Bagels. The breakfast food that everybody loves. Some get them plain, some with eggs and cheese, and others do the traditional lox and cream cheese sandwich. In this bagel evaluation, I will be judging four iconic bagel shops: House of Bagels, Izzy’s Bagels, The Posh Bagel, and Bagel Street Cafe. From each of these places, I will order the same thing: one plain bagel. This might be controversial, but at the core of every bagel shop is a quality plain bagel. You might be able to spice your bagel up with add ons and toppings, but at the end of the day the most important part of the bagel eating experience is the quality of the bagel itself.
The Posh Bagel: 4/10
I have eaten at The Posh Bagel many times and was thoroughly underwhelmed by this bagel. The bagel was tiny and the center hole that was too big. It was more of a dough disc than anything. The taste was just not there. The bagel was so doughy that it took an uncomfortably long time to chew. Also, given the small size of the bagel, I do not know how you could add toppings like eggs, cream cheese, and lox.
Bagel Street Cafe: 6/10
The taste of this bagel was off. The skin was not crispy enough, and did not have a fresh enough taste. The center of the bagel was good. It was not too doughy, but definitely tasted like a nice soft bagel. This is a solid bagel if you are just in Menlo Park but for those of us seeking the ultimate bagel experience, we must venture further.
House of Bagels: 8/10
This is how a bagel should taste! The House of Bagels, located in Palo Alto, had fresh and clearly baked bagels the morning I got it. The bagel skin was thin yet crisp when I bit through it, but the inside was soft and not overly doughy. The bagel size was good—big enough to hold toppings but still delicious plain. The one downside of this bagel was that it did not have much of a center hole, and the skin was almost too crispy that it was crunchy. Aside from that, a really, really good bagel.
Izzy’s bagels provides the perfect balance. The bagel was a good size, such that it would be easy to add toppings to. The skin was crispy, but not so crispy, that it was almost as crunchy as the House of Bagels’ bagel was. The center was just doughy enough to get the bagel experience, but not so doughy that it took a long time to chew each bite. If you want the best bagel, go to Izzy’s on California Avenue in Palo Alto. They will not disappoint.