As soon as Andy and I moved to the city a year and a half ago, we started hearing about a place called Russ and Daughters, located at 179 East Houston Street. We heard from several friends and acquaintances that this fourth generation, family owned store specializing in smoked fish and caviar, had the best bagels and lox ever. New York Magazine gave it a glowing review: “The bagel hand-rolled & boiled. The cream cheese: all-natural and double-whipped. The salmon: speaks for itself.”
Andy loves bagel and lox, so I knew we had to go. But somehow we never made it down there. We’d pass Russ and Daughters in a cab on the way somewhere else, or I’d comment to Andy, “I think we’re close to Russ and Daughters,” but we never actually got there.
Then a couple weeks ago Andy and I had to do our long run to keep pace with our marathon training. It was hot, humid and we weren’t motivated at all, so we decided that we would run to an exceptional breakfast. That would be the carrot dangling on a stick. But where? We couldn’t go to a nice brunch place in our sweaty running clothes. Who’d want to sit next to us? We assessed our options. We could go to a bakery, a deli, maybe an outdoor café? And then, “Aha! Russ and Daughters!”
I don’t know if it was our exhaustion or extreme hunger and thirst, but Russ and Daughters was better than we expected. Andy was in awe as he surveyed case after case of smoked fish. It was so good, we went again this past weekend after another long run. It’s becoming something of a Sunday tradition! We run, get bagels, and take them to a nearby park where we watch a bunch of guys play basketball.
You’ll have to forgive the photos, I couldn’t run 9 miles with my Nikon, so all I had was my phone camera.
The only drawback is that these bagels are expensive. Both times we paid about $23 for two bagels and lox. You’re buying the hand-rolled bagel and double-whipped cream cheese, which probably totals about $1.50 each, but the lox is cut right in front of you. They charge by the 1/4 pound and they put about 1/4 pound on each bagel. If you can get past the price, they’re worth every penny. We justify it by saying we’d spend twice as much on a sit down brunch.
If you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple, and having a miraculous breakfast experience is on your list, head for Russ and Daughters.