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Black Seed Bagel: When Montreal Met New York

July 10, 2014

When Black Seed Bagel first opened its doors in Nolita, they sold out of bagels within hours.  It made us all wonder if this was going to be the next big thing that us New Yorkers will spent countless minutes waiting in line for.  The good news is that since that fateful opening day, the folks at the hybrid Montreal-New York style bagel shop Black Seed Bagel have mastered the art of supply and demand and the fear of a Cronut 2.0 has dissipated.

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Even though there is no longer a never ending line found these days at Black Seed, it doesn’t mean that their bagels aren’t worth a special trip down to Nolita.  However, before you do, you must erase all expectations of what a bagel means from your memory because here you won’t find the large fluffy chewy bagels we know and love from the likes of Essa and Murray’s.  Instead, the bagels at Black Seed are more of the Montreal variety, smaller and denser with a sweeter finish than their New York counterparts.  What else sets this bagel shop apart from others are its innovative spreads and toppings.  You can either build your own concoction or chose from a list of premade sandwiches.

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One of my favorites here is the number two, a lovely sandwich of beet cured salmon with horseradish cream cheese, radish and herbs.  Here, I substituted out the horseradish cream cheese with a tobiko studded pink number just for a little more color, as if the brightly stained salmon didn’t stand out on its own.  The fresh herbs added another dimension of flavor to the already punchy sandwich.  And that bagel, fresh from the wood fire ovens in the back of the store, was still slightly warm and perfectly chewy.

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For a more classic number, the number one sandwich is a good standby.  Stuffed with fresh salmon, tomatoes, capers and onions, the sandwich is finished off with cream cheese of your choice.  When in doubt, you can never go wrong with scallion.

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What if you aren’t in the mood for salmon?  Well, you are in luck.  Black Seed also offers a fabulous sable fish which goes wonderfully with the horseradish cream although I would suggest throwing in some radishes and herbs for a little more crunch and color.

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Although Black Seed doesn’t offer any other proteins other than fish, you can actually make quite a delicious vegetarian number with the fillings offered.  Here we have an AM special with scallion cream cheese, avocado, lettuce and tomato.  This might sound simple but it was quite a flavorful sandwich and when the ingredients are this fresh, you really can’t go wrong.

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For a sweet finish, I highly recommend splitting the number eight sandwich (after all, these are quite small).  A simple combination of fresh ricotta, apple and honey on a toasted bagel is healthy yet sweet enough to feel like dessert.

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Black Seed Bagel | 170 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012 | http://blackseedbagels.com/

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