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?