There's been a lot of hype recently about a new bagel shop that's come to the Big Apple, so when the Accidental Locavore found herself face-to-face with Black Seed Bagels in the new Brookfield Place food hall, research beckoned. Black Seed is supposed to be a hybrid between New York and Montreal bagels, hand-rolled and baked in a wood-fired oven.
Unfortunately, late in the afternoon, there were no everything bagels left, so I grabbed a sesame for Frank and a poppy seed for myself. A bit pricy at $1.50 each, but certainly less expensive than the crazy $2.25 at the Culinary Institute.
These bagels were smaller, with a bigger center than the now over-sized bagels we've become used to. Perfectly toasted, with some cream cheese, my first bite struck me as quite salty, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, just what strikes you early in the morning. It was nicely chewy and not overly sweet (always my issue with the late H&H). It's easy to see the hand-rolled qualities and there was a big difference, visually, between the sesame and poppy seed varieties, however neither one of us got any hint of smoke from the supposed trip through a wood-fired oven.
With two shops, location-wise they tie Murray's (generally my favorite bagel), but is it worth it to schlep to Elizabeth Street or the World Financial Center, now known as Brookfield Place (unfortunate name for quite a lovely spot)? That would depend on how far you're willing to travel, invest, and possibly, wait in line. The better option is to do what I did and stroll into a virtually empty Brookfield Place and just mosey up to the counter. If you have time to sit and enjoy them there you're rewarded with a great view of the Hudson and some other interesting eating spots, but more about that in a later post.