I just returned from a 5 year absence from New York (well, from the Northeast in general)...
(pauses for applause, congratulations, kudos, e-housewarming gifts)
... and I'm rediscovering one of the world's great pleasures: The New York Bagel. Now, we all know that New York bagels are the best. But my question is why? Why is it that the bagels from the boroughs, Westchester and Long Island make everything else seem like Wonder Bread?
In Dallas, where I lived for the last 2.5 years, the Dallas Observer, a local "Village Voice" style freebie, cited the chain "Einstein Bagels" for "best bagels" in their yearly "best of Dallas" list. Sad thing is, they're probably right.
It's not the technical know-how... obviously L.A. has a zillion folks with the recipes in their blood since their Jewish forebears boiled & baked on the Lower East Side... and yet the best the city of Angels has to offer is Noah's Bagels, doughy messes which for some reason Californians seem to think are top-quality. And it's not even a Jewish thing anyway, anymore... some of the best-loved bagels in the city are made by Asian-owned bakeries.
I've heard theories about the water, same as pizza dough. But it just doesn't seem like enough to make a difference. Has anyone ever had a bagel outside of NY that was awesome? (Jersey doesn't count) The furthest away I've ever had a great one was a totally random diner in Poughkeepsie.