Bagel Express, Randolph

Another screen door, but no triangle; this is your classic strip mall joint. One NJ Bagelrater reader recommended this bagelry to us, noting that it was “not pretty, but great bagels.” “Pretty” may not be the word, but it does feel like walking into a time capsule from the 1950s and 1980s. Let me explain: the fridges for drinks are chrome with dark brown wood (real or not? I didn’t look closely enough) trim; each table has a powder blue tablecloth on it; then there is also the placard with brown background and white Helvetica font warning “persons with pacemakers” that there is a “Microwave in use”—clearly a holdout from the 1980’s. How long has this shop been open, readers from Randolph?

The bagels, too, are something of a 1950s specimen: each one is uniform, smooth, even. They all conform to a perfect Bagel. They are, most likely, the most opposite of the bagels at Pop’s Bagel Shop in Wharton that anyone could find. This is not to say that they were bad; they were not dry or bready on the inside, but quite moist, with a crispy exterior. Apart from their unnaturally uniform appearance, the flavor left something to be desired for me. I am not sure if it is just a mental suggestion from the smooth and uniform appearance of the bagels, but there is an ever-so-slight hint of Lender’s in each bite that I was just not able to avoid. I am not a bagel scientist or artisan, so I am not able to say whether these bagels need minerals or malt or salt added to the mix, but something is needed to ‘dirty’ these oh-so-clean 1950s specimens.

Stay tuned to find out how Alfa Bagels, also in Randolph, fares…

Perfectly round and smooth bagel from Bagel Express of Randolph

Perfectly round and smooth bagel from Bagel Express of Randolph

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