When you think of signature morning rituals in New York, bagels are what most often come to mind. But within every bagel and coffee shop, there are the others — the softball sized muffins that can be found nowhere else I’ve traveled. While these muffins rival the Costco version — these bagel-shop muffins are most often right out of the oven and lack (for the good) the Costco mass-production taste and squishy feel.
This carrot raisin muffin from H & H Bagels on 2nd Avenue is gloriously NY. It’s sturdy, carrots but not too many (as with the raisins), and a little bit spicy much like 2nd Avenue itself — a working muffin for a working avenue of uptown/downtown traffic that wakes slowly…then bam we’re off and running headlong into the day. If you get in early enough, you’ll find no lines and you can breeze in and out of H & H — much like just about any place in the City; wait too long and the line is out to the winter-weather vestibule or beyond.
The beauty of the NY muffin carries into the future — smart shoppers will pick up a weekend’s supply so that sleeping late on day two is possible. Never flat, and resistant to the deflation many baked goods suffer during a microwave spin, the NY muffin continues to stand tall like many beloved buildings that surround H & H. Perhaps this is due to the careful brown paper wrapping each muffin receives before heading out into all kinds of weather that the City dishes up, and perhaps it’s just resilience in a munchable form. Whatever the reason, the NY muffin offers a slightly sweet and textured way to start the day — while I love a hot bagel, the muffin is not just an “also there” of the bagel shop — it’s a full-fledged member of the bagel shop team.