#REVIEW: A bagel

I actually meant to write a blog post at work today and ended up surprisingly busy for a Wednesday. I have gotten efficient enough this year that I often don’t have much to do on these non-student days, and today I managed to plan out the entire rest of the year and build a new desk chair, so I feel like things were accomplished. I have, as I said earlier this week, a few blog posts rattling around in the ol’ melon, as they say (I have no idea who the “they” is that says this, but it sounds good) and they have … somewhat different tones. The first is looking thoughtfully at differential discipline as it affects students of color, and particularly black boys, in school, and comparing a school model of discipline to policing. I will have to write it very carefully and expect some pushback, as the way I’m currently conceptualizing things may actually require me to be slapped around a bit.

Or I could review a bagel I had this morning.

The choice is pretty obvious, I think.

Let’s talk about Einstein Bros. Bagels and their Nova Lox bagel.

This is going to be the second food-related blog post in a week or so, and in fact it grew out of the Dagwood’s Supreme Twitter conversation that I memorialized here recently. You’ll notice that there are some replies here and there that didn’t make it into the post; one of them moved to discussing pastrami, and at some point later there I revealed the fact that I have never had lox. There’s really no good reason for me to have had lox (that’s a lie; I was a Jewish Studies major, for God’s sake) and upon realizing I’d made it to nearly 45 without having any I decided it was a problem I needed to fix.

Well, turns out there’s an Einstein Bros. Bagel place in town, and they offer a Nova Lox bagel, which probably isn’t as authentic as something you’d get from a kosher deli in New York or some shit like that but fuck it I live in Indiana and I’ll take what I can get.

Y’all! This is delicious!

I mean, it shouldn’t be surprising, as I’m a fan of five of the six ingredients that the food is made of so long as I think of lox as “smoked salmon” and not lox per se– I’ve probably had capers at some point or another in my life but I can’t think of when– and the textural combination of bagel, lox, tomato, cream cheese, red onion (the only kind of onion I can eat raw) and capers is Goddamned delightful. The capers pop, the red onion is crunchy, the bagel was chewy, and the lox, tomato and cream cheese all did their thing too. I could start the day with these on a regular basis if I wanted to.

The only problem? I also had a cup of coffee. Now, I’ve not had Einstein Bros coffee before– it was the first time I’ve ordered anything at all from them, in fact– and it’s entirely possible that their coffee, taken black, is simply more bitter than most coffees I’m used to. But I got the distinct impression that drinking coffee with this bagel was the rough equivalent of drinking orange juice immediately after brushing your teeth– there’s something, and I think it’s probably the capers, that enhances the bitterness of coffee until it’s utterly out of control, and I ended up switching to water because I couldn’t take it. That said, the taste of the bagel stuck with me all morning (in a pleasant way, mind you) and it was filing enough that I was able to make it to the end of the day without breaking for lunch.

10/10 yum yum would eat again

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Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.

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