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Russ & Daughters Smoked Salmon Question

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Hi- I am planning to buy smoked salmon from R&D but honestly don't know much about it. Can it be packaged and sealed so i'm able to refrigerate? If so, for how long?

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  1. They will package it for you in butcher paper and a plastic bag, which is good enough to refrigerate for a few days. Since they sell several different types of smoked salmon I would simply ask your counter person about keeping times. They are generally very helpful, even when quite busy.

    Don't forget to take a number as soon as you come through the door.

    1. I was there this morning--good to beat the holiday rush. I prefer the gaspe smoked salmon--mild and fatty and not salty at all. It never stays around too long with family, friends and even furry friends (cats) begging for more. I bought today to last easily through Monday if needed. But it won't if you know what I mean. They have a number of lox varieties--ask for a tasting once you explain what type of flavor you are looking for. Also, try a few other things out to round out the experience. Open till 7 and starts at 9am. Enjoy

      1 Reply
      1. re: eve

        i like the gaspe best too...

        and to the OP: i highly recommend getting some of the baked salmon too...and the whitefish/salmon salad too...i wouldn't worry too much about keeping time: it's so good that no matter how much i buy, i end up finishing it in 24 hours...

      2. Excellent- thanks for the tips you guys!

        1. also try the Trout Roe (amazing), the sturgeon (expensive, heavenly, worth it), the belly lox is the old school biz (super salty, not for the meek), the wild salmon is excellent too, and the gaspe always delicious. also great are the caviar cream cheese, the tofu scallion is a vegetarian favorite, great halva, great matches fillets, everything is great!!! long live Russ...

          3 Replies
          1. re: frankbooth

            The Pacific wild salmon is fantastic with more complexity and firmer, non-mushy texture.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              The last time I purchased the wild salmon (in October) it was a great disappointment, not smoked sufficiently or something similar. I suggest asking for a sample taste of all smoked salmon here, or at the very least, the smoked salmon.

              1. re: AlanMa

                Definitely taste before you buy to find what suits you. What knocked me out about the wild salmon was the subtle tone of the cure, just enough to highlight and not cover up the unique taste of wild Pacific salmon. Wish I could find something that finesseful in San Francisco.

                Also loved the pastrami salmon, the polar opposite. It's all about the cure and seasoning.

          2. Okay -- everone says go here, forgive me, but do they sell bagels? We're out-of-towners and we'd only be going here for a meal or part of that "food tour" that I have in my file -- thanks.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Silverlaker

              When I was there a year ago, bagels were available. Not great bagels, but if you're pressed for time or want to get a sandwich for the plane, a convenient option.

              1. re: Silverlaker

                Yes, they sell bagels, as well as bialys.

                Presuming the "food tour" you have in your file is mine, I mention in it that you can get sandwiches at Russ, but it is strictly take-out. There is a bench in front of the store, so in fine weather, you might be able to park yourself there if it is not occupied. Better still, you can go a few blocks west to Allen St., where there are benches along the mall.

                1. re: Silverlaker

                  if you walk to grand street between Essex & Clinton - there is a place called Kosser's - they sell bialys as well as bagels. They make the bialy's fresh all the time.

                2. Re; the infamous food tour, how are you suppose to eat the bagels & lox if the bagels here are mediocre? Anyplace nearby w good bagels?

                  1. Yup -- wheredoing your food tour (or plan to), sounds great. I didn't know if by sandwiches that included bagels & lox -- thanks!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Silverlaker

                      Yes, that's what I meant. The smoked sable with horseradish cream cheese was transformative.

                    2. Kossar's has decent bagels, though not in the same league as their bialys. I'm not sure they make them, and of course they're closed on Saturdays.

                      Yona Shimmel has OK bagels, a bit better than R&D.

                      R&D's smoked fish varies from piece to piece. It's inherent in the product. Just get tastes until you find one you like.

                      I'm partial to their sable. Also the whitefish-salmon salad.

                      And don't forget the spectacular dried fruit behind you on the other side of the store.

                      I always get the "block" (solid) cream cheese, which I like better than the whipped stuff. It's kept in the back of the store, and you need to get at least 1/2 pound at a time.

                      1. Russ' bagels are fine- not amazing, but fine- as good as most bagels in the neighborhood- the thread was about smoked salmon, we could argue bagels ALL DAY- bageling is a lost art- brooklyn's bagel hole is my current favorite- small and old school- far from russ though. russ' bagels are fine- try a pumpernickel with whitefish salad- superb snark situation... enjoy fb

                        1. There was a post recently about bagels-ignore the health code violations and treat yourself to the best onion bagel in the universe at Ess-a-Bagel on 21st and 1st avenue. Then go to R&D for gaspe, scottish salmon, pastrami salmon and, though not as great as Barney Greengrass, sturgeon.

                          1. Okay -- don't shoot me here but I'm from L.A. If I want bagels & lox, I'm not use to going to two places. Is there anywhere near Russ & D that has good bagels? I am particular about my bagels and want a good experience. Not sure if any of the places KRS is talking about is within walkding distance, tnx.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Silverlaker

                              Silverlaker, Yonah Schimmel's is two blocks west of Russ, and Kossar's, while further away, is within walking distance. (See the directions on my tour.) However, buying lox at Russ and bagels elsewhere only makes sense for natives who can take the stuff back to their residences. What would be your plan? Take everything back to your hotel room and assemble your sandwich there?

                            2. Um... your right, I was over thinking this 2much! Bagels & lox does not keep!!! We're looking forward to your tour and the museum, thanks again --

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Silverlaker

                                We're not talking one stop shopping supermarkets. David's bagels on 1st avenue below 14th street is almost as good as Ess-a-bagel and a 2 minute taxi ride from R&D.

                              2. I like the bagels at Kossar's, but you might also be interested in another bread item they have there that tastes amazing with lox and cream cheese. It is a sort of super-bialy and seems to be made of a similarly chewy dough like a bagel, but it is round and flat and as big as a plate. I can't remember what it's called, but they come in a small and a larger size.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bolletje

                                  I think you're describing a "pletzel."

                                2. A bagel from Russ and Daughters is better than any bagel from outside the tri-state. You won't go wrong buy making this your one-stop bagel and lox shop! But do not forget the sable! Also try the Baltic White smoked salmon it's delish. I miss it :(

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: NYCnowLA

                                    Agree! Don't skip R&D because the bagel may not be the best in the world. You'll miss out on a wonderful smoked fish sandwich. It's worth checking out even if you don't buy anything.

                                  2. all good advice - but really, the bagels at R&D are fine. more than fine. donn't worry about elsewhere. and the gaspe is my fave too - right behind the baltic salmon. that to me is the crack of smoked salmon! and if you want to try the real belly lox, it is salty but you can mix it up with a piece of the gaspe and even it out. they have great salmon roe too, besides the matjes herring and all the rest. have fun.

                                    1. FYI--the bagels at Russ and Daughters are from Kossars

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: lilyjk

                                        It seems to me that the smaller bagels from Russ and Daughter have better flavor, etc., than the larger ones. They usually run out of the smaller ones earlier. These are the size that bagels some fifty years ago were before they got larger and larger. If I am right that they differ (and it could be my imagination) it probably has to do with the smaller surface that is baked. I have noticed for example that challah (twists) and the traditional shaped breads made from the same recipe and baked in the same oven may differ in taste and texture because of the different surface of each, etc.

                                      2. I'm from Portland, visiting next week, and have plans to go to R & D, which sounds just perfect for us. Is the salmon really wild? I heard that many NY places make such claims when in fact it's not true at least half the time. High on our list is the sable and whitefish. My mouth is watering just imagining it.

                                        Since they use Kossars bagels, I've heard that their bialy are much better than their bagel. Glad our hotel is right by Ess-a-Bagel. But this isn't the place for a bagel war.

                                        Melanie, thank you for the new word: "finesseful"!
                                        On my SF trips I"ve come to rely on your advice.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Leonardo

                                          Not all the salmon is wild. When I was last in NYC a year ago, my friend "chibi", an ex-San Franciscan, introduced me to the smoked sable and horseradish cream cheese combo. I think she referred to it as sable and wasabi, which it tastes like, but I think it's actually called horseradish. She said it's her favorite food-for-the-plane, and I can see/taste why. I also loved the rugelach, which is nearly non-existent in SF.

                                          If you're from Portland, OREGON, then you know what wild salmon tastes like. The salmon id'd as wild Pacific salmon sure seemed like it to me, especially the non-fatty, firm texture. Let us know what you think.

                                        2. In the absence of state, isn't OR assumed? Hahaha...

                                          Funny you should mention rugelach, as my GF & I were just talking about where to find in NY. Here's a great thread that does mention R & G. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/338018.
                                          Here in Portland only 1-2 places, and only during Hannukah etc.

                                          They also appear to have good chocolate. A must-visit, and what a perfect tour, being so close to Katz, Schimmel, & Sugar Sweet.

                                          If I make it there, I'll be sure & report.

                                          1. Just had the baltic wild salmon from R&D. Fantastic-just the right smoke-pure silk although a much paler color than the rest. They describe it as champagne. At $48lb the most expensive but worth it.

                                            1. I had the baltic wild a few weeks ago. They said it feeds on mackerel. I could taste the mackerel in the fish. I wasn't wild about it -- especially given the price premium -- but if you like mackerel this could be right up your alley.

                                              Can someone tell me about the gaspe smoked salmon -- what is it?

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: mbaldwin

                                                Gaspe is a mild smoked salmon (not salty like belly lox). My family prefers it to be "fatty" (not dry).

                                                1. re: ellenost

                                                  can you order like a slice or so of each salmon if you're a tourist visiting, necessitating eating on the spot, or do you have to at least get each by the half pound or pound?

                                                  also, is there anywhere to sit inside or is it just a tiny deli counter?

                                                  lastly, is it very close to Katz's deli like a couple blocks walking distance??? thanks.

                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                    You can probably order a 1/4 pound (maybe a 1/8 pound). Unfortunately there is no in store seating. I believe that Katz is very nearby.

                                              2. DO not miss the the Chocolate BABKA at R&D!!!! by far and away the best i ve ever had....

                                                1. To answer some of your questions.
                                                  -It's very narrow with only deli counters, so no chance of sitting.
                                                  -It's either on the same block or the next from Katz's
                                                  -I've never ordered less than a 1/4 lb. but I don't see why not. Or, just call them and ask.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: jdf

                                                    I've ordered as little as an 1/8 pound and iirc have heard others order in amounts such as "a couple of slices" or a "taste".

                                                    fwiw, I can't recall seeing a sign stating any "minimum order" but since most folks usually order a minimum of a 1/4 lb they might ask you to repeat yourself to double check your order.