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How To Find The Best Bagels On The West Coast
When I was 15 in 1968, I was speeding down the wrong path with the wrong people as fast as I could. My destiny appeared to be an early death or a long prison sentence. I had quit school and my interests were anything but positive. My mostly absent father was desperate to find a solution and convinced my uncle who was the Vice President of the bakers union to find me an apprenticeship as a baker. They convinced a bagel baker to take me on and for the next two years I learned how to be a bagel baker.
I was never committed to the trade and returned to school and eventually I became a rough diamond gemologist. My time as a baker was several lifetimes ago and I remember little about how to make bagels. However, the one thing I will never forget is how to tell a genuine bagel from the pretend bagels that are so often offered in today’s markets and bakeries.
I live in a small rural community near Take Tahoe, California; real bagels do not exist here. The closest real bagel bakery is in San Francisco and their bagels are just so-so tasting. As far as I have been able to determine, the closest real bagel companies are in Los Angeles. I lived in L.A. for 35 years and have tried bagels from a number of bakeries. I think there are some pretty good bagels to be found in L.A. For me, the best bagels I have found In Los Angeles are from Western Bagel Company. They have several convenient locations. The stores are very clean, they use old world recipes and they boil the bagels the way I used to do. They have a large variety and most importantly for me, they carry real rye bagels. If you want real bagels, go Western young man!
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