There is truly nothing like a good bagel sandwich. A good bagel can bring you back from the deepest depths of a hangover or just make you feel full and happy. The only problem is that being an East Coast-er living on the West Coast, no one around here really understands what makes a great bagel. Yes, I know what you are thinking – I am a bagel snob.
You are correct in that assessment. In my opinion a bagel should have a thin, crispy crust with a chewy flavorful inside and be dense (but not too dense.) There is nothing worse than a cakey bagel or one that is soft inside and out. Give me a plain bagel toasted with cream cheese and I’ll be happy the rest of the day, but a bagel sandwich really turns it from a quick bite on the go to a complete meal.
I prefer to eat my bagels open-face. If I am eating them at home but if I need to take my breakfast on the go then closing the halves and cutting them in half is the way to go. It makes it much easier to eat that way – there’s a reason why bagel shops will serve it that way!
Smoked salmon (the blanket term for any salmon treated with cold or hot smoke) should be served on a toasted bagel with cream cheese, capers, thinly sliced red onion.
Make sure to include plenty of smoked salmon. Not all cured/ smoked salmon is created equal! I prefer to splurge for in-house made smoked salmon or lox. It’s definitely a higher price tag but it’s worth it. It taste way better than what you can buy prepackaged at grocery stores. I love the pastrami smoked salmon from Russ & Daughters in NY or Wexler’s Deli in Santa Monica, CA.
Bagels are made from a flour-based dough with yeast that is first boiled then baked with an assortment of toppings. Many believe that bagels the reason bagels are better on the East Coast has something to do with the water! I’m not sure if it’s necessarily true but I do know that they are just better there!
While I am a bagel snob if you are looking for a good bagel in Los Angeles I really like the bagels from New York Bagel & Deli in Santa Monica. It reminds me of the small bagel shops back home in New Jersey. Find my list of New York Bagels here!
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