I am one of those tedious ex-New Yorkers who moan about how terrible the bagels are in California. We also gripe a lot about crummy pastrami and your ridiculous little pizzas.
But mostly, it’s the bagels, people. They’re like puffy dinner rolls. It’s meshugga.
The Bagel Mill in Petaluma is the first local baker to even get close to perfection, both boiling and baking these ancient carbo-loaders into chewy, snappy rings of goodness—but with a Sonoma twist: farm-to-table sourdough whole-grain bagels.
Owner Glenda Dougherty is a Sebastopol native who made it big in the NYC culinary world (so she knows a thing or two about bagels). Using flour she mills onsite and a sourdough starter she manages fastidiously, Bagel Mill bagels are seriously delish, easier to digest and have a light tang of sourdough. The whole wheat is lighter than you’d expect but brings a little more heft. Daily flavors include plain, poppy seed, sesame, onion, garlic, everything, cinnamon raisin, marble rye and whole wheat.
Because you can’t have a bagel without a schmear, there are a few special flavors like scallion or kimchi that uses Golden State Pickle Works ferments. Other toppings like classic lox are tops, along with the smoked trout salad, egg salad or the Pastrami Reuben.
On weekends, Dougherty has specials that have included the much-loved bialy (please make it a daily), Asiago and salt (sodium be damned!)
We’re fans, even if these bagels have been California-ized. We think you will be, too.
212 Western Ave, Petaluma, 707-981-8010. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., closed Monday and Tuesday, thebagelmill.com.