On my recent trip to New York City, I had a few staple typical NYC items that I wanted to indulge in. One of them, of course, was bagels and shmear. After my red-eye, I was ready to chow down and get some caffeine in my system stat. My friend, Heather, lives a couple blocks away from Times Square, so we headed over to Times Square Hot Bagels on W. 44th St. between 8th and 9th. The tiny bagel shop was a bit difficult to find as it was hiding behind some scaffolding. We entered this minuscule shop that had a line wrapped around the interior. However, because the shop was so small, the line was actually pretty short. I was a little bummed about the line because I was feeling pressured to make my shmear/bagel combo decision. And God help me if I am not ready to order when it’s my turn. We’re not in California any more Toto. Right at my crucial decision making moment, Heather turned to me and said, “Do NOT ask for it toasted.” I was like, what??? I guess it is a major faux pas to get your bagel toasted because that implies that the bagel is not fresh. The moment to order arrived, and I was ready. “Everything bagel with bacon and cheddar cream cheese, and a coffee with half and half.” Whew, I did it. Heather ordered an everything with scallion cream cheese. My order was $5.50. Not bad.
We headed over to the “beach” in Times Square. This is an area that the city of New York set up to have a hang out spot with chairs and tables during the summertime. This also means that they have closed traffic in one of the busiest parts of the city. Sorry cabbies, sucks for you!! We took a seat got ready for some goodness. I have never tried bacon and cheddar cream cheese, but I love bacon, and I love cheese, how could I go wrong? Well, I did. The bagel did NOT taste fresh, and I actually would have liked it toasted. (I know, dumb Californian…) And the bacon was not a strong enough flavor. If I want bacon, I want some mother fuckin’ bacon, god damn it. However, Heather’s bagel was still warm, and the scallion cream cheese was the perfect balance with the all seed bagel. The coffee was super tasty. I could give it another try, but in my opinion, Times Square Hot Bagels is not an NYC institution.