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  #1  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:34 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is online now
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Buttered roll-- a New York thing?

A co-worker of mine is from California and, until today, she did not know what a buttered roll was. Not a dinner roll with butter on it but a big, soft in the inside, chewy on the outside roll. Usually eaten in the morning with a cup of coffee. Regular*. Another co-worker confirmed that when she was in Georgia she asked for a buttered roll and they looked at her as if she told them she was sticking them up.

So now the question. Do you know what I'm talking about? Where are you from?




*a regular coffee has milk and sugar in it. This, I've learned, is a New York thing. I'm still not convinced a buttered roll is, though. Like my co-worker said to the guy in Georgia, "A roll with fucking butter on it!"
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  #2  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:36 AM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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I lived in NYC for three years and didn't know about this "buttered roll" you speak of. Nor did I know that "regular" coffee had milk and sugar in it.
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:39 AM
Leaffan Leaffan is online now
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You eat buttered rolls for breakfast? Never heard of it. Ontarian.


Next you'll be telling me you had buttered scones for tea.
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  #4  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:40 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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I'm in the midwest (Wisconsin) if someone asked me for a buttered roll, I'd be curious as to why they can't put butter on their own roll. Come to think of it though, I've heard of a Better Butter Roll, but that's just a roll (like a hamburger bun) that has a lot of butter in it. I don't think that's the same thing though. It's not something you'd eat alone.
As for a regular coffee (it should be known that I'm not a coffee drinker), I would have assumed that a regular coffee was black.
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:41 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is online now
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Maybe the rest of the country doesn't eat kaiser rolls with butter on it.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:42 AM
Ellen Cherry Ellen Cherry is offline
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Does this buttered roll have actual butter in it? Or is the consistency something that is being described as "buttered." And is this a yeast roll? I confess that I don't get it at all.

Talk biscuits and I'm on firmer footing, so to speak.
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:43 AM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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Quote:
...a big, soft in the inside, chewy on the outside roll. Usually eaten in the morning with a cup of coffee.
That sounds like some sort of danish, bear claw or perhaps an apple fritter. Hard to tell without a picture or a better description of the flavor. As for butter roll, I would assume it's a dinner roll served with a pat of butter on the side.
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  #8  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:46 AM
silenus silenus is online now
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Never heard of the phrase. Although you did get the coffee right.
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:46 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is online now
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A buttered roll. Literally a roll with butter on it.
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  #10  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:49 AM
Rhiannon8404 Rhiannon8404 is offline
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I'm not familiar with the term "buttered roll". On just reading the thread title, I thought you mean a dinner roll with butter on it.
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  #11  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:50 AM
Alan Smithee Alan Smithee is offline
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I'm still not sure what you mean by a roll but not a dinner roll. There are cinnamon rolls and kaiser rolls and crescent rolls, but a plain adjective-less roll always means a dinner roll to me. It would be odd to eat one for breakfast, and you can put your own butter on it. If there's a specific kind of roll that goes by the name "buttered roll" that presumably has butter already in it, I've never heard of it. And if you do mean a kaiser roll like Biggirl suggests, then yes, that would be about as odd as asking for a buttered hamburger bun for breakfast. Kaiser rolls are for sandwiches.
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  #12  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:51 AM
robardin robardin is offline
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A buttered roll is as standard a breakfast as, well, as a bagel with butter. Never thought of it as a NYC thing but maybe it is. It should be obviously less chewy than a bagel. (There's been a distressing convergence of consistency between coffee cart bagels and their bread rolls.) They're sold pre-buttered and wrapped in plastic wrap just like the bagels with butter or cream cheese are pre-slathered. The bagels are cut in half and wrapped, the rolls usually just as a big kaiser roll (uncut).

These are typically coffee cart items only, I don't think I've seen anyone order a buttered roll at a diner or something. That's probably a part of this story - it's an on-the-go food sold to pedestrians from non-permanent, outdoor points of sale. In other words, it could only really exist in a dense urban area where storefront real estate is expensive.

It's also the same reason that a "regular" coffee means milk and sugar. That's how most people take it, and it's easier to be handed a cup from a guy at a cart window that you immediately start drinking instead of something where you have to find somewhere to put the cup down on to add the sugar. Especially in the winter when you're wearing gloves.

I remember the distinct culture clash from about 10-12 years ago when I went into a Starbucks type place to get coffee for the first time, and found that I had to do all the milk, sugar, lidding, etc., adding myself at another station. I was like, "isn't the point of getting coffee to GET MY COFFEE AND WALK AWAY DRINKING IT?"

Last edited by robardin; 10-18-2012 at 11:54 AM..
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:52 AM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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After a bit of poking around I found this.

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3: Plain Buttered Roll - Sometimes, you want to keep it simple. This barely qualifies (some would say it doesn't) as a sandwich, but it certainly qualifies as a delicious start to your day. It's a kaiser roll sliced and buttered. That's it. Every cart in Manhattan sells these for a buck every morning.
So it's a bit more like a baguette than a dinner roll. I was born & raised in the mid-atlantic and I don't think I ever heard the term or saw anybody eating such a think at breakfast.
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  #14  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:52 AM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Originally Posted by Biggirl View Post
*a regular coffee has milk and sugar in it. This, I've learned, is a New York thing. I'm still not convinced a buttered roll is, though. Like my co-worker said to the guy in Georgia, "A roll with fucking butter on it!"
I didn't know what a buttered roll and I live in the Boston area. However, "Coffee- Regular" also means with a normal amount of milk and sugar in it in the Boston area (especially if you order it from Duncan Donuts).
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:54 AM
Seanette Seanette is online now
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I'm a lifelong west coast resident, and hadn't heard of the "street food" definition of the phrase "buttered roll". I'd have thought dinner roll myself.
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  #16  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:56 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is online now
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You can walk in to any 7-11 in the morning and they'll be pre-made on the counter wrapped in plastic wrap right next to the pre-cut and buttered bagels.

I am truely surprised that this is a New York thing.
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  #17  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:57 AM
Rhiannon8404 Rhiannon8404 is offline
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Originally Posted by Shagnasty View Post
I didn't know what a buttered roll and I live in the Boston area. However, "Coffee- Regular" also means with a normal amount of milk and sugar in it in the Boston area (especially if you order it from Duncan Donuts).
This was a shock to me when I ordered "two regular coffees to go" the first time I visited Boston. They put the lids on them and I didn't realize there was milk and sugar until we'd left the shop. Bleah! I learned to be specific. Black coffee, no sugar.
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  #18  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:57 AM
Alan Smithee Alan Smithee is offline
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Originally Posted by Biggirl View Post
It's hard to tell from the picture what size that roll is and what the consistency is. Possibly because the url indicates that it's fake, which explains why it looks vaguely like it made out of foam rubber. It doesn't have the kind of crust that I'd expect on a kaiser roll, nor does it have seeds on it, which makes it look like it could be some kind of sweet roll. But I assume it's meant to be something like a kaiser roll or a sandwich bun, since it says "sandwich roll" in the url. But again, a sandwich roll would be for sandwiches, not something an ordinary non-New Yorker would eat for breakfast. I mean, if I worked in a bakery and you came in for breakfast and said, I'd like one of those sandwich rolls, and I'd like it toasted with butter," I wouldn't think twice, but if you just said "buttered roll" like that was a "thing" I'd ask you what you were talking about.
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  #19  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:01 PM
Alan Smithee Alan Smithee is offline
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Originally Posted by Biggirl View Post
You can walk in to any 7-11 in the morning and they'll be pre-made on the counter wrapped in plastic wrap right next to the pre-cut and buttered bagels.

I am truely surprised that this is a New York thing.
It must be because I've never seen it. I've also never seen (that I can recall) pre-buttered bagels (especially not at a 7-11). Are the bagels toasted? Don't tell me you eat untoasted bagels in New York!
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  #20  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:04 PM
robardin robardin is offline
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It's basically a kaiser roll without seeds, yeah. Same shape, size and consistency minus the seeds.

In fact the picture that goes with the Wikipedia article for kaiser roll is seedless and exactly what I'd expect to be the "buttered roll" in question (with butter, of course), and which is described as "always plain". So it's the seeded variety that's the offshoot.
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  #21  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:07 PM
Sattua Sattua is online now
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I was born in Pittsburgh but have mostly lived in Kansas, Indiana, and Illinois. I have never heard "buttered roll" used to mean anything but a dinner roll with butter on it.
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  #22  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:09 PM
robardin robardin is offline
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Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
It must be because I've never seen it. I've also never seen (that I can recall) pre-buttered bagels (especially not at a 7-11). Are the bagels toasted? Don't tell me you eat untoasted bagels in New York!
Nothing sold pre-wrapped is toasted, of course. That said, my preference for eating a buttered roll is in fact toasted - which I would order that way at the griddle of a deli's breakfast counter or coffee shop to go, but could not at a coffee cart as they wouldn't have a way to toast it. But grab-and-go stuff is of necessity untoasted.

As for buttered bagels - bagels are not supposed to be toasted, they're supposed to be as fresh and hot as possible, firm on the outside and chewy on the inside. Closer to being a pretzel than bread, in a way. As such, toasting is for leftover day old bagels, or the "bready" kind of bagels that aren't the right consistency (the usual complaint of a New Yorker getting a bagel outside of NYC).

I love toasted bagels but it'd be unnecessary to toast a really good, hot and fresh bagel. Not quite gilding the lily, but more like putting ketchup on a prime steak.
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  #23  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:11 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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I grew up near New York, and to me a "buttered roll" is a roll with butter on it -- not a particular kind of roll that might not have butter on it.


And I'm surprised that people seem confused. I think that if I ordered a "buttered roll" in Manhattan I'd either get a roll, split, with butter on it, or I'd be told that they didn't do that, and I had to butter it myself.
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  #24  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:12 PM
Steophan Steophan is offline
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Can we have some more English people here so we can argue whether it's a bap, a barm cake, a cob, or a roll?

I vote cob.
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  #25  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:15 PM
robardin robardin is offline
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Originally Posted by Steophan View Post
Can we have some more English people here so we can argue whether it's a bap, a barm cake, a cob, or a roll?

I vote cob.
It's definitely not a "slice" though. It's the whole roll!

Last edited by robardin; 10-18-2012 at 12:16 PM..
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  #26  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:28 PM
nofloyd nofloyd is offline
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Buttered rolls (kaiser type) are common in New Jersey, we share most new york food because of the proximity. Pull up in any convenience store in central/north jersey in the morning and I'd be put out if they didn't have buttered rolls ready wrapped for you, and they'd certainly make them on request. Also found pre-cream cheesed.

I'm an early bird and often see the roll delivery come in to places.

My sister moved to NC and takes kaiser rolls back with her when she visits.
A proper morning buttered roll to me has to have the poppy seeds.
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  #27  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:30 PM
Unauthorized Cinnamon Unauthorized Cinnamon is offline
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I knew exactly what you were talking about just from the thread title, but my family would have called that "a hard roll with butter." Still, if someone walked into a bakery or deli at breakfast time and ordered a buttered roll and coffee, I'm very sure everyone would have known just what they were asking for.

In my experience, if you stray farther than Danbury from NYC, you can't even find a decent hard roll anyway, never mind having someone recognize that breakfast order.

But yes, now you have me jonesing for that sublime breakfast, which I probably last experienced in Nyack in 1992 or so.
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  #28  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:30 PM
redtail23 redtail23 is offline
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I've never heard of a "buttered roll". If you asked me off-hand, I'd have guessed what we'd call a "hard roll", which isn't really hard, but is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Pretty close to a kaiser roll, really.

But the idea of having someone else butter my bread would never occur to me. I can see, however, that this would be much more efficient for a food cart or convenience store. Just pick up the roll and go, rather than have to fumble around trying to butter it.

Yeah, I suspect this is a NY thing.
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  #29  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:32 PM
Unauthorized Cinnamon Unauthorized Cinnamon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nofloyd View Post
My sister moved to NC and takes kaiser rolls back with her when she visits.
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Originally Posted by Unauthorized Cinnamon View Post
In my experience, if you stray farther than Danbury from NYC, you can't even find a decent hard roll anyway, never mind having someone recognize that breakfast order.
Ninja post synergy!
(Can she bring me some?)
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  #30  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:51 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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I saw this term used inconsistently in the NY area. Sometimes it was a split kaiser roll with butter in it. Sometimes it was what many called a 'butter roll', a soft roll with a butter glaze, sometimes just any roll. I've never seen the confusion anywhere else. A buttered roll should be what is sounds like IMHO, a roll with some butter on it. The same as buttered toast, except it's a roll, and not toasted.
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  #31  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Unauthorized Cinnamon View Post
In my experience, if you stray farther than Danbury from NYC, you can't even find a decent hard roll anyway, never mind having someone recognize that breakfast order.
Sounds about right. It's a NYC thing so far as I've noticed.
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  #32  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:56 PM
Corcaigh Corcaigh is offline
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I knew what regular coffee was. A buttered roll -to me- would be a bread roll that's been sliced and buttered to be served in fast food establishments (in the UK) with fish and chips (or fries as the Americans call them).

The only butter roll I can think of, that would be consumed as breakfast, is an Italian thing. Although the coffee would be black.
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  #33  
Old 10-18-2012, 12:57 PM
Johnny Bravo Johnny Bravo is online now
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I spent some time baking at little boulangerie and our pastry folks made what we called "butter rolls," that sound exactly what you describe.

I'd never heard of them before and haven't seen them since, but you're right: they are GREAT with a cup of dark, sweet coffee.
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  #34  
Old 10-18-2012, 02:19 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
It must be because I've never seen it. I've also never seen (that I can recall) pre-buttered bagels (especially not at a 7-11). Are the bagels toasted? Don't tell me you eat untoasted bagels in New York!
Toasted bagels are an abomination. However, since the bagels you can get outside of NYC are also (for the most part) an abomination, and toasting is about the only thing that makes a barely-edible bagel, edible... I forgive you.

I remember when the Breugger's bagel chain opened, they refused to toast bagels, stating as a matter of policy that toasting bagels is a cover for stale or crappy bagels. They didn't even have a toaster in the store! I understand their point of view but it was silly as most people outside of NYC are accustomed to toasting their shitty bagels and aren't going to stop just because they encounter a slightly-less-shitty bagel. I think eventually they gave in.

I never thought about "Roll with butter" being an NYC phenomenon... interesting. I guess I rarely order them unless "bialy with butter" is not available.

Last edited by Hello Again; 10-18-2012 at 02:21 PM..
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  #35  
Old 10-18-2012, 02:25 PM
pseudotriton ruber ruber pseudotriton ruber ruber is offline
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I used to work in (and briefly owned) my dad's coffee shop in lower Manhattan, and I wouldn't hesititate for half a second giving a customer who asked for "A buttered roll and a cup of regular" exactly what Biggirl is talking about.
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  #36  
Old 10-18-2012, 02:31 PM
redtail23 redtail23 is offline
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I can totally get behind the idea. I used to love buttered croissant and sweet latte for breakfast. I had to add my own butter and honey, though.
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  #37  
Old 10-18-2012, 02:34 PM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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I don't k now why this thread is bothering me so much. If you told me this was how they referred to these things in Scotland or Norway, I would find it mildly interesting. But in New York, where I have actually been many times and lived for several years, it keeps making my brain say "No, that doesn't make sense." It's just foreign to my experience. A buttered roll? Never ran across one.

"Regular" coffee has sugar in it? That, my friends, is more of an abomination than butter on a bagel.
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  #38  
Old 10-18-2012, 02:45 PM
Dr. Righteous Dr. Righteous is offline
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Just wondering - for all those who are not familiar with these rolls, when you order a breakfast sandwich what does it come on?

As a lifelong New Yorker I'm trying to imagine what the options are... sometimes after a hard night of drinking you just need the magical combination of protein, carb and grease that is a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. Plus a large coffee (light and sweet for me) and all is right again in the world.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:47 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is online now
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Originally Posted by Unauthorized Cinnamon View Post
In my experience, if you stray farther than Danbury from NYC, you can't even find a decent hard roll anyway, never mind having someone recognize that breakfast order.
My father discovered this after moving to Pennsylvania. Ordered a hard roll with butter, they went in the back to get a nice day old, extra stale roll, so it would be good and hard.



In my family, Sunday morning always started with a trip to the bakery for some Kaiser rolls, so we could all have buttered rolls, bacon and sausage for breakfast.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:54 PM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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Originally Posted by Dr. Righteous View Post
Just wondering - for all those who are not familiar with these rolls, when you order a breakfast sandwich what does it come on?

As a lifelong New Yorker I'm trying to imagine what the options are... sometimes after a hard night of drinking you just need the magical combination of protein, carb and grease that is a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. Plus a large coffee (light and sweet for me) and all is right again in the world.
It's not that I haven't heard of rolls, it's the expression "buttered roll." To answer your question, though, breakfast sandwiches are usually on toast, croissant, or english muffin. Sometimes a roll of some sort.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:59 PM
Dr. Righteous Dr. Righteous is offline
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breakfast sandwiches are usually on toast, croissant, or english muffin. Sometimes a roll of some sort.
Ah, I see. Around here the default is a roll, and only sometimes on toast, a croissant or an english muffin.

It's a big, wonderful world it is. Now I want a bacon egg and cheese sandwich (where's that drooling smiley when you need it?).
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  #42  
Old 10-18-2012, 03:02 PM
Caricci Caricci is offline
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I am pretty sure it's a NYC thing only. There are no hard rolls which you can order buttered in Providence, that's for sure. I miss it. That and great pizza are all I miss.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:11 PM
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Never heard of either one. Western US here.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:14 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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I am pretty sure it's a NYC thing only. There are no hard rolls which you can order buttered in Providence, that's for sure. I miss it. That and great pizza are all I miss.
Damn! I do miss that pizza.
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  #45  
Old 10-18-2012, 03:17 PM
friedo friedo is offline
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Lived in and around the NYC area for 31 years and I have no idea what you're talking about.

I am an expert on bagels, though.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:25 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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I don't k now why this thread is bothering me so much. If you told me this was how they referred to these things in Scotland or Norway, I would find it mildly interesting. But in New York, where I have actually been many times and lived for several years, it keeps making my brain say "No, that doesn't make sense." It's just foreign to my experience. A buttered roll? Never ran across one.
Were you in the habit of getting breakfast at the innumerable standalone carts -- featuring buttered and be-creamcheesed breads, as well as sweet danishes, a fair quality of doughnut, and coffee -- that pepper the city? Buttered roll (or as I put it, roll with butter, I'm such a rebel) is a coffee cart phenomenon, primarily.

The fancier grade of cart has a cooking surface and makes egg sandwiches, for which roll (kaiser roll) is the default unless you ask for something else.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:31 PM
Ellen Cherry Ellen Cherry is offline
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I had no idea I was a philistine for liking toasted bagels! I mean, it's bread after all.
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  #48  
Old 10-18-2012, 03:43 PM
D_Odds D_Odds is offline
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Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
Were you in the habit of getting breakfast at the innumerable standalone carts -- featuring buttered and be-creamcheesed breads, as well as sweet danishes, a fair quality of doughnut, and coffee -- that pepper the city? Buttered roll (or as I put it, roll with butter, I'm such a rebel) is a coffee cart phenomenon, primarily.

The fancier grade of cart has a cooking surface and makes egg sandwiches, for which roll (kaiser roll) is the default unless you ask for something else.
Coffee carts, delis, bodegas...anywhere one would grab a bite to go. They're buttered and wrapped for speed and bodegas and coffee carts...delis will often butter to order, though I've known a few that keep some handy so one wouldn't have to wait behind the egg orders.

ETA: Yep, philistine for liking toasted bagels with the caveat that most bagels aren't what NYCers would consider real bagels. I often wondered how Dunkin' Donuts can get away with selling their crap bagels in this town, but I also wonder how the national pizza chains get any business too.

Last edited by D_Odds; 10-18-2012 at 03:45 PM..
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  #49  
Old 10-18-2012, 03:49 PM
ThelmaLou ThelmaLou is offline
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Originally Posted by Unauthorized Cinnamon View Post
In my experience, if you stray farther than Danbury from NYC, you can't even find a decent hard roll anyway...
Oh, please.

You're just saying that because west of the Hudson River everyone just gnaws on tree bark for breakfast. With no butter.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:02 PM
panache45 panache45 is online now
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I lived in - or around - New York City for 25 years, and I don't think I ever ordered a buttered roll. For breakfast I'd order a bagel or bialy or Danish or cinnamon roll or donut or bear claw or sticky bun or croissant, etc., etc., etc. The roll the OP is referring to is a Kaiser roll, and you can get it buttered if you ask for it. Or with a "shmear" (with cream cheese).
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