Discover Bethesda, Maryland...365 Days a Year!

Day 81: Toasted whole wheat ET with Tuna and LTM

The Georgetown Bagelry Logo

My favorite bagel shop in Bethesda is The Georgetown Bagelry, founded in 1981, and located at 5227 River Road in the Kenwood Station shopping center.  We grab lunch here so frequently that the cashier asks us when we arrive at the counter if we want, “Tuna on toasted Wheat ET?”  She means are we ordering our usual order of tuna fish served on a toasted whole wheat Everything Bagel with lettuce and tomato.  What’s an Everything Bagel?  That’s a bagel with a perfect combination of garlic, poppy seed, onion and salt mixture.  The texture of these ingredients is just wonderful.    The only thing I really don’t like here is finding a place to park in the crowded parking lot but once inside here’s what you’ll experience.  The place is small with just two booths and two peninsula counters with stools.  Most of the patrons come in for take-out, this is especially true at lunch time when the high schoolers roll in to the beat of Kanye.  The menu is cleverly hand-written in colored chalk on a huge chalk board over the counter.  The smell of fresh-baked bagels permeates the place.

Georgetown Bagelry

The chief bagel officer here is Mary Beall Adler, the owner and a Bethesda native, who has been a part of the company since 1985.  Voted “Best Bagel” by the Washington City Paper’s Reader’s Poll in 2009, Mary Adler takes pride in the bagels her shop makes fresh every day.  Using 400 year-old bagel making techniques and the finest ingredients, The Georgetown Bagelry strives to deliver “old Jewish traditions in making and baking each bagel daily.” I recently talked with Mary about her company and she had this to say, “A huge part of why our bagels are great is that they’re made with hands, head, and heart. I spend a lot of time with the team sharing very small details of the process…..a lot of it is repetitive and when they are totally conscious of what their doing you can definitely taste the difference in the final bagel. It’s not a simple thing. When their heart is in it, their hands and head follow. When you get the chance, walk back and tell the baker’s hello…..they love to share what they do.”  She also said that the staff from various parts of the world are, “working on our languages.  They understand warm eyes and smiles.”

One Sunday stop by the shop and try their fresh-squeezed orange juice and if you’re adventurous, try a Garlic and Salt bagel at least once with some Salmon.  Like a Garlic punch to the mouth.  Do you need your office meeting catered?  Consider calling The Georgetown Bagelry where they have quite a few platters (fish, cheese, meats, dairy,and food) Sandwichettes (mini sandwiches), salads, Badu’s Nosh (a deli feast with no red meat), desserts and of course bagels!  Whether you are a Nosher (Yiddish for “small eater”) or a Fresser (Yiddish for “big eater”), you won’t be disappointed eating here. “Ay, a Mecheieh!,” they say, or it’s a real pleasure. ~Brian

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