The History of Bagels and Lox

Table with assortment of bagels

Like pasta, guacamole and other menu favorites with immigrant origins, bagels with cream cheese and lox have become part of American culinary culture. Although bagels and lox have Jewish roots, it’s no longer unusual to see red and green bagels for Christmas and green ones on St. Patrick’s Day!

No one knows for sure who created the winning trifecta of a bagel, cream cheese, and lox, but we know the components came to America with Eastern European Jews in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The connection is apparent in the Yiddish word laks which means salmon, the Polish word bajgiel and the luscious layer of cream cheese known as a schmear. Bagels are distinguished from other rolls by their ring shape and the process of boiling them in water before baking them, resulting in a crisp exterior and chewy inside.

Beyond its Jewish-American connection, the history of lox also has strong links to Scandinavia, where, in the days before refrigeration, fishermen mastered the art of preserving salmon in a saltwater brine. Today the Scandinavian version is called gravlax. Scotts, on the other hand, are known for their distinctly smoked version, simply called Scottish salmon. No matter what it’s called, traditional lox is thinly sliced salmon fillet cured in a salty brine.

That’s not the end of the story. Because lox cured in salty brine has a strong, salty taste, today it is usually cured with a lighter salt and then smoked, creating the milder “Nova” that’s so popular in New York-style delis like TooJay’s.

With its silky texture and pleasing flavor, Nova salmon is a versatile addition to many delicious dishes, such as TooJay’s popular Nova Latkes starter, a plate of three crispy mini potato pancakes topped with sliced Nova and sour cream and finished with arugula, diced red onion and capers.

For breakfast and brunch, TooJay’s Nova Salmon Benedict puts a flavorful spin on a classic, combining the flavors of Nova salmon, tomato, red onions and capers, topped with hollandaise sauce. If you prefer a more traditional breakfast, there’s the always popular Nova, Eggs & Onions Omelet. For catering at home or in the office, TooJay’s Nova platters with all the fixings and a selection of bagels is a crowd-pleasing top-seller.

And now a nondenominational joke to conclude the story of bagels:

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a religious school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large tray of bagels. The teacher posted a sign on the bagel tray: “Take only one. God is watching.”

Further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a plate of chocolate chip cookies. One child whispered to another, “Take all you want. God is watching the bagels.”

Share:

Dinner Solutions for Time-Starved Families

TooJay's Kids Meal

Once upon a time, families came home from school and work to find the table set and dinner ready. Today, that scenario is a distant memory for most busy families. With two-income families working long hours and children busy with after-school activities, it’s no wonder that most Americans order some sort of takeout once a week or more, according to industry research. Time-starved guests of all ages are looking for convenient ways to ease the stress of mealtime.

Millennials, about 80 million strong and the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, have had a lot to say about how to win the hearts of young families. About half of these 20- and 30-somethings already are parents, according to demographic research. What’s most important to these parents when choosing a casual dining restaurant? It needs to be kid-friendly, offer healthy options on the kid’s menu and make takeout easy and convenient.  

Online Ordering Made Easy

TooJay’s is on it! You can view our menu and place an order for convenient pickup on our website or mobile app for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Most locations also partner with a delivery service and the links can be found right on the website. Be sure to join the “Delicious Rewards” program on TooJay’s mobile app, available for iOS and Android. You’ll get a free dessert for signing up and then you can seamlessly order, earn and redeem points right inside the app.

Kid’s Menu and Family Appeal

TooJay’s menu selection can’t be beat, with lots of items to make both kids and parents happy. For the under-12 crowd, our Kid’s Menu offers Chicken Salad Chop Chop atop fresh greens and garden vegetables, a Jr. Tuna Melt with tomato and melted Muenster, as well as hamburgers, mac & cheese and other kid favorites. All lunch and dinner selections come with a choice of two sides, including fresh fruits and vegetables. The kid’s breakfast menu, served Monday – Friday from 8:00 until 11:00 a.m., offers healthy options to start the day, such as French toast, eggs, waffles and fresh fruits.
It’s hard to imagine anyone in the family not finding something they love on our menu! When it comes to homemade comfort food, made-from-scratch soups, salads, deli favorites and desserts, TooJay’s as it all. Start with our healthy Tomato Cucumber Salad or opt for our hearty, award-winning Nova Latkes mini potato pancakes. Our soups are second-to-none, whether you crave traditional matzoh ball soup or the soup of the day. Our Strawberry Citrus Salad is always a favorite, as is our Trio Salad Plater. We have classic American burgers, the unique Pastrami Burger, a variety of chicken dishes and choices to delight everyone in the family, no matter what they’re in the mood to eat.
If there’s room for dessert, you can opt for a little bite of something sweet with our Mini Black & White cookies or go all the way with a sumptuous cake from our famous bakery.
With convenient on-line ordering for pickup and a menu that makes both kids and parents happy, TooJay’s is making life easier for hard-working families throughout Florida.

Share:

Fresh Spin on Breakfast Favorites

Avocado BLT

While the hearty All-American breakfast will never go out of style, many breakfast lovers are craving new variations to the morning mainstays they love. From indulgent comfort foods to vege-centric options, new twists on traditional breakfasts have elevated the status of the morning meal.

If you’re a happy breakfast purist, don’t despair. TooJay’s amazing menu will always have the traditional choices to jump-start your day. But if you’d like to indulge in something new, TooJay’s also puts a contemporary spin on popular morning fare.

A happy bonus of this breakfast trend is that brunch is more popular than ever before. Rather than an early morning grab-and-go, friends are getting together for leisurely mid-morning meals and sometimes even springing for a Mimosa on the side.

Here are three creative, new breakfast choices on TooJay’s spectacular breakfast menu:

The Picture-Perfect Avocado

It’s love at first bite! Avocado tops the list of popular breakfast options, likely because there are so many colorful ways to jazz up this creamy, nutritious fruit packed with vitamins and minerals. TooJay’s offers the Avocado Breakfast BLT (crunchy grilled wheat bread, lemon garlic aioli, Swiss cheese, arugula, bacon and avocado topped with two over medium eggs); and the Egg, Avocado, Spinach and Swiss, served on your choice of bread. It’s no wonder that adding avocado is a breakfast sensation!

A Dash of Decadence with Signature Benedicts

Eggs are the most versatile source of high-quality protein, iron, vitamins and minerals to energize your day. Some people like them scrambled or fried and others prefer them as savory omelets, but Eggs Benedict takes the incredible egg to new heights. TooJay’s offers three luscious Benedict choices, each with two poached eggs on crispy grilled rye bread, topped with Hollandaise sauce and chopped scallions: The Deli Benedict (melted Swiss cheese, tomato and pastrami or corned beef); TooJay’s Benedict (smoked ham and tomato); and the Nova Salmon Benedict (smoked salmon, tomato, red onion and capers). The Benedict’s rich combination of ingredients may be decadent, but it surely is tasty!

Classic Southern Comfort 

Craving comfort food? Nothing says comfort like Southern food! Southern-style Chicken & Waffles is a great way to add country flavors to your morning meal. TooJay’s version of the down-home specialty features a Belgian waffle topped with crunchy chicken tenders, served with breakfast syrup and Buffalo hot sauce on the side for breakfast and brunch. TooJay’s popular Waffle Sliders also hit the spot with a freshly baked half Belgian Waffle, scrambled eggs, American cheese and your choice of smokehouse bacon or country-style sausage, served with syrup for dipping and delicious home fries. Make either of these waffle dishes extra-special with a full split of Freixenet bubbly served with a carafe of Florida orange juice.

Who would have thought that the most important meal of the day could be elevated to such tempting new heights!

Share:

Our delicious Passover feast featured with Johanna and Jen on NBC’s 6 in the Mix

TooJay’s Rachel Richal showcases our delicious Passover feast with Johanna and Jen on NBC’s 6 in the Mix . Click here to watch her demonstrate the perfect recipe for Matzo Ball Soup!

Share:

Sun Sentinel welcomes TooJay’s to Fort Lauderdale, May 4th!

“Longtime New York-style chain TooJay’s Deli is bringing its hearty pastrami on rye and matzo ball soup to Fort Lauderdale on May 4 – and one more location is on the way”…click here to read the full article

Share:

Naples TooJay’s receives glowing review in Gulfshore Life

Gulfshore Life’s Dorothea Hunter Sonne reviewed our newest location in Naples “The matzo balls, flecked with parsley (a touch I personally loved), are petite and fluffy and in a broth loaded with carrots, celery and onions. The burgers are thick and juicy, and my Reuben….” click here to enjoy the full article.

Share:

TooJay’s Shaun Gibson serves up corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day

Share:

TooJay’s Awarded First Place in “Best Sandwich Shop” and “Best Dessert” in Palm Beach County

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (February 28, 2019) – TooJay’s Deli, the restaurant known for its generous servings of homemade New York-deli favorites, has won the top prize in the Best Sandwich Shop and Best Dessert categories from ThePalm Beach Post’s  “2019 Best of Palm Beach County.” “We are honored to be recognized as Best Sandwich Shop and Best Dessert in Palm Beach County,” said Maxwell Piet, TooJay’s president and CEO. “Our roots are here in Palm Beach and we take great pride in serving our made-from-scratch entrées and desserts each day. We couldn’t have the longevity and great accolades without the support of our guests and our amazing team members.” These awards are the latest recognition for Florida’s favorite New York-style deli. TooJay’s received the 2018 Best of the Menu Tracker for its Nova Latkes from Nation’s Restaurant News, the 2018 Restaurant Neighbor Award as a State Winner from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation for its work with Feeding Florida, the 2018 and 2017 Dining Award for Best Deli from Orlando Magazine and two 2017 Foodie Awards for Best Deli and Best Take-Out from the Orlando Sentinel.

Share:

TooJay’s awards Pastrami for a Year in Delicious Deli Giveaways promotion

We love Pastrami! We’re in the middle of a month-long celebration here at TooJay’s with our Delicious Deli Giveaways. Director of Training Rachel Richal, CHT went on air today with WPTV Newschannel 5 to share how you can win pastrami for a year along with hundreds of other weekly prizes.

Share:

TooJay’s Nova Latkes recognized by Nation’s Restaurant News

TooJay's Nova Latkes image

Nation’s Restaurant News highlighed the menu update from each week’s Menu Tracker column that was the most striking, newsworthy or trend-forward.

Nova Latkes: Fried miniature potato pancakes topped with sliced smoked salmon sour cream, arugula, diced red onion and capers, $7.59.

Availability: Permanent.

Order yours today!

Share:
Page 2 of 5