Enjoying the Best of the Best Breakfast in the Hamptons

Summer may be winding down, but there is still plenty of time for BOB days. (That’s “breakfast on the beach” in Southampton speak.) And there are few better ways to celebrate a BOB day than with another type of BOB—some 2011 Best of the Best winners who are competing for a coveted 2012 award.

BOB No. 1 is coffee at Hampton Coffee Company. Though many people choose to skimp on what has long been hailed as the most important meal of the day, the need for an a.m. caffeine fix is not usually ignored. But consuming watered-down, weak, stale or otherwise mistreated coffee would be worse than skipping breakfast. Luckily, Hamptonites don’t have to fall victim to the lapses of lesser coffees—if they head to Hampton Coffee Company’s Westhampton, Water Mill or slightly more elusive mobile unit locations.

The platinum winner for Best of the Best coffee and Best of the Best Coffee Shop in 2011, Hampton Coffee serves up locally hand-roasted cups of Joe (the beans are often roasted just hours before brewing) as well as breakfast and lunch all day. The Water Mill location also has a full service, Mexican-inspired menu. In short, if you’re going to spend a relaxing morning with your breakfast, whether at the beach (the entire menu is available to go) or at a quaint table indoors or in the garden, Hampton Coffee Company is your go-to café.

“We had a lot of fun with it last year,” says owner Jason Belkin, who promoted the Best of the Best contest on social media, where he also tried to garner votes for Hampton Coffee’s wholesale providers. With Best of the Best awards for Hampton Coffee going back over a decade, Belkin notes that it keeps things interesting to consistently compete in an area that always seems to have an influx of new hopefuls.

(In the past, Hampton Coffee Company has been the recipient of Dan’s Best of the Best Cappuccino, Scones, Muffins, Sandwiches and Brunch, and last year Juan at the Water Mill location was nominated for Best Waiter—an honor Belkin hopes to help him win this year.)

Then there’s the breakfast (or lunch or dinner) that screams “New York.” Bagels. And BOB
No. 2 would be Goldberg’s Famous Bagels and Deli. With locations in East Hampton, Westhampton and Southampton, Goldberg’s Famous was born in 1949 in the city. The secret bagel recipe comes by way of Poland, and Hamptonites have been indulging in bagelly goodness since Goldberg’s opened its first East End outpost in East Hampton in 1998. They have since expanded to Southampton and Westhampton Beach locales.

Last year, Goldberg’s Southampton received the highest award, platinum, for Best Bagels. They are located within a few miles of the Dans Papers offices and I like to joke that my frequent jaunts up County Road 39—which I take despite the worst of the worst Hamptons traffic—are keeping them in business. Not so, I admit, judging by the steady stream of customers that I so often encounter.

But it’s the new (circa 2010) Westhampton Beach location that truly emerged as the dark horse last year—they nabbed gold, even though they were hit with a perfect storm of chaos right around voting season. Partner Joyce Takos reminded me that Hurricane Irene barreled into the South Fork the weekend before Labor Day, a car crashed through the storefront, and a fire broke out due to the way the bagel kettle was installed. Even with this trifecta of pandemonium, Goldberg’s Westhampton emerged triumphant, and they’re slated to compete again this year, after a much smoother summer season.

“We make a great bagel,” Takos succinctly says of Goldberg’s chances to compete in the Best of the Best 2012. “Everything is made from scratch.” And, of course, she and partner Gus Karas would like to thank Dan’s readers for their continued support of their burgeoning bagel business.

Few things are more “Hamptons” than hitting the sun and sand with that perfectly crafted breakfast. Enjoy it with some of the best that the area has to offer.

Head to www.danshamptons.com/bestofthebest beginning Sept. 14 to vote in any of the more than 200 categories. Voting will run through Oct. 2, and the winners will be announced in the Oct. 19 issue of Dan’s Papers. All Best of the Best honorees will be recognized at a celebratory fete this fall.

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