I love and appreciate this endearing, vibrant and energetic city. I certainly can talk you ear off for all reasons why I am for it. Let me give one; You can always find a good place to eat in any occasion or any time of day. In this town, the classic and ingenious restaurants may be situated next with those chic cafes and trendy single-item food parlors on the same streets without exchanging insults. What is more, every year there is an influx of ambitious and creative young chefs who come from other cities of America and other continents of the world to trial out their passions of their lives. As a byproduct, a growing army of affluent and food-savory young professionals are constantly on the move, chasing the next sensational food to indulge their palates.
Even though I may be among those foodies, there is a big difference, beside looking for the next hit, I often find myself keep going back to these simple, time-tested , yet the finest kind of food in this city. For example, Bagel is one of them. People may ask “Are you kidding, you mean the the bagel we can find in the most delis and piled on every supermarket breakfast shelves across America ?” My answer is a “Yes” and a “No” . True, they do share the same name, but contents, toppings and textures plus a passion to compete the the title of very best would set the bagel you know and the one I am talking about far apart.
As the matter of fact, many bagel shops in this city thrive or build their whole business model only on selling bagels and things that go with them. Here, people have their limit, standard and preference on about almost everything, including which bagel shop is the best ,and where you would find the most authentic one or most tasty toping. Granted, I am not a food critic, but based upon my personal experiences , H & H and Ess-a-Bagel would be the sure bet.
I have traveled around the globe for business and pleasure, yet so far I have not been able to locate same quality of bagels and variety of toppings similar to those two. For one thing, most bagels outside of NYC are served in cold or toasted in a toaster, that is a “fatal” mistake in a Bagel Alfredo's eyes, The toppings that people in other places put on the bagel are also so punny and dull, butter, cream cheese and some other substitute fat are the main staple. But in this town, the toppings on the bagel are the big part of eating bagel experiences, one can choose single topping or combine a parade of the choices, bold, subtle, sensual, sweet, exotic, erotic, healthy, delicious …. It is all up to you to decide your topping combinations bases upon your mood and persons whom you are with that day.
Bagel is in the category of complex carbohydrates. With rich selections of topping, some of the bagel can shoot over 500 cal. That is why I'd I usually eat my favorite bagel only after I finish jogging or after my gym hour so that I can enjoy the goody while my body and brain need fuel to function.
This early morning, I got up and ran 7 miles in the park. Temp was in high tenth, and the bone-chilly nw wind made my face numb. However, I felt great and relaxed as I enjoyed the great views of the twinkle stars embedded on the dark sky and beautiful holiday lights decorated around the buildings in my sights.
Before returning to my apt to wash up, I went to Ess-a-Bagel which was just opened for business, I ordered my usual, the fresh baked sesame bagel with sliced smoke salmon, sun dry tomato and a touch of soft goat cheese. That was a yummy threat before I kicked off new stressful day. As I was walking and sipping my coffee on the street, the city was embraced strangely by this surreal quietness and tranquility in the early morning. I knew pretty soon this peaceful moment will disappear without a single trace and be replaced by noisy, mandate and “cutting-throat” activities that this city witnesses every day. All of sudden, I am thinking of warm sun shine.
Note: The photo comes from Internet.