I recently purchased a couple of bagels and a bialy at Brooklyn Bagels, which is open for business in the Midtown 2 (between The Cheese Course and Primo Pizza, across from Shoppes at Midtown). Owner Ashraf Sahaltout ships his water from New York in order to capture that elusive Brooklyn flavor, and the bagels I sampled were pretty good. But the bialy just looked wrong - as if it was a flattened bagel indented with onions where the hole usually is. A real bialy has other differences as well - it is blended using a separate, smaller dough mixer than bagels, is not boiled as bagels are, and finishes as a lighter, more floury bread.
Is this a bialy," I asked the man behind the counter, who I suspect was the owner (I would have asked if I knew I'd be writing a post).
Yes, it's a bialy," he answered. "Here, I'll give you one to try" he continued, putting a bialy into the bag with the bagels. The bill came out to $3.20. I gave him $4 and he kept it without giving back change. "OK, that'll work, thanks", he said, in effect charging me $.80 for a bialy I didn't order. If it was a real bialy it would have been worth it, although it was nonetheless a sneaky move.
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Funny thing: While looking up the phone number for this post, I read the so-called bialy described as a flagel - as in flat bagel. Why didn't he just tell me that?
Main point of post: Brooklyn Bagels' bagels are good; the flagel/bialy is not.
3451 NE First Ave., Miami