Monday, December 28, 2009

Is Goldberg the Silver Spring Bagel Messiah?



(No, not that Goldberg.)

There is a light on the horizon signaling that the long, desperate days of not having decent bagels in Silver Spring may finally be coming to an end. According to a sign posted on the space on Georgia Avenue that once housed Kirsten's Cafe, the arrival in Silver Spring of Goldberg's New York Bagels is nigh. What an excellent belated Hanukkah present for Silver Spring.

There are already two Goldberg's bagelries located elsewhere in Maryland, one in Pikesville and the other a little closer to us in a strip mall on Boiling Brook Parkway in Rockville. The Pikesville Location has been twice named best bagels in Baltimore by their City Paper, which is certainly a favorable sign. Among other things, Goldberg's bagels are boiled prior to baking, a critical step which many of the places around here that sell so-called "bagels" opt to skip.


Goldberg's New York Bagels, via Baltimore City Paper.

For myself at least, this has the potential to be one of the most important culinary arrivals in Silver Spring for some time. Provided their bagels are up to snuff, I will likely end up patronizing them nearly every weekend. Hopefully the presence of Goldberg's will eliminate the need for me to travel to Bethesda Bagels (the local bagel gold standard, IMO) to get my fix. I suppose the only downside is that this location is a bit of a pain in the ass for those without motor vehicles, as well as for those coming from downtown Silver Spring who would need to make that treacherous left turn across Georgia Avenue.



43 comments:

jerry'sdaughter said...

This would be a great asset for Silver Spring! My current favorite nearby bagelry , also in Bethesda is Georgetown Bagelry on River Road in the Kenwood Shopping Center. Not convenient for us in Silver Spring but a great deli and bagel bakery.

Phantom said...

I'm not sure what is the nature of the relationship between the Baltimore and Rockville Goldbergs', but there's definitely a qualitative difference between them. Rockville is good but Baltimore is much better, so I'll hold off judgement on SS until they open.

Anonymous said...

The former Kirsten's space, which actually is two spaces, is also hosting yet another low-budget Chinese restaurant, the third within two blocks.

One more thing - the word in Woodside is that New Yorker Bakery just up the street is planning to open soon several days a week for retail sales including fresh hot bagels on Sundays. Battle of the Bagels!

Cyndy said...

Goldbergs in Pikesville has excellent bagels. The Bagelry out in Colesville is very good as well, especially if you get there early in the morning.

Sligo said...

Re: New Yorker Bakery

I think they already sell their bagels at Snider's.

WashingtonGardener said...

I agree with JD on Georgetown Bagelry being tops in our area - will hold jusgement on new place until it opens and gets its sea legs.

Hugo said...

I'm very much looking forward to bringing a bagelry to Silver Spring. As of now, all we have is what I call "circle bread."

davelevine said...

I used to make the trek from Takoma Park to Bethesda for the bagels but in the past year I've started buying my bagels from The Bagelry in Colesville. Not exactly Metro accessible but if you go early on a weekend morning the traffic is very light.

Springvale Roader said...

Sligo, that's great news! Let this be an omen for a good year. The only problem is that my father lives in New Jersey, so who will wake up at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning to bring home fresh hot bagels in time for my breakfast?

Now, if you tell me that a jazz bar is opening up, too, I'll truly believe there is a god up there, and not just one made of spaghetti.

Silver Spring: Then and Again said...

Guess I'll have to continue to suffer for what "passes" for bagels at Safeway and/or Whole Foods. I'm certainly not going to drive the distance up Georgia Avenue from downtown Silver Spring almosat to the Beltway to buy bagels.

Anonymous said...

I love that Safeway, especially now that it's been renovated.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Jerry.. I live downtown and walking to Seminary Rd/GA Ave is not bad, when the weather is more mild. You're lazy.

Silver Spring: Then and Again said...

Anonymous said...
"Too bad Jerry.. I live downtown and walking to Seminary Rd/GA Ave is not bad, when the weather is more mild. You're lazy."

Wow. "Anonymous" and ill-mannered to boot.

Anonymous said...

"I love that Safeway"
Seriously?? The one on Thayer?? Am I missing something, but it's always seemed on the same level as the UnSafeway on Capitol Hill and the Sandanista Safeway in Adams Morgan to me. Sure, it has improved over the past few years, but it's still going to have to do a lot more improving before I can exclaim that I love it.

Glad to hear about Goldberg and New Yorker Bakery opening up - I hope that the other retail stores in that area improve. I still can't get past Wolf videos and their sign advertising "Children & Adult Videos" - now, I know what they mean, but it still doesn't sound right!

In other news: Fenwick Wine & Beer near the main Post Office on 2nd Ave just opened. I hope for their sake that they do well, but anyone opening up a wine store in MoCo is crazy in my opinion. You're not just fighting a tough economy you're also fighting with one arm tied behind your back because of the insane wine laws in this area.

Hugo said...

In other news: Fenwick Wine & Beer near the main Post Office on 2nd Ave just opened. I hope for their sake that they do well, but anyone opening up a wine store in MoCo is crazy in my opinion.

I have noticed the sign for months but haven't read about this place anywhere, though I guess a wine/beer store opening isn't any kind of news. Still, I'm reasonably psyched about this, as it is on my walk home from the Metro after work, unlike the other wine and beer stores in and around downtown.

Anonymous said...

I just popped into Fenwick Wine & Beer to say hello and pick up a bottle. They're still stocking so inventory is fairly small right now, although what they have is more interesting than the typical bottles of Yellow Tail and Mondavi that you see in every store. Price wise, it looks like they're targeting the $12-$20 range primarily, with a few selections below and above that price point. The actual store might be fairly cute once they finish stocking and adding some decor. I wish them luck and I'm glad that they chose that location (for my sake).

Melanie said...

I like that Safeway too. I love how fancy Silver Springers are becoming that you can sneer at a clean and conveniant supermarket when whole swaths of our city have to deal with liquor/junkfood stores. I guess you'll have to continue to suffer until we get "real" bagels. Have you tried their muffins?

Hugo said...

I just popped into Fenwick Wine & Beer to say hello and pick up a bottle. They're still stocking so inventory is fairly small right now, although what they have is more interesting than the typical bottles of Yellow Tail and Mondavi that you see in every store. Price wise, it looks like they're targeting the $12-$20 range primarily, with a few selections below and above that price point. The actual store might be fairly cute once they finish stocking and adding some decor. I wish them luck and I'm glad that they chose that location (for my sake).

Seconded. I also went by yesterday on my way home from work and it looks like it is going to be a nice little spot. The owners were very friendly and it's clear they are trying for something a bit more ambitious than the typical corner beer/wine store. They've got some better-known wines as well, but mix in a lot of bottles from small vinters you wouldn't expect to see other than at a much larger store. I am far from a wine snob so plenty of it was new to me but they have both descriptive tags to help you choose and the owner is also knowledgable and helpful in that regard.

In terms of beer, they have several shelves already stocked with single bottles of craft imports and domestic craft brews like Great Divide and Southern Tier with prices from $2 a bottle to over $10/bottle, as well as cases of imports and microbrews (with more of these apparently on the way).

The owner mentioned that they plan to have free tastings on Fridays once they get their feet under them. In my mind it is already more interesting than most other places in and around downtown, and I definitely can't wait to take my beer-snob brother there when he's next in town. Definitely a solid addition so I hope word gets around and they start to pick up business.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but it will have to be amazing to beat The Bagelry near the corner of Randolph and Rt 650 (Colesville/Silver Spring). Proper boiled bagels, its an unassuming place with a friendly, neighborly vibe. I'm almost afraid to mention the sandwiches, which are made up with fresh cold-cuts and shop made spreads.

I can't see looking forward to another place with The Bagelry around, they have set a high bar for this place to beat.

Anonymous said...

Also just visited Fenwick. Very friendly and a pretty sweet selection. Some of the prices are decent but some are a little crazy (12 bucks for a six pack of Anchor Steam??). Lack of refrigeration is a bummer, but I live like five feet away so I'm sure I'll be there often.

Anonymous said...

Silver Spring: Then and Again said...
Guess I'll have to continue to suffer for what "passes" for bagels at Safeway and/or Whole Foods. I'm certainly not going to drive the distance up Georgia Avenue from downtown Silver Spring almosat to the Beltway to buy bagels.
-----------------------
I'm not as fussy as some other bagel eaters seem to be, but since you're in the neighborhood you might want to give Panera Bread a try. I like their bagels.

Anonymous said...

"I love how fancy Silver Springers are becoming that you can sneer at a clean and conveniant supermarket when whole swaths of our city have to deal with liquor/junkfood stores."

My argument is that I don't believe that Silver Spring should settle for inferior stores. Yes, the Safeway on Thayer has improved, but it is still not as nice as some other Safeways. I don't think it's being "fancy" or sneering to demand that a corporation recognize certain inequities. I'm sure those other neighborhoods you refer to would like to see their stores improve - are they being "fancy"? If we don't demand justice we will not receive it. As the classics in literature remind us "la justice est seulement ce qui est demandé." But man, I'm jonesing for a good bagel.
Oh, and buy wine from Fenwick Wines - they're good people (and much nicer to deal with than MoCo Liquor Stores). Tell them Anonymous sent you.

Anonymous said...

I really don't know what more people want out of a supermarket that the safeway has (besides more white people). If another safeway is a bit better, get over it, this one is clean and fully stocked. As for inequities, you can complain all you want, but the community giving more money to the coorporations is going to get better service, period.

Sligo said...

If you want to see a "good" Safeway, go to Kensington.

Springvale Roader said...

And on the last day of 2009 we get this:

"I really don't know what more people want out of a supermarket that the safeway has (besides more white people)."

Let's hope that as we move into a new decade, playing the race card goes into the dustbin of history, along with all the other useless and toxic things of the past.

Sligo said...

How about more decent produce?

Anonymous said...

The produce card, eh?

Anonymous said...

Sligo said...
If you want to see a "good" Safeway, go to Kensington.
--------------------------
And if you want to see a really bad Safeway go to the one in Wheaton.

I think the one in Silver Spring, but it could use some work.

Anonymous said...

Meant to say - I think the one in Silver Spring is fine, but it could use some work.

Anonymous said...

I stopped going to Safeway in Silver Spring long ago -- too many unfriendly employees, and constant issues with produce rotting quickly. Now I go to Giant instead, and it is so much better. I'm not sure why anyone would shop at the SS Safeway over the Giant. Safeway used to have decent sales, but now that's no longer even true.

Anonymous said...

Best produce---go to either Han Ah Reum or Snyders....little farther up the road but well worth the trip

Thomas Hardman said...

"Sligo", thanks for the heads up, not so much for the Silver Spring location, but the one on Boiling Brook Parkway in Rockville. That is close enough for me to visit and I do in fact long for some decent bagels.

Now how about some gesmacht kugel? ;)

Anonymous said...

Another vote for the Kensington Safeway. Great produce, clean, well-lit, wide aisles, big shopping carts, very friendly and helpful staff - everything the Silver Spring Safeways are not. The clientele, contrary to what is assumed here, is also plenty diverse.

Easley Does It said...

Thank you to those on this thread who recommended The Bagelry! I was not familiar with it and based on your recommendation I went there this morning...not a bad drive at all. Yeah, those bagels are the real deal! They've certainly made a new customer out of me. I have bitten into my last Panera bagel!

Anonymous said...

"I really don't know what more people want out of a supermarket that the safeway has.."

Ok, here's a start:
1. Better produce
2. Better seafood
3. Improved restocking
4. More personnel
5. More polite personnel
6. Better lighting
7. Better cheese selection

Should I continue? And yes, as others have mentioned, the Kensington Safeway is an example of a better Safeway. Btw, hasn't the Wheaton Safeway closed while they redevelop that space?

Anonymous said...

I love people who love to bash the Silver Spring Safeway. You're right, you deserve the best! Sunny, chearfull employees like the Giant, several cheeses like whole foods, and boiled bagles!!!

Anonymous said...

Springvale roader,
Calm down with the race card stuff. There's no difference between this safeway and many others except there are a lot of black people, so it's just a thought. How about expressing your anger at something that actually deserves your apparently overflowing reserves of rightful indignation. The lighting is a bit too low, I'll grant you that.

Springvale Roader said...

Anonymous:

You're projecting.

Anonymous said...

you're overanalyzing.

I did see a lot of white people there during the blizzard so I guess they could forgo the stinky cheese for an open grocery store.

Thayer Ave., too said...

The frozen food at the Thayer Avenue Safeway frequently looks as though it's been melted and re-frozen. In fact, I've frequently passed up ice cream there because every carton in the entire case was either mushy, or sticky because it had been leaking. I thought surely they'd improve it when they remodeled, but apparently they didn't replace those faulty freezer cases.

Anonymous said...

You just made my day. I am so excited!

Little Miss Fun Finds said...

You just made my day. I am so excited!

Anonymous said...

When will it actually open? Here it is February and it hasn't opened yet. The sign says "opening soon". Is it still opening? If so, when?