NYC II! Day 2: Russ & Daughters



Russ & Daughters (@LoxPopuli) has quite the history. Joel Russ, an emigrant from a Yiddish village in now Southern Poland, opened a shop in 1914 selling various products including salt cured herring and salmon. After a couple of moves and name changes, Russ & Daughters as we know it today is established. 

To this day, there is still a Russ (well, a few actually) working at Russ & Daughters, keeping the family legacy alive and well! 

Oh hey there! Sitting just behind the display glass is one of my favourite fishes, SALMON!!! It’s calling to me!

Besides specializing in smoked/cured fish, they’ve also got a nice variety of cream cheese and bagels! Yep, that's right--CAVIAR cream cheese. Now that "herb cream cheese" stuff you see at the grocery store ain't that fancy anymore ain't it?

Other canned goods line the shelves. And there are barrels of what looked to be pickled products. Pickles, eggs…etc? (sorry, I didn’t step in for a closer look).

And to make everything that much fancier, caviar. As if their cured fish isn’t going to be great enough! 

PLUMP roe. Imagine it slathered on your bagel! Then you bite into it and these bright bursts of roe pop in your mouth. If only I had enough dough to drop on a bagel like that…

The dranks section. (I meant to type “dranks”…Imagine me saying with a super heavy twang haha). Draaannnnnks. Anyways, Darian picked up the Beet & Lemon Shrub ($3.25) as it sounded the most peculiar of the bunch. 

As for myself, as soon as my eyes landed on the words “Black Cherry”, my hand shot out to grab a can. Only $1! :D (yes, it tastes just like the Cotts cherry soda from Schwartz).

We walk over to a bench on Bowery and Houston to enjoy our “spoils” (not sure if you can consider 2 bagels between 3 people "spoils"). There is a bench just outside of Russ & Daughters but the sidewalk is forever busy and there were people sitting there already. 

Pastrami Russ ($10.75) – pastrami-cured salmon w/ sauerkraut and mustard
We got this solely because we knew we wouldn’t be able to make it to Katz during the trip…we were kinda trying to pay tribute to that. Don’t laugh! It’s meant to be an ode to a regular pastrami sandwich anyways!

It tasted pretty good, but the mustard and the pastrami-cure were a bit too overpowering. Salmon has quite a robust flavour but it couldn’t hold up to it all. 

Classic ($10.75) – bagel + cream cheese + smoked salmon
We also added some capers because capers are perfect with salmon and cream cheese. :D I LOVED this bagel sandwich!! If we didn’t have a full day of eating ahead of us (I’m talking 5 more places that day), I would’ve had an entire one to myself. 

I’m drooling just remembering the freshness and the taste of that gravlax. Everything marries together so well. FYI, you get to choose both the type of smoked salmon and cream cheese. I think if the bagel had been toasted, I’d be even more in love with the sandwich. Next time! ;)

Verdict: There’s a reason why Russ & Daughters is now a protected historical site. Their 98 years in business isn’t by luck, the products they make are top-quality and they’re so good at what they do! I’m dreaming of coming back for the bagel & lox…


5 out of 5 NOMs
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