Food Upper West Side

Absolute Bagels NY

December 23, 2005

absolute bagels

Absolute Bagels

2788 Broadway (On the East side of Broadway, 107th-108th)
212-932-2052

On Weds I went to Gourmet Garage and Lenny’s bagels during the transit strike and did a quick comparison. Just a few days ago I went to Absolute Bagels up the street on Broadway. My friend Olivier was here visiting from France for a few months for work and swore that this was the best place in NY for Bagels. Better than H & H, etc. In fact he wanted to walk from 50th street all the way up to 108th up Broadway with his wife to have her sample the prized bagels.

absolute bagels poppy seed bagelNot one to discount his culinary preferences, I decided to check this place out myself. Funny as it is, this is another one of those Bagel joints run by Chinese – not like that makes a difference but everyone in the store is Chinese. I was able to sneak a photo this time as the owner was sweeping up the front of the store. Anyhow I got a poppy seed bagel to compare and brought it home to try out. Once again, I toasted the bagel and spread butter and some honey over it. Absolute bagels are smaller in general compared with Gourmet Garage’s bagels, and less fluffy than Lenny’s. The taste however is far apart from Gourmet Garage and Lenny’s – The absolute bagel has a chewy crunch and the flavor has a more doughy taste than Gourmet or Lenny’s – definitely the best of the 3 Bagel restaurants reviewed so far. Now, just got to work my way the Upper West side and compare some others like Zabars, H&H, Whole Foods, Fairway(which I think are H&H)…

My bad, I thought I heard them speaking Chinese but it looks like these guys are Thai. Maybe just one of the workers is Chinese.
-S

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7 Comments

  • Reply allan December 27, 2005 at 1:20 pm

    i live nearby on rsd and go to absolute bagels all the time. i wouldn’t go anywhere else!

    are you sure they’re chinese? did you have a chance to talk to them and ask them? i would have asked myself, but it’s always so busy.

    i don’t know either, but i hear them speak to each other in what sounds like vietnamese. so if they are chinese maybe they are part of the ethnic chinese who were driven out of vietnam in the 80’s…

  • Reply J January 21, 2006 at 9:24 pm

    You have to try Ess-A-Bagel on 51st between 2nd & 3rd Ave. I went when I was in NYC over Turkey Day – its awesome. Bagels in SD dont even come close!

  • Reply An anonymous reader January 22, 2006 at 4:44 pm

    I believe the Absolute Bagels folks are Thai, actually. Do a search on nytimes.com; they talk about the founder’s path from Bangkok to Ess-a-Bagel, where he learned the trade.

    I just tried Absolute a few days ago, and I think they’re pretty good. Definitely competitive with — and certainly a bit less dense than, not necessarily a bad thing — H&H or Ess-a-Bagel.

  • Reply Eva January 20, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    my dad works there for long time. and he works long hours i hope they contuie their best and serivce you guys good.

  • Reply Rattling the Kettle April 10, 2007 at 9:36 am

    They are most definitely Thai. And their everything bagel, when fresh out of the oven, is to die for. Just eat it plain while it’s still steaming hot; it doesn’t even need cream cheese.

  • Reply Nancy Kramer September 6, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Just found your blog today.

    Have you put Murray’s Bagels on your list of to try places????

    One just below 13th at 500 6th Avenue & another at 242 8th Avenue (between 22nd St & 23rd St)–wonderful””””’

    Also a place corner of 30th on 3rd Ave. They make a flat everything bagel that’s outstanding.

    I enjoy your musings!!!!

    njk

  • Reply watta April 7, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    The staffs are all Thai.
    I have tried egg bagel and it was really soft and chewiee. Also the cinamon rasin with walnut rasin cream cheese was so terrific!!!!! delicious!!!!!! Especially eating immediately after out of the ovennn! Goshhh!!!
    Its a must mann!

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