My tour of duty in food service included time at both Mrs. Fields and a few years at a bagel shop that originated on Long Island, NY. So like most people, I think I know a thing or two about a good bagel.
You can argue about how they should be prepared pre-bake (boiled NOT steamed). You can argue about flavors (I don’t argue, I just don’t enjoy cranberry orange or sun-dried tomato). You can argue about who has the best in NYC. (H&H or Columbia Hot Bagel – well, that one’s now closed.) You can argue about how to pronounce it. Whatever your position, we’ve all had the bad bagels — tough, dense, hockey pucks or spongy grocery store white bread dough, indistinguishable as a bagel except for its shape. These are not those bagels.