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Chasing down Cynthia Nixon's infamous bagel order on Long Island

A bagel prepared to the specs of Democratic

A bagel prepared to the specs of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon: Lox, cream cheese, capers, tomato, and red onion on a cinnamon raisin bagel. Photo Credit: Newsday/Corin Hirsch

Like most people, I winced a little when I first heard about gubernatorial challenger Cynthia Nixon’s now infamous bagel order: lox, cream cheese, capers, red onions and tomatoes on a …. cinnamon raisin bagel? I try to keep an open mind about other people’s food preferences (the exception: well-done steak) but this just sounded wrong.

Turns out, it’s not as easy as you might think to get this combo in Suffolk County. I had to drop in on three bagelries before finding a place that had capers — and finally scored some at the always-busy First Class Bagel Café in East Northport.

The counter guy maintained his best poker face as I placed the order. (It made me think he’s fielded much worse). Then, it took a good 10 minutes to put one together.

I carted the brick of a sandwich to an outside table to examine its innards in natural light (and snap a photo). The café was generous with the lox, and the layering was smart. Even so, I really didn’t want to take a bite of the thing. 

I had to, though. More than one. I mostly tasted briny lox, and cream cheese, with little hits of sour and pungent crunch from the onions. Rather than smothering the entire thing in sweetness, though, the cinnamon-raisin bagel served as a sort of low-grade, exotic hum in the background. A sweeter bagel may have ruined it, but First Class’s version is subtle — and the cinnamon even added a pleasing warmth, much the way a cinnamon stick does in a Greek-style tomato sauce.

The naysayers should take a step back — this is just a quirky sandwich, albeit one that messes with long-held precepts about bagels and lox. Can it give you a bit of insight into Cynthia Nixon, and how she thinks, before Thursday’s primary? I think it might — but that's for you to decide.

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