When I lived in Chelsea and needed a breakfast sandwich and/or bagel in the morning, my one stop shop was at the L & M Deli. Having moved away from NY, the smell and taste of a properly made fresh bagel was something I definitely missed. So when the GF and I spent the weekend with a friend in NY, I knew I had to pick up breakfast at L & M, especially after a night that ended around 4AM.
L & M Deli is a typical 'bodega' style outpost, but with great breakfast food hidden within. Don't expect elegant here, but comfort. And while there were no home fries available on a recent Saturday at 12:45PM, what I was looking for was a good NYC bagel.
You'll find most varieties here, including poppy, garlic, everything, and sesame.
Toasted Sesame Bagel [$2.20]
My standard order is usually a toasted with cream cheese, sometimes with jelly (don't knock it till you've tried it). It may not look any different than any other bagel, but the taste tells a different story. The dough is not tough, but moist, with the toasting provided a textural contrast that hits the spot. What accounts for this difference? There are some theories out there that claim it has something to do with NYC's soft water.
Sausage, Egg, Cheese on a Roll [$3.90]
In addition to a toasted cream cheese bagel, I had to get a standard sausage, egg, cheese. To be real, there's nothing especially special about this - but something about the pillowy poppy seeded roll, the gooey cheese, the light egg, and salty sausage just makes for a great bite. Then again, perhaps it's the nostalgia.
Corned Beef Hash [$3.65]
Because L&M was out of home fries, I knew I needed something else to sop up all the fun from the previous night. So I went with the corned beef hash. It may not look appetizing and frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if it came from a can. But something about the salty mystery meat and the diced potatoes hits the spot.
L&M was able to provide that fueling push for another long day in the city and then some. Certainly, it was a sad day when I heard H&H shuttered their doors, but it's good to know that NYC can churn out a great bagel at more than one location.
L & M Delicatessan
80 7th Ave.
New York, NY 10011