(credit: JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Lox, the Yiddish word for salmon, has come into more popular use these days and is sometimes used interchangeably with smoked salmon, although the two are not the same. Salt-cured Scandinavian lox, or sugar-cured Nova Scotia lox, are traditionally eaten on a bagel, usually with cream cheese. And the best bagels and lox are not just for New Yorkers anymore; the West Coast is home to delicious lox and great bagels too. Here are five spots to get your “lox fix” on the Peninsula.
254 Redwood Shore Parkway
Redwood City, CA 94065
Bagel Street Café, a family-owned business, first opened in the Bay Area in the 1990s. It has now grown to 21 locations around the area, so it is a true local success story. The Redwood City location, as at all Bagel Street Cafes, prepares and bakes its bagels throughout the day so you know you are getting the freshest bagels around. With an extensive menu serving all the good stuff for breakfast and lunch, the quintessential bagel and lox is here to please diners looking for the real thing. Select either the bagel with Nova sliced lox ($6.50) or keep it simple with a bagel with lox schmear ($2.95).
477 S. California Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
In 1996, Izzy brought his love for the Brooklyn bagels he grew up with to Palo Alto, California. His dream of recreating a family recipe that did justice to his fond bagel memories was finally realized when he opened his namesake bagel shop, Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels. Made the traditional boil-then-bake way, Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels are perfect companions to the multitude of ingredients, spreads and salads at Izzy’s, including the Gourmet Wild Lox. Customers can purchase this popular delicacy in a number of ways: on a bagel sandwich piled with lox trimmings ($4.95), by weight or order the “Gourmet Lox Platter” ($64.95) that serves eight to 12 persons and includes tomato and cucumber slices, red onion, classic cream cheese and capers and lemon slices for garnish.
260 Lorton Ave.
Burlingame, CA 94010
Bay Area Bagels offers bagels made the traditional way, first boiled and then baked to a golden-brown. All deli sandwiches are offered on bread or one of the shop’s 24 varieties of bagels. Sandwiches on bagels promise an almost infinite number of meal options with egg, meat, fish, poultry and vegetarian selections. Of course, bagel-friendly lox is here too, and the lox sandwich is stuffed with lox and cream cheese, sliced red onion and cucumbers. If you are having a party or just eating with hungry family or friends, then go for the Lox Party Tray to satisfy everyone’s lox craving. Contact the store for prices.
1250 Old Bayshore Highway
Burlingame, CA 94010
Max’s Restaurant and Bar features American comfort food, large portions and award-winning desserts. With plenty of menu selections for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, Max’s definitely has something for everyone. Max’s Burlingame serves breakfast on weekends only, with bottomless mimosas. Breakfast is when Max’s offers NY Nova Lox and Bagel ($15.99), with cream cheese, Swiss, tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives and a hard-boiled egg.
605 Laurel St.
San Carlos, CA 94070
Conveniently located in downtown San Carlos, the bagels here “are 5 star,” according to several reviewers. This is a popular breakfast and lunch spot for delicious and inexpensive bagels and sandwiches. With a whole slew of bagel choices, including healthier types such as rye, pumpernickel and whole wheat, to somebody’s favorites like chocolate chip, jalapeno and blueberry. Premium bagels ($1) feature cinnamon sugar and a variety of cheese flavors like asiago or cheddar and jack. Any bagel you choose will be even tastier with lox cream cheese spread ($2.65), or as a lox bagel ($6.50) with cream cheese, cucumber, tomato and sprouts. The shop has no website, so wander in to read menu options colorfully chalked on the menu boards.
Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.