Schnipper’s Attempts the L.E.O.

Schnipper's tries its hand at a New York classic that doesn’t get the same attention as pizza: The L.E.O.
A L.E.O. Sandwich on a Toasted Everything Bagel from H&H at Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen in Midtown Manhattan.

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen, the corner joint in The New York Times building that serves a green chile cheeseburger, recently announced breakfast service. Among the typical morning fare on the new menu (Mon-Friday, 7:00am-10:30pm) is an unexpected addition. A New York classic that doesn’t get the same attention as pizza or bagels: The L.E.O.

For the uninitiated, L.E.O. stands for lox, eggs, and onions. As previously noted, when it comes to the L.E.O., chances of surpassing the rendition at Barney Greengrass, are slim. Even better is the N.E.O. with Nova, since lox brings too much salt to the equation.

“My brother Jon came up with the L.E.O.,” co-owner, Andrew Schnipper recently told us about Schnipper’s rendition. “It is an old New York dish not usually served as a sandwich, and something we had all the time growing up. We wanted to do some creative sandwiches, not just a bacon egg and cheese, and we thought a L.E.O. sandwich would be perfect. It is one of our favorites on the menu.”

Schnipper’s constructs their L.E.O. Sandwich ($6.99) using bagels from H&H (Plain, Everything, Salt, Cinnamon Raisin, and Whole Wheat), a suitable base. “Toasted?” asks the server. Of course.

It’s served mildly toasted, and warm, with fluffy scrambled eggs (cage free from Krieder Farms in Pennsylvania), and salty, thin-cut lox from Catsmo’s in the Catskills. It’s not Nova, but it works. There’s a scattering of thin-sliced red onions, and you can opt to spend a bit more for cream cheese if you care to (Philadelphia Cream Cheese: plain, low-fat, or scallion).

Does Schnipper’s L.E.O. measure up to the Barney Greengrass L.E.O.? Not quite, but this fast-food L.E.O. is pretty good. It definitely gives the tourists in Times Square a perfectly acceptable introduction to a New York classic. And starting today, April 15th, through the end of the month, when you buy a L.E.O. or any breakfast item at Schnipper’s you’ll get a free cup of coffee, a promotion to “help ease the pain of Tax Day.”

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