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E is for Ess-A-Bagel

There are many decent bagel places in Manhattan (Murray’s Bagels on 13th and Sixth Avenue, H and H Bagels on 80th and Second Avenue, and Barney Greengrass on 86th and Amsterdam Avenue, just to name a few…) where you can enjoy a good lox and cream cheese on a bagel. But almost no place does it better than Ess-A-Bagel. There are two locations, but we especially love the original, located on First Avenue between 20th and 21st streets. It’s been there for dozens of years and there’s a reason for it…though it’s certainly not its ambiance! The guys who work at Ess-A-Bagel must have gone to the same school of etiquette as Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi.” They run a tight ship, and as soon as you enter you are practically on line, and you must be ready to place your order. Heaven forbid you don’t know what type of bagel you want, or what side salads you want with your sandwich – you may experience the wrath of the…Bagel Nazis! We experienced just that recently when we foolishly asked for our bagel toasted and not one, but two guys behind the counter screamed, “we don’t toast here!” Get the picture? Anyway, we think that adds to the charm(?) of the place… and now, about the food! We decided to split a tuna salad sandwich on a sesame bagel and (of course) an everything bagel with cream cheese and lox.

The lox was fresh and the tuna salad was great – just enough mayonnaise without drowning out its flavor. But the best thing about the sandwiches were the huge, delicious bagels. They were served hot and had a really crispy shell, with the perfect sprinkling of sesame seeds, garlic and salt on the bottom and a soft dough-y inside…the perfect New York bagel! And that’s why we’re giving Ess-A-Bagel the E in our Alphabests. You are always guaranteed to get a fresh, delicious bagel sandwich, quickly and efficiently… but do yourself a favor, don’t ask for it toasted.

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1 Response for “E is for Ess-A-Bagel”

  1. […] a bagel shop I used to go to in New York City called Ess-A-Bagel. They made what were quite possibly the best bagels in the world. They're soft on the inside, crisp […]

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