This fine Saturday morning brought us to the town with the fabled–or perhaps infamous, in the wake of Superbowl XLVIII–train station. Frank R. Lautenberg (the train station) greeted us as we pulled into Exit 15X. Now, off to a strip mall in downtown Secaucus.
We were surprised by the prominence accorded to this strip mall bagelry. No hole-in-the-wall, this carbohydrate repository sits proudly on the corner of the strip mall, overseeing a veritable “Wild West of Parking Lots,” according to one of our reviewers. No hole-in-the-wall, the Bagel Buffet also features a deli and ample seating space.
RESIDENTS OF SECAUCUS: Please excuse our ignorance, but we were shocked to find a warm, hometown atmosphere amid the intersection of Turnpike Brutalism and Transit Bureaucracy. Town residents gathered here, while passers-thru assemble in hordes inside the concrete Lautenberg. In short, we were shocked and surprised to find that Secaucus, Exit 15X, is more than just a parking lot abutting a stern, paternal regional rail hub.
THE BAGELS: were pleasantly surprising as well. Exhibit A: cinnamon raisin with plain cream cheese. Crunchy, a little burnt on the outside, but moist and chewy on the inside. All in all, quite tasty, but suffering from a textural deficiency that can only be described as such: this bagel got smushed (EDIT: our former bagel-handler extraordinaire asserts that this condition could have resulted from a fresh bagel being pressed down by hand while it is cut, also noting that fresh bagels are more likely to ‘smush’ than stale bagels). Exhibit B: sesame with vegetable cream cheese, no toasting. Good distribution of seeds (top only), complimented by a smooth, soft cream cheese. No block of cc here–this stuff was mixed fresh with vegetables.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Come here for the service and the community atmosphere, stay for the bagels. Enjoy both
A special thanks to Roger Miller, who joined us on this expedition in order to put together a radio piece about our homegrown carboloading enterprise. Thanks Roger!
127 Plaza Center
Secaucus, NJ 07094