The Day We Only Ate Bagels


Nothing says the morning after a big event, like a wedding or bar mitzvah, quite like a bagel brunch. It’s a great way to gather friends and family before everyone heads out of town or just back to their daily routines. But it takes a special one of these events to turn into an all-day after party. I like to call it The Day We Only Ate Bagels

A couple of months ago, we planned a trip to Utah around a very special bar mitzvah. We tromped through Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and finally made our way to Deer Valley and Park City, for the bar mitzvah. The evening event included a full service, followed by cocktails, dinner, and dancing. Despite protests from FKGuy, after the party, we ended up at a strange Main Street bar with some friends we hadn’t seen in twenty years.

Those bagels could not happen soon enough. En route to the bar there was vodka (we went via Uber), then there was bourbon. I vaguely remember being asked if I like cinnamon before a shot of Fireball was thrust in my direction. When the Fireball happens, it is time to call it a night. Plus, I had been wearing a new pair of heels for nearly eight hours. It was enough.

It was time for bagels.

Typically, our visits happen in winter, when everything is covered in snow. As we drove up to our friends’ home, it all looked familiar, but a little surreal. I could still see the grass, and I was wearing shorts. We’ve been to this house dozens of times, usually staying for several days, and not one time have I used the front door. Usually, we enter through the garage. On that Sunday morning, however, we came through the front door and were greeted by a pile of shoes that would have made Imelda Marcos jealous. The morning-after-party was in full swing.

Surprisingly, they do have decent bagels in Utah. They had to get them from Salt Lake City, but they were pretty darn good. Schmeared with a bit of scallion cream cheese and ultra thinly sliced lox, and it was a party in my mouth. Happy times.

The brunch roared on for hours. Bagels. Mimosas. Rounds of Billy Joel on the piano. Jockeying for a seat on the couch when someone makes the rookie mistake of getting up. It’s hard to want more than that. During the course of the event, I may have gone back for seconds, yet somehow passed up the mimosas. (There was Fireball the night before. It hardly seemed like a good idea.)

As the brunch died down, guests began leaving for the airport, to go explore Park City, or simply to go home. Several visits later, we felt no need to explore, as we would rather hang out with our friends. Plus, our flight did not leave until 1:30 AM, so we had plenty of time. In my RSVP, I gently noted that “we will be happy to attend the bar mitzvah, and the brunch, but we will be overstaying our welcome. By a lot.

These have been some of my closest friends for over thirty years. I could say stuff like that and get away with it.

By 3 PM, nearly everyone had left (except us), and we were starting to get hungry again. Fortunately, our hosts had about sixty people for brunch and food for a hundred. We enjoyed a midday bagel snack. At one point our friend announced there was a bottle of Tokaji in the fridge and he wanted to open it with us. Who am I to turn down a good dessert wine? I toasted another half a bagel, added some lox, and hunkered down for the soon-to-be-popular bagel, salmon, and dessert wine snack.

Somewhere around 7 PM, it became evident that we were going to have to eat something for dinner. Our flight was not leaving for several hours, and it would be nearly fifteen hours until we arrived at home. As it turns out, there were more bagels. And lox.

We finally left their house about 9:30 PM and headed for the airport. It is safe to say we did not need to eat a bagel again for a very long time.