Yesterday morning I got a call from Seoyoung. I was getting ready to head into the city and up to Grand Central. She wanted to check out a dried fruit and nut shop one of her friends had told her about, because of all things, she wanted to buy some raisins! So she gave me the directions, and when I came to the location, I realized we were at Russ and Daughters. I thought it was amusing that her friend had told her about the fruits because in my mind this shop is known for their smoked and cured fish.
After scoffing at the prices of the dried raisins, mostly under our breath, we came to the conclusion that Sun-Maid Raisins would be a perfect alternative. But Seoyoung had never tried a lox-bagel-and-cream cheese combination. She loves anything smoked, and has cured many a salmon…but never has she had the ultimate bagel experience. So we turned our backs on the fruit man and cozied up to the fish man. “What kinda of bagels and where are they from?” I asked. He gave a roundabout answer that the bagels were special and only made for their shop. Any whole wheat everything bagels? No. And does that come with tomatoes and onions? No. Can you toast that bagel for us? No. Did that stop us from buying it for $9.20? No. But it should have. I don’t understand why you would introduce such a luscious product- the salmon- to such an inferior bagel! I swear the bagel was out of the bag from an Associated or Key Foods. Maybe the quality from the supermarket is a tad better. It was a cold bagel and not chewy in the good sense. And then two meager slices of salmon were squished between a mangled tomato and a shred of white onion. White?! It should be red!! Maybe I am a bit picky, but I wanted this to be the ultimate lox experience. Russ and Daughters need to have the perfect accoutrements to accent their product. Why dull down something that can be so good?
I promised Seoyoung I would take her to this little shop in my area aptly named The Bagel Store. They have the best bagels in New York. This I can attest. They make a dark multi-grain everything (who doesn’t like everything on their bagels? load me up with bagel salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds…I’ll take it all!). Their bagels are exciting, and they will toast it, and smear it with a schmear, and are generous with the salmon. So, though she thought the combination of flavors was ‘nice’, I’m gonna blow her away with ‘fantastic’ on our next bagel adventure.
I think the fish product is very nice at Russ and Daughters, located 179 East Houston St. But it’s only worth your money if you’re buying fish by the pound. I can’t recommend buying a bagel from them. Take the fish home, buy your bagels elsewhere, and go to town in your kitchen concocting the ‘ultimate’ bagel experience.
And if you live, or ever visit, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (I know, it’s a trek for some of you) go to the Bagel Store on 754 Metropolitan north of Graham. I think you’ll be happy you made the journey. Order a multi-grain everything bagel, toasted, and sit back and chew to your heart’s content.