Yeah, I know. Cry me a river. All my good New York carbs will be replaced with baguette and croissant soon.
As much as I like a good bagel, I have found that bialys eclipse them based on their rarity. While bagels are oft imitated, you can only get a bialystoker kuchen in the city, and, well, maybe Poland. Unlike bagels, they aren't boiled and glossy and chewy, but they are thin and flat (and much more manageable to eat for breakfast). The dimple in the center is usually filled with sweet finely diced onions. Every time I visit family or friends anywhere, I pick up a dozen on my way to the airport.
I find that this is truly a New York delicacy as I have never seen them outside the city limits and no one has ever waxed poetic about them if they hadn't spent a good chunk of time here.
Of all the Bialys out there, most of them originate at Kossar's on the Lower East Side. I guess I'm going to have to learn how to make them myself now.
Which leads me to my next carb to cry over- Pizza. Good New York Pizza.
Once, while vacationing in Vieques, Puerto Rico (a tiny sparsely populated island off the east coast of the mainland) we were told about a native son of Brooklyn who ran a pizza joint there. It was probably the most far-flung slice of New York Pizza that still tasted like good pizza to us. Aside from that, it's been hopeless to find the perfect slice outside of New York. We've been busily eating it while we can.
Typically, I'm a purist, but Previti wonderful slices: artichoke and truffle creme being a favorite. The Salerno takes my heart though- caramelized onions, fatty strips of smoked pancetta, and mozzarella on a good base of tomato sauce.
(yes, I will eat a slice with that much crap on it with a fork as to not wear it).
We've had a lot of good slices over the years. DiFara's takes the cake for it's pure inaccessibility (no phone, waiting for an hour just to order- you just stand at the counter 10 deep and beg) but they make a great pie, Grimaldis under the Brooklyn Bridge, Totontos in Coney Island.
Yes, it's a personal preference as to what constitutes the perfect slice, and haters are always going to hate. No matter what time of night it is, you're always within a block of two of a place serving a classic slice. When you are a little drunk and you need something to fill the tank after a long night out- That is usually the best slice of your life.