Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beauty's Bagel Shop Rules

By John Birdsall
Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Last week we checked out Spot Bagel, a new wholesale company reviving the pre-Noah’s tradition of boiling bagels, and pioneering some post-Noah’s future that references the farm-to-table ethos of Alice Waters. They’re available in Berkeley at Saul's Deli and both Berkeley Bowl markets.

This weekend we turned our attention to Beauty’s Bagel Shop, which is not actually a shop (not yet, anyway) but a moonlight startup by Pizzeria Delfina cook Blake Joffe and Addie’s Pizza Pie server Amy Remsen. Joffe and Remsen are making hand-rolled, boiled, and wood-oven-baked bagels in the tradition of Montreal producers like St.-Viateur. Beauty’s is supplying the Saturday San Francisco popup Wise Sons Deli, and — also on Saturdays — Saul’s.

Taste the burn.

We dropped in on Saul’s Saturday and emerged with a couple of Beauty’s plain and sesame bagels ($1.15 each), and seriously loved them: loved the sheen on the plain bagel, loved the char on the crust, loved the dense yet open crumb. They had flavor, even apart from the ghost of smoke in the crust, sweet like browned popcorn kernels. They were, well — beauties.

Word has it Joffe and Remsen are scouting Oakland locations for a shop of their own. Until then, Saul's will be our first stop on Saturday mornings. Second stop: the Cheeseboard. For cream cheese, naturally.

Get in touch at John.Birdsall@EastBayExpress.com, and follow me on Twitter @John_Birdsall.

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