Cool Spreads at The Hot Bagel Shop

Categories: On the Menu

LoxspreadHP.jpg
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Sesame bagel with lox spread. Not toasted. Just the way I like it.

There was a period in my life when I had unlimited access to wonderful bagels and I did not appreciate it. I was living in Brookline, Massachusetts, and within a stone's throw of my apartment were at least three top-notch bagel bakeries, including one that offered the best dill cream cheese I've ever had as well as some damn good whitefish salad. If I'd known what I know now, I would have eaten there daily instead of just biweekly.

And, BTW, what I know now is that really good bagels are hard to find outside bagel-obsessed metropolises like New York, Philly and Boston. Not impossible, just hard. Such has been my experience in Houston, where unfortunately there are more bland branches of Einstein Bros than interesting independent/family-run joints.

HBS2HP.jpg
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Chalkboard of Hot Bagel shop advertising many splendiferous flavors of cream cheese and bagels.

But as long as The Hot Bagel Shop stays in business, I shouldn't really complain. (FYI, I also adore New York Bagel Shop, but it's a bit far for me for impromptu Sunday morning runs. One more reason to move to the Hillcroft area.)

My favorite thing to order at The Hot Bagel Shop is a warm, squishy sesame bagel speckled with crisp seeds, not toasted, with a generous schmear of lox cream cheese. And please don't tell me that lox and regular cream cheese would taste even better; no, they would taste different, not better, and I actually prefer a uniformly smooth spread on my bagels.

As a creature of habit, I'm ashamed to say I have not had many other of their different bagel varieties, but based on my experiences with sesame (as well as everything, salt, whole wheat and cinnamon), I'm pretty confident they're good, too. This fall I plan to test my theory by starting my own personal rewards program to incentivize myself to try every possible cream cheese and bagel combination. I'm no stats genius, but I believe that with 22 types of bagels and nine types of cream cheese, there will be many delicious possibilities.

P.S. If you are a stats genius, please hit me up in the comments and instruct me on how to do a combination formula with two sets of variables!

Location Info

The Hot Bagel Shop

2009 S. Shepherd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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12 comments
jberlat1
jberlat1

Hot Bagel Shop and NY Bagels are the only two places to get decent bagels in town. 

tee-wee
tee-wee

glad you mentioned NY Bagels, because their bagels are peerless in Houston.

Khryz Fish Gonzalez
Khryz Fish Gonzalez

The only place I buy bagels from, toasted sesame or supreme and bagel mini's mmmmmmm Bizomb!!

Paula Murphy
Paula Murphy

I love the honey walnut cream cheese they make

carriebwc
carriebwc

If you have to toast a bagel, then it ain't worth eating.

rgwalt
rgwalt

Assuming you pair one type of bagle with one type of cream cheese, you have 22 x 9 = 198 combinations.  However, I would develop a plan to cut down on some of the potentially awful choices, like a garlic bagel with honey walnut cream cheese.

I, too, love Hot Bagel Shop.  I was enamored with the bagel dogs, and I still enjoy the mini's, but my favorite choice is an everything bagel, toasted, with jalapeno cream cheese.

Keep in mind that this isn't your friendly, relaxed cafe where you can grab a bagel.  These people churn out thousands of bagels a day, and generally there is a line.  The employees move fast, so it is vitally important that you have your order ready when you step up to the counter.  If you don't know what you want, stay out of line until you do.  When I hear/read bad reviews of Hot Bagel, it is invariably about their staff being rude, which is invariably the result of someone not knowing what they want, or not correctly/completely specifying their order.

rgwalt
rgwalt

There is nothing saying you HAVE to toast a bagel.  I didn't grow up on the east coast, so I'm allowed to enjoy my bagels however I please, including toasted with jalapeno cream cheese.  This is America!

rgwalt
rgwalt

Aside: When faced with a combination problem like the one presented, I find it easier to reduce the problem.  Consider how many combinations you could make with, say, 3 types of bagels and 2 types of cream cheese.  Bagel A can pair with cheese 1 or 2, making two different combinations.  Same for bagel B and bagel C.  This makes six combinations.  This would imply the formula 3 bagels x 2 cream cheese types = 6 combinations.  Test on another "small" problem before generalizing to the large problem.

jsoleary
jsoleary topcommenter

@rgwalt Thank you! Indeed, I was getting ahead of myself. Thank God order didn't matter of I'd have to wander into the scary world of permutations.

rgwalt
rgwalt

Yeah, permutations aren't fun. 

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