In Turkey, the classic simit resembles a heavily encrusted sesame bagel, with proportions that suggest a game of ring toss. Though a simit loaf loses traditional appeal, it gains in versatility: It more easily accepts fillings like olive ($4.25), and, when need be, more securely holds a sandwich.
Simit Sarayi 435 Fifth Ave. (38th-39th Sts.), Manhattan 646-922-7876 (First U.S. location of this Turkey-based worldwide chain) www.SimitSarayi.com/en_US
This no-frills bakery makes my current favorite mochi, filled with a mix of ground peanuts, sesame seeds, and granulated sugar and rolled in shredded coconut. A second style, filled with red bean paste, is distinguished by a red dot. They're not much bigger than a golf ball, and they begin to lose their shape even as you peel back the paper wrap. That's good: It's evidence of the extremely supple glutinous rice dough. (Compare the firm appearance of the mochi at Mango Mango.) And there's no beating the price: three for $1.25.
A tip of the hat to LauHound, who seems to have scoped out Chiu Hong's entire stock in trade, and who pointed me this way.
Chiu Hong 161 Mott St. (Broome-Grand Sts.), Manhattan 212-966-7664
While many items in the display case compete for your attention, the cinnamon bun (about $2.50), more than most, invites you to tease it apart with your fingers. Previously: an omelette lightly folded over sauteed crawfish, andouille sausage, red onions, and roasted tomatoes (special, $10.50 a number of years ago).
New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery 2440 Chartre St. (at Spain St.), New Orleans 504-943-0010 www.NOLAcakes.com Breakfast and lunch only; closed Tuesday
Atoles (ah-Toll-ays) are an extended family of beverages, usually cornmeal-based, of various consistencies, that are common in Latin America. This particular Mexican atol (small, $1.50) is thin, with a faint tropical-fruit flavor. Fail to take note of the handwritten sign on the front door, and you might furrow your brow for a moment or two before you identify guayaba — guava.
The glowing notice, posted outside, helped identify one classic "Philly breakfast." Inside, a clearer signal was sitting on the counter: a rectangular sheet of tomato pie, already minus most of its squares ($2 each). At 9:30 in the morning, many other customers had already come and gone.
Other tomato pies, exemplified by those in Trenton, New Jersey, first top the crust with mozzarella, then with sauce. (Some say "gravy.") Sarcone's prepares the archtypal Philadelphia style, which has little cheese and is served at room temperature. The effect is similar to swabbing your spaghetti plate with good bread for a last saucy dose of garlic and oregano.