For bagel lovers, there is hardly a better breakfast choice. Take your traditional poppy seed bagel. Layer plain cream cheese and lox and, well, things start to get close to perfect.
Luckily, Scarsdale has a great selection for any devotee of the humble Eastern European bread.
Our own Stefan Doyno stopped by four popular bagel spots to assess the poppy seed with cream cheese and lox competition. Here's what he found:
Bagels & More
This stop is usually my go-to place for a bagel and lox. Not only is it closest to my house, but it's sort of addictive. Their poppy seed bagel has a darker shell, and an incredible amount of poppy seeds stuck to it. The shell is almost "paper-thin" and the inside is incredibly soft and fluffy with a slightly sweet taste.
"It's more….Westchester-y," said Erica, my bagel-loving friend on our recent visit.
"I don't know what that means," I replied.
Supposedly there is the notion that Westchester-folk pull out the inside of the bagel to lower the calories, but I'm going to pretend this doesn't happen.
Anyway, the poppy seed bagel, mixed with the slightly fishy lox, (but not at all overpowering), soft and slightly tart cream cheese (covering both bagel slices) made for a sensational experience. Everything merged perfectly, creating a puffy, creamy, soft, magical moment. Sometimes they are heavy on the cream cheese, but you can ask for less. They offer a large area of seating, and outdoor seating. This area is close by for the Fox Meadow/Greenacres crowd.
Total Cost $7.46
Bagels & More, 224 E. Hartsdale Ave. Hartsdale, 914-722-4444. Open Monday-Friday from 5 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Scarsdale Bagels is a local favorite, located on Garth Road right by the village.
When I stopped by, I was floored by the generous amounts of salmon. The cream cheese was spread on the bottom half, but not on the upper half. A fair amount of poppy seeds coating the outside of the bagel. It was very large and sandwich-like. The bagel itself was dense and chewy. The crust was thick and the inside extremely soft and doughy. The salmon was slightly salty but worked well with the other two components.
Scarsdale Bagels used the perfect amount of cream cheese, nicely avoiding the depressing condition known as: "Would you like some bagel with your cream cheese?"
Total Cost $ 6.30
Scarsdale Bagels, 52 Garth Road, Scarsdale, 914-725-0090. Open everyday, 7 days a week, from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Westchester Bagel Café
To change things up, my friend and I ordered the "Everything" bagel with vegetable cream cheese and fresh lox. I found the bagel to have a great taste, while being slightly tough. The lox was good, but what really won me over was their vegetable cream cheese. I don't think I've ever had vegetable cream cheese before, but this was thick, creamy and had great flavor. Westchester Bagel Café also has a wide selection of seating and tables.
Total Cost $7.59
Westchester Bagel Cafe, 709 Post Road, Scarsdale, 914-722-4747. Open Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sammy's New York Bagels
Here the bagel is flatter, but soft inside and out, and not too thick.
The outside is coated nicely in poppy seeds as is the bottom half. The sandwich is easy to manage and is fully coated with a quarter of an inch of salmon. The salmon itself is not too salty.
This local Quaker Ridge haunt is a good place to go for a bagel if you live in the immediate area. They don't have seating, so ideal for on your way to work, or in a hurry. Slightly pricier than other shops.
Total Cost $7.98
Sammy's New York Bagel, 1461 Weaver St. Scarsdale, 914-472-0500. Open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.