Michael Whitney of Overland Park was first in line for the opening of Meshuggah Bagels at 6:30 a.m. Friday to “get a decent bagel, hopefully.”
“Boil the damn bagel, don’t steam them. It’s not that hard people. Do it right. Once you’ve had a good bagel you know the difference,” Whitney said. “I don’t have to transport it from New York now.”
The new shop, at 1208 W. 39th St., quickly filled up, and when the line nearly came to an end an hour later, another line soon formed.
Meshuggah’s owners, Pete and Janna Linde, were prepared. They made enough dough Thursday for 1,800 bagels for opening day.
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“I have no idea how it’s going to be, what level of insanity,” Pete Linde said Thursday evening.
Meshuggah — which means ‘crazy’ in Yiddish — had a few opening glitches: an oven that didn’t work and a crane out in front that was set to install the Meshuggah sign Thursday but was still at it Friday morning, blocking a few parking spaces.
The Lindes had gotten their New York bagel fix — ones with the right “chew” — on trips to New York to see Pete’s family. But last fall they started producing small batches of plain, garlic, sesame, poppy seed, onion and salt bagels from an industrial warehouse in Pleasant Valley.
Their new Wi-Fi cafe now sells the bagels with Green Dirt Farm schmears paired with coffee blends by Maps Coffee Roasters. A plain bagel sells for $1.50 and the bagels are certified kosher by Vaad HaKashruth of Kansas City.
An hour in and a couple of customers got testy when some orders got mixed up. But after Meshuggah employees started writing the customer’s names on the brown paper bags, the line moved along again.
Several customers said they wanted to support the local business while some just wanted to try authentic New York-style bagels.
“In terms of the whole bagel landscape this is the upper echelon, but in the context of New York-style bagels, the specialty bagels, it is probably in the middle,” said Scott Woodside.
But Jennifer Dye gave it a better review: “I think that these are amazing bagels. I haven’t had any like these since I was visiting New York.”