Monday, October 12, 2009

Behold the Beautiful Bagel

Question I hate: What's your favorite food?

Maybe hate is a strong word but unless we've just met (let's assume that's not the case), you know I can't answer that. I could go on and on in a vain attempt to narrow the list to ten but that's only if "orange food" can count as one.

That being said, I certainly recognize a favorite when I'm confronted with one. The Lox Bagel.

Growing up, they were called "Everything" bagels but I prefer my spot's "Mish Mosh" moniker. Toasted. Then schmeared with freshly made chive cream cheese. Not an insane amount, but I should see no trace of bagel through spread indentations. The spot I refer to was brough to me by way of a foodie New Yorker in residence so you might guess its good.

And I'm telling you that every time I have access to a mobile partner in crime (Jason, CVDJ, Molly) I bring them to a strip mall in Lincolnwood where you can see them making the bagels in the back and it is open 24 hours and is cash only. So now you KNOW it's good.

Lox should be placed on the bagel in a triangle, allowing each bite to have a meaty portion. I don't mess with grocery store lox in its air-stripped packages. I'm sure it can be useful for dips or decor but keep it away from my bagel. I want Nova, I want it fresh and I want it from someone that knows the difference. I'd rather be patient with the few times a year I get it and just savor its perfection.

On top of the lox is one generous slice of tomato per half. Now would also be a good time for a light sprinkle of kosher salt and not a small amount of freshly ground pepper. If you have regular lox, skip the sprinkled kosher. I only add it to balance the tomato and onion in the upper layers and Nova comes from a milder brine.

Wow. Just wow. That is incredible. This tastes like Saturday lunches with my Dad. Dad's side of the family (inclusive of Pop Pop) seems to be wear I get my taste for the Jewish delicacies in general (that's their heritage) but this bagel rises straight to the top.

Seven layers of texture and flavor securing a perennial spot in my top ten list.

Lo and behold I'm compelled to break the Golden Rule and ask...what's in the running for your edible top 10 list?


kat said...

I nearly concussed myself on the computer screen at the sight of that pile o' glorious breadfishoniontomato. (We like our bagels the same way - imagine.) At least I know what I'll be having for lunch today.

Also, I hope you and other favorite Chicago-dwellers will be at home during the weekend of November 14th. Plane tickets are being purchased.

TKTC said...

Kat: I'm envious that you live in the great northeast (elitism and all) that allows you proximity to this glorious sandy on the odd lunchbreak.

Per your aside, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Bring a sweater and some elastic waist pants. You will need both. omg I am so excited- I was MISSING you guys!!!

Patricia said...

I don't eat lox much since I moved to California. It was never a mainstay in my diet but a special treat from time to time... definitely with a little onion and tomato.

In my top ten list...
sushi, biscuits and gravy, good pancakes, fudge brownies, cake and ice cream, fresh baked rolls with butter, fried shrimp (but only in Georgia or the deep South), Korean bbq (my mom's recipe), NY pizza, cheese, chocolate,... the list will probably be different tomorrow.

elle michelle said...

Not sure what would be in my top 10, but I'm certain at least 8 of them would include cheese. (The other two might just be liquid.)

On that note, I have 2 bottles of red that are begging to be opened. Let me know if you're down for some neighborly happy hour this week.

Bayjb said...

Cheese must be included in almost every item on my list. I love the bagel sandwich you created. I will take two please :) Great pictures.

Slimbo said...

From BDD -

This is an everything bagel. It's got garlic bits, onion bits, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, rock salt and all kinds of good things on it. Every Saturday and Sunday, I get out of bed and head downstairs, preferably before my kid is awake. Then I toast one of these puppies up. Then I slather each half with cream cheese. Then I cover the entire surface area of both halves with a thin layer of lox, leaving no portion of the bagel lox-free. Then, I squeeze lemon over it, sprinkle more pepper on it than the average human can tolerate, grab a big glass of seltzer, and sit down to eat.

This is, without fail, one of the main highlights of my week. I do not talk when I eat my bagel. I don't read the paper. I don't watch TV. I don't do the crossword. I sit and EAT. I look over the bagel as I'm eating it, determining the optimum placement for my next bite. There is no past at that moment. There is no future. There's just me and the smoky, creamy, deliciousness. I am fucking INTO IT. I tried watching TV while I ate my bagel once. It wasn't the same.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

the's looking at me and telling me to eat it

TKTC said...

Patricia: Ok, that was a solid list. Sushi, fresh buttery biscuits, cheese and chocolate (although the latter two could clearly be broken out if we wanted to make life difficult. But we don't. Ever). I'm gonna sub your fried shrimp for fried pickles with homemade ranch. And I'll have some pho. And some grilled corn. And whipped potatoes. I knew this would happen. Slippery slope.

Elle Michelle- I like your style. Thursday? Wine and cheese? Gruyere? Goat? Brie? Double Cream? Maybe a little Darling? I'm so glad you're not vegan.

Bayjb- I came back from BlogHer Food even more entranced by Ree than when I left. Taking a cue! And see above for cheese plans. But adding cheese curds in homage to your homeland.

Slimbo- Thank you for explaining to your riotously out of the loop sister who Dig Daddy Drew is. I am glad he is your favorite blogger you are not related to as he clearly has fantastic taste in mornings. Also, you own a record player. How are we related when you are THIS MUCH COOLER.

Chelsea- You made me LOL on Twitter today and I forgot to tell you. So I'm going to go back and tell you now and add to it that I just did it again. Yoga. HA. Serenity now.

Anonymous said...

Um, what is lox? I've never had it before and I've never known of anyone who has tried it. Then again, I'm from the midwest (aka Kansas) where it's beef country so maybe that's why. On my list would have to be strawberries, Mom's homemade biscuits, Mom's potato soup recipe (it has bacon and sour cream in it!), a delicious chicken stuffed with cheese and roasted red peppers covered in alfredo sauce that Jon makes, fresh bread and, well, duh, chocolate (milk or dark).

Esi said...

I used to live on bagels and lox. Such a great treat.

Tracy @ Sugarcrafter said...

I've never tried this before but it looks absolutely delicious!

Karine said...

It would be so difficult for me to write a top 10 list! It would depend on how I wake up in the morning probably.

I love your bagel recipe. It sounds so fresh!

Ginny said...

lox is on the list! avocado- esp. in guacamole... brie... warm italian bread... just to name a few... thanks for the bagel place... i've been looking for a good one...