John Curtas is …

Everywhere but New York, a Bagel Just Tastes Like Round Bread

Calvin Trillin said that. In like, 1979. Things have improved around the country in the past thirty years, but there’s still no place like the Big Apple for great Jewish food….or this iconic slab of boiled and baked dough.

Here in Sin City, a good bagel is harder to find than a stripper who grinds on credit. We’ve tried ‘em all (bagels not strippers) and none achieve the crispy/chewy/gummy/yeasty perfection of the type you find everywhere in Manhattan (New York, not Kansas).

Which brings us (back) to Harrie’s Bagelmania.

Now ELV has been pretty harsh on old Harrie in the past, but after another year and a half of bagel bounding, we’ve gotta say his are the closest you’ll find to this back east bulge of bread. The bialys, however, are still astoundingly mediocre (they get the proportions all wrong).

To attain perfection, the bagel would have to be crunchier and gummier and less bread-i-er (plus, these taste a tad sweet), but it’s about the best there is in our humble burg, so we’re giving Harrie’s a Go In Peace, and our highest bagel praise to date….which we realize is a little like praising Vegas for the quality of its classical music, but that’s all we got on a gloomy Monday morning.

We draw the line at chocolate-covered bagels, however, and wish Harrie and Company would do the same.

In closing, we at ELV would like to leave you with our favorite Jewish food joke:

Harry was walking down Regent Street and stepped into a posh gourmet food shop.
An impressive salesperson in a smart morning coat with tails approached him and politely asked, “Can I help you, Sir?”
“Yes,” replied Harry, “I would like to buy a pound of lox.”
“No. No,” responded the dignified salesperson, “You mean smoked salmon.”
“OK, a pound of smoked salmon, then.”
“Anything else?”
“Yes, a dozen blintzes.”
“No. No. You mean crepes.”
“Okay, a dozen crepes.”
“Anything else?”
“Yes. A pound of chopped liver.”
“No. No. You mean pate.”
“Okay,” said Harry, “A pound of pate then and I’d like you to deliver all of this to my house on Saturday.”
“Look,” retorted the indignant salesperson, “we don’t schlep on Shabbos!”

HARRIE’S BAGELMANIA

855 East Twain Ave.

Las Vegas, NV 80109

702.369.3322

(Note: Harrie’s is no longer cash only)

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10 Responses to Everywhere but New York, a Bagel Just Tastes Like Round Bread

  • Make that everywhere but Montreal. You can no longer get a decent bagel in Manhattan, although I hear in Brooklyn…….

  • Max almost has it right. It’s hard to find a good bagel in NYC, but it can be done.

  • They have to use High gluten flower and this is tough since almost half the population below the Mason Dixon line are gluten sensitive and this is the latest culinary trend.

  • I mean flour ! join the gluten sensitive club.

  • I’m heading to Vegas Labor Day from the Northeast. Would you like some bagels delivered?

  • ELV your assessment of the Bagels here are correct. Better than Bagel Café. However. better check out the County health reports. Have had a few demerits regarding food handling and toilet facilities in the not too distant past. Having said that, recommend you drop by and get the bagels if your in the neighborhood.

  • I once encountered a man at a rehabilitation center out around the anthem area. There, in the cafeteria was a guy going on about how bagels taste awful out here in Las Vegas, saying NYC had the best.

    He turned to me and said “Y’know what is the one missing ingredient that Las Vegas hasn’t and NYC has?”

    Me: ‘No..?’

    Him: “Bodies.”

  • A few years back when I wore high boots & mini skirts (even in the snow), my little sports car that didn’t heat up til’ I reached downtown for work, would first stop at Benji’s Deli where an old guy was boiling bagels in a large garbage can filled with water. Since it wasn’t open yet, I’d knock 3 times on the door & he’d come out: “Mornin’ Dolly, what kind today?” I would choose the onion, blow him a kiss, & be on my way. The attorneys, whose office I managed, couldn’t speak to me til’ I had my coffee & that heavenly bagel, for of course I was also thawing out my frostbitten legs.

    I may be Danish, but I certainly learned what a real bagel should taste like, and Harrie’s is deja vu !

    KIKI

  • They make a pretty decent bialy too. Nothing close to NYC standards, but far far better than the Bagel Cafe.

  • And it perhaps should be mentioned that at a time in which “value” can be elusive on the Las Vegas food scene, one of the better value deals around the valley is Harrie’s “Dozen for $5.50″ every Tuesday.

John at Work Restaurant reviews, quips, picks and pans-with some seriously salivating history-from the man who eats his way through Sin City every day.
Flangas-McMillan
Attorneys at Law
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