I have a confession to make…I cheated. I was unfaithful. I went to a different bagel shop the other day. I love my bagel shop, for more than just the reason that it is only two short blocks away. None of the guys behind the counter speak very much English and they often screw up orders unless you watch them while they are putting the cream cheese on, or they know you. After two and a half years they all know me, I either look really sexy when I first roll out of bed and venture out to get a bagel or I eat bagels a little too often, and my orders have ceased to contain mystery cream cheeses that look and taste nothing like what I actually ordered. Plus, the bagels and cream cheeses there are really good. I know what you’re all thinking, why cheat? Why go elsewhere when you’ve got a good thing? I walk by this other place almost daily and it has a stupid Zagat rated sign in the door. It is often busy on the weekends, which leads me to believe it has good food inside. I’ve fallen for this one before only to learn that there are just a whole lot of people with bad taste buds who enjoy standing on long lines for mediocre food in this city. And still, I believe lots of people equals good food. I walk into this other shop and am instantly underwhelmed by the choice of bagels and cream cheeses. I also instantly miss the aging faster than they should Spanish speaking guys from my place. The two nineteen-year-old Hispanic looking girls behind the counter look like local high school dropouts who hate life. I place my order and watch in horror as the girl who took my order spreads the smallest amount of cream cheese I have ever seen across one side of my bagel. I figure she must be about to scoop another tiny amount onto the other half when…BAM…she puts the two sides of my bagel together! “That’s it,” my brain and stomach are screaming. At my place they put so much cream cheese on that I often have to scrape some off. It’s just another reason I love that place. I go to the cash register and pay an obscene amount for what looked to be a pathetic sized bagel that I know has virtually no cream cheese on it. Another reason I love my place, it is cheap. I get home and unwrap my bagel in anticipation. This is going to be great. It has to be. I find myself face to face with a very small bagel. Well, in all actuality it is probably a normal serving size bagel, I have just grown accustomed to puffed up, oversized bagels at my place. I can barely see the thin layer of cream cheese between the two sides. I take a big bite. I am disgusted. Not only is this a tiny bagel with virtually no cream cheese, it’s not even good. I just paid over $3 for the smallest New York bagel I have ever seen with so little cream cheese on it I can’t even taste its existence. How did this happen? Why did I fall for this place? It was like a horrible one night stand. I felt guilty, dirty, and…hungry at the end of it all.