Like everybody else involved in New York's food culture, I support and applaud the efforts of Hot Bread Kitchen, a nonprofit and bakery which employs immigrant women to make the breads they're familiar with. That said, I'd never truly fallen in love with any of their breads or foodstuffs until I had one of their bialys a few weeks ago. It was so good it didn't even need toasting, which makes it a rare bialy indeed. The bialys I usually buy from Kossar's on Grand Street require toasting when I buy them in bags or from the bins at Fairway, though on occasion I have bought one at the Kossar's bakery and eaten it right away.
I recently bought a six pack of Hot Bread Kitchen Bialys at the Greenmarket on the Upper West Side, at Columbus and 77th—and showing rare discipline, I didn't immediately pop one in my mouth. I brought it home along with some salted butter from Millport Dairy. I put one in the toaster oven and slathered the butter. It was even better than a fresh one. The salted butter filled the nooks and crannies wonderfully, and the bialy was perfectly chewy, crisp, and slightly sour.
I now have a new favorite bialy in New York, and that means it's the best bialy I've ever had.