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New Yorkers Mount NYC Bagel Defense After NYT Claims California Offers Some of the Best

Plus, East Village restaurateur Frank Prisinzano is planning to open a grocery store — and more intel

A man in a new year’s hat smiles behind a bagel counter.
Absolute Bagels on the UWS
Robert Sietsema/Eater
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

New Yorkers react to questionable New York Times bagel claims

Yesterday, New York Times California restaurant critic Tejal Rao sparked a lively Twitter debate with a new report making a bold bagel claim: Some of the best New York City-style bagels in the country are actually being made by California bakers. In the report, Rao details how a range of Los Angeles and San Francisco bakers are increasingly experimenting with different regional styles, including chewy, dense, malty NYC-style bagels, with impressive results. To top it off, it was all bundled under an incendiary headline guaranteed to spark a Twitter war: “The Best Bagels Are in California (Sorry, New York)

As anticipated, New Yorkers jumped (online) to defend the city’s bagel bragging rights. “LIES!!!” one Twitter user wrote. Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in, as did multiple incoming mayoral candidates. New Jersey’s official Twitter account — hot off a food fight with Seattle — tried to insert itself into the debate. Here’s a roundup of other reactions below:

In other news

— Restaurateur Frank Prisinzano, who runs Frank, Supper, and Lil Frankie’s in the East Village, appears to now be opening a grocery store in the neighborhood.

— Chinatown tofu destination Fong On was robbed on Monday morning, Bowery Boogie reports. Three thieves stole a cash register containing approximately $300.

— Robbers have been increasingly targeting food delivery workers and stealing their expensive electric bikes during the pandemic, the New York Times reports. Electric bike theft has doubled in 2020, from 166 robberies in 2019 to 328 in 2020, according to the report.

— Chef Binder Saini of East Village newcomer Veeray da Dhaba is hosting hourlong chaat and chai-making classes on the weekends starting this month. The classes cost $35 apiece and are hosted in person at the restaurant, at 35 percent capacity, with participants seated at socially-distant tables.

— Former Louro, Bouley, and Per Se chef David Santos will be hosting a hot chicken pop-up this Saturday, March 13, in the West Village. The takeout-only pop-up offers a hot chicken feast for two for $55 that includes 10 pieces of dark chicken meat, mac and cheese, potato salad, coleslaw, bread, pickles, an herb ranch dressing, and banana pudding for dessert. Orders are taken in advance only, with scheduled pickup times to ensure social distancing.

— Summer can’t come fast enough: