Food treasures in New York City

Turkish Breads


If you have ever walked from the new city of Jerusalem to the Old City, you would have passed vendors selling a bread they call, “bagela.” In fact, they are called “simit,” a traditional bread eaten throughout the Balkans and the Mediterranean, primarily for breakfast.  The “Turkish bagel,” as it is nicknamed, is much less doughy than its New York counterpart and rarely eaten with cream cheese and lox. Simit rings are soft and light on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

Simit varieties available at Simit+Smith

Simit varieties available at Simit+Smith

At Simit+Smith, located on the upper west side, in the financial district and in Cliffside Park, NJ, you can buy freshly baked simit. The owners are trying to replicate the experience of buying them from the simitçi (street simit vendors) of Istanbul. The simit rings and loaves come in three flavors: original, multigrain and whole wheat.

Poğaça (po-acha)

Poğaça (po-acha)

At the store you can also buy Poğaça (po-acha), a cross between a pastry and pretzel-like roll. They come plain, or filled with feta and parsley, or kasseri ( cheddar-like cheese) and olives. Other Mediterranean foods and drinks, like Turkish soda or Ayran, a yogurt drink, can also be found at all the locations.

October 16, 2013 Posted by | Food, international | , | 2 Comments

By Bread Alone

crusty roll

Walnut raisin roll from Sullivan’s Bakery

Whether you prefer the softness of a sweet brioche or the crunchiness of a great baguette, there’s nothing like fresh bread. You probably have a place in your neighborhood where you like to buy your bread. Or if you’re really ambitious, you may bake your own.  There are two places that are worth venturing out of your way for.

Sullivan Street Bakery

Sullivan Street Bakery

The first is Sullivan Street Bakery  Headquartered in Hell’s Kitchen, with an outpost in Chelsea, Sullivan Street offers a range of Italian breads and rolls.

 "Truccio Doni  - a loaf from Sullivan Street with large pieces of green olive.

Truccio Doni – a loaf from Sullivan Street with large pieces of green olive.

You can also get bomboloni, an Italian doughnut;  a variety of panini; or owner Jim Lahey’s famous pizza. You can sit and savor some fresh bread in the shop or take some home with you.

Amy's Bread on 46th and Ninth

Amy’s Bread on 46th and Ninth

Not far away is Amy’s Bread, another bakery worth visiting. Like Sullivan’s, Amy’s has multiple locations and the breads are also sold at a variety of retailers.  I like the Hell’s Kitchen location, site of the first shop, because it feels most like a neighborhood bakery and cafe.

So many breadstick choices

So many bread twists choices

Amy’s Bread is committed to “baking wholesome, hand-crafted bread.” They make over 20 different doughs, then form each into a variety of shapes and sizes. Their signature bread is a Semolina with Golden Raisins and Fennel, Other favorites are French Baguettes, and Organic Miche. I loved their range of sweet and savory bread twist choices.

Baguettes at Fairway

Baguettes at Fairway

If you can’t make it to Sullivan Street or Amy’s Bread, then stop into a Fairway and pick up a fresh baguette. The baguettes are baked daily on location,  Often you can pick up one just out of the oven. It’s hard to resist eating half of it on your way home. And for $1.99, you can’t go wrong with this bread option.

January 28, 2013 Posted by | Food, stores | , , | 5 Comments