Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Customized Bagel c/o Shelsky's Smoked Fish

As often happens when I visit L. and Fat T. (though didn't on Saturday morning), I woke up a bit earlier than my host and hostess on Sunday. So I determined that that Sunday was going to be the day that I finally checked out Shelsky's Smoked Fish. They're not too far from L. and T.'s abode and in my multiple visits over the last year, I always found the storefront looking welcoming, and more often than not there were at least a few folks sitting on the bench outside digging into some pretty good looking grub. Because I am a crazy obsessive food person who takes pleasure in reading menus on the internet, I already had a game plan about what I'd like to eat upon my arrival. And oh what a game plan it was.  I could have just chosen a bagel and a house made cream cheese, but they also had these more designer sandwiches. I was taken with the majority of the ingredients of ''The Tribute,' which were Horseradish Cream Cheese, Smoked Whitefish Salad, and Wasabi Tobiko. Well, I think it was mainly the addition of wasabi tobiko on a sandwich that really got me going. But I wasn't as interested in the smoked whitefish element. Once I got to the establishment I took advantage of the make-it-yourself iced coffee station and stood in line, waiting for my moment to specialize this already promising sandwich. And here is what I asked for: 'The Tribute' on a toasted everything bagel, but hold the whitefish salad and add the David Burke Pastrami Salmon. The look the dude taking my order gave me was absolutely one of skepticism. I felt a little sheepish but I held fast in the face of his amused incredulity and doubt.
After a bit more of a wait (it was pretty crowded but understandably so for a Sunday morning) the same man who took my order called my name and rang me up. This was certainly not a bargain bagel as far as cost. He basically chuckled at me as he ran up the order. He really seemed totally flummoxed about the one change I made. As I was leaving he said that I should let them know how it was...and that if it was any good maybe they'd name a sandwich after me. Which leads me to penning this quick note:

Dear Dude at Shelsky's,
I thoroughly enjoyed the bagel. The pop and bit of of heat of the tobiko worked quite well with the savory quality of the salmon. One final customization I would probably make would be to replace the horseradish cream cheese with scallion cream cheese. If you would like to name that sandwich after me I would be forever pleased, as I have long wanted something, anything, to be named after me.
Because here's the thing folks. It was a really tasty combination. I did feel like I would have preferred a bit of scallion over the horseradish, but even so I was not complaining. I ate the first half at L. and Fat T.'s dining room table and saved the other half for my Philadelphia return. Bagels don't usually hold up all that well on drives/eat delay, but I must say the second half was just as happy-making. Perhaps moreso because it felt like a rarity due to the distance between where it was made and where it was ultimately consumed.
There were definitely other things I wanted to try out at Shelsky's and I look forward to getting back there during my next BK sojourn.

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