Ted put me on to this wonderful article by Willard Spiegelman on his experiences upon visiting Japan: Gained in Translation. I was reading it this evening after work, when I came upon this short passage:
…bagels, sometimes spelled “bagles,” are a staple, but I stopped short of trying the soymilk and edamame combo, or the green tea and white chocolate one, that I found at “Bagels and Bagels” [sic] in the food exposition of one major department store.
Now, being a contrary type, this immediately inspired me to go out there, buy those very bagels and dare to do what Mr. Spiegelman did not. Well, I say immediately. I had my evening run along the river to do first…and then a shower of course … so by the time I got there the store was almost closing and sadly the “soymilk and edamame combo” was sold out (can’t be that bad then can it?) but they had the other one and a few more to boot. I really shouldn’t buy food when I’m already hungry… went a bit crazy. Seen below (top left) Basil & Cheese, (top right) Green Tea and White Chocolate, and (bottom) Mango and Orange (special for the summer don’t you know).
Each of these beauties set me back ￥150. The menu at Bagel & Bagel is not restricted to bagels however, they have other things too, like the Ten Grain Cereal Bar (￥170) and Honey Carrot Muffin (￥260) pictured below.
For those too lazy to make their own, they also have some pre-prepared “gourmet” sandwiches which will set you back around ￥400. I decided to try a couple. But purely for your benefit you understand. Pictured below are mango and tuna curry (mild spicy sweetness) and a good old fashioned plain cream cheese:
Bagel & Bagel describe themselves as selling “New York Style bagels”. That I couldn’t vouch for (never having been there), but I can vouch for their deliciously chewy nourishing doughiness. The Green Tea and White Chocolate Bagel? You’ll have to wait for the verdict. I’m saving it for breakfast.
Bagel & Bagel are situated in the basement food market of Takashimaya department store on the corner of Shijo and Kawaramachi. Find a map here. They are open from 10:00 am till 8:00 pm. Tel:075-252-7999
Incidentally, (and unrelated to bagels) what I really liked most about that Willard Spiegelman article was the following:
…a good traveler returns exhilarated, restored, and confirmed by the jolt of strangeness. Not lost in translation but having gained something. LINK
Having been born in Manhattan, I can tell you that New York bagles traditionally taste like pigeon guano and taxi exhaust.