I've now been to a good handful of highly rated bagel places, and Ess-a-Bagel (Manhattan: Midtown East) has been the best so far! So good, the toasted bagel seems buttery even without butter! And I couldn't believe how good the (non-dairy) lox tofu spread was. I still wish the people who worked in New York would be friendlier and nicer, but what can you do? It just doesn't seem to be valued here.