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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vegan MoFo in NYC, Day 4: Ess-A-Bagel

Thanks for the get betters yesterday. I think I'm on the up and up. I could actually taste today's food.
You saw Shen's robust bagel yesterday - I've been wanting a bagel recently myself, so that post spoke to me.
I'm not gluten-free but I try to limit my wheat intake. It's been a long time since I've eaten bread so it's funny that I occasionally crave bagels: the equivalent of three slices of bread. Ha! It's gotta be something about the slight crunch of the crust and the doughy inside.
Anyway, since bagels are a typical New York food, I figured now was the best time to indulge, since it fits the MoFo theme. That's the ONLY reason why I got a bagel for lunch today. I do it all for the MoFo.
I went to Ess-A-Bagel (Eat a bagel! in Yiddish) on 21st and 1st ave, where they were out of pumpernickel, my first choice, so I went with whole wheat bagel with plain tofu cream cheese, tomato slices, and onion.


Pretty basic stuff, but I must say, the bagel was really good. We're territorial and picky about our bagels in NY and Ess-A-Bagel is a no-frills, straight-up bagel shop. They do one thing and they do it well. The store has been around since 1976, though it looks like it could have been longer.
My only complaint is (always) that the tomato slices are so skimpy! It's great to have tofu cream cheese available at a shop but that's not ALL I'm there for! For a more easily customizable but still genuine New York bagel experience, Isa has a great recipe (and she would know - she's a Brooklyn girl!) in Vegan Brunch that I've made here. DIY, with just a schmear. You won't even miss the kinda grumpy/rude, kinda trying humor of the employees.
And don't get me started on bialys!

30 comments:

  1. The things they call bagels away from the East Coast could break your heart. Lightweight airy things. Bagels are chewy and dense. Up the tomato and add some roasted hot peppers and you'll have a tasty lunch!

    Glad to hear you're on the mend.

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    1. Even my father's friend in Boston requests New York bagels when we go up to visit him, so I can't imagine what they're like in middle America, or Nevada or something!
      Brilliant idea on the red pepper addition. Now I guess I'll just have to buy another bagel (SIGH).

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  2. YEEEEEEEEEEEES! You know I've been waiting for this post :) I know exactly what you mean about being territorial about our bagels as I am too. Only NY bagels for this girl. Sad that they were out of pumpernickel! It's my fav too :) Your bagel looks so freaking delicious! I'm pretty plain when it comes to my bagels so I'd skip the veggies and just do the tofu cream cheese. Mmm. My celiac test coming back negative was the best news ever, at least I know when I indulge in my occasional wheat allowances I'm not completely ruining my gut, ha!

    Glad you are feeling better!

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    1. I had a feeling you might like this post :) What is your favorite shop to get them from on LI? (I ask because G is from Huntington but even he said they used to drive to Queens for the best bagels!)
      I'm happy for you that the celiac test was negative - for health reasons AND bagel reasons!

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    2. There is a place called A&S Bagels in Hempstead that makes great bagels AND is open 24 hours! Yeah, that's right, so you can crawl in there after a night at the bar at 3am and enjoy some bagel goodness! I don't think they have tofu cream cheese but you can get veggies and I think they have peanut butter too.

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  3. I have plenty of tomatoes for you! Philly's not that far from NY :-) and you can bring me some bagels from my home state! Come and get 'em!

    XOXO

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    1. Haha is there anyway I can work all your collards onto my bagel as well?

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  4. Oh boy, the ONLY thing I've missed since going gluten free is the bagel. And pumpernickel is my most favorite flavor. If I ever make it to NY I'm going to eat one on my last day there and deal with the punishment. It will be worth it.

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    1. Let's hope they find a good gluten free substitute before you need to resort to that! To be crampy on a plane sounds horrible.

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  5. Bagels! I just made some homemade cream cheese from the latest issue of VegNews and I have no bagels to enjoy with it. Seems wrong, huh? I'm glad that you enjoyed your bagel, even though it was skimpy on the tomatoes.

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    1. What else can one eat cream cheese with??

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  6. Bialys? Now you're just making up words. I freaking love fresh bagels, but I agree with you - more tomato, less cream cheese! Making them at home is a cooking challenge I haven't quite risen to yet, but one day. Glad you're feeling better!

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    1. Haha "risen to." Working with yeast makes me feel like a scientist.

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  7. I love bialys!! Maybe because I always pull all the dough out of my bagels to make room for optimum cream cheese and jalapeno slices?

    Bagels on the Square (Bleeker) has the most pumpernickely pumpernickel bagels & the Black Russian takes it one step farther by being coated with sesame seeds. In case you were wondering.

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    1. All these bagel recommendations! I guess I'll just have to eat more of them. The Black Russian sounds awesome.
      Do you eat yr bialys plain? Or do you cream cheese those too? They are just too dry for me.

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    2. Oh, definitely with cream cheese & jalapenos too. Or toasted with cc & jelly. Or PB. Love 'em, just love 'em.

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  8. Yum! You're bringing back memories of eating bagels at NYC for me. I wish I knew about Ess-A-Bagel when I lived there.

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  9. I miss real bagels so much I can't stand it. My favorite is poppy seed with cream cheese and tomato. Also, if someone could make vegan cream cheese that tastes like Philadelpha does, that'd rock.

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    1. Poppy seed is fun, I just hate picking the seeds out of my teeth the rest of the day. Tofutti is pretty good, really, but I don't remember if it's like Philadelphia.

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  10. Only in New Yawk would you get that amount of cream cheese on a Bagel! You are so lucky to live in a place that does that, I don't care how mental it makes you.

    Here's a bagel story: About 10 years ago, Mr. SV & I went to NYC for the weekend and my Dad requested we bring him back a dozen Egg Bagels. We went to every Bagel Shop/Bakery we could find and no one had ever heard of Egg Bagels (they're common here, so we knew my parents wouldn't believe that we hadn't tried to get them). The crazy part is that after asking for Egg Bagels so many times in so many places, Mr. SV's tongue took over from his brain and he kept asking everyone for "Egg Bagelly Juniors" instead of "Egg Bagels". Get it? Like Ed Begley Jr? It was pretty freaky but funny at the same time.

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    1. Haha! That is pretty funny. I wonder how often mr. SV has Ed Begley Jr. on the mind. Did you ever find any egg bagels? I know I've seen them in Queens but obviously I don't really look for them anymore...

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  11. That bagel looks very satisfying. I'm with Andrea; bagels suck in these parts...the vegan cream cheese is hard to find on offer with bagels.

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  12. You know what bagels taste like on the wests coast? Cake they taste like freakin cake. Blech! I am craving that bagel even with the skimpy ass tomato.
    I hope you feel better soon.

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  13. That bagel may have pretty plain fillings but damn, I'd give anything to have it magically appear in front of me right now. Hot stuff, it is.

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  14. Oh man... I used to live near Ess-a-Bagel and I miss it!!

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  15. I think ees a bagel is one of the best ever! My go to is: pumpernckle, hummus, extra tomato, onion, lettuce, and a few pickle spears on the side. I need to revisit the tofu cream cheese asap tho!
    Ttrockwood@yahoo.com

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