Best bagel (tie) - 2000
Einstein Bros. Bagels & Gilbert's New York Delicatessen
Yes, it's a chain. But when the quality control, selection, and freshness are this good, screw mom and pop. The blueberry and cinnamon-raisin varieties are some of our favorites--sweet and chewy, great smeared with copious amounts of butter. The coffee is on par with the garden varieties offered by those Seattle guys too. The one in our neighborhood is always packed on the weekends, but these kids are so well trained, the line is never as daunting as it looks.
Bagel chains come and go, but Gilbert's Delicatessen has weathered the onslaught, holding firm to its New York traditions and its conviction that Jason's will never be a deli. The Gilbert family runs this North Dallas institution with a sweet-and-sour sauciness, but their bagels cannot be denied. They're big, hot, doughy, plain, egg, wheat, sesame-seed, poppy-seed, onion-garlic, everything bagels. Try them with the scrambled eggs, lox, and onions. Or for the less Jewish, the link sausage is the best in town. What more could you ask for? Nothing, so eat.