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Aug 21, 2010 02:06 PM

Russ & Daughters bagels

Just bought some bagels at Russ & Daughters after not buying their bagels for a while. They taste different and nowhere near as good as they used to be. Does anyone know if they changed their supplier, or where they get their bagels from? If their supplier is a bagel store that sells retail, I'd like to know so I don't wind up buying bagels there.

Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

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  1. I've asked where they get their bagels from and was told it's a supplier in Queens.

    I think R&D's bagels are fine, but to be honest, the ones from the bagel bakery near our house in NJ are superior.

    Russ & Daughter photos:

    3 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Nice photos. Too bad they've since raised their prices :-(((.

      1. re: IWantFood

        Thanks for the compliment! :) As for prices, it's not as though they've ever been cheap. But I am willing to pay top dollar for quality, and when it comes to appetizing, R&D is, imo, tops!

        1. re: RGR

          I agree. I'd been buying smoked fish at Fairway, which is more convenient, but was kind of in the neighborhood for R&D and decided to do a comparison. Yes, R&D wins.

    2. They used to get their bagels from Kossar's on Grand Street. If you're hankering for that
      that's where they used to get them. Of course the best bagels come from Essa-Bagel on First Ave and 22nd. They also get their Nova from Acme same as R&D. There other smoked fish doesn't move as much so for that you have to go to R&D.

      12 Replies
      1. re: meinNYC

        And before Kossar's, it was Moishe's, two doors down. Never anywhere in the world, have I seen three great stores back-to-back like R&D, Ben's Cheese Shop (how I miss the cream cheese with walnuts and raisin), and Moishe's. Moishe's was certainly the weakest of the three, but the pumpernickel bagel was a work of art.

        1. re: Dave Feldman

          Moishe's had a location on Houston that made bagels?

          1. re: sugartoof

            This was NOT affiliated with the bakery on 1st Ave., if that's what you have in mind.

        2. re: meinNYC

          The best bagels come from Essa?. Only if you like them huge and puffy with a soft exterior. I like them smaller with a good crusty exterior and less interior. They told me the bagels come from a Brooklyn bakery.

          1. re: stuartlafonda

            We love Ess-a-bagel!! They are great. Kossar's makes the best bialys!!

            1. re: stuartlafonda

              Essa-a Bagels are so huge and bready they overwhelm anything you put on them, and not at all authentic. Sort of like the Wonderbread of bagels. There is also a misconception about Acme. Many retailers, including Zabar's, buy there but there is a wide range of quality. The Acme smoked salmon sold at Food Emporium is not the same as that sold at Zabar's and perhaps Russ and Daughters. The high-end places have their pick and charge accordingly.

              1. re: City Kid

                two things should be mentioned here:
                1. while they may get their product from acme, the fact that they have 4th generation in the store personally doing the inspection/buying guarantees a level of quality that i promise you will not find at piss-a-bagel
                2. because the store is small (i'm guessing 600 sq ft) as opposed to say zabar's they can buy less product and move it quicker, guaranteeing a fresher piece of fish

                and finally, acme is really good. as new yorkers we are lucky that places like BG, Zabar's, R&D are able to source their products there.

                1. re: El Tigre

                  The point that you are missing is that the higher end stores that buy and move a huge volume of smoked fish have far more leverage in getting the best product and leave the rest for others. See this article on Acme that explains how Saul Zabar is the only customer of hundreds "permitted to select — and frequently reject — the smoked fish."

                  1. re: El Tigre

                    So I'm a huge, huge fan of Russ & Daughters, but the logic that because they're smaller they move the product faster is seriously flawed. It certainly may be true that they move their product faster, but we can't determine that just because they're smaller.

                    Russ & Daughters
                    179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

                    1. re: Blumie

                      I agree. And in fact I think the quality of fish at Barney Greengrass and Zabar's is just as good as Russ.

                      Barney Greengrass
                      541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

                      1. re: gutsofsteel

                        I second that, even better than R&D.

                  2. re: City Kid

                    Ess-A-Bagels are definitely NOT bready like some of the non-water bagels that I call bread rings. You can get one of those at Dunkin Donuts. They are huge but crisp on the outside with chewy insides. My lovley and talented wife complains that they are "TOO BIG". I eat half and save half for later.

              2. The last time I was @ Kossar's there were sveral bags with R&D written on them.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Motosport

                  I stand corrected. Went to Kossar's Friday and picked up a couple of dozen bialys for the holiday weekend. I asked about the R&D bagels. Answer: "We used to but they changed to a bakery in Brooklyn."

                2. I don go to RD for bagels.
                  Simply put, the bagel is secondary to the topping. With that nova, I dont even recognize the bagel is there.

                  But I agree, I love ess a bagel.

                  1. Essa-Bagels are not made in Brooklyn, you can see them baking them right in front of you. Vat of boiling water, oven, nice baker with paddle. They make smaller bagels if you request on special order. Always crusty, never suspiciously sweet, fast counter staff, line out the door on Sunday morning. Best NYC experience. And at $1 a piece the biggest bargain in NYC. Scoop out the interior and you'll have even
                    more room for fillings!

                    359 1st Ave, New York, NY 10010

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: meinNYC

                      By small bagels, don't you mean the mini bagels meant for kids or more likely, for cocktail parties?

                      I can't imagine Essa doing a custom batch and changing their style, but maybe if you ordered bulk.

                      I used to be a fan of them, but no longer. There's just no flavor, if you eat a plain bagel - plain, plus it settles/cools so hard that my mouth tires out from wrestling with it. They look the same, but the taste has changed for me.

                      1. re: meinNYC

                        Who said Essa makes them in Brooklyn? Anyone that has ever been in the store knows they are made there.