I am such a liar. If my name wasn’t Jaleh, it would be Charles Ponzi. Or, maybe ‘Jaleh’ means ‘lie’ in Farsi and no one ever bothered to tell me the truth. Either way, I lied the other day when I said this post would be going up on Wednesday. I started two jobs, have been shoving food into my mouth during quick breaks, and all of the sudden, as I was driving home last night, I thought ‘good gosh, it was Wednesday ages ago.’ So, here’s my post about Knead Bagels, which I visited all the way back on the coldest day of the year a couple of months ago.
Normally I believe that bread is a hindrance to the yummy things you put on it. I want a sharp slice of white cheddar and I want to taste all of its power. I want a mound of crab dip on the tiniest slice of French baguette I can find. The only exception to this rule is cream cheese, which I love smooshed between two slices of a toasty bagel. Luckily enough for this bagel-lovin’ chica, I can satisfy this need to smoosh with Knead. Did that sound dirty? I feel like the two episodes of Jersey Shore that my classless sister made me watch used the word smoosh to refer to naughty things. I may be wrong, but I think this paragraph marks both the beginning and end of my relationship with smooshing.
Now, for those of you who haven’t hit the unsubscribe button, I will tell you that Knead Bagels was awesome. They had cool, hipstery cream cheeses, including kimchee and scallion lime, but the people were also super nice, so I didn’t care that I was surrounded by a bunch of guys with beards and girls who probably paid a lot of money to look like they had no money at all. Ordering the Fennel Seed & Sea Salt Bagel with Roasted Tomato Cream Cheese, I spent the next few minutes explaining to everyone that worked there how the heck one pronounces ‘Jaleh.’ At a place like Knead, where the people seemed to genuinely enjoy chit-chatting, I didn’t mind doing this. Yet, my name is always ‘Julie’ in Starbucks, so clearly not everyone is worthy of talking to me about how great my name is.
When I was presented with my brown bag housing a warm, fragrant bagel, I had intended to take it somewhere else to enjoy, but was so impatient that I plopped myself down and dug right in at the shop. The intensity of the tart yet sweet cream cheese along with the fennel seed made this one of the more memorable bagels of my life. The slight chewiness of the bread was another high point as it allowed me to savor my breakfast and really appreciate each layer of flavor that hit my awaiting tongue.
There are a lot of okay bagel huts out there, and several good ones, but this was the best bagel I’ve had in Philly. I won’t lie (for once) and say that I’ve tried every bagel in Philadelphia, but as of right now, this is number one on my list. I love the innovation behind their bagels because they promise a powerful flavor profile that could wake anyone up. However, I also appreciate that Knead just makes things well. I don’t care how great a restaurant’s imagination is, if the food sucks, it’s not worth it…and I think I just came up with my new motto for life.