Yesterday was a Treat Yo Self Day. Hopefully Tom and Donna from Parks and Rec would have approved.
Russ and Daughters is a short walk from my apartment and every now and then I like to treat myself to a bagel with salmon and cream cheese. Almost every time I’ve been there’s a wait, but it’s fun listening to other people’s orders and watch the guys behind the counter interact with customers. I waited 20 minutes which is not terrible. Once the bf waited 1 hour. It was New Year’s Eve and everyone it seemed was planning a smoked fish New Year’s Day feast.
It’s a treat getting a sandwich from Russ and Daughters because they can cost as much as $16. They don’t toast the bagels and the amount of cream cheese is appropriate not oozing out when you squish it down to take a bite. It’s the fish inside that counts. There are several types to choose from and depending on how busy it is they’ll let you taste it and judge if the thinness of the slice meets your standards.
While I was waiting I tried to remember the first time I ate a bagel. Growing up in South Carolina there’s not really a bagel culture. Biscuits yes but bagels are not as prevalent. I remember visiting my Dad in Columbus, Ohio when I was a kid and going to Bernie’s Bagels. Bernie’s was and still is in the basement of 1896 N. High Street the apartment building my Dad managed and lived in, directly across the street from the OSU campus. It was kind of dark with a warm, yeasty scent of beer and bagels. It may have been one of my first bagel encounters, that and the world of Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry soda. I don’t recall much about what I ate but just the feeling of hanging out with my dad in a place that clearly had another side (happy hours and bands happened at night when we weren’t there) and thinking how cool it all was. There was also a record store and a dentist’s office in the building that we would deliver the mail to. The mail for the whole building was delivered to my Dad. He would sort and distribute it to all the residents. We’d make separate piles for each apartment and then stack them in the order we would deliver them. I got to slide the mail under the doors. If someone had a lot of mail we’d put a rubber band around it. Sometimes I’d get to hear a story about the particular resident but most of the time we’d make the mail deliveries quickly and quietly.
To make sure no one from Bernie’s tried to come up into the residential part of the building we’d go around at night locking certain doors and making sure the fire exit doors were working. I loved being my Dad’s assistant.
I thought of all this while waiting for my turn to order at Russ and Daughters. My feelings towards bagels are different now. They were my go to hangover food for a while. Now I eat them knowing they’ll fill me up for half a day so I can run a lot of errands without worrying about getting hungry. When I want to savor them though I choose my source carefully and treat my self!
I also treated myself to “The Heiress” on Broadway, but that’s for another post!