Fairmount were doughy, moist and overly sweet. Pass. As you can see, this location also had terrible ambient light!
St. Viateur’s were basically the same as their rivals in any qualitative sense, but that same chewiness, sweetness and ropy texture somehow all came together into a real goddamn delight for the senses. I’d intended to leave half for later staleness comparison, but that wasn’t happening. Doesn’t match my mental Platonic Bagel, but a damn good bread product nonetheless.
Winner by a landslide: St. Viateur. Lewkowicz was so right to strike out on his own.
St. Viateur > Fairmount >> any NYC bagels. (Definite taste comparison.)