So today Jamie woke me up and said, "The toaster is broken."
This news did not come as a complete surprise. The toaster oven had, reportedly, burst into flames the other day during an english muffin incident.
"Let's go get breakfast," she declared after I'd rolled around in bed for a few more minutes, even trying to get Mel to join my cause of remaining in the comfy, warm bed.
"We have cereal," I said.
"Nah, I want to go out. We can even go get bagels."
I love bagels. Like all the best foods, bagels are round. They have a convenient hole in the middle for better gripping. You cover them in delicious cream cheese. And in Phoenix, we had three good bagel shops within a few minutes of the house, so I ate a lot of bagels.
Not so in Austin.
I am told, the "no carbs" movement led by Dr. Atkins has meant that the suburbanites which once filled bagel shops have given up on the notion of a bagel shop. Somehow this has not stopped them from filling Starbucks to overflowing and eating sugar drenched and fat-injected pastries while chigging down venti mochas (which obviously have no calories in them).
Thus, bagel shops aren't anywhere near as popular or numerous as they once were. In fact, there really aren't any in my part of town.
But, Jamie promised me a bagel.
We headed to Central Market, which, oddly didn't appear to have bagels in their cafe. Lots of other stuff that's crappy for you, but no bagels. Then we headed to Kerbey Lane, knowing bagels were on the menu, even though they were not the most exciting bagels in the world. But, Kerbey Lane being Kerbery Lane, we waited around for fifteen minutes (on a weekday morning), had a table which was then swiped from us, and I made my twice annual "I shall never wat at Kerbey Lane again!" declaration as we got irritated and left.
I never got a bagel. I made some eggs at home.
I've done a Google-search. I can't find any bagel shops anywhere near the 78745. We have Mexican restaurants which serve breakfast coming out our ears, including Casa G's and a Maudie's not too far away. The closest bagel shop, however, is an Einstein Bros. on 12th and Lamar, and one does not go willy-nilly into the Lamar Shopping Zone of Doom without damn good cause. But I love frikkin' Einstein Bros., so maybe on Saturday.
I suppose I could buy bagels at HEB, but the Lender's type bagels you can buy in a bag are doughy and weird and don't even taste like regular bagels. And, they don't come in any varieties other than cinnamon, whole wheat and plain at my grocery.
I haven't tried to pick up their "fresh" bagels at HEB, but rarely are grocery store bagels out of the grocery store bakery all that exciting.
I'm just a man who wants a good bagel, and I don't want to drive to 12th and Lamar to get it. I resent the abandonment of the bagel so that people could move on to the next fad. We had a good thing going with the bagel. People could agree on the bagel. It could be served toasted or cold. It could be plain, or salted, or oniony or with raisins embedded. It could even be pumpernickel.
And, you usually got to drink a hell of a lot of coffee while enjoying your bagel.
I am not even particularly bothered by the knowledge that there is not a bagel shop in the '45 (or the '04). But what bugs me is that the selection at the grocery store is returning to the slim, pre-bagel craze offerings which once shamed the good name of bagels.
Damn you, Dr. Atkins. Damn you straight to hell.