Three varieties of stuffed bagels are offered at Everything Bagel in...

Three varieties of stuffed bagels are offered at Everything Bagel in Commack: the original (front), the Ryan on a cinnamon bagel and the Dan the Man with jalapeño and melted Cheddar cheese. Credit: Newsday/Andi Berlin

It's a rare occasion when New York bagel shops take their cues from — gasp — Los Angeles. But when a fad hits big on TikTok, all bets are off. That's the case with the stuffed bagel, a recent phenomenon that hails from the Koreatown neighborhood of L.A. 

Bagels are apparently all the rage in South Korea these days, as well as a decadent riff on garlic bread called Korean cream cheese garlic buns. Fluffy Hawaiian buns are filled with cream cheese and dunked in a garlic butter “custard.” This is the landscape that inspired a Los Angeles shop named Calic Bagel in 2021 to invent a bagel version of the cream cheese garlic bun, which takes the visually appealing cheese pull to fantastical new levels. 

And the phenomenon has gotten so big that it's reached Long Island. You can find this legendary “stuffed bagel” at The Everything Bagel of Commack, a veteran-owned business that's pretty savvy on social media. The shop, owned by Steve Ott, debuted its own version of the stuffed bagel on Instagram May 23, and the influencers quickly converged to produce various viral videos. 

Manager Vicky Lima said she and the shop's social media manager came up with the idea, but held off for several weeks because the shop was already very busy. Now they've been selling dozens a day and are planning to  expand the menu to more stuffed bagels with meats like chopped bacon. 

“We get it, everybody likes a New York bagel,” she said. “But why not do something new with it, experiment with it?” 

So far the formula seems to be working. Every table was full with a big line during a recent weekday morning. A sign up at the front listed the three varieties of stuffed bagels they're making: the original, the Ryan and the Dan the Man ($5.25-$7.35). 

The original sticks close to the viral recipe that put Calic Bagel on the map. An employee takes a toasted bagel of your choice and slits it several times with a knife, and then pipes a generous amount of cream cheese into each cut. Then it's toasted for a second time with the cream cheese, then dunked in garlic butter and toasted a third time and finished with more garlic butter. It's a similar process for the other stuffed bagels too. Except the Ryan is made with a cinnamon bagel, filled with sweet cinnamon cream cheese and dunked in cinnamon sugar butter. And the Dan the Man is like the original, but has chopped jalapeños and melted pepper jack and cheddar cheese on top (very Southwest). 

It took a few extra minutes for the bagels to come out in their respective tinfoil canisters, but they were so gooey they practically demanded to be filmed as you ripped the pieces apart, letting the cream cheese flow everywhere. Yes this is a stunt, but each crunchy/creamy bite is ethereal, although it's also messy because the butter is dripping everywhere too.

Despite how delicious it was, it's probably not going to become part of our regular breakfast rotation. It's more of a destination food that you have to try at least once. And while you're at it, go all in and get the Ryan cinnamon bagel, which tasted like an over-the-top dessert. Because now that we're throwing our New York bagel traditions out the window, we might as well have a little fun. 

The Everything Bagel, 217 Commack Rd., Commack, 631-462-6433, commackbagels.com. Open 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

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