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World’s Greatest Bagel Store Shut Down By Department of Health

Haven’t we suffered enough?

Liel Leibovitz
October 31, 2017

The greatest bagels in the world are made in Manhattan. And the finest bagels in Manhattan are hand-crafted by Absolute Bagels on Broadway and 108th. Which, as if we haven’t suffered enough, was recently closed by the city’s Department of Health for a number of violations, including evidence of mice.

Some clients were undeterred, determined not to let something as trivial as hygiene get between them and chewy perfection:

Absolute bagels closed this weekend for health violatiojns. I don’t even care, give me the bagels #upperwestsidelife

— Lindsey Frances (@lindsfrances) October 29, 2017

Absolute’s other health code violations include such classics as “Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas,” and “Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.”

There’s never a good time for a bagel heaven to shutter its gates, but Absolute’s timing was especially poor: Late last week, it was ranked by Grub Street as the city’s (read: the world’s) second-best bagel, an insufficiently reverential ranking that nonetheless acknowledged Absolute’s cult status. Adding insult to injury, the short blurb accompanying the selection focused primarily on Absolute’s sanitary conditions, calling it a “filthy little store with sublime bagels” and lamenting its “general grime.”

Never mind all that: Mice come and go, but glory is eternal. Absolute Bagels is slated to reopen today, leaving its loyal clientele hungry for the best, filth flies be damned.

Liel Leibovitz is editor-at-large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One. He is the editor of Zionism: The Tablet Guide.

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