The author regards her bagel with love.

by Joanna Rutter

I assume that someday I’ll be able to look at a man the way I look at an everything bagel with lox cream cheese, but Sunday was no such day.

Dragging my long-suffering roommate Maddie out of bed to join me on the pilgrimage up Bryan Boulevard, I attempted to distract myself in the car with conversation and the soothing sounds of Alison Krauss, trying not to think about the mouth-watering paradise awaiting us. But as we took the New Garden exit, I couldn’t hold in a squeal of anticipatory glee. 

You would think after a few excursions, I’d have calmed down by now about New Garden Bagels, but as I like to obnoxiously remind everyone whenever I can, I’m a native New Yorker. Not only that, but I’m a New Yorker who has a track record of turning up her nose at anything in the Triad laying claim to the edible realms my hometown usually wins. (Mizumi’s sushi in Greensboro and Dioli’s cannoli from Winston-Salem make the cut.) It’s not a snobby standpoint if it always holds up.

Or so I thought before my teeth first sank into a New Garden bagel last year and I realized just how wrong I could be.

Long Island (pronounced lon-GUY-lan) native Ed Bonniberger honed his craft well enough to bring his talents to the South. It’s a damn near miracle that he’s able to recreate the New York style bagel without the city’s tap water, long believed to carry intrinsic dough-empowering properties necessary for real pizza and bagels, so it’s possible that he has magic powers.

I have no idea why Bonniberger relocated to Greensboro and I haven’t yet had the chance to ask him. It’s not important. What’s important is that he brought his bagels here like a veritable fairy godmother of boiled breakfast pastries.

Let me break down the spiritual experience of my go-to order for you. First, you’ll encounter a generous layer of smooth cream cheese with pieces of lox flecked throughout like savory pink jewels. Then you’ll sink into the firm but pillowy bagel itself, which has just the right amount of give, through poppyseeds and onion flakes. The saltiness combines with the sweetness of the dough, and the cold combines with the toasty outer shell.

And then, for a fleeting moment, you see the face of God.

High Pointers can check out New Garden Bagels’ recently opened sister location at 1228 Eastchester Drive.

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