I admit that I never felt like there was anything wrong with Einstein Bros. Bagels. In fact, I love them! I like how they're soft and remains so even after refrigeration. Being more than satisfied with Einstein's, I never hankered for another bagel joint in Austin. Almost all the bagels I've had in my life are too heavy, dry, and hard.
After reading the Austin Chronicle's 2011 Restaurant Poll, where Wholy Bagel was named best NY bagel, I decided to give the critics' pick a try.
My first impression was that there are pretty good selections of bagels and cream cheeses. I'm a variety kind of gal, but I'm also a texture kind of gal. Will Wholy Bagel be hard and dry like the horrendous kinds from supermarket bakeries or soft and pliable like Einstein's?
Bagels: Cherry, Blueberry, Egg, Garlic, Salt, Rye, Jalapeño Cheese, Sesame, Poppyseed, Everything, etc.
Cream Cheeses: Veggie, Garlic & Herb, Scallion, Spring Berry, Pimento, Blueberry, Strawberry, Choco Chip, Walnut Raisin, Sun-dried Tomato, Lox, and Jalapeño
My breakfast companion and I shared a Taylor ham, American cheese, and fried egg sandwich on garlic bagel and a plain bagel with walnut raisin cream cheese. I appreciated how much care was put into the bagel sandwich as demonstrated by freshly slicing the Taylor ham. I don't know how much this adds to the overall taste, but it's nice to know that your food isn't being handled haphazardly.
Taylor ham, American cheese, and fried egg sandwich on garlic bagel
The end product? The bagel sandwich was fantastic! The bagel was definitely sturdier than Einstein's but not hard or dry.
Toasted plain bagel with walnut and raisin cream cheese
On the other hand, the toasted plain bagel with walnut and raisin cream cheese wasn't particularly interesting. The cream cheese was surprisingly bland. It was basically plain cream cheese with only a few raisins and almost no walnuts.
I bought half a dozen bagels and a tub of sun-dried tomato cream cheese home to see if I would still like these bagels after a day or two. The bagels became harder and drier day-by-day and the cream cheese still tasted dull.
I strongly recommend ordering the bagel breakfast sandwich at Wholy Bagel, but I think I'll stick with Einstein's for bagels and cream cheese to-go.