I’ve been eating Rosenfeld Bagels since I showed up on the Brandeis campus in the late 80s. Back then Rosenfeld’s sponsored The Coffee House, a Friday afternoon live folk music show broadcast on WBRS. We also had coffee from George Howell’s Coffee Connection.
Each Friday we’d pick up a few dozen donated bagels and a bunch of different cream cheeses, as well as 2lbs of ground coffee from the small Coffee Connection store on Union Street, then head back to serve it in true college fashion. In other words: poorly. Let’s face it, put free food in front of college students and it doesn’t really matter what it looks or tastes like. It’s also where I developed a taste for the veggie spread at Rosenfeld’s, it’s among the best out there. I also still drink George Howell’s coffee, only this time it’s from a differently named cafe in Newtonville.
But now it seems there is a bagel renaissance happening here and the website Extra Crispy puts Rosenfeld’s owner Mike Lombardo at the center of it. The article gained a bit more exposure on Sports Illustrated (and emailed out today by BostInno).
The site says that Boston may have bested New York when it comes to the bagel, a battle that apparently goes back a bit.
“The Boston versus New York bagel war is like the Red Sox vs Yankee thing—regional pride, that’s what it’s really about,” claims Mike Lombardo, owner of Rosenfeld’s Bagels in Newton, Massachusetts. Mike has been baking bagels the same way for 30 years, the way the “union guys” taught him when he was a teen sweeping the floor. “The big bagel place back then was Eagerman’s,” he says. “The big golden bagel. Rosenfeld’s was really rare—at Eagerman’s you’d never get a sandwich. Cream cheese was something you bought at the supermarket.”
Look, I love Rosenfeld’s, but when I’m in New York I still stand in that long line to wind my way into Absolute Bagels. Those are amazing.