25 Days of Thanks- Day 2

Thankful- Panara Bread

“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”

Let’s reshape that a bit…

“In the land of having no clue what a bagel is, the circular bread baked good with a hole in the middle is king”

Bagels are one of the things I miss from NY.  A real bagel.  We’re not talking some mass-produced, baked but not boiled, thing with a hole in the middle.

I will hand it to Panara that they try real hard.  Their Cinnamon Crunch Bagel is unreasonably addictive and their Asiago Cheese Bagel is a great holder of turkey and cheese.  I am thankful that there’s a Panara in Quincy.  It’s a good place to get a fresh pastry or a good cup of soup.

It wasn’t always like this though.  For many years, Panara and me were mortal enemies.  After being told on my first trip there that eggs are in everything they make by both the cashier and manager, I had to say “No” when many coworkers would attempt to bring it up as a lunch option.

But then one glorious day, I gave it another shot.  Early in my time here in Quincy, after a long day at work, I headed there knowing that the crowd would be light and I could get time with someone who knew the inner-workings of their bakery creations.  Arriving to find a team of people willing to help we did the “allergy dance” and one by one, a new light shown on each part of the store.  Some were crossed off the list but by the end I had numerous options and a few sniffles from the joy.  Holding back a hug so as to not freak out the manager, I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Thank You”

But… they’re not bagels.  Bagels are boiled first.  Then baked.  A nice crust on the outside, chewy in the middle.  A little cornmeal on the bottom.  Maybe even a little sticky as they all sit in the bag still warm from the oven.

And yes, I have driven two hours to get to the closest Bruegger’s Bagel in Iowa City, IA.  Don’t judge.  You’d do it too if you were in my shoes… right?



2 Responses to “25 Days of Thanks- Day 2”

  1. kristin Says:

    1. You are a great writer!
    2. Asiago is where it’s at, but, I agree, they’re not bagels.
    3. How can I fedex you some real nyc bagels when I’m home for the holidays?
    4. Speaking of carbs… thoughts on pizza in Quincy?

    • jeffspain Says:

      1. Thanks!
      2. I had to get one today from writing about it last night. I can only imagine what pregnancy cravings feel like if I get a little hungry just from writing about something
      3. Ohhhh… tempting. I’ll be in touch
      4. Some decent places. Good variety of St. Louis style, Chicago style, and attempts (emphasis on “attempts”) at NYC style.

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