Sunday, November 16, 2008
The Clarion Content has long sought after decent bagels in North Carolina, until recently it had been a trying and ultimately dissatisfying quest. Having northeast genetic stock on our editorial staff, standards were high. You don't bring Bruegger's bagels to the Clarion offices, lest you want to me mocked and derided until you run away cowering and crying. Bruegger's bagels are no more than one tiny half step removed from a frozen Lender's bagel (aka hockey pucks.) Lender's bagels are to bagels what Yugos are to cars, golf pencils are to writing implements, what dial-up internet is to a T1 line. Sure they are vaguely members of the same class, but they are craptastic. A Yugo hardly begins to make one understand the powerful possibilities of the automobile. A golf pencil can be used to scratch something down, but need to erase? Fugit about it. And if you grew up on MontBlanc's, you are never going to believe that someone else considers a golf pencil satisfactory. Really? Really? You are willing to accept that?
So one can only imagine how excited we were after ten long years of searching to finally encounter, not only a decent bagel in the Carolina's, but an excellent one. Previously we had not met a bagel in the state of North Carolina that we would have rated over a 4 out of 10. New York Bagel & Deli of Cary, NC is the diggity. Of course, made from scratch! Their bagels are old school, huge and just the right texture. Not to mention, they are not so blinded by blueberries and other fruits, as to neglect the traditional flavors; garlic, onion, poppy, seasame, pumpernickel and so on. Their staff is top notch, most days owners Tom and Josephine Nurrito* are behind the counter. Even when they're not, the service is always impeccable. And if it is not always delivered with a smile, the gruffness hides some genuine caring about the people and the product. Your happiness is assured, they won't let you leave less than satisfied. Maybe it is just all that experience, they have been a family business for over 75 years. (Most of it elsewhere, as 75 years ago Cary was a field.)
* Josephine always has a delightful smile.
I must admit, I don't know squat about what goes into baking a good bagel versus an average one, but when I eat'em I sure can tell them apart. Lucky you to work so close to the only as yet identified good bagel place in the Triangle.