Sunday, 31 January 2016

Breakfast at Murray's Bagels, Greenwich Village, NYC

With 15 varieties of traditionally-made bagels at $1.25 or $15 for a baker's dozen, Murray's has been delighting Greenwich Villagers since the mid-nineties.

The story of Murray’s is a "follow your dream" spectacular. Adam Pomerantz was a vice president at Merrill Lynch, but longed to own his own food business. As a child, his father, Murray, would bring home traditional NYC Jewish bagels every Thursday night, and this became Adam’s “soul food”. He set out on a mission to make the best bagels, and in my opinion, sure as hell did!

Also, fact of the day: “Appetizing” is a word used by American Jews in New York to describe food like lox (smoked salmon) and cream cheese spreads – I also love how it can be called the “appy table” - almost the “happy table”, which would definitely make me content.

Circle of life
Murray's also specialise in nosherai platter, including hand-sliced Eastern Nova Scotia Salmon, a large filleted Whitefish, Smoked Sable or Baked "Kippered" Salmon, with homemade cream cheeses, tomatoes, cucumbers, capers, olives, Bermuda onions and not forgetting the bagels to mop it all up.

And wow, the homemade cheese spreads. Using Philli as a base, Murray's has concocted some special flavours, including scallion (spring onion, to you and me!), vegetable, sun-dried tomato, Nova Scotia smoked salmon, as well as maple raisin walnut, strawberry and a few tofu spreads. Sadly, two morning visits to Murray's was not enough - I didn't even get to try a cinnamon bagel. 

Endless choices of spreads and fish

The first visit to Murray's was on the day of the 2016 blizzard, and despite the weather warnings and road closures, the Saturday morning crowd were still descending onto this boutique counter in Greenwich Village. Luckily, most were grabbing their baker's dozen to take refuge in their apartments and wait out the storm, so we grabbed one of the handful of tables and ordered a "Nova" special of cream cheese and huge chunks of smoked salmon, while The Boy (who can't start his day without eggs) chose an Omelette on a Bagel with pastrami, washed down with fresh OJ.

The following day, I changed my order to a simple cream cheese and crispy bacon on an "Everything Bagel" - for those non-New Yorkers, like me, an Everything Bagel has a coating of poppy, caraway, and sesame seeds, with added salt, garlic, and onion. And trust me, the onion hangs around for the rest of the day, you have been warned.

Smoked Salmon a Cream Cheese, a true classic

Omelette on a Bagel

Doughy, heavy, crunchy and satisfying, these bagels were bread-heaven and would please even the grumpiest of Paul Hollywood moods. And, happily, there was no scrimping on the fillings, with cream cheese mushrooming out of the hole in the centre, while the meat or salmon's freshness topped it off perfectly. It was just the best way to line our stomachs before braving the snow for the day.

A second hot coffee first, perhaps?

Simply the best

Seriously, for the best bagels in NYC - and possibly anywhere - head to Greenwich Village for bite from Murray's.

Murray's Bagels, 500 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10011
+1 212-462-2830