Thursday, January 04, 2007

Dr. Atkins ruined my breakfast

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.


Jill said...

This will probably not surprise you, but we have the same lack of good bagel issue here in the Kzoo. We have to go to A) Ann Arbor, or B) Atlanta (both places we've been to more than we should have since we moved here a year and a half ago) to eat a decent bagel. It is a sad state of affairs.

RHPT said...

Bagel snob. There's nothing wrong with Sara Lee's Cinnamon Raisin bagels.

The League said...

Unfortunately, I don't prefer the sweeter bagels. Plus, I think the companies like Sara Lee use the sweet-factor to compensate for the doughy concsistency of bagels laced with preservatives. In a pinch, one of these will do.

However, I feel that a good, plain bagel should really be the yardstick by which all other bagels are judged. Sara Lee's regular bagels fall into that realm of "okay IF you toast them", but don't hold a candle to a decent, fresh bagel from Einstein Bros. or some of the Phoenix bagelries we once visited.

J.S. said...

You're unemployed. Maybe you should open a bagel shop.

RHPT said...

It could be a bagel/comic shop!

Unknown said...

So I should not bring up the fact that Chandler/Gilbert was recently named the bagel capital of the US? Just kidding!

During our marathon training the only thing that I looked forward to on saturdays (our long run days) were our bagel breakfasts afterwards. We even got to know the local Einstein Bros. manager after a few weeks.

Hopefully you will find a local bagel shop, if not, next time you guys are in AZ I know where to take you for breakfast.

Anonymous said...

Funny tip to share.
I worked at Randall's bakery in high school. They would repackage frozen Lender's bagels and resell them with a Randall's bakery label on them. They did it to reduce cost and make a tidy profit.
Bunch of corporate sickos!

Next time, I will share the various ways they recycled their bread.

The League said...

my god
that is so gross.

But i remember how cute you looked in your hat. You and Judy Morrison were the darlings of the Randall's Bakery.

recycling bagels seems like something Judy would have come up with.