I read Mimi Sheraton's book on bialys when it came out a couple of years ago, but I lived out west. I finally made it to Manhatten yesterday and made a pilgrimage to Kossar's and to Sullivan Street Bakery. We bought a small bag of bialys at 12:30 in the afternoon. The one I ate had no onion in the center, although the others did. The crust was okay, but the crumb really disappointing. It was dense (which i expected) but stark white and devoid of any real flavor. Was it made with bleached flour? Was it overmixed? Even the onion bagel at Einstein Brothers in Strongsville, Ohio, has more character as bread goes. Did I get a bad batch. This thing reminded me of the crumb of a bad baguette in Paris twenty years ago.
On the other hand, Jim's Lahey's Sullivan Street bakery was worth the trip. I especially loved the pizza with potatoes. I haven't had one as good since I left Rome decades ago.