If I had a dime for every New Yorker who complained about "what passes for bagels in Philly," well...
I'd probably have enough money to buy a pizzeria that New Yorkers would also complain about.
My ex-212/718 friends have finally found a local bagel shop they say passes the test.
It's Brooklyn Bagels on County Line Road in Huntingdon Valley, run by a Bensonhurst native named Steve Gherca moved to nearby Lower Moreland with his wife and their kids. (It's unrelated to the Brooklyn Bagel shops that used to operate years ago in Leo Mall and across from Roosevelt Mall in Northeast Philadelphia.)
The store, a plain-Jane spot in a strip mall near Arugula restaurant, also sells sandwiches (made-on-premises mozzarella, chicken cutlets, chicken/tuna salads, and bagel spreads).
How Brooklyn can you get! He calls his hoagies "heroes" and spells Huntingdon on the takeout menu with a "t" (as in Huntington, Long Island).
Brooklyn Bagels, 1051 County Line Rd. (just east of Route 232), Huntingdon Valley, 215-364-1347.