There is good news for those still in mourning over the loss of Vic’s and Times Square Bagels. Zucker’s Bagels opened last week just outside Grand Central. This is the new location of a Tribeca favorite and it’s owned by the bagel royalty behind Leo’s and Murray’s.
I’m a fan of the downtown location, so I stopped by this week to check out the scene. The bagels are made on premises (with a window for early-morning patrons to view the boiling, a la Ess-a-Bagel). Sandwiches and schmears are available for take out or to enjoy in the long seating area. There was a parade of managers and employees welcoming everybody into the shop, greeting people and answering questions. I can’t imagine this level of service will continue once they’ve been open for a few weeks, but one can hope.
For breakfast, there’s a special of coffee (La Colombe) and bagel with a schmear for $3.75. The bagels themselves will cost you $1.15 each (that’s 15 cents more than the ones at Ess-a-Bagel). At lunch, there’s a wealth of sandwich options.
All the signature sandwiches hover around the ML price limit (most are a little over $10). They come with pickles and cole slaw, but chips or drinks will cost you extra.
The other specialty at Zucker’s is smoked fish. I’m a sucker for bagels and lox, so I decided to have a little breakfast for lunch. The smoked fish is cheaper here than at Ess-a-Bagel, but a sandwich will still cost you over $10 with tax (especially if you want the standard additions of capers, onions, and tomatoes). I skipped the accompaniments to keep the price as low as possible.
It was still a tasty sandwich. The bagel wasn’t warm anymore, but it had a nice chew with a soft interior and lots of salt, garlic, poppy, onion, etc. The salmon was clean and fresh with a very mild brininess. While the portion of salmon was surprisingly generous, I wasn’t too surprised when I was hungry again in an hour or so.
While eating, the manager started chatting to me about his pastrami. Evidently, he used to be in the delicatessen business and this pastrami is from a special purveyor. He says it’s the best (of course he does), so I may have to come back and give that a whirl. That would probably fill me up for the rest of the day.
It’s nice to have legitimate New York bagels and lox a bit closer to central Midtown. Ess-a-Bagel may still be the favorite in the neighborhood (they’re still mine), but Zucker’s is the real deal and is less of a walk for most.
Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish, 370 Lexington Avenue (btw 41st and 40th Street), (212) 661-1080
Posted by brianhoffman at 11:15 am, January 16th, 2013 under Zucker's Bagels.
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