Musings on New York Bagels

Knuckle Sag Bagel Sandwich from Boneshakers in Brooklyn, NY

Boneshakers NYC

Memories & Musings.

Every now and then I grab a bagel from a certain local bagel chain in town. The owner is actually from New York, though their boiled bagels aren’t quite channeling even half the perfection that belongs to true New York bagels.  Hailing from the fish shaped part of the Empire State myself, I’m admittedly a bagel snob.  I think this local chain has some of the most easily accessible, better quality bagels Portland has to offer (though the consistency wavers), and that nearly all the others in town are like rolls with holes.  Big ups to Sweetpea in Portland for offering a variety of flavored Tofutti along with their bagels.

The sight of a big brown bag with a dozen from Bagel Boss was a regular sight in my house growing up.  Sesame, Poppy and Cinnamon Raisin have long been my favorite varieties of these thick and chewy representatives of New York. It was normal to opt for a bagel with cream cheese for lunch in high school, even when you’d likely be eating one the next day for breakfast. Go, carbs, go! Same for college. While I was stunned by the difference of airier Finagle Bagels when I moved to Boston for college, I still have a small soft spot for them. Ironically, and adorably, my younger sister in New York still asks me to bring her a super cinnamon raisin back whenever I’m going between the cities, years later.

On my recent NYC vacation, I took home half a dozen from Bagels on the Square.  My sister works nearby and is often picking up a bagel there for lunch while we’re on the phone.  Photos of their selection are below – these are the kind of bagels I’m reminiscing about! The kind I’ll rave about for minutes!

I don’t have my sister fed ex me bagels or anything, and they certainly didn’t keep me in New York, but the memory, and reality, of true bagels, holds.  Thick and chewy circles of memories.

Great New York bagels make the rest pointless…or simply vehicles for Earth Balance or peanut butter or Tofutti or whatnot.  I’m not saying I always stick to this, but I can maintain an authentic bagel hiatus knowing I’ll be back.  I wasn’t even aware of this emptiness in my life until a few months into my move to Portland – I had returned to NY, suddenly, and needed a bagel.

Bagel Case at Bagels on the Square, NYC

BAGELS

There were at least 5 or 6 varieties of tofu cream cheese in there!

Cream Cheese R Us

The Boneshakers bagel sandwich was a beautiful sight.  Turmeric colored tofu scramble, melted Daiya cheddar, browned veggie sausage, and that swell bagel.  I’ve come to accept that Daiya has taken over the world and it undeniably worked and melted in this bagel sandwich.  This sandwich could be part of civilization! It could star in a commercial!

That being said, it was on the bland side, overall, but there’s always hot sauce – and again, just look at it!  I look forward to spending more time at this cafe on a future visit.  Their menu was really appetizing and the location reminded me of Red & Black.

Bagel Sandwich!

Boneshakers NYC

More on Bagels:

back to portlandia, once again

Flowers Restaurant, Seattle

to michelle, love jess

once again, I’m back after a bit out of town.  this time, it was for a few days in Seattle.  while I was there, I decided my next realistic dream job involves frequent travel and keeping Portland as my home base.  I certainly can’t afford to travel recreationally as much as I’d like, and I’m fortunate that my current job lets me travel a bit. I’m getting the teeniest bit restless living here for 5+ years, but it’s Portland! It’s amazing! Quality of Life! etc. etc. etc.

that being said, I have three travels’ worth of photos and thoughts to unload soon via flickr, this site and stumptown vegans!  I’m hoping to get back to normal life and do this sooner than later.  rationally speaking, naming my flickr photos should not overwhelm me!

heading into overwhelmingly awesome plans, Portland’s Inaugural Vegan Iron Chef is officially happening on Sunday, June 6th, 2010 in the early evening.

It’s being presented by Try Vegan PDX, and I am beyond ecstatic about it.  The official contestant invites went out yesterday! So many wonderful local vegans are already involved!

Stay tuned for more by becoming a fan on facebook and watching the ‘lil twitter.

a few recent photos to get back into the swing of things…

Smokey Split Pea Soup, from Isa’s Test Kitchen

Isa Test Kitchen: Smokey Split Pea

Soy Latte from K&F Coffeehouse in Portland

K&F

Dr. Cow Nut Cheese with Hemp Seeds from Lifethyme in NYC - my first time trying this, call me a fan! It’s sitting on top of a raw apple cranberry treat from Lifethyme, too.

Dr. Cow Nut Cheese

My sister, Jen, agreeing to visit Vegetarian Dim Sum House in NYC, yet again.  She’s a hip little flexitarian, and enjoys the Roasted Pork Buns and main dishes here.

Veg Dim Sum

Of course, something like this, which Millie and I really enjoyed, horrifies her.

dim sum

Oasis Falafel, Brooklyn, NY. This was GREAT at midnight after a long night, but made me incredibly sick.  fun times!

Oasis Falafel

so much more to come.

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New York State of Mind: Knishes

These are almost offensively non-traditional, but I’m proud, all the same.

knishy

Since returning from vacation, I’ve been feasting on a few magnificent, toasted bagels, all the while, being briefly haunted by another traditional food from my New York heritage – knishes.  I have really fond memories of my very Italian family visiting Jewish delicatessens, and slurping bowls of chicken noodle soup after an obligatory knish.  Throw a pickle in for good measure.  Please.

I spent a lazy Saturday afternoon making these knishes.  They’re made with love, and filled with boiled, mashed potatoes,  mixed with olive oil, a ton of sauteed garlic and shallots, various greens, salt and freshly ground pepper.  The jellyroll style knishes (I was having fun with this) have added roasted garlic, nutritional yeast and a bit of miso in the filling.  All are brushed with a mixture of soy milk and olive oil.  I overbaked them a bit, cause that’s what I do.

Knishes

knish party

The dough recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance, of course.  The knish recipe from that book is one of the first couple things I ever made from it!  I simply didn’t have the patience to roast my potatoes this time, and was winging the filling.

<3 Po-ta-toes

knish.

And hey, bagel talk, coming soon. Straight from my bagel shaped heart.

BAGELS

Kudos to JFK’s Vegan Options: CIBO Express

Heck yes, vegan sushi at the airport!

Outside of overpriced chips and desperate, packaged Alternative Baking Co cookies, the only thing I’m consuming at an airport may be a glass of wine or cup of herbal tea before my flight.

On our way back to Portland last week, Millie and I perused the normal food stands at JFK’s Terminal 5, the land of JetBlue, and slowly noticed a trend – CIBO Express Gourmet Market had actual vegan food items. Warning, give their website a minute to wander into.   At our first CIBO, we saw sushi and hummus, and that expanded into a lone packaged Thai noodle salad – with a couple dumplings!, which grew into discoveries of bean and grain salads, and into a small row of packaged vegan noodle salads and a few veg-salad sandwiches at the CIBO by our gate (the 3rd or 4th we visited).

They’re packaged cold options, but still!  There’s also a Jamba Juice, a salad bar, and Lucy’s Asian Kitchen seemed like it might have had a veg-friendly dish or two.

There’s no bagel shop with rows of flavor tofu cream cheese, but CIBO sure beats crap or nothing. Check out CIBO in 8 domestic airports, include Tucson!

I was damn stoked to sit down with a reasonably fresh cucumber avocado roll for dinner on an airplane – and watch Sheer Genius for the first time ever.  The roll came with little packets of soy sauce and wasabi, and the sushi itself was rolled in sesame seeds~

A delighted Millie exploring the vegan-y fridge