vegansaurus!

03/19/2012

Product review: Bagel Spice!  »

I was at the NYCVFF, perusing the tables, when one of the vendors very kindly offered me a free bottle of Bagel Spice. I wasn’t particularly interested in said Bagel Spice—I was just standing in its vicinity, eyeballing the Bee Free Honee.

I have a pretty extensive spice rack so my attitude was sort of, “Who needs you, Bagel Spice?” Plus it seemed sort of confusing. The website describes it like this:

Bagel Spice is a scrumptious blend of premium spices inspired by the “Everything Bagel.” It’s a delicious accompaniment to a variety of savory dishes.

Honestly, I wasn’t even sure what to put it on. But the company seemed awful charming, and the ingredient list is totally au natural—all very real and whole foods go into this product—so I figured I should give it a whirl.

Initially I went for the obvious and put it on a delicious toasted bagel with some tofutti cream cheese. I have to say that it was very very good. Like surprisingly good. I want it on all of my bagels now.

It’s quite yummy mixed in with hummus as well. That’s how they were serving samples of it up at the NYCVFF, and it was totally good. The original Bagel Spice has no salt, but they make another blend with sea salt, as well as a spicy one, so you have options. What I like about the hummus concept is that I usually like to buy plain hummus, but then sometimes I wish I had a flavored one. Bagel Spice to the rescue! It’s a nice addition to some hummus, and you don’t have to commit to a whole container of the flavored stuff.

The third thing I did with the Bagel Spice was use it as a dry seasoning to make seitan nuggets. (I used the nugget recipe from Jenny’s nugget post—it’s great!) This is what ultimately made me a big Bagel Spice fan. These nuggets turned out awesome, and the Bagel Spice was an essential addition of zest. I used the no-sodium original, so it wasn’t too salty or overly spicy; it just added a ton of gusto. There’s some nice chunkiness with the dried onions and poppy seeds too, which added a great crispy texture on the outside.

It is definitely an awesome addition to any breading you’re making that requires a dry spice. I will probably use it in this capacity most. I’m also gonna suggest that it would be fabulous on a tofu scramble, garlic bread, salads, etc. You could even make some wicked fast pasta by tossing it in a little olive oil then sprinkling on some Bagel Spice. The possibilities are endless!

Bottom line, I am super impressed with Bagel Spice. They totally converted me from an uninterested skeptic to someone who will definitely keep this on hand. It’s tasty and versatile, and dang it, I like it.

You can order Bagel Spice via its website** and it’s also available in a few stores. If you try it and like it, ask your favorite stores to carry it. I’m all about pestering stores to carry things I like. I’m pretty sure my friend Michael is solely responsible for Fresh Direct carrying Daiya. The squeaky wheel, people: It gets the grease.

**This is totally not a vegan company, and there are pictures of eggs and chicken wings on their website. Their whole recipe section is disappointing. However, they do seem to exclusively produce Bagel Spice, and they’re certified kosher, so I’m assuming their facility is meat- and dairy-free.

Laura Yasinitsky is a writer, comic, waitress, and animal-lover based in New York City. She has appeared on Comedy Central’s Open-Mic Fight, and writes for US Weekly’s Fashion Police. You can follow her silliness on Twitter @LaraYaz, and read about her animal-friendly adventures here.

01/05/2010

When in NYC, get yourself to Absolute Bagels. My friend Leda suggested it and girl knows what she’s talking about. Not only are the actual bagels the biggest pillows of delicious dough you ever ate, they also have aprox 50 types of vegan cream cheese to slather on them. My last visit, I indulged in TWO BAGELS, an everything with veggie cream cheese and a plain with walnut raisin cream cheese and GIRRRRRL, these bagels are NO JOKE. So what if they’re roughly 2 million calories each? They’re amazing and delicious and there is no better vegan cream cheese selection in all of NYC and you can wander up the block to Columbia and see five-year-olds carrying Birkin bags (Are those still in? Sorry, I live in 2000! She was a good year!) and the Ghostbusters building. LIFE IS GOOD.

When in NYC, get yourself to Absolute Bagels. My friend Leda suggested it and girl knows what she’s talking about. Not only are the actual bagels the biggest pillows of delicious dough you ever ate, they also have aprox 50 types of vegan cream cheese to slather on them. My last visit, I indulged in TWO BAGELS, an everything with veggie cream cheese and a plain with walnut raisin cream cheese and GIRRRRRL, these bagels are NO JOKE. So what if they’re roughly 2 million calories each? They’re amazing and delicious and there is no better vegan cream cheese selection in all of NYC and you can wander up the block to Columbia and see five-year-olds carrying Birkin bags (Are those still in? Sorry, I live in 2000! She was a good year!) and the Ghostbusters building. LIFE IS GOOD.

11/06/2008

A native New Yorker’s guide to real bagels in San Francisco  »

I’m in New Jersey right now, hiding out and hustling from my parent’s dining room. My mother bought me a package of bagels from New York and I have been slowly devouring them, with my coffee in the morning/afternoon (can’t quite get on East Coast time), which made me want to talk about where to get bagels in San Francisco.

Now, if you live in California and you’ve had the pleasure of biting into a New York bagel, let’s make something very clear: bagels in San Francisco are a compromise, a test of your true love. Your palate will adjust, but there’s nowhere on the West Coast that has bagels that are as good (something about the water, I hear?).

That being said, I only consider two places in town as bagel contenders.

Katz Bagels in several locations: Lower Haight, the Mission, and SOMA
The bagels themselves are OK; when eaten fresh they are doughy and satisfying, and certainly not as sweet as a Noah’s Bagel, but I mention Katz here because they are vegan-friendly. They carry Tofutti, including the Herbs & Chives variety, which you can then load up with vegetables if you wish. You can also get peanut butter or hummus on your bagel if the sometimes plasticky taste of Tofutti bugs you.

House of Bagels in the Inner Richmond
Personally, I like House of Bagels the best. They’re a very close approximation of a NY bagel and they even taste okay if you don’t toast them (I have never toasted a bagel until moving to California, TRUE FACT!). However, no vegan-friendly toppings here, so you’ll want to buy a dozen and take them home and do with them what you will. There are a few places in town that sell them, including Real Food and Rainbow, so you don’t have to go to the Inner Richmond if you don’t want to.

What are your favorite places to get bagels in town?

[photo by Rusvaplauke]

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