East Coast transplants have always complained that bagels in SF, are too big, too soft, too doughy, and lack the right flavors. According to these expats, real Brooklyn bagels are modest, chewy, lightly salty, have a dense interior, a malty flavor and a crisp crust. Schmendricks bagels are the first local bagels to have all those qualities.
New Yorker Dan Scholnick and his wife Deepa Subramanian, joined old friends David Kover and wife Dagny Dingman, to tackle the Bay Area’s bagel problem. They named their business venture “Schmendricks,” which means “fool” in Yiddish. A reference to their initial 2 years worth of frustrating efforts, during the recipe development and troubleshooting phase. Because it seemed foolish for them to attempt to decipher the secrets of making a good bagel, since the group had no cooking or baking background. Who would have thought that a psychologist, a lawyer, a business man, and an English teacher, would have the right skills to make the best bagel in the city.
Their timing couldn’t be better. Since lately, the city has been experiencing a renaissance of traditional Jewish fare, with new entrepreneurs like Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen and Old World Food Truck.
Many New Yorkers will tell you, that it’s the NY tap water that gives Brooklyn bagels their unique taste. Not so, says the Schmendricks crew. And they have the goods to prove it.
Demand for these bagels has been high. All tickets to their opening celebration party back in May, were sold out an hour after the announcement.
So where can you get these wonderful bagels? For now, find them on Wednesday mornings at Fayes Video & Espresso Bar on 18th Street (near Guerrero street), right across the street from famous Delfina restaurant, and just a block away from Dolores Park.
Prices start at $3 each, cream cheese is available for a dollar more. Yes, not exactly cheap, if compared to competitor prices. But that hasn’t deterred customers yet. These bagels are hand rolled, so it’s a more labor intensive process than the machine made bagels of the competition. The menu lists 5 flavors: plain, sesame seed, poppy seed, salt and “Everything” (with sesame seed, poppy seed and salt). Note that there is a limit of 3 bagels per person.
The group is currently working on ways to increase production. As soon as that happens, they will add more pop up outlets. Check their website for schedule updates.
Photo Credit: Schmendricks Facebook.