Perhaps it was the excitement, but after a 23-hour flight not including transit and on-ground traveling time, I only got to bed in the New York apartment after unpacking at 12 plus am, but woke up at six!
First breakfast destination in New York? Russ & Daughters. Like many a famous Jewish establishments in NY, this has been around for a bit, specialising in appetizers like smoked fish, fruits and nuts, caviars, etc. A bagel with lox (smoked salmon) is a must-try. Made my way there by 7.30am and there were already a few people waiting outside.
As the time nears 8am when the shop opens, a small crowd has already formed, braving the -3'C cold.
So here I was, being a gentleman and all letting others through the door first and I ended up getting a number 107. It started at number 94. I figured it mustn't be too bad - that's like what, 12 persons in front of me?
After one and a half hours, I really wished I wasn't Mr. Nice Guy.
So why did it take them so long to serve each customer? You see, the people standing in line are all rich buggars really (with the exception of me, of course).
They're all buying caviar at $400 per 50 grams. Either that or smoked trout/salmon at the price of $36/lb.
So they actually try a slice of salmon, and stand there and mull over it, ask to taste another. They ask to have some caviar, and chat with the staff (who are very obliging), asking them whether they will need more stuff for a party of five, six or one. And then they ask, "Oh, when else would you suggest to have with these? Do you think 50 gram of the caviar is enough? Should I get more?" I'm not exaggerating - this douchebag Asian dude beside me did just that and took a whole half an hour to finish his order.
Anyway, at last when my turn came, I ordered my measly bagel with lox. As they're splitting it in half, spreading some of their awesome cream cheese, and slicing some smoked salmon into it, this cute lady beside me who's with her hubby/partner smiled as she asked me, "You went through all this for a bagel?"
"Yep, a whole hour and a half."
"Oh my gosh," she laughed. "Well, it's worth it, trust me."
"I sure hope so!" I said Merry Christmas to them and left the store. Oh, I didn't mention that it's just a deli, not a cafe, so there's no place to sit?
So after waiting for one and a half hour for a bagel, I had to eat it outside. In freezing temperature.
She's right though, it WAS worth it. Cause I actually went back for another one on my last day in NY. And it'd still be the first breakfast I'd eat if I ever visit NY again.