Monday, November 24, 2008
Bagels take all the spotlight. Bagel and butter, bagel and cream cheese, bagel and lox, pizza bagel, bagel chips, etc. But what about the cuzzo, the little quiet dude that doesn't need to shine, that doesn't need that glossy finish- that doesn't need the hole so that people can run in and out all day. Whoa.
It's time the bialy gets its due. Granted the bialy isn't as versatile as the bagel, but a warm bialy fresh out of the oven runs laps around a fresh bagel. The soft toothy dough with the light sprinkle of ground onion in the middle crater can create zen-like peace unattainable in most corners of the universe. Throw a little butter in the mix and let that bitch breathe. And I'm not even going to delve into whitefish on a bialy. That shit should be illegal.
We see bagel stores throughout the city. More so in Jewish neighborhoods, this used to be a Jewish city- shout out to the tribesmen and women. But where is a bialy store? Unless your already hip to the game, the sole creator of the mighty bialy rests on Grand Street right off Essex. Kossar's Bialy is the name and dough and onions is the game. The store's been operating for more than 70 years- at this location since the early 1960's, and not a damn thing has changed- that becomes evident the minute you walk in. Nothing fancy, shit, no atmosphere at all- aside from the beauty of bialys and ovens, a true step back into the Old World. Just an open area with the counter on the left. Racks of bialys behind the counter and racks of other items by the window- pletzels, bulkas, sesame sticks and bagels- yes bagels- I've never tried them but the website swears they're delicious.
An old plastic menu board rests on the wall displaying the several items they sell. On the other side is a fridge or 2 selling snapples and various spreads such as whitefish salad. It doesn't get more bare bones, but it doesn't get more delicious.
Bialys cost 90 cents. Dozens are treated the old school way and given the baker's dozen love- 13 for the bakeaphobes.
Bagels, I still love you.
367 Grand Street
New York, NY 10002
Sun-Thurs 6am - 8pm
Fri 6am - 3pm