Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ess-a-Bagel in New York, NY

When in New York, eat bagels.

Dense, chewy but not "too-chewy", and doughy most New Yorkers will agree that there are no good bagels out of the city. It's the water, it's the yeast, it's because well, it's New York.

To be honest, prior to this experience, I've never had a "real bagel." I mean, I grew up eating grocery store, Einstein's, and Panera bagels which frankly, I find to be perfectly delicious. Especially Panera bagels. Life. Changing. Sorry, my inner tween girl is showing. I digress.

Being in the city, trying out a real New York bagel was near the top of my to-do list, after all, I had to see what the fuss was about. With locations in Stuyvesant Town and Midtown, Ess-a-Bagel was certainly packed, though I feel like most of it was tourist hype; I don't think I saw many locals there. 

Though it offers other baked goods like breads and muffins, the real attraction here are the bagels and Ess-a-Bagel has offerings for any time of the day, from simple, plain bagels and cream cheese to breakfast and lunch sandwiches. 

If you're planning on a visit, be prepared to wait a long time and possibly eat standing up. Table space is valuable real estate here. We ended up waiting in line for about half an hour and guarded over a couple who was about to leave to snag a table #absolutelynoshame. 

Nova lox // onion bagel + plain cream cheese + lettuce + onions + nova // 10.75

Bagel sandwiches here are not cheap! However, they are tasty. A toasty bagel slathered with cream cheese, cold nova, and crunchy lettuce offset by a slight bite from the raw onions, it was an extremely filling breakfast. BF and I had originally planned to just have half a bagel each, but ended up unable to resist and both polished off the other half as well. 

Pumpernickle-raisin bagel // plain cream cheese // 2.95

I think pumpernickel is more of an acquired taste, but something that I love. The malty flavor complimented the sweet, juicy raisins perfectly, unfortunately, and this might just be a matter of taste, there was just way too much cream cheese on the bagel for my liking and I ended up scraping most of it off.

To be honest, I was pretty underwhelmed by my first bagel experience. Maybe I just built it up too much in my head or maybe it's just because Ess-a-Bagel isn't too great, but I thought that the bagels were good, but not "wait-half-an-hour-and-pull-teeth-for-a-table" good. In fact (and don't stone me for heresy), they were not too much better than my weekly Einstein.

Nonetheless, mission accomplished, adequately carbed and caffeined up, morning off to a good start.


Ess-a-Bagel on Urbanspoon
831 3rd Ave Ste 1
New York, NY 10022

Stuyvesant Town 
Ess-a-Bagel on Urbanspoon
359 1st Ave
 New York, NY 10010