A Baker's Dozen

Updated: Jan 11

Ask a dozen New Yorkers, “who has the City’s best bagels?” and you may get thirteen answers!

For me the top bagel is H & H.

But it's a big city and H & H is on the Upper East Side! If I’m on the West Side when the hankering hits for New York’s favorite morning nosh, I go to Absolute Bagel.

Typically served with a schmear, a generous slathering of cream cheese, New York’s carb king is the foundation for the Jewish soul food my non-paint grandparents left me with a taste for. The flavors of smoked fish so transcendent, only the best bagel can play the supporting roll.

To order it like a New Yawkuh you’d say, “let me get cream cheese and belly-lox on a sesame with onions and capers.”

The traditional Jewish breakfast is worth the schlep from Stamford to THE city.

Just don’t order it toasted or they’ll know you’re from out of town!

Leaving the Holiday Inn in Cookeville, Tennessee Wednesday morning, I would have been thinking about the agenda for my 11:00 a.m. meeting with the seeker of my paint knowledge, THE Grasshopper, Zach Maddux.

Walking past the front desk, the clerk’s Southern Hospitality bubbled out! “Hey, would y’all some breakfast to take with you?”

Offering from a se