What I Got: All the bagels, Cinnamon Babka, The Muriel (Bagel Sandwich)
Price: $ to $$
Bagels – Anyone in New York will tell you their favorite bagels, and everyone has a different opinion. To me, it doesn’t get better than Ess-a-Bagel. The bagels are perfectly airy, soft, and chewy. The seasoned bagels have a great amount of seasoning on top. The cinnamon raisin bagel has the perfect amount of sweet raisins and cinnamon flavor. The pumpernickel bagel is my personal favorite. It has a wonderful earthy, slightly sweet flavor, and the caraway seeds make it extra special. And the bagels are BIG. I know bigger isn’t always better, but sometimes it just is. The bagels are perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing about them. *Tip: the way to ensure you get the best possible bagel is to order an unprepared bagel. Don’t order it toasted, with cream cheese or any spread, or even sliced. In my experience, you always get the biggest, freshest bagels if you order them unprepared. Having to prepare the bagel yourself does add some inconvenience, but it is worth it to get the best, big, beautiful bagel. You can buy their cream cheese to go if you want one of their many special flavors.*
Cinnamon Babka – This cinnamon babka is very nice. The dough is flaky and moist. It is not sticky like some babka, but instead it contains a sugary cinnamon filling with a warm, not too sweet, spiced flavor. The cinnamon sugar on the golden brown exterior makes it all the more delicious. I love this babka because it is not too decadent yet still delicious.
The Muriel – This bagel sandwich includes baked salmon salad, tomato, and melted muenster cheese on a toasted bagel. On the menu, it is on a whole-wheat bagel, but I like it on an everything bagel. The baked salmon salad, although not specified on the menu, seems to be baked salmon mixed with mayonnaise. It is delicious and salmony. The mayonnaise does not take away from the salmon texture or flavor, but instead holds it together and keeps it moist. The tomato perfectly balances out the salty salmon, and the cheese adds a scrumptious melty touch. *As noted in my tip, since this is a prepared sandwich, the bagel was slightly smaller but still delicious.*