . . Schmeer the Hornets!


At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Tianna's sister place for Deleware State?? Anyone know?

At 4:31 PM, Blogger vmaione said...

Wow! It's Tierra Hawkins -- and she and Tianna are twins! I checked the Delaware State roster!

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Rebecca said...

Your post made me hungry.

Clearly we need to get on Kim Barnes Arico and Brenda Frese to make that St. John's-Maryland thing a home and home so you can get some real NY bagels.

At 7:51 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Dear R,

That works for us. At least we'd get good NY bagels every other year! :-)

-- BC

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also grew up on real jewish bagels and these are excellent. Its just inside the beltway at the GA Ave exit.

Goldberg's New York Bagels, 9328 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring. MD 20910

Mon-Thu 6 am - 4 pm, Fri 6 am - 3 pm, Sun 7 am - 3 pm

At 2:07 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Dear Anon at 1:28PM,

Thank you for the recommendation! We were hoping readers might tell us about some places we simply haven't discovered!

-- BC

At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

two things.

One: Bagels - The Bagelry, Silver Spring, MD. Been going there 25+ years, fits the bill, small hole-in-the-wall, excellent "chewy" NY bagels, not a franchise. Excellent.

Two: Whitney Bays tweeted last week "hyped that we're playing UCONN next year"....been looking for confirmation ever since. Apparently she let the turtle out of the bag...confirmation!/jaltavilla

At 6:34 PM, Blogger vmaione said...

I noticed this news release on the Maryland web site confirming the rumors. It's true!

At 10:39 PM, Blogger DP said...

Kathy and I really enjoyed your company this weekend. We doubly appreciate your coming since you missed a Maryland game to be with us. Bagels for us! Bagels for everyone!


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