Whether you favor classic cream cheese and lox, a BEC or some type of sugary birthday cake cream cheese, a person’s bagel order can be truly personal and sacred.
However, after a controversial video that was posted onto TikTok over the weekend, we learned that it can also spark chaos.
In the 30 second video, user Taylor Offer recounted his experience attempting to order his preferred bagel in New York City. The Los Angeles native claimed that when he walked into a local deli, he was met with hostility when he asked for a “scooped, gluten-free” bagel, which runs rather contrary to the chilled-out bagel service that he was accustomed to on the West Coast.
Let me backup and define what a “scooped bagel” even is: It’s a regular bagel with most of its fluffy innards removed, creating two hollowed discs. The argument for some people to order a scooped bagel is to either make room for more toppings, or to remove a few extra calories from your morning deli order.
Though Offer tells his story with a smile, since uploading the video he and all the scooped-bagel lovers of the world have been facing backlash from every corner of the internet. From commenters claiming to be “team bagel shop” and calling the order a “crime” to people straight-up calling for border control in New York state to weed out carb-averse Californians, it’s safe to say that a scooped bagel is a less than savory choice.
In my opinion, this is an over dramatic yet very fair reaction. The concept of the scooped bagel is also lost on me. The fluffy interior is the best part — why ask the server to do the extra unnecessary arm work to remove it? Why make an already risky gluten-free bagel even less structurally sound? I’ll also echo other commentators and ask: Why not just order something else?
As someone who used to work customer service, what’s extra satisfying about this little debacle are all the people calling out scooped bagel guy’s entitlement. Though I really do think Offer meant well, I wholeheartedly disagree with the phrase “the customer is always right,” because a lot of the time they’re wrong — very wrong. No one is entitled to the thing that they want just simply because they want it, even a scooped gluten-free bagel. While it may seem absurd to refuse service just over differing tastes, this worker was well within their rights to turn away a fussy, unnecessary order on a stressful day.
The thing that stumped me the most, as an Angeleno myself, was Offer’s claim that scooped bagels are not only commonplace but celebrated in the city. Don’t get me wrong, Los Angeles bagels are nowhere near the caliber of New York’s, I can admit that. However, this video going viral further propagates the myth that Californians wouldn’t know a good bagel if it smacked them between the eyes.
With one of the biggest Jewish populations in the country, and an exciting bagel boom of late, I would consider Los Angeles bagels to even be a bagel destination, with places new and established to choose from.
While it’s tempting to lambast this naive user and call him a stereotypical health nut, don’t take the rest of Los Angeles or its local bagel enjoyers down with it. I believe in the right to choose: If this man or anyone else wants to eat a really sad scooped bagel, let them. Just don’t expect to order it in NYC without getting a bit of a tongue-lashing, respectfully.