As the saying goes, you’re only full after the third bagel. At “Masha’s Bagels” in Karl-Kunger-Kiez in Alt-Treptow, the hunger must be pretty great, because after tasting a single bagel filled with love, most of the guests leave the tastes of Berlin in New York, full and happy. From the five standard variants of the bagel – including natural, poppy seeds, sesame, all kinds and salted cumin – can be chosen freely; there are also special variants such as roasted onion or garlic.
TRADITION “I wanted to get back to the good taste of traditional bagels,” says 35-year-old owner Alex Frons, a native New Yorker who grew up in Brooklyn. »We make everything according to our recipes: Our bagels must be chilled for 24 hours to set. Then we boil them in malted water before baking.” About ten grains of yeast are put into one of the bubbling vats. “We manage a maximum of 150 units per day,” says the entrepreneur. On weekends, or when orders come in, it can be up to 200.
The American delicacy was inspired by her Jewish grandmother Masha, who gave the bistro its name. “For example, my grandmother in Brooklyn always had great noodle soup. It’s very popular here now as a ‘matzo ball soup’ with chicken and vegetables.” Another specialty of her grandmother’s was chopped liver. “But with this we want to wait a little longer”, says the 35-year-old and laughs. First of all, it’s about gently introducing customers to specialties that may not yet be popular in the neighborhood. »Our fresh challah bread, for example, has been very well received and many people reserve it.
prehistory From 2012 to 2014, Alex Frons, who had previously studied Russian literature at the University of Chicago, first came to Berlin for a marketing job in the film industry. “I fell in love with the city immediately.” Back then, you only had to use a magnifying glass to look for good bagels. She returned to Berlin via detours in 2020, after moving first to New York and then to Los Angeles for professional reasons.
This time she decided to stay. In July 2021, the time had come. Despite the pandemic, Masha’s has been a success.
A real food includes something tasty and something delicious: the fermented Chinese cabbage is a creation of chef Nicolas, a college friend of Alex from the US, who now keeps Masha with him and nine other employees.
Overall, the meals feel a bit like coming home. A casual interior invites about 20 people to sit at simple wooden bistro tables. Before snacks, you can dine at about a dozen places on the sidewalk. It’s a bit of New York in fun in the best sense of the word.