Merry go-round: New bagels, and <I>you</I> bake'mmm!

What's better than a bun in your oven? How 'bout a bagel?

Janet Dob, "mother" of Bake'mmm Bagels, took the traditional New York bagel a few steps farther when she opened her Verona bakery, Agnes' Very Very. Not only are her patented bagels made from USDA-certified organic ingredients, but you bake them in your own oven, so they're always fresh when you want them.

Did we say patented?

Yup, and according to Dob, receiving that patent was no small feat. In fact, it took four and a half years and whole lot of paperwork to prove that her product was truly unique.

The difference in Bake'mmm Bagels is all in the boiling. While many bagel bakers boil their dough, it's only for a minute or two to put "a skin" on the outside; the bagels still require immediate baking in order to stay fresh. Dob's bagels are boiled until fully cooked, so they can sit on the shelf or stay frozen– until someone's ready to dig in. Then, a mere 10-15 minutes in the oven is all that's required for a hot, fresh bagel.

As always, necessity is the mother of invention. In Dob's case, the idea came to her while she was working in a Colorado bakery nearly 15 years ago. Rising at 2am got stale pretty quick, Dob says, so she decided to find away to enjoy a few more zzzzz's. And find a way she did.

Now Dob's bagels can be found in a variety of local coffeeshops, including the Mudhouse on the Downtown Mall and C'ville Coffee in the Allied Business Park. They're also in health food stores up and down the East Coast, from Virginia to New Jersey.

The one downside? These bagels aren't cheap. In fact, at nearly a dollar per bagel, they're more than twice the price of one from Bodo's.

If you'd like to check the product out before investing in a $4 frozen four-pack from Rebecca's, Dob says your best bet is the Charlottesville City Market on Saturday mornings. There Dob doles out bagels baked on site by the dozen, and she adds a gourmet twist: homemade "schmears," fancified cream cheese spreads. Favorites include Belgian chocolate with toasted pecans and a hint of coffee, and an artichoke and green onion spread.

If it all sounds waist-expanding, think again. Dob says her bagels have fewer calories– 240 for her plain and whole wheat versions– than other similar products. And she knows first hand.

"I lost 50 pounds eating three or four bagels a day," she says.

Maybe we should tell Jared!

 

Crab bites dust

 The Sheriff's sale advertised for Monday, July 28 at 10am looks good for anyone hoping to start a restaurant. But it's not so hot for one particular restaurant: The Crab. The seafoodery located at 12 Elliewood Avenue opened in August of 2002, closed for a three-month winter break, reopened in late February and then shut its doors again in May or Junethis time, apparently, for good. The website, thecrab.net, is still scuttling along.

 

Lunch bunch

 If you hear the distinct sound of Beatles music ringing down Water Street to Main, it might just be Oxo serenading Station during the lunch hour. The tune? "Hello, Goodbye."

That's right– although Station has given up on serving lunch, Oxo's just jumped into the mid-day mix.

"We're still going to have cloth napkins and tablecloths," says Oxo owner Alice Kim, "but it's going to be affordable."

Lunch selections include sandwiches, salads, and some pasta dishes, and run from $7 for lighter fare, such as salad of tomato, mozzarella, and grilled asparagus with basil pestoРup to $12 for grilled flank steak with Lyonnaise potatoes, saut̩ed spinach, and red chile tapenade.

The patio will also be open, and Kim says there'll be plenty of room for private lunch meetings.