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Coney Island Bialys and Bagels

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The oldest bialy business in New York City

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : Sheepshead Bay
Commercial, Food & Drink

Place Matters Profile

Place Matters Profile

By Cailtin Van Dusen

Taped to the front of the cash register in Steve Ross's shop is a tattered Soup to Nutz cartoon in which one character asks the other, "What's a bialy?" His friend, holding aloft one of the palm-sized, Frisbee-shaped breads, replies, "If a bagel and an English muffin got married, this would be their baby." Steve's is the oldest bialy business in New York City; the product of another marriage: the gastronomic instincts of Bialystock, Poland, with the mineral-rich water and hearty appetites of New York City.

Steve Ross is a third-generation bialy maker. His grandfather Morris Rosenzweig immigrated from Bialystock, the Polish city that gave the bialy its name but where, according to food historian Mimi Sheraton's book The Bialy Eaters, the tradition does not survive. Morris started the business in East New York in 1920, moving it to its current location in the 1950s. The business was strictly wholesale and strictly bialys, which were first

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Nominations

Fred Berman

Steve trained me. You would have never thought it was done by hand. It's a process, you know. All pure- everything's mixed, one guy rolls, one guy boils them. If you kept one in a freezer bag you could still taste it was done with passion.

(2006)


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