I was going to take a little holiday respite from blogging while I was home on the East coast but Holy Christmas, this was just too good to keep to myself. Not an hour back in Jerz, straight off the red-eye, and I was walking blurry-eyed into one of my favorite places in the world: a NJ bagel shop.
This bagel shop in particular (Bagel Express) is relatively new to the hood, my dad tells me, but it has quickly risen the ranks to Favorite status, and fufills all the Jersey Bagel Shop requisites:
- Everyone knows everyone’s name. The regulars all come in busting chops and the bagel guys dish out the banter alongside the shmear.
- At least two cops come in while you wait for your bagel to toast.
- Every other person on line looks and sounds like they stepped right out of The Sopranos.
Ambiance aside, what moved me to impulse-post were the mind-blowingly delicious bagels we devoured this morning. A bite of that perfectly boiled and baked, chewy on the inside/crunchy on the outside piece of heaven was like Mother Jersey hugging me to her bosom and welcoming me home.
I know people usually equate bagels with NY, but dare I say (I do, I dare), while the bagel may have gained its fame in NY, it has been perfected in NJ. In Mahwah, NJ to be exact.
At Bagel Express, the texture is sublime. The flavor is nice and salty. The execution is perfect.
I am a purist and got my piping hot bagel with a brick of cream cheese slabbed on and some fresh tomato. Hua and Dad got the classic breakfast sandwich with sausage, egg, and cheese. Hua got a second road sandwich. Told you, these really are that good.
For my Bay Area readers I have a burning question: Why doesn’t SF know about bagels?? They know about every other thing delicious…what’s with the bagel void? Hmmmm?
Ok, signing out. Blissful carb coma has hit.
MERRY CHRISTMAS Everyone!
75 Franklin Turnpike
Mahwah, NJ 07430