Above: one side–presumably the pizza one–of Bagel Cafe & Pizza in Willingboro
Below: Blueberry, toasted w/ cream cheese
When we happened upon the name “Bagel Cafe & Pizza,” we thought that we had hit on the Holy Grail. Two of New Jersey’s finest foodstuffs, available at one convenient location. “Ethnic” foods and convenience and New Jersey. However, dear Reader, we were saddened to find some bagels that were rather unmemorable (although the memory of this store will, perhaps, live on).
Allow us to explain: we exited Rt. 130 to find not just ONE strip mall, but what seemed to be a conglomeration of several strip malls! Strip mall within strip mall, a whole citadel, in fact. Even complete with not one but TWO institutions of higher education. Bagels, pizza, degrees, all in one convenient location! But suburban NJ prowess did not prevail in this case, perhaps due to a case of confused identity. But we forged on,
in search of mostly out of curiosity.
The store was interesting: bagel side and pizza side seemed to be somewhat separate, with the pizza side (see photo above) not yet operating at 10:30 in the morning. There was ample seating, and there were several customers inside.
THE BAGELS ran a little on the bready side. Cream cheese registered complaints of runniness, while the butter paired with cinnamon raisin bagel yielded a “palatable experience.” Although all blueberry bagels substitute something for real blueberries, the blueberry bits in this bagel were particularly unconvincing. But the main complaint here is the breadiness: these bagels need a little bit of chew to them in order to survive.
So much for the pizza/bagel combo store, then. We consulted the yellow pages, which were conveniently placed on one of the counters. We flipped to “B,” where we thumbed to the correct category–between “Background Checks” and “Bags- Plastic”–and set our sights on the next carbo-loaded community center.
Bagel Cafe & Pizza
4364 U.S. 130
Willingboro, NJ 08046