DC had a bad bagel reputation for years. Getting a ‘good’ bagel was seen as this Herculean task. I am no bagel snob (and generally think most bagels are good when toasted and shmeared), but I wholeheartedly embrace the District bagel boom of the past 5 years. The quality, variety, and availability of bagels has increased, and I hope we’re still trending up! Unrelated: I remain fascinated by the Subway bubble.
Both the opening and photo may have fooled you because this post is not about bagels. It is about the essence of bagels; specifically the best savory bagel: everything bagels. When I get whole bagels from Pearl’s (or Bethesda Bagels or Bullfrog Bagels), my signature move is to lightly toast, spread with cream cheese, and then dump the everything bagel seasoning from the bottom of the bag onto the cream cheese. Rejoice and delight in the sesame & poppy seeds, salt, garlic, and onion. Thankfully, this flavor combination is not just for bagels anyone.
Originally popularized by Trader Joe’s (I think 🤔), but now much more widespread, you can buy jars of that bottom of the bagel bag essence to put on whatever you want. Avocado toast, hummus, potatoes, Greek salad…anything! And if you want to really up your game, get a jar from Pearl’s Bagels. The ratio of flavors and Maldon salt flakes take this to the next level. You’ll never go back. And of course, while you are there, get bagels. Always get bagels. Unfortunately, Pearl’s doesn’t ship, but Adam in Sacramento is lucky because I mailed a jar to him! If you’re in DC, go to Pearl’s—if you’re not, check your local bagel shops.
✔️ DC Based