Bagels are one of those things that the Japanese don’t understand. We’ve come along way from the awful bagel-shaped bread that they used to call bagels, and there are semi-decent bagels to be found here, mainly through frozen H&H bagels or a chain called Bagel & Bagel, though a New Yorker would probably call that a gross overstatement. Still they’re okay in a pinch. What I can’t stand are restaurants that sell bagels but totally don’t get how they’re eaten.
I was at a cafe called Zoka in Akasaka Mitsuke this morning for a German lesson, and I ordered a blueberry bagel for breakfast. I made sure they could toast it beforehand. They told me yes. Literally 10 seconds later, I get a slightly warm bagel, completely unbrowned. I ask them why they can’t toast it, and they re-toast it. Another 10 seconds later, I get a slightly warmer bagel, still untoasted. Now I ask you, who eats a warmed untoasted bagel? They really should be banned from selling bagels if they don’t understand how a bagel should be eaten. The Japanese talk about issuing sushi certification. Maybe New York should consider issuing bagel certification.