As a lad, I worked as a bagelmeister in Queens, New York, a large operation that provided bagels wholesale to various markets and restaurants around the city. This experience gives me an insight into bagels that many people don't possess. Like, for instance, you.
Okay, now that my credibility has been firmly established, allow me to posit that The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company makes a better bagel than any other current Miami-Dade operation. And BWB will soon shoot a hole through the competition: It is readying a venue at The Shops At Alton & Fifth, in South Beach (1119 Fifth Street).
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Brooklyn Water Bagels is an expanding franchise with a flagship shop in Delray Beach. My dad lives up there, so upon returning from visits I frequently tote home a baker's dozen along with a freezer bag with reheating instructions that comes with the bagels. Einstein's makes a very tasty roll, but because the all-important pre-baking step of boiling is omitted, the crust is soft rather than crunchy (on the other hand, I know conspiracy theorists who insist that Einstein's makes the best-tasting holes). Brooklyn Bagels (different ownership from Brooklyn Water Bagels), newly ensconced in the Midtown 2 tower, is a step up from Einstein's, as is New York Bagel Deli, (with locations downtown and on Collins Avenue and 65th Street). Still, the crusts at both places aren't as crisp, nor the dough as yeasty as those found at Brooklyn Water Bagels. Plus the painstaking and patented process by which da best borough's water is reproduced probably has something to do with the better taste. So the arrival of the business, to be nestled in a row alongside Subway and Pizza Fusion in the relatively new South Beach mall, something to look forward to.
And not just for the bagels, which will be baked fresh on premise, of course. Allen Susser is currently working on specialized local menus for a few of the signature stores -- as the one in South Beach has been designated. "About 80% of the menu will be the same as other Brooklyn Water Bagels" says Susser. "For the other 20% we'll work with local farmers and add menu items that appeal to the neighborhood." A farm-to-table bagel shop? Cool.
Better still: It will be open 24 hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. When asked to predict an opening date, Susser replies that "We're getting there; beginning of January is what we're expecting." A branch will also be opening around the same time in Jet Blue Terminal 3 at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.