A perfect circle

The Bagel Stand owner Jeramy Whitaker checks his sizeable inventory while a Gobbler waits to be gobbled.

The Bagel Stand owner Jeramy Whitaker checks his sizeable inventory while a Gobbler waits to be gobbled.

Photo By David Robert

The circle, the international sign of the doughnut, is also the symbol of the halo, the wheel, wholeness and the infinite. It might be a stretch to say that eating things that are circular gives us a more complete sense of fulfillment, but think about it. Pizzas, hamburgers, pancakes, eggs and many types of fruits and vegetables can all be explained in terms of the never-ending loop.

The bagel is a nice example of how truly complete something circularly shaped can be. Generally packing between 250 and 300 calories, a bagel is a decent-sized meal all by its lonesome. Add a little cream cheese at no less than 60 calories per tablespoon (and who eats a meager tablespoon?), and you’ll be packing a hefty little meal that’s as close as food will probably ever come to the very dense and compact “dark matter.”

My sister and I recently stopped by The Bagel Stand to pick up to-go sandwiches for ourselves and our parents, whom we were meeting for lunch. Although the interior was looking a little worn down (the shop desperately needs a new menu board), there were signs that it was in the process of a makeover. Beautiful, glass-topped tables with ornate steel work appear to be the start of a new beginning.

When my Dad first saw his compact bagel sandwich, the Gobbler, he asked, “Is that it?”

“We got you some Sun Chips too,” I said. Chips and a drink are both included in the price of a $6 bagel sandwich.

My sister, Amber, always the self-appointed guard for keeping Dad in check, said, “Oh, be quiet. Just eat it. It’s a lot more filling than you think.”

“What are these?” Dad asked.

“Sesame seeds,” Amber said. “They taste good, and they’re good for you. Stop complaining or we won’t get you anything next time.” The Gobbler contains turkey, plain cream cheese, craisins and sesame seeds on your choice of bagel. It’s a hearty sandwich with an eclectic and pleasurable mix of textures.

My mom and I had the Ultimate Veggie sandwich, which came with olives, sesame seeds, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce. My garlic bagel and chive cream cheese gave this sandwich the burst of flavor it needed, however, it was hard to get my mouth around. Mom had hers on a honey-wheat bagel with plain cream cheese, which was too bland for me, but it suited her delicate constitution perfectly.

After taking a bite of my sister’s everything bagel with spinach-garlic cream cheese ($2.25), I was struck with how totally satisfyingly the right combo of bagel and cheese can be. Simple, yet ideal. Right about this time, my dad took the last bite of his Gobbler.

“That was pretty satisfying,” he said. “That filled me up more than I thought it would.”

It’s all in the circle.

I think that instead of getting the three square meals a day I’ve so often heard I should get, I’ll instead adhere to the three-round-meals-a-day policy. Many of us are looking for wholeness in our lives. What better way to start than by eating foods that embody the notion of the universally complete? What better way to start than bagels and The Bagel Stand? Om. Om. Om.