I was born and raised on Long Island, New York. With countless aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, parents, and grandparents still residing on the island, there are many occasions for visits home. And, one thing makes every trip complete: Bacon, Egg, and Cheese on a New York bagel.
Here’s the catch though. The sandwich must be prepared at the bagel shop. Many an eager host has offered to make us bacon, egg, and cheese bagel sandwiches. I’ve got eggs, bacon, and cheese in the fridge, they say. Just pick up the bagels and I’ll make you a sandwich. Our hearts pound a little faster and we feel flushed. How can we put this politely, without offending our gracious host? “No, no…it’s ok, we’ll just pick up the sandwiches. Thanks though!” What? You don’t like my bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches?? Oh no. This isn’t going well. We’ve hurt their feelings. How do we explain this? It’s just that, well, it’s just… Oh, I don’t know! But, it’s how it has to be.
I think there’s a certain magic that happens when the egg hits the hot bagel shop griddle. Perhaps it’s the aroma of freshly baked bagels in the air? It might even have something to do with the white paper it’s so perfectly wrapped in.
Oh, and the bagels!! I hesitate to say only New York bagels, because it is not a statewide phenomenon. By New York bagels, I refer to downstate, New York City and Long Island bagels. Dense, chewy New York bagels. As a resident of Central New York, I can attest to the difference. Most bagels, outside of the downstate New York area, are more like rolls in a bagel disguise. They look like bagels, smell like bagels, and even feel like a bagel when your lips first touch the glossy exterior. But inside, it’s just a piece of bread. So, so sad. Oddly enough, the one place that’s come closest to a New York style bagel was a small bagel shop we visited in Clearwater, Florida. Doughy and delicious bagels, with just the right amount of resistance to the bite. But, they did not make bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches. So, so sad.
So, now we’re home. Bag of Long Island bagels in hand. Happy that we have reason to return in the near future!