Is there anything better than a doughnut, a croissant or a bagel? Can you really improve upon perfection? Well, the popularity and the “black market” cronuts would have one believe that you can. Having never tried a cronut, I can’t speak to them. I have tried the knockoff at Crumbs and wasn’t impressed. On a recent trip to the grocery store Food Emporium, I tried two of its “croissant donuts”: strawberry and salted caramel. At first glance, they look delicious. Knowing that they come from Food Emporium makes one believe they will taste like grocery store baked goods. And guess what? They do–but in a really yummy way. I have to say I enjoyed the cream in both of these, especially the strawberry. I still have yet to taste an authentic cronut, but these are pretty darn good. They have layers like a croissant but more of a doughnut flavor.
Is this better than a doughnut or a croissant? Well, no, I like both for different reasons. I like my doughnuts sweet with jelly or sugar and my croissants savory with butter. So I probably think of these more as doughnuts.
At Bantam Bagels on Bleecker Street in the West Village, the bagels are small, round balls of bagel dough filled with cream cheese…well, not always. The takeout spot has a variety of bagels to choose from. I got a French toast, an everything and an onion bagel. The first thing they do is toast these in a small oven. I wish they would ask if you want them toasted before they put them in the oven because I don’t like toasted bagels. The French toast bagel was my favorite. It was flavorful, cinnamony and had an ample amount of a sweet cream cheese inside. The onion bagel had a dot of butter inside. These were a real disappointment because they didn’t have enough cream cheese inside and some had no cream cheese at all (which I didn’t know because I made an assumption when I saw onion that it would just have cream cheese in it). Also, the dough is hard.
Bantam bagels are $1.35 each. While I enjoy a little experimentation, it’s hard to justify charging a high price for something that just isn’t that great.
This idea reminded me of bagel knots from Chesapeake Bagel Bakery. They were a pastry made from bagel dough with an icing on top. They were delicious, but the bakery discontinued making them.