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Bialy faith restored

Bialy with cream cheese at Bagels & Bialys

Bialy with cream cheese at Bagels & Bialys in Albertson makes a fine breakfast, April 9, 2014. (Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

It was time to get back on my bialy horse. A few weeks back I’d suffered a bad fall at Brendel’s Bagels in Hauppauge when I was served a big, puffy, soulless bialy that threatened my credo that there is no such thing as a bad bialy.

A few weeks before that I had stopped for breakfast at the Ruland Road Deli in Melville where the young man taking my order had never heard of a bialy. (The owner had, bless him, but said they didn’t stock them because no one ordered them.)

So this morning I stopped at Bagels & Bialys in Albertson and picked up a toasted bialy with cream cheese, and my faith was restored. The crust was thin and delicate and lightly blistered, the crumb soft but supple. The chopped onions in the bialy’s depression had that pink cast that always mystifies me. The cream cheese melted into a mass that glopped into my lap as I drove away.

The bagels at Bagels & Bialys, I am sorry to say, are too big and puffy for my taste. They’ve got all the right equipment at this venerable shop — a kettle for boiling the bagels and burlap-covered wooden planks for baking them in the old deck oven. I can only assume that their customers demand them this way.

Bagels & Bialys is at 1152 Willis Ave., Albertson, 516-621-9520.

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