When it comes to bagels, crime doesn’t always pay

One my earliest memories is of visiting with my parents the “bagel factory” in, I think, Mattapan or Dorchester close to Boston.  My keenly recalled odor of bagels being boiled and baked is hardly as refined as Proust’s taste of madeleines, but the sense memory is just as compelling as he described.

So was I intrigued with the plight of H&H Bagels on the Upper West Side , which the Times reported as having been closed for a few hours by the taxman on Friday.

A line of customers stood outside the store, seeming patient yet confused, until the doors reopened at about 1 p.m. Readers of the Zagat’s guides have called H&H “heaven with a02-17-staten-island-bagel hole in the center” and a “benchmark” for “fat” and “perfectly crafted rings” with “just the right consistency” to be “addictive” — citations noted on plaques placed proudly on the store’s walls.

The entities that own the main store, at 2239 Broadway, and the related bagel-making plant, at 639 West 46th Street, owed a total of more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes, and numerous efforts to make them pay had been unsuccessful, said Tom Bergin, a spokesman for the department.

As someone who fancies himself a bagel maven, let me say Continue reading