Just when you thought New Yorkers couldn’t add anything more to their obsession with bagels, the guys behind Mile End Deli open up a new Montreal-style bagel shop in Nolita, and the crowds go wild. This Canadian bagel is smaller than the well-known New York City monstrosity bagels that sometimes can even hurt your jaw trying get around it (thanks to Ess – A- Bagel which is probably the most popular shop anyway). Black Seed fits right in your hand and offers an amazing bread to cream cheese to lox ratio, that I have had trouble finding in the past. The cream cheese isn’t dripping off your bagel, and you won’t find remnants of it on the leftover paper that you purposely wiped off so that it wouldn’t hang out on your face. What you will get is soft bread on the inside and a little crunchy on the outside that tastes as if it were toasted, but really it has just been baked in the oven. All these circular guys are handmade right before your eyes behind the counter. Flavors include: Plain, Poppy, Sesame, Everything, Salt and Multigrain. However, multigrain was no where to be found when we made our visit. That’s just what happens sometimes when you are making everything from scratch and fresh and some days they’ll be out of certain ones.
One concern everyone has asked me about is the line. I, fortunately, didn’t have to wait in a long one at 12:30 p.m. on a Sunday. It swept right through and was only about 15 deep, but they were cranking out the dough pretty quickly. Nine signature sandwiches grace the menu board which in fact is extremely fancy and trendy looking for a shop like this. It’s really just mirror material with cute, white handwriting. My gut went with the #1 which is Salmon, Cream Cheese, Red Onion, Tomato and Capers. Noah mentioned that they started off making their own cream cheese in-house but demand and production were so high, they switched to using Ben’s Cream Cheese, a local purveyor. While Everything Bagels can be overly strong sometimes, at Black Seed the taste is just enough”everything” and won’t ruin your breath for the day. These bagels are extremely easy to eat compared to most offering soft, crunchy bread mixed with the flavorful cream cheese and superb lox. Was it the best bagel I’ve ever had? Well, it is exactly my idea of a bagel experience. All quality ingredients, stupendous texture of the bread and you walk away comfortable and not bloated or stuffed with bread up to your neck. It’s like a great snack but a meal for one instead of for seven.
They open at 7 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. Other options to try are #2 Beet Cured Salmon, Horseradish Cream Cheese, Radish and Herbs; #3 Tobiko Spread, Salmon & Butter Lettuce and also a list of fish spreads like smoked bluefish, tobiko caviar, tofu cream cheese, egg salad. The #7 Ricotta, Honey and Apple sounds amazing but it’s hard to knock the lox out.