Nobody likes a sad, skinny baby...nobody!

Whether I’m ordering a meal at a restaurant or cooking up something at home, enjoying what I eat brings me immense satisfaction. On the other hand, being disappointed in a meal sends me into tantrum mode.

I expect certain things out of a dining experience. I’m realistic about the standards I hold for each place, from the local taco bar to the five star steak house. What I've decided is that it's about a perfect balance between service, food quality, ambiance and price. That may seem like a lot to juggle, but Houston is a big city with a plethora of restaurants to choose from. There’s no reason to expect anything less than the best.

If you strip my needs down to the bare essentials, you'll find I'm very much like a baby; I love tasty food and I love to be happy. If an experience doesn't generate a sense of fulfillment for those two basic needs...you're gonna hear me cry.

Nobody likes a sad, skinny baby...nobody!

Hot Bagel Shop - Give it a Try


The Skinny: Get the best bagel in town from the biggest hole in Houston. Yeah, you heard me.


The Fat: This is my place. You will rarely, if ever, hear me speak badly of this place - even though it may deserve it from time to time - and this is why. They make the best bagels around, it's that simple. I love me some hot bagel.

The Hot Bagel Shop is not for the weak. The service can be shoddy, but that’s what you get when three generations of superb bagelslingers are running a place from before 6am to after 3pm. On an any given day, you’ll enjoy hearing the miserable grandmother lecture her teenage granddaughters (and you, if you're lucky) about how somebody didn't do something the way it should've been done. If you’re up for a little show, it can be more of a perk than an detriment.

The peripheral help comes and goes. Over the years there have been some crazy peeps working the counter. Some have been funny, some have been rude, and there was even one that was down right inappropriate (by anyone’s standards.) Nonetheless, if you love your bagels, hang tight because the Hot Bagel Shop knows just how to make them. If you walk in and there’s a skinny middle aged guy, one young girl and two young boys working the counter: You’re GOLDEN! If anyone else is around...get ready for some crazy action.

The place is a bit of a dump. If you're a stickler for fresh paint on the walls and matching floor tiles, don't bother. And please, don't go into the bathroom. Even devotees like myself can loose their appetites after a quick trip to the HB loo. It's a little on the gross side.

Hot Bagel is small and not very cozy so I usually get my goods to go. There are a couple of tables outside that are worth snagging on a nice day. On the weekends the line can stretch straight out the door. Don't get discouraged, it moves pretty quickly.

They serve Starbucks coffee in pre-brewed dispensers with the an assortment of sweeteners and creamers. They also have a few coolers filled with sodas, juices and a variety of other beverages. It's pretty basic.

There are a few things you should get around to trying; the breakfast sandwich, the lox cream cheese and their tuna sandwich. Those are my faves. Basically, the food is cheap and the food is good. That pretty much sums it up.


P.S. Always, Always, Always check your order before you leave. Your order will be perfect most of the time, often enough for you to be lulled into a false sense of security. Do not be fooled. About 1/6 of the time they will forget something vital; like oh, say the salmon in your order of lox. I’ve walked out of there having paid for lox, with nothing more than a bagel, a slice of tomato and a lump of cream cheese in my bag. I’ve also walked out of there thinking I had a sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich in my grips when all I had was egg (no meat, no cheese). The other day my friend ordered a bagel dog, but when he went to eat it, there was only a hot dog shaped hole in a sad little bagel wrap. It was clear that there used to be a hot dog in there, it just didn't make it to his bag. No matter how good the food is, you can't enjoy it if it's not there.

Location: 2009 S. Shepherd

5 comments:

TexNYQueen said...

That's where I go when I need a reminder of NYC. It's the only place I've been in town that knows what a smear or even lox.

Now, if I can come across a coffee shop where I can order my joe light with 1 yellow and they understand what Im asking for, I'd be almost in heaven (b/c NYC is my heaven)!

Misha said...

You can't just go off and proclaim this place to be the best in town without even mentioning the NY Bagels. Recount?

Fat Baby said...

Recount for what? It seems we both agree these are the best (NY) bagels in Houston!

Fat Baby said...

Recount for what? It seems we both agree these are the best (NY) bagels in Houston!

Anonymous said...

I love Hot Bagel Shop!!!

I think their bagels are awsome. The only thing I would like to see is better a/c and maybe a redo on their interior (where are the chairs at?).