Oy Vey! Treyf Noshing in Beantown

Leave it to a bunch of Boston ganifs to completely screw up that most New Yorkish of foodstuffs: the bagel. Yes, the schmendrick proprietors of—we cringe just to say the name—Finagle a Bagel have fouled our cherished hometown comestible with the addition of, ahem, cocoa. In honor of that fragile nudnik Coco Crisp. Talk about chutzpah. (Apparently Cocoa Krispie treats were beyond their ken.) Worse still, according to the Globe, as many as 100 shlemiel Sox fans are actually eating these fakakta productions each day. Meshuganeh.

PS: There’s a name for a sugary pastry with a hole in the center. In New York we call that a doughnut.

28 comments… add one
  • Interesting that you take such a strong position, considering that it seems to me like New York City’s favorite import is, in fact, Boston’s Dunkin’ Donuts, where the dreadful bagels (super-popular, if my own, limited, field observations hold) seem like a massive seller here in the Big Apple. They are everywhere. No disputing the world class (and possibly best ever) Ess-a concoctions (yes, the bagels here in New York are better than those in Boston), but YF might also be overestimating the classiness of his fellow New Yorkers’ taste buds.

    SF April 20, 2006, 6:33 am
  • Maybe Dunkies should have pre-empted this by making their version of a chocolate, crispy doughnut.
    Hmph. Finagle A Bagel. They’ve got nothing on Dunkin’ Donuts. (I’ve never had a bagel there, but they do everything else right.) And don’t even talk to me about the sugar-overdose, processed Krispy Creme monstrosities.
    By the way, good games for both the Sox and Yanks last night – good to see the Sox’s offense going off, and I’m sure YFs are happy to see them win a game in which they needed only three runs.

    rk April 20, 2006, 9:24 am
  • I swear to God, the fact that Covelli is way awesomer than whats-his-name with the goofy sideburns, that guy who can’t stop running into walls…what’s that dude’s name again? Whatever, he’s old. Anyway, the fact that Covelli is way awesomer than him is almost nullified by the tsunami of stupid “Coco” jokes and promotional tie-ins we’re currently drowning in.
    Here’s what I say: Fuck Covelli’s grandmother, man. This is all her fault.

    Alex April 20, 2006, 10:23 am
  • Living in Boston has been a nightmare for this NY’er. Eating bagels here is like gnawing on your hand only slightly more enjoyable. Finagle a Bagel does happen to be one of the very few places around here to get a decent bagel though, but none are convenient to my daily commute, and the nearest one is too many blocks from my apartment to walk there. Dunkin Donuts bagels tend to suck, but are very edible compared to the treyf stuff you get most other places here. Anyway, as for the Cocoa Bagel, you would never catch me eating one, and not just because I despise the Sox, or any Sox related/cross promoted products (sans Dunkins whose Hazelnut cawfee rawks). Chocolate flavored bagels are just against the rules. How the hell do you put cream cheese and lox on a chocolate bagel?

    NYYFan in Boston April 20, 2006, 11:24 am
  • Yeah, yeah, yeah. I like a *real* bagel as much as the next guy, and hate those fake cinnamon/blueberry numbers.
    But don’t think you’re going to distract from the comparative Sox/Yankees records with the above item, fella.
    (Most wins in baseball vs. a .500 record, baby!)

    Hudson April 20, 2006, 11:24 am
  • This Jersey girl is loaded with thoughts.
    RK – Dunkin’ Donut bagels? Let’s just say they should stick to their namesake and drop the bagel attempt.
    The Cocoa bagel? I like a good NY bagel just like anyone else, but I do think I could attempt one of these. I’m not a lox fan so I don’t have Hudson’s issue. I’d go with a cream cheese and fresh strawberries on a chocolate bagel.
    Seriously, this can’t be worse than when the current owner of Mickey Mantle’s resturant in NYC temporarily changed the name a few years back. Wasn’t it “Ted Williams” when Boston was in the World Series? I mean *THAT* was sacriledge.

    sandy April 20, 2006, 12:36 pm
  • Hudson, didn’t the Sox have a better record than the Yanks for most of last season as well? We all know how that ended up. It is very early my friend to be spouting off about having the most wins in baseball.

    bloodyank78 April 20, 2006, 12:38 pm
  • Hey – let’s stick to bagels. There’s a place in Brookline called Kupel’s that is half decent, though there is simply no replacement for the New York bagel by Ess-a. And I am a Bostonian. New York kicks our rear on this front.
    Ess-a bagels are clutch – they always come through, particularly the big pumpernickels. They are the Big Papi (the Big Pumpi?) of bagels. H&H’s are very good, but they don’t charm me (these are the A-Rod of bagels, perhaps) – they usually come through, but in a pinch, when in dire need of a bagel, it’s gotta be Ess-a.
    And despite my liking Coco (and cocoa), chocolate bagels are an affront to my bagel sensibility. Leave the chocolate to the tortes.

    SF April 20, 2006, 12:58 pm
  • and we’re not even talking about pizza yet. NYC wins that one.

    NickYF April 20, 2006, 1:01 pm
  • Ess-a gets a thumbs-up here. Less so the puffy dough blimps of H&H. Call me a partisan of the UWS, but as far as this YF is concerned, the best bagels in NYC are found at Absolute, on B’way between 106th and 107th. A superior product is not to be found, and I’ve done much searching, you can believe. Made fresh on the premises and in large numbers, with a crusty exterior, well-formed interior–not too doughy, not all air–and generous coat of seasoning, should you go that route. The tops.
    As for bialys, you’d better head down to Essex.

    YF April 20, 2006, 1:22 pm
  • Pizza’s a tougher call, Nick. On this one I might argue a little bit. New York has a massive lead in the bagel column, but on pies it’s tighter – NY enjoys an advantage from scale, not necessarily from a culinary standpoint. Boston has plenty of small, Greek pizza joints (my old standby out in Newton Highlands makes a great, idiosyncratic pie), and though The European closed down some years ago, there are still plenty of great older school spots – there’s an amazing Italian market in Medford whose name I can’t recall that makes a helluva Sicilian (as well as one of the best veal parm sandwiches around).
    I work about four blocks from Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn, and it is almost as good as it gets anywhere – I would be hard pressed to say I have had a better pie in Beantown (or Italy, for that matter). But Boston certainly holds it own, though it is a much smaller city. Forget places like Papa Gino’s, which are too often associated with Boston. Before they went all chain on us, they served a good slice, but the quality has diminished. New York has great pizza, don’t get me wrong, but too often a half-decent street slice (the wide availability of which is where NY get a good deal of it’s reputation from) tastes really generic. You still have to search in NY to get a stellar example, it’s just that the sheer amount of half-decent pizza available jades us; it’s unlike any other city around. But that ready availability doesn’t make it the best, necessarily.

    SF April 20, 2006, 1:34 pm
  • Bloodyank – I think we all expect the race to tighten up, but you’ll have to forgive our exuberance at finding the Sox to be the best in baseball (now).
    I think all of us SFs here can safely say that on Opening Day, we did NOT expect to be the best in baseball, the AL, nor the AL East even these few short weeks into the season. And with the bright prospect of Manny heating up, Coco returning, and Youk living up to (this fan’s) expectations, well . . . I’m just hoping we’re not doing what the Orioles did last year.
    Oh yeah. Bagels. Sorry.

    rk April 20, 2006, 1:35 pm
  • I’m going to have to tout the UWS again in regards to pizza. Only 4 blocks away from YF’s favorite bagel spot is Sal and Carmine’s, which is my favorite slice place in the world. The crust isn’t spectacular, but the cheese, ah, that cheese…I have to say, while I think Grimaldi’s is superb, it’s almost a different genre of food than what I’m getting at. It’s gourmet pizza, but comparing it to the regular slice is like apples and oranges. Boston loses me with its multitude of greek pizza places. It’s just my taste, but I’ve never liked greek pizza.

    NickYF April 20, 2006, 1:47 pm
  • Speaking of UWS, what about the K-Hole, the Kornet? We used to throw darts up near there and then grab a carpet for the ride home. Great, gargantuan slices.

    SF April 20, 2006, 1:53 pm
  • …and SF has been pretty rough on the pizza front these last few months.
    Note to people on the left coast:
    If it says anything on the sign regarding “New York Style”, “New York Slice”, “New York bla blah blah…” leave it be…the only thing they have that reminds one of New York is the boosted 1990s–2000s NYC price.

    walein April 20, 2006, 1:54 pm
  • Kornet’s price went skyward…the ginormous slice that tasted sort of terrible, became alot less apetizing since it wasn’t a economic deal anymore. Plus, they got rid of the Tetris Arcade game.

    walein April 20, 2006, 1:56 pm
  • This thread is more frustrating to me than anything related to Sox-Yanks. As an East Coast transplant living in Orange County, CA my yearning for these unbelievable delicacies is numbing. Hell, at least I got the weather.

    bloodyank78 April 20, 2006, 1:56 pm
  • re: Kornet’s
    I’m going to gain so much weight next year. god.

    NickYF April 20, 2006, 1:57 pm
  • Kornet’s quality was always directly related to the liquid intake prior to the Kornet visit. That being the case, it was almost always…perfect.

    SF April 20, 2006, 2:36 pm
  • I beg to differ with SF on the pizza front. Beantown can’t hold NY’s pizza jock. Either in terms of the average slice (where Boston falls flat) or the high-end. For my money, and it doesn’t take much of it, the 2 best slices in NYC are at DiFara in Brooklyn and Patsy’s (the original, dammit) on 116th and first. As for the best in the world, those two stack up against any, but i’d certainly put the great Michaela in Naples in their class. These are truly authentic local pizza joints, all three, and they’ve been churning out pies with top flight ingredients and care for decades. Ain’t nothing like these places in the Hub.

    YF April 20, 2006, 3:18 pm
  • I am not arguing that the Hub is superior. New York offers a bigger variety and great pizza. But the scale of the two cities is part of the equation, and for a much smaller city Boston holds up incredibly well on the pizza front. Unlike the bagel front where it’s outgunned by a long margin. And we’ve been through this before, but no meal is complete without dessert, and Boston just wipes the floor with New York’s atrocious ice cream selection.
    My (picky, yes) beef about the “average” slice is that the “average” slice is pretty typically mediocre. That there is a widespread availability of such mediocre pizza puts New York at a great advantage in terms of “decent pizza accessibility” (DPA, for short), but it doesn’t excuse the mediocrity.

    SF April 20, 2006, 3:26 pm
  • Welcome, Deadspin readers. As you can see, we’ve gotten a bit off track from our usual subject matter (um, baseball). Pardon our digressions. We’re gluttons. And you get what you pay for.

    YF April 20, 2006, 3:28 pm
  • A few addiitonal comments.
    Their is no competition between the cities where any sort of bread product is involved, bagels and pizza (dough) from NY far outpace anything the dirty water of Boston can produce. BTW, there is no such thing as “greek style” pizza. It’s called crap. Only the Eyetalions know how to make a proper pie.
    I feel for you BloodYank, I spent 6 weeks this winter working out in the OC and did not find a single decent bagel or slice out there. It’s tough man, you should consider moving home.
    Nick is right, UWS has it for Pizza, Mimi’s 85th and Madison I believe, though I haven’t been in years.
    Anf finally, I know I will get killed for this one, but NYC does not have the best bagels in the world. That title belongs to Fort Lee Hot Bagels on Main Street in Fort Lee, NJ about a half mile over the GWB.

    NYYFan in Boston April 20, 2006, 3:52 pm
  • on the pizza debate…..
    boston- pinnochio’s (harvard square in the alley)
    ny- strombolis (83 saint marks pl, @ 1st ave)
    i’d kill for either being stuck out in so cal.
    rumor has it da vinci’s (in ny) is shipping freeze dried pies via overnite delivery. tis a good pie as well.

    sf rod April 20, 2006, 4:37 pm
  • What you have to do when you move to Cali.: 1. Stop eating bagels. 2. Stop eating pizza. Sorry, there’s no way around it. Console yourself with a burrito.

    max April 20, 2006, 7:22 pm
  • Yeah, there are like 2 burrito places within 40 blocks of home that are even remotely decent. I miss the Mission, Pancho Villa’s – pick up the slack out there and have one for me, Nick.

    SF April 20, 2006, 7:44 pm
  • had one at Pancho Villas just last week.

    NickYF April 20, 2006, 8:26 pm
  • For the benefit of NYers living in Boston, in addition to Kupel’s, another brand of bagel superior to NY bagels is Iggy’s, available at Whole Foods on Walnut St. in Newton. Don’t know if they are sold at other Whole Foods markets.

    Waldomeboy April 24, 2006, 11:11 am

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