Bagel Oven, Red Bank
Armed with a list of three Monmouth County bagel shops, I hit the road on a Saturday morning. The first two stops would be in Red Bank, the last in Middletown.
Red Bank is still quiet at 7:45 in the morning. Bagel Oven is centrally located in the downtown area, which is quite nice. It is a small shop. Customers are greeted by wood paneling and drop-tile ceiling. Has it been here since the 70s? A few cobwebs here and there seem to confirm this fact.
Inside, two pieces catch the eye: a vintage RC Cola sign displaying the prices of bagels. Then, a hand-painted sign for “Egg Sandwich on a Bagel, with Cheese, Pork Roll, AND ham AND bacon. Wow. We found out that it was painted for the shop five years ago by a local man.
THE BAGELS were small, with imperfect shapes from hand-rolling. If this sounds bad, it’s not—Bagel Oven’s bagels are a testament to the individuality of real hand-rolled bagels. The bagels, everything with plain CC and cinnamon raisin with plain CC, had crunchy exteriors. They were alternately dense and bready. “Size and flavor are inversely related,” one Rater noticed.
THE TAKEAWAY: Laid-back shore bagelry serves unique bagels to a local crowd. Would go back, on account of the interesting shape and flavor of these bagels.
72 Monmouth St
Red Bank, NJ