Until robot butlers and caffeine main lines become affordable realities, foraging on wintry Saturday mornings remains a painful necessity of modern, urban life.
Even if don’t have a hangover because you spent Friday night with the sisters Brontë (Wuthering Heights, represent!) the whole waking up process — groggily crawling out of your warm bed into the cruel, cold world just to find food — will always suck.
But sometimes, the prospect of a certain food makes the harrowing ordeal worthwhile.
Apparently, a lot of people think that Absolute Bagels (2788 Broadway) serves up snacks that fit this bill — around 10:30 today, a queue continuously ran from the inside counter outside, down the block.
I figured that the bakery would probably have the typical selections of breads and cream cheese and other breakfasty floatsam and jetsam.
To be clear, Absolute does have staples like strawberry and scallion spreads — along with tofu-based substitutes — but one menu item stuck out: bacon and cheddar cream cheese.
I knew that this schmear would either be a disgusting or delectable addition to my usual — a savory bagel with lox, tomato, and red onion — so I ordered the $8.75 sandwich, not knowing whether to expect porcine perfection or purgatory.
The cream cheese tastes exactly like its namesake — you have the sense that you have just bitten into a liquefied, milky version of a bacon cheese burger. The smokiness of the pig strips — which have been blended into the spread — pairs surprisingly well with that of the salmon. Meanwhile, the tomato — beefy and hearty in a uniquely vegetal way — keeps the whole thing from feeling too smoky.
The only thing I would consider omitting next time would be the onions — they seem a bit too crisp and sharp for such a robust, meaty meal.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 17, 2011