Monthly Feature, By Jarred Kibbey
Each month, Jarred highlights one of his favorite dishes from around Little Rock.
There are few dishes that I have found in Little Rock that I can place on a list for “best sandwich,” “best breakfast item,” and “best lunch* item,” but the lox bialy at Boulevard Bread Company is firmly on each of those lists for me.
Lox isn’t something I ran across growing up in rural Arkansas. To be honest, I didn’t even know what lox was for the longest time. Once I found out, the idea of eating fish for breakfast wasn’t something that sounded appetizing – or even a good idea. Where I grew up, there was only one way to prepare fish, deep fried with a cornmeal batter. So I avoided it as long as I could.
When I finally tried lox, it was at Boulevard Bread. I was instantly hooked and had to order another one the next day. The cured salmon goes so well with the chewy onion bialy, briny capers, sliced red onions, cream cheese, mixed greens, and tomato. I am not sure what it is about this specific sandwich, but I have ordered similar dishes at other places and nothing comes close.
I have tried other variations of the sandwich at Boulevard when they were out of the onion bialy. I have tried it on a cheese bialy, but it isn’t the same. It needs the sharpness of the onion cooked in to the bialy. I have tried it on the multigrain bread, and it doesn’t hold up as well as the bialy. I have a friend who swears by subbing the cream cheese for goat cheese, it takes it to a whole other level. I want to try it, but I just can’t bring myself to mess with something I love so much.
I crave this sandwich and come to Boulevard specifically for it. Boulevard has a wonderful, creative brunch menu and I have tried many of the dishes. I say “tried” and not “ordered” because I always bum a bite off someone else at the table, because I am always going to order the lox bialy. Ordering the same dish every time is something I really try to avoid, but I just can’t help it when it comes to this sandwich.
*Note: lox bialy is only served until noon. I was severely disappointed when I tried to order one for a late lunch and subsequently threw a temper tantrum when I got back to the car.