I heart bagels. They are among my most favoritest of foods. And of late I've been on a bit of a bagel breakfast kick. But I'm going to have to find a new breakfast bagel source, because Lenny's, the fairly ubiquitous sandwich shop chain has been slapping me with a toasting surcharge...
I started going to Lenny's because 1) their Rock Center location is convenient to my job and 2) the are the closest place that I've found that serves olive and pimento cream cheese. In my book, olive and pimento cream cheese is second only to lox spread in terms of cream cheese deliciousness. And while most bagel places will carry scallion and veggie cream cheese, olive and pimento isn't as readily available.
The first time I ordered up my bagel toasted bagel with olive and pimento cream cheese at Lenny's I noticed on the menu that bagels are $1.00 and if you want to add some premium cream cheese on that bagel, that'll be an extra $1.50. Ok, whatever, bagels don't come cheap, but when the cashier rang me up, my bagel came to $2.99. Too hungry to consider where the extra $.49 came from even though it seemed a lot more than regular tax, I took off with my bagel in hand and proceeded to demolish half of it on the walk back to my office. Not the best bagel in the world, and not even particularly well toasted, but olive and pimento cream cheese can make up for a lot of wrongs in the world.
Next time at Lenny's I took a little closer look at the sign by the counter and there under the the cream cheese price was the toasting surcharge. $.25 extra to toast my bagel!
WTF?! That's down right unAmerican. As a bagel consumer that's paying 1.00 for the bagel then 1.50 more for just the cream cheese, you can't do me a steady and pop that sucker into the toaster for me? Shouldn't toasting by the inalienable right of a bagel buyer? I get that some of the traditional bagel joints don't toast out of principle. And I agree, it's disrespectful and totally unnecessary to toast a warm, fresh, hot out of the oven bagel. But when let's be realistic here. Lenny's is not popping out their own bagels. And as the good folks at Serious Eats discovered, "a bagel's half-life, untoasted and unadorned, is no more than half an hour." Lenny's Bagels need toasting and if they need to charge me extra for that privilege then I need to find another place to get my bagel fix.
Any tips on other places in midtown where I can get a toasted bagel with olive and pimento cream cheese that won't charge me to toast?