Year after year we have been reluctant to give best bagel props to Einstein Bros. Bagels (though we did in 2004), not so much because they didn't bake up a good bagel, but rather because they did. See, we figured good wasn't good enough—not when we were seeking the best...of. Like lox spread on a sesame bagel, we wanted to scatter the bready plaudits around, but delis ruin our plans by going out of business: first Gilbert's then Ed's, then Roasters, now Zinsky's. But the bagel behemoth that is Einstein's continues to dominate, and truthfully few other bagel stores came to mind. Face it, their bagels are fresh, sometimes even warm, their cream cheese tasty and varied, and their staff will slice your order upon request—though getting the halves evenly sized is still a bit dicey. Nonetheless, we honor Einstein's not so much by default, but for their perseverance in good times and bad. Though one judge would only cast his vote for Einstein's if we assured him that he could voice his one objection to the chain: "Blueberry bagels are a crime against nature." There, now it's unanimous.