4/10/2012 11:15:00 AM

Is It Worth It? A $20.75 Bagel from Russ & Daughters

There are few things more New York than a bagel and a schmear, and there’s arguably nowhere better to fulfill your craving than Lower East Side institution Russ & Daughters, a family-run shop that’s been doling out Jewish delicacies since 1914. It’s best known for its high-quality smoked fish, so we set out to taste the highest of high-end noshes – the more than $20 meshugge sandwich.

The Dish: Your choice of bagel (we chose whole wheat everything) and cream cheese (we went plain) gets topped by sturgeon, sable and salmon. Being acquainted with lox only, we had significant trepidation going into the first bite, but oy, was it good. The fish tasted incredibly fresh – full of salty flavor without being fishy. We’re not exactly sure which was sable and which was sturgeon (both are white), but both imparted a distinct taste, seemingly nutty and buttery at once and when combined with the lox (about the best we’ve had) and tangy cream cheese was basically umami heaven.

Why the Price?: The quality ingredients and perhaps the name too? Plus, the people who work there are skilled (the fish for our sandwich was expertly sliced in front of us and it took quite a while to make), and you’re paying for that too.

Is It Worth It?: We-ell. The name of the sandwich – meshugge – means crazy, so either the person spending this much on a sandwich is crazy or the decadent combo is crazy. Either way, there’s some serious cray cray going on.

That said, it was without a doubt the best smoked fish we’ve ever had and the unsung bagel was pretty darn good too, but $20 + for a sandwich stretches the bounds of acceptable (and uh, sane) to us. So, we would definitely go back, but until we’re a macher, we’ll stick with the simpler, less costly bagel and lox.

More: Is it Worth It? A $37 Salad at Bergdorf Goodman


  1. The horseradish cream cheese is best with the smoked fish. Gives the whole thing bite. Never tried the meshuggeh but I'd be willing to spend a few shekkels for a bite.

  2. 20 bucks?? Did they say how many people actually order this sandwich? Looks damn good though...