"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

New York Minute

Sometimes a place closes and you feel nothing, like the girl in “A Chorus Line.” That’s the way it is for me and H&H Bagels. I’ve known the store my entire life. It opened the year after I was born and was located on the southwest corner of 80th Street and Broadway just a few blocks from where my grandparents lived. Next time you watch “Night Shift,” you can see the old store front in the background as Henry Winkler and Shelley Long cross the street. That was a few years before H&H blew up and became a big deal, “the” place for bagels.

H&H was famous for it’s fat, doughy bagels, extravagant prices, and for its no frills (you could buy butter or cream cheese there but they wouldn’t put it on the bagel for you). It was a yuppie phenomenon. The bagels were tasty, but they were bloated and overrated. And again, way too expensive (these days one cost $1.40). If you preferred a meaty bagel, though, it was heaven.

But it’s also a neighborhood place so many Upper West Siders are upset that H&H is closing without ceremony. I appreciate that even if I don’t share their sense of loss. What I will miss is the smell. You walked past the place and the air smelled comforting and inviting.

[photo credit: highlowfooddrink]


1 Boatzilla   ~  Jun 23, 2011 8:30 am

Damn! You got my mouth watering, Alex. Ya still can't get a decent bagel in Tokyo, although they come pretty damn close these days.

When I arrived in Japan the bagel was a unicorn here, as was the croissant, and most other Western wheat delights.

I used to visit my sis' place on York Ave., once a year longing for my trek to East Side Bagels...78th and Second, Third. I forget. Or was it called Second Avenue Bagels. All I know for sure is my order.

Salt Bagel with Smear. Heaven on Oith.

They still don't have Salt bagels in Tokyo. Can't figger out why.

2 Sliced Bread   ~  Jun 23, 2011 12:56 pm

I don't mean to insult fans of H&H, but I've found better bagels in every suburban LI & NJ town I've lived in. I'm out in the sticks now, and we have 3 bagel places in my town not counting the supermarket (and why would you?). 2 of those places are better than H&H, and they're not obnoxiously priced. I have a hard time believing there aren't several better options on the Upper West.

3 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jun 23, 2011 8:31 pm

[1] Boat, I heard Bagel Standard in Naka-Meguro has the closest thing to NY style bagels in town..let's check it out?

4 Boatzilla   ~  Jun 24, 2011 2:08 am

[3]OK, but they have to change the name first. Although it's better than Bagel & Bagel.

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