Dish: Pumpernickel Bagel with Tofu Cream Cheese
Restaurant: Tal Bagels
Brunch is fun, truly it is! Of course fun generally comes with a price- it’s amazing how easily those mimosas slide down after the first few rounds! Luckily the recent spike in perfect weather makes for a inviting incentive to dine on the cheap, picnic in the park style. And in this great city of New York (or really anywhere) a bagel is always on short order! Some are better than others and if there is anything I’ve developed during my past four years of city living, it’s my carbohydrate smothered in some kind of spread palette. I know a fresh bagel from a stale bagel and don’t think you can cover the baked yesterday flavor with a good stint in the toaster, Mister Bagel Baker!
Tal Bagels, located in Manhattan’s charming Upper West Side, is everything a bagel shop should be. Abounding choices of my favorite Sunday wake-me-up always leaves me in a deciding pickle. My fair share of visits has left me with a clear favorite—enter the pumpernickel! With it’s dense exterior and light interior, deep rye flavor, and slight earthy aroma, this bagel is one for the books. A schemer of tofu cream cheese (because siting in the heat tanked up on dairy is just yucky unless its ice cream) adds a tangy complement that shies away from overwhelming. Instead the condiment bridges together this savory and sweet brunch choice.
The hardest part is making it the two blocks to Central Park. Forget money burning a hole in your pocket, you ain’t seen nothing yet until you’ve gripped a warm Tal bagel sitting in its customary brown bag in your paw!
Sarah Buchanan is a recent graduate who studied History and Creative Writing at NYU. When she is not hard at work, she is most likely running around the city in search of the best artisan pickles or at home in her apartment sharpening her culinary skills.