Molly Farrar, features editor, Warren Towers Starbucks
Order: Everything bagel toasted with cream cheese
I walk into the Warren Starbucks on Tuesday morning — “Excuse me, excuse me,” I say as I bypass the line winding through the store. There is my hot latte on the mobile ordering rack — with my legal name Margaret printed on an oversized sticker — along with my everything bagel, side of cream cheese, no knife.
First things first: I remove the sticker. After some coffee to regain the energy lost during my cold walk, I begin to eat the bagel. No, I did not spread the cream cheese first. Many of my colleagues had the pleasure of reviewing a fancy place like Pavement Coffeehouse, where they put the cream cheese on for you. Nope, I got a small tub of cream cheese with my bagel. But, having perfected the dipping method, I’m not complaining.
The everything bagel was, in a word, perfection. I was not expecting to write a positive review of this Starbucks, not that anyone would care. But the toasted-ness was just right, and the chewy, flavor of the iconic everything bagel made my Tuesday morning.
Yvonne Tang, layout/graphics editor, Einstein Bros. Bagel – College of Arts and Sciences Basement
Order: Asiago bagel with jalapeño salsa schmear
Crispy Asiago cheese on a chewy bagel. Tangy salsa cream cheese slathered on top. What more could a girl ask for? It’s a shameful thing to say — but sometimes I’m home in New Jersey and I catch myself craving the Einstein’s underneath CAS.
Every bagel place has chives, cinnamon and raisin or even lox cream cheese. But no one makes a satisfyingly spicy filling the same way that Einstein’s does. With the slightly toasted Asiago on top, there is no comparison. Einstein’s has a bagel combo like no other.
Today’s order took a while to arrive, and it too quickly disappeared. My only complaint is that the bagel should be larger, so I wouldn’t be mourning its loss the second I finish it.
Madhri Yehiya, campus news editor, The Fresh Food Co. at Warren Towers
Order: Sesame seed bagel with butter
The editors would make me review the bagels served by BU — I am campus editor, after all. It would be too perfect. But actually, it is too perfect — I unironically look forward to my Warren bagel almost daily. I was only made to write this after admitting the fact.
Although I am known to enjoy the spicy, my usual “order” — only self-service here — is the sesame seed bagel. With a smooth crust covered in delicious if slightly crumbly seeds and an interior slathered in butter — yes, butter! I am lactose more-intolerant of cream cheese — I truly believe there may be no better combo to be had at the dining hall, and I have spent the last two months trying the sesame seed bagel’s lackluster cousins.
If FreeP readers feel an urge to make fun of me for this, I have heard it all already. Perhaps the bagels in New York City or Pavement or Einstein’s are superior, but I feel better knowing I have spent my $14 meal swipe on a worthwhile breakfast, lunch and dinner option that never fails to get me through the day.
Lily Kepner, editor-in-chief, Pavement Coffeehouse at Boston University
Order: Plain bagel with veggie cream cheese
I would like to formally title my bagel blurb “justice for the plain bagel” — a hot take I will stand by forever. A bagel stripped to the basics is, in my opinion, the most definitive way to tell if a bagel-place passes the test. There’s no fancy topping to distract from the bagel-y essence.
Finding the right bagel — and bagel place vibe — is important. My friends and I have a dear concept of an “emotional support bagel” that can be cashed in both as a reward for a good day and a crutch for a bad one. There’s no one I trust more with this responsibility than Pavement.
This order, wow. It is not an exaggeration to say it was so good I cried. The veggie spread wa
s the perfect complement to the crunchy bagel and not-too-cakey interior — a tricky texture to perfect — and there was just enough schmear to feel satisfied without feeling like a mess. A jealous pack of geese surrounded me as I was eating this bagel on the Esplanade, and I refused to stop eating it as they gained on me.
For your emotional support bagel needs — we all have them — you can trust Pavement on Commonwealth Avenue with the task. It’s worth the slightly pricey tag, and even splurging for a complementing latte too.
Sonja Chen, sports editor, Kupel’s Bakery – Brookline
Order: Jalapeño bagel with jalapeño cream cheese
I’m not a bagel connoisseur. I’m from the West Coast, where we like bagels but aren’t overly particular about them. I’m also a first-time customer at Kupel’s Bakery — which is a little far from campus, so I ordered my bagel on GrubHub.
I love bagels with bold flavor. The jalapeño bagel itself is great, slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. To me, the cream cheese is the real star — it’s spicy, but not so much so that I’m reaching for my coffee every five seconds. There are visible chunks of jalapeño in both the bagel and the cream cheese, which provides a nice crunch. The cream cheese mellows out the jalapeño just enough, and that combined with the bagel provides the perfect amount of heat.
And the portion size is perfect. It’s a good amount of food to refuel after morning synchronized skating practice, and as the day whittles away, the bagel will keep me energized until lunch. It was a great first experience at Kupel’s, and I’m sure I’ll be a repeat customer.
Emma Sánchez, managing editor, Bruegger’s Bagels – Coolidge Corner
Order: Blueberry bagel with strawberry cream cheese
Maybe it was my bad for ordering my bagel instead of picking it up when it was fresh, but this bagel shop is a bit of a trek from BU’s campus. Regardless, the bakery has a large selection of bagel and cream cheese flavors, both sweet and savory. I went with my go-to order, which can be a bit on the sweet side for some. My main criteria for bagels is that it’s toasted to crunchy, crispy perfection, and warm and slathered with the proper ratio of cream cheese.
I’ve ordered this same flavor combo from Kupel’s Bakery before, and I’ll have to say that Kupel’s takes the cake. While Bruegger’s Bagels has more selections, this bagel came a bit chewy and wasn’t toasted to a perfect golden brown. The strawberry cream cheese was delicious, it was just too small of an amount. What can I say? I like a lot of cream cheese.