There are a few perfect foods in the world. Foods that are compact, quick, delicious, and include everything in the food pyramid. Along with pizza and dumplings, I think lox and cream cheese bagels are one of those perfect foods. Growing up in Bayside, Queens when it was still largely a Jewish neighborhood, my brother and I would go to the Bay Terrace Shopping Center on the weekends for bagels. Now Bay Terrace is overrun with chain restaurants like Outback and Applebee’s. Luckily, I moved soon after this happened and now live happily a few blocks from Russ & Daughters, where delicious lox and cream cheese sandwiches can be found every morning since nearly a century.
If you like smoked or cured salmon, Russ & Daughters is the place to go. They have several varieties, such as Norwegian, Irish Organic, Belly Lox, and Pastrami Cured. My personal favorite is the Gravlax (spelled Gravlox at Russ & Daughters). Gravlax is a Scandinavian cured salmon coated with a brine of salt, sugar, and dill.
I like my gravlax on an everything bagel with plain cream cheese, tomatoes, onions, and capers. Above are pictures of my bagel getting lovingly assembled. Everything at Russ & Daughters is prepared with the utmost care.
As expected, last Sunday’s Gravlox and Cream Cheese Bagel ($10.70) from Russ & Daughter’s was delicious. I love the dill flavor in the gravlax at Russ & Daughters. The brightness of the dill is perfect with the brined salmon, and the onion and capers add just the right amount of contrasting sharpness. If you want to take the more traditional route, you can order your bagel with Belly Lox instead, but if you haven’t tried it, I’d say give the Gravlox a shot. If anything, you’ll be performing a tasty experiment while supporting a good local New York business at the same time. I know Outback and Applebee’s is making enough money in Bayside and beyond.
Russ & Daughters
179 East Houston Street (betw Allen and Orchard St.)
New York, NY 10002