Inventing the Cleveland Bagel

As seen in: Edible Cleveland, Photo by Laura Watilo Blake

When one door closes, the oven door opens. At least that was the case for Dan “Bagelman” Herbst last spring when he found himself laid off and finally with enough spare time to fulfill his dream of bringing the perfect bagel to Cleveland.

Drawing inspiration from time spent in the center of the bagel universe (aka New York City), Herbst has developed a proprietary recipe that blends both Montreal– and New York-style methods. The Montreal style, usually made with malt and sugar, but no salt, is always baked in a wood-fired oven. You’ll notice bagels made in this fashion look very rustic and have a bigger hole than the New York-style bagel, which is puffier, moister, and less sweet. Try to ask Herbst more about how exactly he’s combined the two styles and you’ll be met with polite silence. He’s serious about protecting his secret recipe.

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Cleveland Bagel Co. – Where Montreal Meets New York City

As seen in: Cleveland Scene

It’s one of our country’s most popular breakfast foods, yet our fine city has been sorely lacking in quality bagels. Luckily, friends and business partners Dan Herbst and Geoff Hardman are seeking to change that with the launch of Cleveland Bagel Co. Founding their company in 2013, the pair was seeking to fill what they perceived as a bagel-shaped hole in the Cleveland food market. They wanted to make something similar to the real-deal bagels they had experienced in other cities, not merely the “bagel-shaped bread” Herbst says Clevelanders have been stuck with for quite some time now.

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