Best Onion Pletzls and Bialys - 2006
Given the ubiquity of the bagel nowadays, the self-esteem of its fellow Polish-Jewish baked goods might be suffering. Though West Boynton's Bagels & produces a good version of its namesake, let's get one thing clear: Pletzl! Bialy! We love you too! The bialy is the Jan Brady of Polish-Jewish personal breads, flour-dusted things without holes. When made right, as these are, these flat-bottomed cousins of the bagel have a softer crust where a bagel has crunch and an airy rather than dense inside, but they still manage to be chewy. They're best heated and slathered with butter. Better still are the pletzls. The brainchild of some bygone bagel baker with a serious case of the munchies, the pletzl, another import from 19th-century Poland, takes the characteristics of the ideal bagel -- chewy, crunchy, dense -- and amps them up. Covered in toasted garlic, poppy seeds, onion, rock salt, and whatever else, the flattened discs are not sandwich bread. Don't even try splitting a pletzl open. Tear it apart, or cut it into strips or something. Or go ahead and just gnaw on it.