Friday, August 14, 2009

Russ & Daughters Delivers...Well, Almost

Many of my friends, all of my family and even those who don't know me, from Significant Eater on down, know how much I love Russ & Daughters. I've touted it on sites such as eGullet, where I volunteer as a host. I recommend it to people coming to the city when they ask where they might get the best appetizing (or bagel and lox) in Manhattan - because it really is the best (try the white fish salad, if you don't believe me). Over the years, I've sent Russ & Daughters gift boxes across the country to friends, and down to family members in Florida. SE and I have taken it to family get togethers - and serve it at home on those (rare) occasions when we have people over for breakfast...or, heaven forbid, brunch (my least favorite meal - why does it even exist?).

I digress. The other morning, we happened to have a friend here who had spent the night - same dude we sent Russ & Daughters to in California, by the way, when he and his wife had their first kid. So I figured, lets have appetizing...check out the wiki, and note the picture within their definition. Only, for the first time ever, I didn't feel like walking up to Houston Street and back - a slight hangover will do that to me - so I picked up the phone and called to see if they deliver...they certainly do, only not to my building!

Now, you gotta understand, if you look at their website , there's a fairly defined map. Our address in not technically on the map, but it's closer than a good percentage of the delivery area that is - including 2 of the 4 buildings in our co-op! We live in Seward Park Housing, one of the giant co-ops along Grand St., where 2 of the 4 buildings have addresses on Grand (within the delivery area, btw), but the other 2 (ours included) have addresses on East Broadway, which is evidently not. However, our front door can be entered from Clinton St., as can our sister building across the street - the one with the Grand St. address - only we're a block closer to the store. Still, no delivery...well, there is a delivery, but it'll cost you $13.50 please, to travel less far and take less time. The same amount they charge you to schlep up to 85th street on the upper west side. Makes no sense.

The best and most direct route to our building is .8 miles walking, according to Google. Every far-flung corner of their delivery map is .8 miles - well, except Broadway/Grand, which is actually further, at .9 miles. Take a look at this map, and the route to our building, to see why I gripe:

View Larger Map

Now, this morning, Russ & Daughters was kind enough to grant me clemency. Well, not really. I had to go out and meet the delivery guy on the corner of Grand and Clinton. Sorta like that Seinfeld episode where the Chinese delivery guy wouldn't cross 86th street to deliver Elaine's order and she has to adopt a janitor's closet on the other side of the street. Oy vey. I'm actually thinking of talk to my dry cleaners, with his address on Grand St.

Anyway, our co-op has 1,728 apartments. Yes, 1,728 apartments...and by not delivering to 50% of our co-op, Russ is basically saying we don't want those 850 or so apartments as customers. Lots of Jewish peeps too - I'm one, as is Significant Eater.

And even though the lox and gaspe and whitefish salad and herring and mini-bagels (which are the only ones I buy, cause the big bagels suck) and cream cheese were all as delicious as ever, I can't help thinking that founding patriarch Joel Russ would be giving his mishpucha a slap upside the head while saying "What's the matter? Another 10 yards is too far for you to walk? And what, you don't want another potential 800 customers? Mishugah."


  1. So if I have another kid will you send me some Russ and daughters. Might be worth it.

  2. Porca miseria!! You'll go to the gym, but you won't walk for a bagle?? Mishugah indeed.
    God, I would kill for a bagel right about now....

  3. Judith - You can probably bake better bagels than most of what's available here in NYC!

  4. Maybe we should start a petition for Russ & Daughters just like for the post office. haha.

    You don't like New York bagels?

  5. @ tpdteatro...oh, of course I do, but they're not what they once were. Too big, too soft and too sweet, imo. But, the minis at Russ are acceptable, and there are a few other places that make a decent bagel.