Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mmmmmmmm.... bagels.....



In general, I think it's unfair fair to evaluate a restaurant during its first couple weeks of operation, since every place deserves a grace period to work out the kinks. That being said, I am still judging Goldberg's based on bagels I purchased within a half hour of the bagelry being open.

I have to use the bagels from Bethesda Bagels as the benchmark for any comparisons, as that's where I always go for my weekend bagels, despite its location being rather inconvenient. As previously stated many times on this blog, I find the current bagel offerings in and around downtown Silver Spring to be somewhat lacking. The main reason I am excited about the arrival of Goldberg's is that it has the potential to reduce my Sunday bagel commute from 30-40 minutes to under 10. So, how does Goldberg's stack up?

Goldberg's bagels are a little smaller than the ones at Bethesda Bagels, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since the latter's bagels don't always fit in some toasters. They may be smaller, but they are also cheaper at 95¢ ea. vs. $1.10 at Bethesda. Bulk pricing is significantly better, as a baker's dozen at Goldberg's is just $9.95 vs. $12.99 at B.B.

My usual bagel flavor choice is "everything", so that's what my taste comparison is based on. First off, there is not quite as much "everything" flavoring on Golberg's offering, though whether this is a positive or a negative is really based on individual taste. With the extremely strong taste of Bethesda's everything, the seasonings linger on your palate hours after you've finished eating it. Goldberg's puts a good amount of seasoning on their version, and not just on the top side like some wannabe everything bagels do.

(One extremely persnickety complaint is that they don't by default segregate the everything bagels from other bagels when bagging your order. Why does this matter? Because after prolonged exposure to everything bagels, all other bagel flavors become everything bagels as well. Again, super nitpicky on my part, and I'm sure they'd do it if you asked, so just something to note for future visits.)

Overall, my bagel was quite good. It had the chewiness that properly-made (read: boiled) bagels should. It got nice and crispy when toasted. So, are their bagels as good as Bethesda's? I think this may require a few more visits to determine definitively. According to my wife, her everything bagel wasn't "as excellent as Bethesda's" but still really good, though again this assessment was made based on a single bagel.

Are their bagels good enough to abandon Bethesda Bagels (and the annoying drive to downtown Bethesda) for? Signs point to yes. I will definitely be back next weekend to get my bagel fix.

BONUS

Fascinating bagel trivia: For years, there was actually a bagel baker's union in New York City.



26 comments:

Thayer Avenue said...

Is it my imagination, or did you take that picture in the car (against the steering wheel? console?) while you were still in the parking lot?

Anonymous said...

I went this morning as well. I thought the bagels were good, but they didn't seem fresh. My guess is they baked them at their store in Rockville and trucked them down. I like my bagels fresh from the oven. Hope that happens eventually.

Anonymous said...

They did truck them in from Rockville. I went at about 1045, and they were out of just about everything. we waited for about 10 minutes for a shipment to arrive. the bagels were still warm, and according to my toddler, rather tasty. While i was waiting, the owner (?) said that the location just wasn't big enough to bake bagels on site, so they had to bring them in.

this certainly means i'll be getting bagels much more often, as the 30 mins to bethesda and back isn't an option.

Sligo said...

Yes I did take it in the car, though not in the parking lot.

Anonymous said...

When I arrived at 10am, it was pretty chaotic. They were out of about 6 different flavors of bagel ( and I took the last two plain). There seemed to be no concept of a line and the guy who was taking to go orders skipped over me until I finally yelled that I was supposed to be next. They definitely have some logistical issues to work out, both in terms of supply and service.

That said, a really fine bagel. I am no connieseuer, and wouldn't drive all the way to Bethesda for them, but they are certainly far better than Paners or Einstein or any other one I have tried here in Downtown SS. So, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I just moved to SS last summer and love this blog (and my new neighborhood).

ForestGlen said...

Went there after a run with my wife around 2 p.m. Had a delicious egg sandwich on an everything bagel, and half of the wife's pizza bagel.

Anonymous said...

Uh, where is this bagel place?

Steve said...

Nice to see two new businesses open in SS this week - Goldberg and Joe's - particularly after people were declaring the end of Silver Spring with the closing of Mayorga just a few months' ago. Turns out Mayorga weren't closing, they were just ditching SS in favor of DC's Takoma neighborhood.
By the way, Andy's American & Chinese located next to Goldberg Bagels is getting some good reviews on Yelp. I haven't tried it myself, but will probably test them with some delivery in the next few weeks.
On a different note, any ideas what's going into the new modern/scandanavian looking building being built just a few doors down from Joe's on Georgia?

Sligo said...

That renovated building on Georgia is going to be offices for a translation company.

Springvale Roader said...

Sligo, thanks for the review. Based on your report, the flavor and innards seem good, but do these bagels have a crusty shell on the outside? That's what separates the men from the boychiks.

Also, did you notice if they have salt bagels?

Terry in Silver Spring said...

Wow, between a good bagel place and my favorite ice cream place, York Castle (well, a tie with the UMd Dairy), that little strip mall has a dear place in my heart.

Sligo said...

Have you noticed that it's not actually called "York Castle" anymore? It's now "Tropical Ice Cream Cafe". Why???

Hugo said...

Thumbs-up on Goldberg's. Great stuff. We walked over and the whole thing was a great experience.

Anonymous said...

The location is 9328 Georgia Ave.; which is the little strip of shops where Georgia Ave. connects with 16th St. So, it's not what I consider downtown Silver Spring and, also, means I need to drive.

I'll give them a try. But, I think people who write and read these blogs are just a little over excited about bagels. They're just bagels, people.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last poster. Good as they may be, they are just bagels. There is not enough complexity to bagels to justify elevating them to some nuanced level of connoisseurship, with everyone trying to outdo each other with their bagel-appreciation cred. There are three levels - good, so-so and poor, and hopefully Goldberg's is consistently good.

Sligo said...

Well, most bagels you get around here fall into the "poor" category.

Springvale Roader said...

"They are just bagels"?

If a bagel is really good, it is never "just" a bagel. It is the gustatory equivalent of an orgasm.

Steve said...

I just hope nobody ruins this post by jumping on the old geographical capability argument - you know, the one in which someone argues that you just can't get good [insert food type here] outside of [insert city or region or country here]. Of course you can! There is nothing special about the way a particular food is made in a particular geographical area that can't be replicated elsewhere. In some cases that may mean importing certain ingredients from the originating region, but it can be done. This may not have been the case years' ago, but it is the case today.
Btw, thanks for the info on the translating service, although for some reason I was disappointed to read that - nothing against translating services, but just not something that particularly excites me.

Springvale Roader said...

Steve,

It's true that you can find good bagels outside of New York City, but I have heard that New York City water is part of what makes their bagels so good; perhaps that, along with a high concentration of highly skilled bagel bakers, accounts for their reputation.

All I know for sure is that you can't find good gagh outside of Kronos.

SR

Joe Davidson said...

Steve said

" was disappointed to read that - nothing against translating services, but just not something that particularly excites me."

It should excite all of us. It means more people working in Silver Spring and more customers to keep our existing businesses thriving

Steve said...

Ok, I feel like I've got to respond to Springvale Roader and Joe.
First, let me say that Joe's right, new businesses in Silver Spring are a good thing, and we certainly welcome this new translating service. I only meant to say that this particular business is probably not something that I would utilize so my interest level is not particularly high.
In response to SR I can only say that in this instance I am right. I'm sorry, but the geographic capability argument is complete, absolute crap. You can get good bagels outside of NYC, just as you can get good TexMex outside of Austin, and you can get good Yorkshire Pudding outside of Yorkshire. I could go on, but I won't.
I guess I'm batting .500

Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone like the bagels at Snider's?

Springvale Roader said...

Steve,

In defense of the honor of my ficititious name, I do not see where I disagreed with you, except on the question of good gagh.

SR

Steve said...

SR: Didn't mean to totally diss you, but the comment about gagh was just too much.
Anyhow, on to more important matters. The Washingtonian is reporting that Ceviche has closed up shop. Now usually the Washingtonian hasn't a clue about things in the Spring, but it seems they might be right about this one.

Anonymous said...

Why is it not open on Saturday? I'm from the land of Jewish bagel shops NJ/NY and have NEVER found one closed on Sat. DC still can't go bagels right.

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