A native of Rockland County, N.Y., co-owner Jenny Puente holds Bagel Boys of Suffern, N.Y. as her favorite bagel shop. (After her own, that is). To glib New Yorkers who parrot the myth that California bagels can't measure up because there's "something in the water," Puente notes that because bagels are boiled, any difference in pH or microbes would be neutralized by the heat. So there!
Employees have been working on a gluten-free objet d'manger for eight years and an organic bagel for five, but they're all set to release unto the world a combination croissant and bagel as soon as this week, for $2.95. And because this 51-year-old, family-owned institution is committed to zero waste, they're also making cragel bread pudding (also $2.95 for a slice, $15 for the whole shebang). A buttery, yet firm mixture of two doughs, the cragel is also a marriage of methods: The layers of a croissant are laid down, then boiled and baked on a stone.
All the same, House of Bagels' dough recipe was initially carried over from Brooklyn, and there were approximately zero bagel shops in San Francisco before they opened in 1962. In other words, even for skeptics unwilling to monkey around with the DNA of a perfectly fine breakfast treat, the cragel has a pedigree and you should give in and try one.