Daily Slice: Ess-a-Bagel's Pizza Bagel, Midtown East

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Ess-a-Bagel Pizza Bagel

[Photograph: Adam Kuban]

You probably remember pizza bagels from your youth. I know I do. Slap some canned pizza sauce on a bagel half, grate some mozzarella over it, shake a little Parmesan and oregano on it (if you're gettin' fancy), and nuke it in the radar range. Hear that beep? Your after-school snack is ready.

Then you grow up, realize you're bastardizing two noble foods, and you put away childish things. But, feeling old as dirt after having just made another trip around the sun, I wanted to revisit days gone by. I knew Ess-a-Bagel deigned to make this unholy hybrid ($2.95), so instead of making one at home I dropped by the location on Third Avenue and 51st Street in Midtown East.

Just as I remember it. A pizza bagel, almost always a sloppy affair, is satisfying neither as pizza nor as bagel. It's a shame, too, since I like the Ess-a-Bagel in its proper form. I'm not recommending it — just letting you know it's there. Sometimes a pleasant memory should remain just that.

* I don't have a microwave, anyway, so homemade pizza bagels à la youth were not an option at Casa de Kubs.


831 Third Avenue, New York NY 10022 (at 51st; map) 212-980-4315; ess-a-bagel.com