And of note is that unlike most bagels, Black Bear bagels are shaped by hand. Bagels that are boiled and hand made are very rare!
Best Bagels St. Louis 2010 - Black Bear Bakery
A good bagel is like a New Yorker: thick-skinned, but with a soft, yielding interior that explains a tendency to consistently vote Democrat in presidential elections. A good bagel is no-nonsense. It doesn't need any of those froufrou streusel toppings, cloyingly sweet chocolate chips or seasonal variants that are a desperate cry for attention; a good bagel is like a worn leather jacket, a pair of Converse All Stars, the perfect pair of jeans. Until recently a good bagel was hard to find in St. Louis, like a post-collegiate New Yorker. Thankfully, Black Bear Bakery has stepped into the ring recently with a revamped bagel. It is boiled, as any good bagel should be, and it comes in only three varieties: plain, poppy seed and sesame. Because a good bagel doesn't steal the limelight, it supports your creativity in toppings. So throw all you've got at this bagel — it can take it.
I guess that you like strawberry bagels also.
St. Louis has but one eastern european family that is still in the bagel business and that is Pratzel's. For over 100 years Ron's family has turned out the best and consistently the most sought after bagel in this state. Cherokee street, feh that is good for antiques and breweries, give me Old Olive and Pratzels any day.