First of all it's Sunday in New York. That means it's brunch and bagels time. I wrote a bagels piece for the New York Times a few years ago, and my favorite bagels in the country back then were made by a Thai family at Absolute Bagels. After a return visit this past Friday, I am happy to report that the bagels there are better than ever. I bought a dozen mini-bagels, and though I have not had a bagel in months because of my ongoing diet (27 pounds down so far) I managed to polish off five of them in the ensuing 24 hours. Absolute's mini-bagels are paradigmatic; they are crusty and crunchy on the outside, just tender enough on the inside, and (thank God) not too sweet.
For those unlucky souls who don't have access to great smoked salmon, cream cheese and bagels you can order a terrific complete New York brunch at Russ and Daughters, which has been dispensing extraordinary smoked fish and life advice for nearly a hundred years now. You can't get advice concerning your career or your love life from the Russ and Daughters' wisecracking counter people when you order on-line. That will have to wait until you visit the store. But the smoked salmon is as good as you'll find anywhere, as is the herring, whitefish and sturgeon.
Address:788 Broadway, New York, NY 10025-2827
Phone: (212) 932-2052
Russ and Daughters
Address:179 E. Houston St., New York, NY 10002