OK, it's not a new concept, and you can get bagels over-nighted to you directly from that most beloved New York City bagel haven H&H, but there's something seductive about a Seattle coffee shop advertising "Fed Ex New York Bagels." (Lettered in neon no less.)
Pulled in by the temptation of a real New York bagel, I stopped into Madison Valley's My Coffee House to see what all the hoo ha was about. Are they really that much better? (I grew up on the East Coast, but I am sure bagel purists consider a New Hampshire bagel an entirely different species from their city cousins). Without springing for airfare, I guess yesterday's bagel shipped overnight is going to be the closest I'll get for now.
And I was lucky, I did get yesterday's bagel, but the guy in front of me chose another variety of bagel, because the one he wanted was, um, frozen. This was not quite what I'd imagined...
Against the din of many small children and their Madison Valley moms, I heard the very punk barista tell me she was glad they had a sesame bagel for me, because she thought they might have been out of that kind. "Don't you get them Fed-Exed overnight?" I asked. "Yes, they just got here," she told me, pointing to the just-opened boxes on the floor. "That's this week's batch."
This week's batch? A day-old bagel is sacrilege enough, but a frozen week old bagel?
To add insult to injury (and really I should have known better, but I was hopeful, still) I order a salmon bagel. And after saying, yes, a bit more salmon would be nice, I check out my bagel. It's open-faced. And it's not wearing graceful, thin slices of lox, that silky, sashimi-tender, highly salted, ultra-orange delicacy I was hoping for, but pale flakes of a very Northwesty, dry-aged salmon. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. But it's not even trying to be a proper New York bagel. No onions, no capers. Nada.