PRESS
NEWS & EVENTS
PIZZA TODAY ARTICLES
SEVEN OVENS BLOG
June 20, 2024

Out Of The Oven: Toscano Brothers Debuts Rainbow Bagels For Pride Month

by Joe Bonadio

If there is one trait that is most closely associated with San Francisco, it has to be our city’s inclusiveness. There’s a place for everyone in San Francisco, and that openness has been our calling card for decades. Whether you’re talking about the sexual revolution of the Sixties or the Gay Pride movement that emerged from the Castro District at the dawn of the 70’s, our city’s reputation for acceptance has been well-earned.

Aaron Peskin looks on as Tony and Donna Sachet introduce the Rainbow Bagels to a gathering of locals at Toscano Brothers Bakery

Aaron Peskin looks on as Tony and Donna Sachet introduce the Rainbow Bagels to a gathering of locals at Toscano Brothers Bakery. | Photo: Joe Bonadio

In a time when diversity itself often seems under attack, that’s something San Franciscans have every right to be proud of. Last week, the dedicated crew at North Beach’s Toscano Brothers Bakery and Dago Bagel found a novel way to show San Francisco’s famously inclusive colors—literally.

To celebrate this year’s Pride Month, early on a sunny Thursday morning Tony debuted the city’s very first Rainbow Bagels.

With a little help (okay, a lot of help) from his right-hand man Oscar Venegas, Tony worked for months to create a multi-colored bagel dough that bakes into beautiful bagels, complete with the iconic Pride rainbow stripes. As both Tony and Oscar will tell you, it was anything but a simple task. Boiling dulled the colors, as did long baking times. “They’re really hard to make,” Tony stressed.

Tony recommends you serve your Rainbow Bagel "Sachet Style" – with a schmear of his sweet Confetti Cream Cheese, that is.

Tony recommends you serve your Rainbow Bagel “Sachet Style” – with a schmear of his sweet Confetti Cream Cheese, that is. | Photo: Joe Bonadio

To make the whole thing work, the two had to come up with the equivalent of a magic trick—and happily, they did just that. The finished product looks spot on, and served up with some of Tony’s sweet confetti cream cheese, they’re pretty damn delicious.

Best of all, all sales benefit the Rainbow Honor Walk in the Castro, a public art installation consisting of forty plaques commemorating the world’s most iconic LGBTQ+ trail blazers. The self-guided walk pays tribute to such influential global figures as Oscar Wilde, Freddie Mercury and Allen Ginsberg, all of them pioneers who helped transform public attitudes toward alternative lifestyles.

Tony had some notables of his own on hand for the launch, including Supervisor (and now Mayoral candidate) Aaron Peskin, as well as celebrated singer and drag performer Donna Sachet. Host of Club Fugazi’s weekly Sunday’s A Drag and current President of Rainbow Honor Walk’s board, Donna was kind enough to bring her fabulous self to the bakery at a blustery 8:00 AM. 

Donna Sachet, president of Rainbow Honor Walk's board of directors, attends the launch of Tony's Rainbow Bagels

Donna Sachet, president of Rainbow Honor Walk’s board of directors, attends the launch of Tony’s Rainbow Bagels, sales of which will benefit the org. | Photo: Patrick Rylee

“I love what Tony is doing. I don’t love that it was at eight o’clock in the morning! But to have Aaron Peskin here, along with all of these regular customers, is just great,” Sachet told me. “There are so many wonderful neighborhoods in San Francisco, and when two of them come together like the Castro and North Beach, it’s just so exciting. People talk about the doom loop, and that’s not me. I’m all about the Hope Spiral!”

North Beach’s Patrick Rylee, a longtime supporter of Tony’s who publishes an LGBT news aggregator, was also on hand for the launch. “It’s very touching that Tony reached out to the LGBT community in San Francisco to promote for an LGBT charity,” Rylee said. “It’s something he didn’t need to do—it’s across town, he’s straight, and he’s only opening like 150 restaurants this year. And doing the Rainbow Bagels for the Rainbow Honor Walk is just a great tie-in.”

They’re not the only ones crazy about the idea. Not long after the word got out, Tony received an order for 144 of his colorful new bagels—from none other than the San Francisco Giants.“They’re raising the Pride Flag at the ballpark, and they wanted to incorporate the bagels into the celebration,” Tony said.

Rainbow Bagels get the seal of approval from Enzo, Oscar Venegas' son, who reportedly eats a bagel from Dago Bagel every day.

Rainbow Bagels get the seal of approval from Enzo, Oscar Venegas’ son, who reportedly eats a bagel from Dago Bagel every day. | Photo: Joe Bonadio

“After everything we had to do to make this happen, it’s gratifying,” Tony explained. “We had to look at this bagel in a lot of different ways, from the bake to the bite—it was challenging. We started working on this six months ago, and thank God, we finally got it right just beforehand.

“Remember, you’ve got to make a separate batch for each color, then put the colors together, and roll them. So it’s not one batch, it’s six batches every time,” Tony said with a wry smile. “My guys love me for this.”

 
The Rainbow Bagels are now on sale, and will be available at Toscano Brothers Bakery/Dago Bagel through June 30th.