To many New Yorkers, anything besides the iconic bacon, egg and cheese for breakfast is sacrilege. However, at Black Seed, a store that creates a gourmet breakfast experience with hand-rolled, wood-fired and artisanal bagels, they push the envelope. The store offers a monthly bagel special, made in collaboration with restaurants throughout New York City. This month, the Don Angie Bialy was created in partnership between Black Seed’s Executive Chef Dianna Daoheung and Chefs Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli at Don Angie, a modern Italian American restaurant. The bagel itself is topped with green garlic and sesame seeds and filled with Stracchino cheese for $5.50. Basically, it’s a gourmet grilled cheese.
As a self-proclaimed bagel expert, I was extremely excited to try this sandwich, so I made the trip to Black Seed’s East Village location on First Avenue. The first thing I noticed was that the prices were definitely a little higher than the average bagel place, featuring a $10 bacon, egg and cheese. This is drastically more expensive than the three dollars I pay at the bodega around the corner from my apartment. Black Seed is definitely something to treat yourself to rather than a daily occurrence if you’re on a student budget. The wait for the Don Angie Bialy was also a little longer than the normal bagels, but when I finally got it, it looked amazing. The crust of the bagel seemed to be perfectly toasted, and cheese oozed out of the sides. When I pulled the sandwich apart, the cheese stretched in such a glorious manner that it was borderline pornographic. Seriously, the cheese clung on for a foot and a half before giving out. The blend of the two cheeses worked really well together, creating a gooey delicious filling, and the bagel itself was undeniably one of the better bagels I’ve had in my life with an amazingly crunchy crust. The first couple of bites were incredible, pure bliss in the form of a cheese-filled bagel. Then, I got to the center where the majority of the toppings of green garlic and sesame seeds were. The garlic, however, was extremely overpowering because there was way too much of it. I found myself munching on large chunks of it, getting it stuck in my teeth. The flavor was so strong that I had to scrape off the toppings before continuing, but even then, the stubborn taste stayed in my mouth until I brushed my teeth when I got home.
In the end, while the sandwich had a promising start for me, you’d have to really love garlic to enjoy it. If you are searching for an extravagant grilled cheese experience, Black Seed is the place for you. However, if you’re just looking for a nice breakfast sandwich to cure your hangover, the bodega around the corner is probably a better bet.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 20 print edition. Email Scott Hogan at [email protected]