Story and photos by Hal Goodtree.
Cary, NC – Barbecue and bluegrass are just fine. But every Sunday, ex-pat New Yorkers living in Cary need a good bagel. Maybe you do, too. If so, let me tell you about my new favorite bagel place.
A Proper Bagel: Savory, Crusty, Chewy
A traditional New York bagel is three things: savory, crust and chewy.
Let’s start with crusty. Proper bagels are boiled before they are baked, giving them a signature crust on the outside. If the dough is just baked into a round shape with a hole in the center, it’s not a bagel.
Chewy texture on the inside is equally important. A well-made bagel does not have big pockets of air on the inside, but is chewy and consistent throughout.
Finally, your New York bagel is savory. I’m sorry, people – blueberry and cinnamon crunch don’t cut it. Traditional bagels include garlic, onion, salt, “everything,” rye, pumpernickel, poppy seed and “swirl.”
My Favorite Bagel Joint: NYBD III
My favorite bagel joint is now officially NYBD III in Crescent Commons. That’s at the corner of Kildare Farm and Tryon Road in the Walmart shopping center.
I used to frequent a bagel store right in my neighborhood, but it changed hands. The new owner just doesn’t have the touch. I went in search of better bagels.
NYBD bagels speak for themselves – perfect crust, chewy center, lots of seeds and stuff adhering to the outside. They also sell Italian Semolina bread, cold cuts, egg dishes, pastries and much more.
NYBD III is worth the trip on a Sunday morning.
What to Eat on a Bagel
Cranberry bagels may be verboten, but what you have on your bagel is up to you.
Butter or cream cheese are probably the top two favorites.
Many New Yorkers like smoked fish – it goes with the savoriness of the bagel. Lox, Nova Scotia salmon, whiting and white fish are all good. Many of these delicacies are offered at NYBD in slices or mixed with cream cheese.
Some folks have the cream cheese, smoked fish, a slice of tomato and a slice of raw onion on their bagel. That’s how we ate it at my house as a kid.
Nowadays, I sometimes like a few slices of cheddar on my bagel instead of the usual cream cheese. Peanut butter is good, jelly is fine. Really, whatever floats your boat.
NYBD III – New York Deli & Bagel
2050 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC 27511
Mon-Sat 6 AM – 4 PM
Sun 6 AM – 3 PM