There has been a lingering suspicion on this board that none of the local bagels were really quite up to snuff. And I have tried them all. I was always a defender of Kupels, but knew in my heart that they were not really good old school bagels. Even H&H in NYC is often accused of having slipped on quality...
On my foray to by bait for striper fishing I went into Gloucester center a few days ago. And passed a place called Jim's Bagel & Bake Shoppe. My instant reaction was "you gotta be kidding me, a bagel place in Gloucester? Sort of like having a NC BBQ place next to the synagogue, a bit incongruous.
That said, I checked it out yesterday. They had few bagles left at 1:45 on a Sunday. But they did have poppy, one of my personal favorites. They also had a pretty decent selection of brownies, cookies, etc.
Well I had one of the bagels for dinner, (topped with dill lemon striped bass salad from the fish I caught the other day) and wouldn't you know it was excellent. Smallish (bagels have gotten too big and cakey) and very chewy. Might be one of the best bagels I have had in years.
I had another toasted for breakfast just now. So good I did not bother with my usual jam. Darn it, I want to run back this morning and see if it was a fluke.
I also had a donut... really excellent homemade plain donut with a touch of cinnamon. And a brownie. Frosted, full of nuts, just the right amount of gooiness. And an interesting macaroon. Thin layer of cakey chocolate with coconut inside, never had one quite like it.
The girls behind the counter said the place had been around for 15 years. I think I may just add this place to my list as favorite old school bakery. It's a bit of drive to Gloucester, but, Jim's sure seems to be another reason to go.
Jims Bagel & Bake Shoppe
24 Washington St.
Gloucester, MA 01930