Omnivore - Toco Hills becomes site of bloody bagel war

Goldberg's or the Bagel Palace?

Check out this video about the Bagel War that has erupted at Toco Hills Shopping Center. The Bagel Palace has been in business there since 1993. About a year ago, Goldberg's Bagel Company & Deli, a local chain, opened at the opposite end of the shopping center. That's when bagels became grenades.

This entertaining video documents the rivalry, which seems to be significantly generational. Of course, general kvetching about Atlanta delis is nothing new. Talk to any New York transplants and they will immediately begin complaining that there are no good bagels or deli food in the city. I've been hearing this my entire life in Atlanta.

I do remember, however, when Goldberg's opened its original bakery and deli on Roswell Road in the early '70s. I craved the food constantly. The bagels were by far the best I had ever tasted. The chopped liver was exceeded in my young memory at only one deli in town — the tiny Nosh O'Rye, owned by Russian immigrants in the Henry Grady Hotel in downtown Atlanta. It was torn down the same year Goldberg's opened.

I would occasionally visit other delis for pastrami and corned beef. For pickled herring, I always went to Goldberg's. In fact, if I just wanted bagels, I drove to Goldberg's. When I lived in rural Georgia for five years, I'd stock up on Goldberg's food during visits home. This was all before the founding Goldbergs sold the business and the quality plummeted.

Rather strangely, this video has little to say about the two shops' bagels themselves. Allegiances seem more based on cost, service and family tradition than actual quality of the bagels.

There are a few intermittent problems with the video's audio, by the way. So use your earphones or plan to lean close to your speakers.