The Flagel Makes an Unexpected Appearance in Manhattan
The flagel is a bagel variation invented by Tasty Bagel in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn in 1994.
Basically, it's a bagel that has been flattened prior to boiling and baking. Why would anyone do that? As you might imagine, bagel bakers get tired of doing the same thing day after day, and maybe the guys at Tasty, which is one of the few bagelries run by Italian-Americans, wanted to do something different to relieve the monotony.
Or maybe they did it because it makes a better bagel sandwich. A decade earlier, when the place was founded, they invented the "big wheel bagel," a giant bagel nearly the size of the Wheel of Fortune which is thickly layered with Italian cold cuts and sliced into sandwich-size wedges.
The flagel is very hard to cut latitudinally, and it goes stale fast, which is why it was surprising to find it at the Gourmet Garage in the West Village. Much better to go to Bensonhurst and get one fresh. Then eat it fast -- with plenty of ricotta. 1709 86th Street, Bensonhurst. Brooklyn, 718-331-7100