Where are the best bagels I’ve ever eaten? A national bagel chain? Surely not. New Jersey? Nope, sorry. New York? No, not even there. You must travel to our little enclave in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley to find bagels which truly fit that bill, and those familiar with Harrisonburg know exactly what I am raving about – Mr. J’s Bagels and Deli. How in the heck did these amazing bagels find their way to the middle of Virginia? As the eatery’s webpage explains, “owners Joe and David Jerlinski decided to bring New York style bagels to the Valley.” And we are the better for it, let me assure you. Ever since enjoying my first bagel years and years ago, I could take the chewy breakfast bread or leave it. After experiencing the bagelicious masterpiece that is Mr. J’s everything bagel, though, I proclaim myself an addict. The bagel is perfect – chewy and soft inside and slightly crusty outside, covered in only the best bits of salt, poppyseeds, sesame seeds, garlic, and onion. Turn your favorite bagel into a sandwich – I’ll take bacon, egg, and cheese thanks – and I dare you to find a better bagel anywhere.



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