But Bagel Bin works for me. Really works. The authentic skin around a bagel with real flavor and the dense texture that says, "This is not sandwich bread formed into a circle." At times, the bagels are inconsistent, but they're normally quite good and certainly the best that I have found out here in Howard County. They're served in a variety from the old-line salt and poppy to the sweet newcomers like blueberry. Plus, you can find little treats like bialy or even challah on Fridays.
I have worked my way through Bagel Bins. I started at the Wilde Lake location. It was one of the first errands that I did when Mrs. Howchow and I started to date. Weekend morning runs for some everythings, maybe a bialy, and if they're hot from the oven, maybe eat one in the car on the way home. Now, I have branched out to the ones in King's Contrivance and River Hill.
I deduced that this is all part of a small chain, owned by someone crafty enough to build an empire but not interested enough to create a Web site. It's an interesting choice, and one that I actually respect. What do I want in a bagel Web site? They sell bagels, cream cheese, coffee. What would I want to look up? I want to go to a bagel shop, and I like that it feels like a local place. Local people at the tables. Odd photos on the wall. (Advertising a local photographer?) Local high school kids smiling behind the counter and making it impossible to really mind when they slow down the process or screw up an order.
Nothing beats a New York bagel, but I'm glad these places are here for me.
If you are looking for a Bagel Bin, look up the locations on the Web site for the Columbia shopping centers: www.columbiavillagecenters.com. If you want more breads and cookies, check out my post about bakeries in Howard County.
Bagel Bin - Wilde Lake near downtown Columbia
Wilde Lake Village Greene
NEAR: Right near the Columbia Mall and the Wilde Lake High School.
Bagel Bin -- King's Contrivance in southern Columbia
NEAR: South of Rte 32 east of Rte 29. The shopping center is hidden in the King's Contrivance neighborhood, but it's worth the trip there for the bagels and soon for a Harris Teeters.
Bagel Bin - River Hill in Clarkville
NEAR: Just north of Rte 32 on Rte 108. River Hill shopping center is just north and across Rte 108 from the car dealerships.