Monday, January 6, 2014

My Personal Paradise: Bowery to Williamsburg

I'm not saying I'm happy that Bowery to Williamsburg's sister restaurant, Hardware Societe, recently sustained damage in a fire. Nothing fun about fire. But, in a way, I kind of am saying that*, because the closure of HS has led the cafe's owners to open their homage to NYC on the weekends. That means that I finally had a chance to visit and shove my face with blog-worthy bagels. 

I can't restrain myself from a menu boasting bagels and reuben sandwiches for long, so if need be, I probably would have "worked from home" one day to make the dream happen. B to W doesn't have a website and its full menu isn't available online, so you can imagine my delight when I arrived and discovered that bagel-egg sandwiches are a thing here and so is the conventional American idea of iced coffee. 
Iced coffee in Australia is a thing of frustration to me, but one of delight to other visitors, I guess. Emeline was all over the typical ice cream concoction that they serve here, but I'm more into just some coffee with ice in it. Love B to W's presentation, even though I'm not a fan of cardboard straws. They get soggy, don't they?! The coffee itself was really nice. They use Padre beans here, which seems to be of interest to those in the know, but means little to nothing to me. Pretty sure they roast the Padre beans at Brunswick East Project, back in our old 'hood. The front door at that place says "no bloggers." But, there. I briefly blogged about you. Try and find me. Arseholes.
Anyway, let's get down to it. Those who know me can attest to the fact that my bagel bragging (and eating) knows no bounds. Back home I could be found at bagel shops frequently and I once accidentally left one shoe at H&H on the Upper East Side–they had it all brown-bagged up for me when a friend went back to get it. I've worked in a bagel shop or two, and I haunt the line at Bagel Boss in Bayshore with greasy hair and no bra on on weekend mornings. Thus is life. 

At B to W I ordered a "broken egg bagel" with prune relish, bacon and monterey jack. Bagel choices (all made by 5 and dime,) included plain, onion, sour cherry, cinnamon raisin and pumpernickel, but I went with an everything bagel, known here simply as "seeded." I also ordered a side of mac and cheese because: mac and cheese. Charlie went with the reuben, and Em with the schmaltz chicken sandwich. 
The image up top officially represents my ultimate breakfast. Iced coffee, bagel egg sandwich and mac and cheese. Actually, those might be all of my all-time favorite foods, in one image. Wowzers. Guess you can imagine that I was basically giddy through the whole meal and even the distressing visual of other eaters stabbing a bagel half with a fork and biting around it couldn't even bring me down. The bagel itself was a small specimen, but made up for size with a dense and moist interior and a substantially seeded, firm outside. I missed salt on this everything bagel, but this has come down to some serious nitpicking. 

The sandwich fillings came together nicely, but also sloppily. I would recommend that they wrap and cut these sandwiches in half before serving. The bacon was minorly problematic, too. It was a nice, thick slab, but not crispy in the least. Some of the fatty bits weren't rendered, either, and were just kind of, fatty. The egg was done well. Not runny, but not overdone. Clearly I could talk about breakfast sandwiches for a long time. If there is ever a breakfast sandwich law that needs filibustering, call me. 

But then the mac and cheese. So creamy, nice crusty top, cheesy elbows–yum. Not greasy, not curdled or broken, just yum.
Obv I needed some bites of these sandwiches to see what we were dealing with on the whole. Charlie's rueben was piled high with tender and moist corned beef, juicy sauerkraut and melted cheese, and then slathered with plenty of tangy thousand island dressing. The rye was fresh and fluffy, which is a damn good thing. 

Em's chicken sandwich was on some fresh berry and nut bread and presented a nice balance between savoury and sweet. Our old friend prune relish was on there, along with apple and celeriac slaw and tender chicken pieces. We had to ask what schmaltz was and the waitress came back armed with the words oily and fat or something–prob not the best policy there–but, luckily, her description didn't ring true.

Pretzels were a nice touch. No one let me bite their pickle. (guysss?!)

Bowery to Williamsburg: 16 Oliver Lane, Melbourne 3000. 03 9077 0102 Bowery to Williamsburg on Urbanspoon


EnZedGasMan said...

Schmaltz is rendered clarified chicken fat used for frying or as a substitute for butter on bread

Elspeth said...

Yep! Luckily, the chicken did not present as oily or fatty, as that's what you would have taken from the description we were given.

Amelia said...

what i would do to be eating that bagel right now ! i just might have to make some at home this weekend ! sending you a big hug from Cophenhagen !

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