Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time and tide wait for no cream cheese

It seems all my efforts at having a serious journalistick career have either paid off or been terribly derailed recently:

The second-most popular article on for the past two months has been not my deluxe review of a Hurricane Katrina memoir (which I totally read most of), my serious and life-endangering (I fell into a sinkhole!) of road repairs on Iberville Street at Jeff Davis, not has it been my hard-hitting coverage of the time when the serviceworkers union held a strike but forgot to inform the company they struck against what their demands were (that part was actually true). No, gentle warriors, it has been my treatise on bagels.

Now, those of you familiar with the Shtetl know that bagels are very important to me. In fact, I consider them one of the major food groups, along with falafel and other delicacies irrationally shunned by the infidel gourmands of Orleans Parish.

Food writing is apparently the hot thing now, and for someone who doesn't give a shit about Tuscan suns or the relationship between eating, deity-worship, and romance, I seem to be doing pretty well at it. You read my Nixonian interpretation of Pandora's sno-ball stand, right?

Let the record stand that I violated only six rules of journalistic ethics in producing this particular article, the primary one being that I made up the special flavor menu (Laura has since agreed to at least experiment with the pumpkin idea). I will admit the rest of them if only Laura agrees to never, ever tell about the time I temporarily stole her bike and kidnapped her from synagogue, preventing the bubbes from setting us up with their favorite grandsons (and they're in law school, mamelach!).

But in all earnestness, the discovery of Laura Sugerman's bagel kitchen has completely revolutionized not only breakfast but my experience of New Orleans. (And friends, you know I do not use the word "revolution" lightly.) It prompted my friend Lee to buy me a toaster so he could be sure that I wasn't just hanging out with him for the sole purpose of toasting my bagels. It pretty much turned my life around, got the kids off the streets, and resolved the Israeli-Palestinian debacle, all in one four-ounce, sesame-coated wonder meal.

My point here is that if you are living in the Greater New Orleans area and you have not tried one of these bagels, you should. They are very, very good. And you know I would not ever lead you astray. At least not intentionally.


  1. Hi Arielle,
    Good story, good find. The bagel sitch in NOLA has been awful for decades (so has the pizza). I hope Ms. Sugerman grows to have a regular retail outlet and hours; but will make the pilgrimage to N. Rampart (about a half-block from where I write) and stock up.
    Thanks also for re-introducing me to the Defender. Handsome and interesting pub. Are you the person to send listings and events? What's the best way to reach you?
    Happy T-Day,

  2. Good to hear from you, Arthur. I don't do the listings anymore, but feel free to email with anything you think the Defender Nation should know about