Water bagels - In order to get the correct texture and taste, you need to boil the bagel before baking it. That's the only way to get a legitimate bagel! That was the problem (labor and equipment and extra store space) for these horrible chains like Einsteins to overcome.
Legitimate bagel places have what's called a trunion kettle on the premises...You'll see it right near the rotating deck ovens that they use to bake the bagels. These kettles operate on gas or electric and use lots of utilities ($$$) and take up valuable retail space. They also require a floor drain and that costs big bucks. Can we say serious plumbing, gas or electrical lines, etc. Then, you need someone who knows how to operate one and how to boil the bagel dough....more skillful workers and more time.
So, what these guys like Einstein's founders did back in the early 80's was go to the oven manufacturers at that time like Blodgett and have them build deck ovens that sprayed a mist of water across the tops of their bagels. All they had to do was install a water line into the the rear of the deck oven; But no drain lines were needed and no floors had to be torn up and no complicated plumbing plans had to be drawn up. Very smart and so very sad....
Then they came up with a genius idea...Let's give the public a huge bagel that looked like a roll with a hole. They steered clear of the real bagel competiton and opened in areas outside of NYC. It worked! Same thing happened with Domino's and Papa John's. They came up with a conveyorized oven so they no longer had to train people to "throw a pie." Today, in areas outside of NYC and other big cities, they don't even know what NYC pizza or a bagels really tastes like.
There are excellent legitimate bagel makers as far away as Seattle at the Pike Street Market. They boil their bagels first before baking them. It is not the water..It's the process. Pittsburgh had a good bagel maker..House of Bagels. Pembroke Pines, Florida had a great one that burned down - Friedman's. In Hallendale, Fl there's the Sage. Lake Worth has one, too. Nope it's not the water..It's laziness on the part of these pretenders, who claim they are selling you a bagel when it's just a roll with a hole.
But, for those of us unable to get a legitimate fresh water bagel, like I said..try Ray's Famous Frozen Bagels...Put's Enstein's to shame.