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May 3, 2014 12:47 PM

Black Seed Bagels

Couldn't believe there wasn't a thread already, but alas...

I finally braved a little line for Black Seed today. Last weekend, the line was down the block both days, but today when I walked by around 9:30, it was about ~10 people, so I gave it a shot.

The bagels are $1.50 each and off the top of my head, there's poppy, everything, salt, sesame, and plain. Maybe one more I can't remember. They were sold out of poppy and everything by the time I got there.

In addition to the requisite schmears, they also have 10 bagel sandwiches.

I ordered one with lox and dill spread, radish and sprouts ($7) on a plain bagel -- it was delicious! I don't consider myself a bagel snob or connoisseur, but this was noticeably different from any other bagel I've had in NYC. I would say it was a perfect hybrid between an NYC bagel and a Saint-Viateur Montreal bagel. It wasn't massive or doughy, but a little crispy on the outside and even a little blackening from the wood-fired oven. The spread was a little light on the lox, but that was made up for by the deliciously thin slides of watermelon radish and the fresh sprouts. For $7, it was well worth it. I might be back tomorrow to try the sandwich with the horseradish and the beet-smoked lox ($12).

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  1. Both sandwiches sound wonderful. If you try the beet-smoked lox tomorrow, please report back.

    1. I saw pictures of those and please dont kid yourself thinking they are like mtl bagels- they arent remotely close! They look like toronto bagels.

      5 Replies
      1. re: kpaxonite

        Well, until you eat one, I wouldn't say that they "aren't remotely close." Mine certainly looked more like a Montreal bagel, and like I said, it's more apt to call it a hybrid of sorts- -- it wasn't nearly as large as a traditional NYC bagel and was indeed a little flatter, more oblong-shaped, as a Montreal bagel would be.

        Once you go try them, you're free to tell me my opinion is wrong. ;)

        1. re: loratliff

          What makes you think a traditional NYC bagel is "large?"

          1. re: mitchleeny

            Compared to Montreal bagels, they are. Obviously everyone has their own opinion, but on a purely comparison basis, every New York bagel I've had trumps Montreal bagels in size and density. The photo in this story is a nice comparison:

            Black Seed's bagels are a happy medium.

            1. re: loratliff

              I understand the really old-time bagels, or at least some of them, were smaller in New York, though I stand to be corrected. I haven't been to Absolute in a few years (I no longer live near there), but they used to make mini bagels that old-timers said were like the real thing back in the day.

              1. re: Pan

                That's what I'm talking about. You can't call the bagels of today "traditional NYC bagels," either in size or taste. Many of them are not even boiled and baked, as is "traditional."

                The photo in that story of a NYC bagel has nothing to do at all with what a traditional NYC bagel really looked like.

                Now, I bought 1/2 dozen of Black Seed's bagels last Friday - no line, by the way. They're good, but still a little bigger than what a traditional bagel used to be, and of course the sweetness and the smoke from the wood oven makes the taste totally different.


      2. I live a few blocks away and really want to try it, but I'll wait until the lines die down. This morning I got bagels and bialys from Kossar's, which is now open on Saturdays.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pravit

          The line was OK today. I'm not a line-waiter at all and I was in and out in about 15 minutes. They are surprisingly efficient. Probably would've been less if I had gone a touch earlier.

        2. Thanks for the report! I am a bagel lover and haven't been able to get there yet since i figured morning would be the best time to go- hoping to make it this week.

          1. I did indeed make a trip back today, this time around 9 a.m. and there was no line at all. Five-minute wait on plain bagels but that was fine by us for a fresh bagel.

            My partner ordered a plain bagel with tobiko spread but he had the same complaint as I did yesterday -- the spread was lacking tobiko and thus flavor.

            Having said that, it seems like buying the bagels on their own or going with a menu-item bagel sandwich is the way to go.

            I got the beet-smoked lox sandwich I mentioned yesterday which also had lots of dill, horseradish cream cheese, parsley and radish. No discernable flavor of horseradish at all (sensing a trend with the cream cheese...) but the lox was excellent, veggies fresh, and bagel once again delicious. They mistakenly gave me a salt bagel which I wasn't crazy about at first, but it grew on me. See photo.

            Hope to hear others' reports soon!

            1 Reply