100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes: Ronnie's Favorite at Rosenberg's Bagels and Deli

No. 67 Ronnie's Favorite at Rosenberg's Bagels and Deli 725 East 26th Avenue 720-440-9880

By now, the story of of Joshua Pollack, owner of Rosenberg's Bagels and Deli, and his water-treatment system set up to mimic the chemistry of New York City's bagel-perfect H2O is practically the stuff of legend. Even if you think that the story doesn't hold water and that Denver's own is just fine for boiling great bagels, there's no denying that Rosenberg's hits all the right notes when it comes to great New York-style deli offerings. Take the Ronnie's Favorite, for example: Sure, it's a pretty good bagel, but the ingredients between the bread are what take it from good to great.

See also: 100 Favorite Dishes of 2014

Pollack, a new Jersey kid, named the sandwich after his favorite neighborhood joint, Ronnie's Hot Bagels and Cafe. And Ronnie's Favorite is one of our favorites, too, starting with Scottish salmon smoked in-house and layering on whitefish salad, a rare treat in Denver's deli scene.

We like ours built on a plain bagel, which won't overwhelm the fish with competing flavors. Rosenberg's smokes the salmon to a delicate finish, so that the whisper of smoke punctuates the sandwich without overtaking it. The whitefish salad is creamy and mild but still has a firm-enough texture to keep from oozing out from between the bagel halves. Cream cheese laced with dill — the most deli-friendly of herbs — and slices of cucumber create an old-world flavor combination that accentuates the fish.

It's not a cheap, everyday lunch at $12.75, but it's well worth an occasional splurge. This is a sandwich to be eaten slowly and savored, not wolfed down in the car. Sit back at Rosenberg's with a copy of the New York Times, a bag of chips and Ronnie's — and our — Favorite; the engineered water may not put you in the heart of Manhattan, but ducking into Rosenberg's to escape a busy day surely will. Just get there early — the line at the counter will also bring the big city to mind.

In advance of the Best of Denver 2015, we're already loading our plates with contenders for the best dishes in the city. And over the next nine months, we'll be sharing many of them with you, counting down (in no particular order) one hundred of our favorite dishes before the the Best of Denver 2015 hits the streets on March 26. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at [email protected]

Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2014 countdown are linked below.

No. 100: Chile Relleno at La Fiesta No. 99: Gurage Kitfo at Megenagna Ethiopian Restaurant No. 98: Cochinita Pibil at Work & Class No. 97: The Greggers Tongue Sandwich at Olive & Finch No 96: Baum Cakes at Glaze by Sasa No. 95: Goat hot pot from Viet's No 94: Head cheese from Beast + Bottle No. 93: Kettle Chips from Amerigo Delicatus No. 92: Pork Belly Confit at Solera Restaurant and Wine Bar No. 91: Tacos Campechanos from La Calle Taqueria No. 90: Biscuits from Denver Biscuit Co. No. 89: Clams and Chorizo at Gozo No. 88: Aburi Sushi at Sushi Den and Izakaya Den No. 87: Kimchi and Sausage Torta at City, O' City No. 86: Mar y Tierra Molcajete at Paxia No. 85: Crispy Pork Spare Ribs at Table Top No. 84: Chips and Dip at Euclid Hall No. 83: Chile Relleno Burrito at El Taco de Mexico No. 82: Scallop Crudo at Stoic & Genuine No. 81: Ceylon Curry Dosa at Khazana No. 80: The Lambada Torta at La Torteria No. 79: Pork Bulgogi at Dae Gee No. 78: the Pulled Pork Pig Pen Sandwich at Boney's No. 77: IPA Mac & Cheese at Hops & Pie No. 76: Chiles en Nogada at Chili Verde No. 75: Udon Noodle Bowl at Bones No. 74: Cinnamon Rolls at the Duffeyroll Cafe No. 73: Smoked Turkey Croque-Madame at Acorn No. 72: Pickled Lake Michigan Perch at Trillium No 71: Oysters at Jax Fish House Glendale No. 70: Venezuelan Tostadas at Empanada Express Grill No. 69: Tahini Cauliflower from Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs No. 68: The Ham and Cheese Tartita from Maria Empanada