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Bagels & a Schmear for the Downtown Synagogue

With a tagline of “fine bagels for the masses” how could I resist? For the past two Sundays, The Detroit Institute of Bagels (DIB) has been cooking up homemade bagels, pairing them with fabulous cream cheese, and selling them with proceeds going to the Downtown Synagogue.

The DIB is the brainchild of brothers Ben and Dan Newman. Ben is an urban planner and foodie while Dan’s focus is food access issues and the non-profit arena. Ben would like to see more food destinations in Detroit, “I think that places like Slow's and Woodbridge Pub are part of what makes Corktown and Woodbridge vibrant and desirable places to live.”

“Like other cities, Detroit has an amazing bakery, a few amazing pizza places, and lots of good bars, but no one was boiling bagels in the city. I started making batches and batches of bagels in early December and eventually found a recipe I liked,” Ben explains.

“Because bagels are historically a Jewish food, I thought that making bagels as a fundraiser for the Downtown Synagogue would be a good way to test the demand for bagels in Detroit. I got in touch with a few members of the Synagogue, they liked the idea, and we started making pre-ordered bagels for pick-up on Sundays in March.”

The Detroit Institute of Bagels (DIB) continually studies, pursues, and exhibits excellence in bagel making. Customers come to the DIB to see, and eat, masterpieces in bagel craft. Each bagel is a work of art, worthy of its own worldwide tour around the finest museums. And even though each bagel carries such prestige, it is still a bagel, achievable and eatable by anyone with a dollar and an appetite. Fine bagels for the masses! ~ Detroit Institute of Bagels

Detroit Institute of Bagels

Much like other Detroit foodie initiatives such as Neighborhood Noodle and Detroit Brunch, you order your bagels a few days in advance online. On Sunday morning, head to “Bagels at the Downtown Synagogue" and grab your bagels.

Detroit Institute of Bagels offers plain, salt, sesame, and poppy seed bagels. Did I mention the fried bagel? Yep, they also offer a cinnamon raisin bagel that is fried and rolled in cinnamon and sugar!

The cream cheese, aptly named “Downtown Schmear,” comes from Suddenly Sauer, which picked up the first micro-grant from Soup at Spaulding.

I devoured my hand-kneaded salt bagel in the car, dipping it in my little cup o’ cream cheese. It was perfectly crusty on the outside while staying chewy in the middle. And this is not cream cheese from Philly; the Suddenly Sauer schmear was tangy and complimented the salt perfectly.

Celebrating its 90th year and officially known as the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue (IADS), the synagogue was established in 1921 and is now the last surviving conservative synagogue in the city of Detroit.

In short, one of IADS’s principal missions has always been to provide an accessible and open space of worship and celebration for everyone. ~ from the IADS website

Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue

Keep an eye on the Newman brothers, I have a feeling we’re going to see great things from them. Ben is working on establishing a non-profit that will help others start food businesses in Detroit. Dan recently started working at the Ozone House in Ann Arbor.

Order now, these are limited edition bagels! This Sunday, March 20th is the last “Bagels at the Downtown Synagogue.” And they only make 50 bagels! Follow DIB on Twitter.

Photo credit top: The Detroit Institute of Bagels

Photo credit bottom: Thanks to Sabrina at Bare Bones Detroit for the Downtown Synagogue photo.

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Reader Comments (5)

Thank you for posting this! I have the pleasure of living in the flat below the Newman brothers and have got to enjoy the DIB bagels once or twice. The bagels and schmear are incredibly delicious and I cannot wait to see what DIB and the Newman bros have in store in the coming months/years.

March 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDean S

What a small world! I agree, I think the Newman bros are ones to watch.

March 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

Thanks Dean! We couldn't have asked for better neighbors below....and thanks Becks for Detroit Moxie and Detroit Moxie love. :)

March 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBen Newman

Thanks for posting this!!! I enjoyed some deeeelish DIB bagels today for breakfast! : )

March 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterthedetroitfoodie

Detroit Foodie,
That's great to hear, glad you enjoyed!

March 20, 2011 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

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