Dear Sucker

San Franciscans Wait Two Hours in the Rain For Day-Old New York Bagels

Photo by @marmotilla

San Francisco reached peak pop-up pretentiousness this morning as throngs of bored foodies waited for “nearly two hours” for day-old New York bagels.

Taking place at Dear Mom, the Mission’s magnet of mediocrity, budding restauranteurs importers Sonya Haines and Wes Rowe unveiled their “Eastside Bagels” hustle, which sees Russ & Daughters bagels flown in from New York and flipped for $6 (bagel with cream cheese) to $12 (full bagel sandwich).  According to tweets from Andy Cooper, who suffered through the humiliation so we didn’t have to, the entire ordeal was a pointless exercise in doom and decadence:


The news of slow service and sell-outs led to an artisan riot, as moist customers raised their decorative pitchforks and hurled mildly-restrained criticism at the non-chefs.  Some poor schmuck even came up from San Jose, much to her frowny face:

While we’ve become dizzy with all the eye-rolling, we cannot help be impressed by the brilliance of this pop-up and its ability to lure people into the most degrading “yuppie bread line” possible.  Here are some other pop-up ideas to subsidize your next East Coast vacation:

  • “Box O’ Joe” Irish coffee pop-up at Buena Vista.
  • $12 reheated slice of Crazy Dough’s.
  • Bottles of water, filled from the bathroom sink of a West Philly Wawa.
  • $2 week-old Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins.
  • Scratched Dropkick Murphy’s CDs purchased at various Quincy garage sales.
  • Coolers full of authentic snow collected from Brooklyn (gross old dirty snow, not the fresh stuff).
  • Rosemunde pop-up, featuring sausages imported from Rosemunde Williamsburg.
  • Bagels purchased from C-Town Supermarket that you claim Danny Bowien breathed on.

Go forth and make your money, young jetset entrepreneurs. And congratulations to you, foodies of San Francisco, for effectively releasing any claim of superiority over New York City.

Comments (62)

Wow. This escapade should put to rest any debate about meritocracy. At around the same time, I bought a fresh bagel from my local market for 79 cents. Delicious.

Why you gotta talk smack about the Wawa. Dick.

What makes this especially funny is that Miller’s East Coast West serves NY bagels every day (boiled and frozen in NY and baked fresh here). But of course that requires leaving the Mission and venturing all the way out to Russian Hill.

What’s even funnier is that boiling and baking bagels can happen anywhere with identical results. There is no particular atmospheric pressure, or presence of yeast spores in the ambient air, that makes flour from New York special. Bagels, it turns out, are not magic.

It’s the NY water that makes NY bagels special

How much “specialness” is imparted by the water? Can you quantify that? Does it make the bagels 1% better? 2?

I can (and do) make bagels at home that are comparable to what you’d get at Russ & Daughters, and are leaps and bounds better than the crap they flog at Noah’s.

See this article:

While this is in regards to pizza, the principle still holds. Water in NY is different, if my geology from high school is correct, there used to be giant ice caps above New York State, on the Canada/US border. They fell and what that means in today’s day and age is that it’s our ground water. While the chroming of car bumpers has tainted some of the pure ground water over in Long Island, Manhattan water’s unique composition just seems to work for bagels and pizza.

Awesome. I didn’t know this and I’m wiling to travel. Thanks for the tip.

I have to disagree with the characterization of Millers East Coast west being in Russian Hill. Nevermind that people rarely call anything on Polk to be on one of the hills, but if you walked straight up Clay from Millers you would be ascending Nob Hill, not Russian Hill.

that’s good to know. i go there for lunch sometimes.

I was wondering how this would turn out. Truly embarrassing for this city, and does remind me exactly of new york where if some society blog said the place to be is under a bridge with your ass cheeks spread open, you’d see a thousand Brooklyn yuppies (hipsters) lined up.

Even still, I do occasionally like dear mom

but we’re ok with people taking buses? :(

Brilliant pop-up idea, confirmed by the “nearly 2 hour wait” (which is, by the way, an exaggeration). Congratulations to Sonya and Wes, who figured out how supply and demand works.

Actually, two hour estimate seems charitable. Andy’s Foursquare checkin was timestamped at 11:27am, and he gave up at 12:56pm because staff told him it was all sold out, so everyone ahead of him left. If you factor in the 45 minute wait *after* ordering, any time he waited before checking in, and the time he would have spent had they not sold out, this could have been as high as 3 hours.

Fucking lunacy.

the mission reptilian over-lords don’t like house of bagels?

Russ & Daughters doesn’t even specialize in Bagels. Bagels are like the last thing people buy there. Not that they’re bad, but if you’re going to import NY bagels you could easily find a better place.

My only problem with Russ & Daughters is that they have a big sign saying they have smoked eel, but if you actually try to buy smoked eel, they treat you like you’re a crazy person for asking for it.

Bagels are good but…not really this good.

Reminds me of diners in Las Vegas who over-pay to order fish FedEx’d from the Mediterranean. Never mind the carbon footprint of those bagels.

The dumbest thing I have ever heard!

And what makes these bagels so much better than just going to any number of Noah’s Bagels in the area? You can get a FRESH New York Style bagel for a LOT less money there, without a nearly-two-hour wait! Is it THAT important for stupid hipsters to spend more money than they need to for something with the “right” amount of pretension?

There’s nothing even vaguely “New York Style” about the Wonder Bread rolls-with-holes hat Noah’s serves.

Noah’s bagels are not very good. House of Bagels on Geary, on the other hand, is totally decent.


I’m ok with driving more business to House of Bagels, I’m sure they could use it.

Noahs bagels are only shaped like a bagel. They don’t have the density or flavor of EssaBagel, I grew up in NYC and we know better. However Russ and Daughters bagels aren’t much better.

That’s it, San Francisco is over. It was almost yesterday but now it’s totally over because of this. Earthquake, mudslide, tsunami, fire, drought…………please come and wash it away.

A note about this appeared in the NYTimes this morning. I’m reading this from NYC. You guys have sourdough bread, why would you want a day old bagel from R&D (not even Zabars? or Katz’?) and no LOX? WTF???

We have perfectly fine bagels in San Francisco. Is the sheeple phenomenon growing in NYC? It’s laughably large here. It turns out that the creative knowledge worker class has little of either attribute.

Not really. There are just a few companies that do it right on the East Coast. Russ and Daughters not one of them.

Then you sir have absolutely no idea what a perfectly fine bagel is.

Noah’s are inedible and House of Bagels are only a bit better. Edible does not equal “perfectly fine”. 

My native Californian roommate constantly spewed bile about the “geo-centric food snobbery” of New Yorkers when it comes to pizza and bagels. (it’s also not just NY but anywhere in the tri-state area that draws from the same water source)

He gave that up for good after we brought back two dozen. Even 12+ hours old he admitted they were undeniably superior to anything he’d ever had anywhere. There’s nothing placebo about this either. We did blind taste tests and 100% of those participating agreed. 

Educate thyself:…

Still no way in hell I’d stand in line for hours in the rain to pay $6 for one. No bagel on earth is worth that. 

Meanwhile, tenants gathered in the TL to fight to stay in their homes at the SF Tenants Convention… What a juxtaposition.

No wonder SF is becoming a cultural void. People wait in line for two hours for day old bagels so that they can instagram it instead of actually doing something productive and worthwhile with their free time.

“it instead of actually doing something productive and worthwhile with their free time.”

….like commenting on blogs.

Nah, don’t worry, this is on the company dime.


So you’re being paid to BE productive and bragging about not holding up your end of that exchange. Well done.

Regardless of whose dime that’s still  time you could be doing something more productive  you hypocritical twit. 

How is this any different than routinely waiting an hour to sit in any restaurant in the city that’s not on open table?!
I think this business is on to something! It’s ridiculously hard to get proper sushi or a proper pizza in San Francisco as well - there are some things you can’t necessarily just copy and make as good as when they’re from the source.

In the rain. For day old food at a premium price. When the local fresh alternative is just as good. Try the bagels at Rainbow for $.89. I can’t remember if they are from House of Bagels or somewhere else.

Heh. You’re actually saying it is hard to find good sushi or pizza in sf? Really? That’s seriously what you’re saying? That’s pretty funny.

Why don’t you move somewhere else if what we have here isn’t to your liking? People like you are so spoiled rotten that you actually think expressing your supposedly refined criticisms makes you urbane and sophisticated. It doesn’t. It just makes you annoying and in the way of people who appreciate this city. Go choke on a $30 truffle.

Hilarious that you don’t realize just how elitist and absurd your own retort is. How is it any different than someone who responds to any criticism of  US Policy, Business or Culture with “Amerikuh Love it or Leave It!”.  Thanks for my daily chuckle. 

Nice sarcasm and humor. You’ve have a new reader

Hahahahaha! San Francisco gets in line to eat New York’s GARBAGE! New York wins AGAIN!

This is wrong. Russ and Daughter’s bagel’s are run of the mill. Their spreads are good the bagels meh. If it’s not Ess A Bagel or Kossar’s (maybe H&H but they went through some kind of split) then you are wasting your time. I am someone who brings an extra bag when I go east to fill with Essa Bagels. Still have some in my freezer.

Bagel Bakery in SOMA makes amazing bagels everyday. No insane lines, no insane prices. What are they doing wrong?

It’s not about cheap bagels, dumb people, or Twitter. It’s not even about good tasting food or an actual special important thing.

Actually, I have no idea what it’s about. I pay 3x the national average of rent to live in a closet. Somehow, I love it. Makes no sense.

Perhaps its about living in a neighborhood that *feels* like something special is happening. Is it hipster-ish? Absolutely. But it’s fun and you’ll absolutely find fun people there – you can walk up to anybody holding that umbrella in the rain and have a laugh with them about the absurdity of it. They’re doing something quirky and they know it. They’re not retarded.

Yes, they are retarded. Your whole comment can basically be summed up as, “They are doing this because they are retarded.” (Apologies to actually retarded people, who knew better than to stand in that line.)

I have a bridge I can sell you. It’s red.

I also have scheduled for this line to jump off that bridge. Everyone’s doing it. It’ll be fun and quirky. And it will *feel special*

Hipster = someone who is young or old, faux poor but not, likes popular things except the ones he hates, is both mainstream and not, hates material comforts but doesn’t, lives in cities.

Ah, inarticulate commenters, where would the internet be without you?

Can I get that with a side of pickled Lemming to go please?

#8787 of signs that the bubble is about to burst

Once again, Uptown Almanac proves that it is a worthless toilet of nonsensical thinking. Would if hurt you “authentic” people to actually go talk to another human being in your own community?

The Wawa water really cracked me up.

These poseurs are PATHETIC!!!! “Foodies” - yeah right. They don’t know squat. They follow trends and will spend whatever ridiculous price is charged to be part of a scene. I’m sorry but I’m not bitter, I’m just sick and tired of these pretentious pricks ruining the city I’ve lived in for decades, the city I’ve loved and taken care of and, excuse me, contributed to in a meaningful way. Please go the hell away, all of you.

Make sure to sell them the bridge before they jump off of it.

House of Bagels on Geary. The only SF bagel worth a schlepp. Seriously, they’ve been there since my dad was a kid in SF and are amazing.


I think a more interesting question would be why people in SF continue to fetishize the simplest foods around. grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese, cheeseburgers, bagels. these are all things that have a few ingredients and minimal preparation.

QUINCY!! Representin’ the 02169!