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12 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Where can I find the best Bialys in the DC area?

(Asking for a friend. ;))

I’d like to know too.  Per some extended family lore I’d suggest Kossars although it is in the far outer suburbs of DC.

In the last few years I’ve learned the following from some of my dad’s surviving younger cousins with some perspective.

Estmated at around 100 years ago my paternal grandfather, one brother, and his brother-in-law opened a small business on Grand Street, lower East Side,  about 5 blocks from where Kossars is currently located.  The three of them were immigrants from Bialystok along with many other relatives.  The store grew somewhat and initially everyone who worked there was a relative and native Bialystoker.   Family lore states my grandmother ( a Bialystoker) was the best family baker and made a great original styled bialy.  My dad’s younger cousins have acknowledged that about my paternal grandmother.  They have also said  that in discussion with their elders Kossars was the real and original deal and to the extent they use original recipes that would be my suggestion.   My father and uncle who had more of my grandmother’s bialys than any of their cousins spoke well of Kossars although that long ago nobody kvelled about a bakery as people do today

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Best bialys? How about any bialys? Wegmans to their credit often has bialys in the bagel section, but to their eternal shame they are usually something like "Jalapeno cheddar" or "asiago." So F those.

Speaking of Kossars, their bialys are certainly good enough (and convenient if you're already over there getting donuts at DP), but if you find yourself in Russ & Daughters on Houston St, their bialys are excellent so you can skip one stop if you're in R&D for fish.

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Bullfrog Bagels has them. I haven't had a bialy from there in a while but recall them being good.

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No, no, no, no & no!  Kossar's is only a name with a history and isn't the same place.  It's like remembering Nathan's hot dogs.  The bialys are nothing like they were and, if your friend is asking for the best ones, s/he will probably not like the result.  Unless, of course, there is a complete bialy wilderness out there and any bialy in a storm will do.

eta: I just looked at the linked website.  Its from 2015, I think before the latest sale of the place.  However, even then Ginny & I didn't like them any longer.

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5 minutes ago, Steve R. said:

No, no, no, no & no!  Kossar's is only a name with a history and isn't the same place.  It's like remembering Nathan's hot dogs.  The bialys are nothing like they were and, if your friend is asking for the best ones, s/he will probably not like the result.  Unless, of course, there is a complete bialy wilderness out there and any bialy in a storm will do.

eta: I just looked at the linked website.  Its from 2015, I think before the latest sale of the place.  However, even then Ginny & I didn't like them any longer.

Oh my.  So you are saying the current recipe is not the original.   Oh my oh my.   Devastating!!  I am at a loss.   As a New Yorker what do you suggest???   (As a local I was disappointed in the BreadFurst bialy w/ a crusty exterior more like a bagel). 

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Here is a Look Around the Revamped Kossar's Bialys, by Nick Solares, February 3, 2016, on ny.eater.com.

Quote

The legendary bakery was purchased by current owners Evan Giniger and David Zablocki two years ago, and they have completely overhauled the plumbing and electrical system, remodeled the store, and bolstered the menu.

Mimi Sheraton Tries Kossar's Bialys Post-Renovation, by Robert Sietsema  February 7, 2016, on ny.eater.com.

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55 minutes ago, dcs said:

Here is a Look Around the Revamped Kossar's Bialys, by Nick Solares, February 3, 2016, on ny.eater.com.

Mimi Sheraton Tries Kossar's Bialys Post-Renovation, by Robert Sietsema  February 7, 2016, on ny.eater.com.

We grew up eating onion pletzel in RI, where we also had the best rye bread, known as sissel bread (The story I heard was that the Jewish bakers in RI all came from the same town, so they all had this amazing rye bread recipe). There's still one bakery left in RY that makes sissel bread, Rainbow Bakery in Cranston. Heidelberg Bakery in Arlington makes some pretty decent rye breads, and come to think of it, they may even have bialys too. I like that place.

Our alternative name for onion pletzel was not onion disc, because ours were not round, but onion board. There used to be an old-time bakery down in Boca (where the bagels are terrible; my theory is they are soft so the average customer down there can chew them) called Flakowitz that made amazing, huge onion boards, but it's gone to the great bakery boneyard in the sky.

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27 minutes ago, Mark Dedrick said:

Bullfrog Bagels has them, at least at the H Street location. 

They have them at both locations. Also available via Doordash.

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I want to say I saw some once at The Bagelry in Silver Spring, and perhaps at Chutzpah in Fairfax, but it's been a while since I've been to either place.

And now I'm waiting to see the results of this thread because I want some bialys!

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12 hours ago, TheMatt said:

And now I'm waiting to see the results of this thread because I want some bialys!

add me to that list as well, and what about knishes? I am still in search of a proper knish outside of Manhattan. 

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Bagel City in Rockville had them as did the Bagel store in Traville but take it with a grain of salt as I haven't been to either in several years.

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On 10/15/2018 at 10:44 PM, DonRocks said:

Where can I find the best Bialys in the DC area?

(Asking for a friend. ;))

Go to NY and get them from Kossar's, then drive back here.  They will also ship them.  If you go there, in eyesight is the Pickle Guys.  Before you turn around and head back get smoked fish at Russ and Daughters.  

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13 minutes ago, pras said:

Go to NY and get them from Kossar's, then drive back here.  They will also ship them.  If you go there, in eyesight is the Pickle Guys.  Before you turn around and head back get smoked fish at Russ and Daughters.  

Pickle Guys is great! And of course Economy Candy around the block.

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On 10/16/2018 at 11:35 AM, Mark Dedrick said:

Bullfrog Bagels has them, at least at the H Street location. 

I haven't had a bialy in a while.  I was curious about this and went by in the morning

Bleh.  Little undersized disks.  They are an afterthought.  I asked for two, one with a spread and one  to take out to try on its own.  I got one w/ a spread.  It was shmeared all over the indentation and the cream cheese lox spread killed any flavor from whatever was in the indentation. 

I was more curious in a general sense.  Overall it seems to me nobody searches for bialys.   I searched for it on google using some "google"analytical tricks.  What it comes down to is nobody looks for bialys to any extent outside of NY.  I'll head over to Heidelburg in the next couple of days.  Actually very good bakery--I hardly stop by there anymore.

 

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1 hour ago, DaveO said:

  I'll head over to Heidelburg in the next couple of days.  Actually very good bakery--I hardly stop by there anymore.

Hamantaschen year round! And marzipan -- lots of marzipan actually. Good samples too. 

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On 10/16/2018 at 10:50 AM, DaveO said:

(As a local I was disappointed in the BreadFurst bialy w/ a crusty exterior more like a bagel). 

A few weeks ago, my wife got an bialy at BreadFurst and was so disappointed too. It was so hard it was like a hockey puck of a cracker and once you got to the onion center it had barely any flavor. I love BreadFurst but a few of their items just stink. Luckily most of the stuff is excellent - bakery and non-bakery items.

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10 hours ago, curiouskitkatt said:

add me to that list as well, and what about knishes? I am still in search of a proper knish outside of Manhattan. 

DC really doesn't have good knishes. For that matter neither do most places in Manhattan - most there are reheated gabilla fried ones (dreck compared to baked ones IMHO) or poorly made old ones. The best fresh knish in DC are made at home. I'd recommend the Smitten Kitchen recipe available online. I've been using it for years with a bunch of different fillings but mostly long cooked onions and yellow potatoes like Yukon golds (I like them better than russets). Topped with a little Ba-Tampte mustard.  

Knishes.jpg.6bdada6944b0f6deab62ccc447705e46.jpg

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