What Londoners Think of New York Food: The 'Madison Avenue Bagel'

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There may be nothing funnier than seeing other countries take on your native foods. I hardly anticipated bagel greatness from Bagel Street at London's Heathrow Airport, but it's the sandwiches that were the real laugh. Like the Madison Avenue Reuben:

Named after its origins: It doesn't come more New York than this! Layers of traditional pastrami, sandwiched with juicy gherkins, sauerkraut, cheese and Dijon mustard.

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Sad, sad bagels.

Also on the menu: the Harlem Nights (bacon and cream cheese on a bagel), the Tribeca (ham, cheese, and tomah-to), and the East Village "Alternative" Veggie.

The affronts on the proper bagel were too numerous to count--the pastrami piled "authentically" on top, the Dijon mustard, the idea that any of this could be found on Madison Avenue. Truth be told, it wasn't an awful sandwich, particularly as airport lunches go. The bagel, if less flavorful than your average white bread, was crusty and not too dry; the pastrami, while hardly Katz's, was on par with anything at your supermarket. With melted cheese and mustard, it was a perfectly fine mouthful of food.

But I could only imagine the "Classic Italian" Neapolitan Sandwich—a pizza topped with spaghetti and meatballs, say, with Eggplant Parmigiana stuffed into the crust?

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