Criticus's Profile

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Great Delaware County Bagel Hunt, Redux

Try Brookside Bagels on Brookside in Springfield, at the corner of Springfield Road (watch for the deco stylings of Victory Dry Cleaners). Just enough crunch, just enough spring, and a good selection, too. Wish they weren't quite so heavy-handed with the glutin, and their plain bagels are a little (but just a little) on the sweet side. But these are the best I've found outside of Wegman's in Cherry Hill, which is saying alot. The owners are nice people, too.

Jan 28, 2009
Criticus in Pennsylvania

The great Delaware County bagel hunt...

You're right! Wegman's provides the best New York style bagels in the whole area -- hands down and bar none. Thanks for the recommendation.

Jan 27, 2008
Criticus in Pennsylvania

The great Delaware County bagel hunt...

Second best is second best. I outgrew aesthetic relativism a long time ago. And I'm not visiting the Philly area -- I live here. I judge the quality of a TexMex meal according to the standards set for me by southwestern cooking, just as I benchmark my experience of Chinese food according to regional cuisines I've enjoyed in Beijing and Guangzhou. The same is true of pizza and bagels, and DelCo appears to be bereft of decent instantiations of either.

Apr 14, 2007
Criticus in Pennsylvania

The great Delaware County bagel hunt...

Thanks, CW! I'm going to give them a try...

Apr 13, 2007
Criticus in Pennsylvania

The great Delaware County bagel hunt...

Nah. I think I'll continue to pine, and search for restaurants with higher and better standards. I wasn't raised to settle for second best.

Apr 13, 2007
Criticus in Pennsylvania

Best Pizza in Delaware County PA

We finally tried Marrone's. It puts me in mind of the pizza taverns I grew up with as a kid (the best of which was the Pine Tree Tavern, in the Morris Park section of The Bronx). The bar area was thick with cigarette smoke, but the restaurant area was relatively smoke-free. The service was friendly and our pies arrived quickly. We ordered one double cheese, a second with spinach and broccoli, and a third with mushrooms. All three pies were right out of the oven, so they were quite hot. The crusts were thick but unexpectedly crispy (and not the soft, doughy and sometimes squishy crust we've come to expect in DelCo pizza joints). The cheese was good but lacked a certain zing -- and the same was true of the sauce, which can only be described as bland. Everyone around the table agreed that there was too much sugar in the dough, and not enough salt or garlic in the sauce, which left a slightly sour aftertaste in all of our mouths. So far this was the most interesting pizza we've had in this area, but hardly up to the standards of New York or New Jersey. The hunt continues. Maybe we'll try Mescellino's next, because they're about five minutes away from our house...

Apr 13, 2007
Criticus in Philadelphia

The great Delaware County bagel hunt...

Tried Custom Bagels today. Sorry to report that their bagels suffer from the very same malady that appears to afflict all bagels in the Philly area -- they're just donut-shaped lumps of mediocre bread. Just because a bagel is slightly crunchy when you bite into it -- as all real bagels should be -- doesn't mean that it's stale. I wonder if local bagel makers know to spray the surfaces of their creations with water while they're in the oven? The hunt continues...

Apr 09, 2007
Criticus in Pennsylvania

Best Pizza in Delaware County PA

Rondo, those are the only bagels worthy of the name in this entire area. Wish I knew the name of the bakery, but my wife and I wander in there for a dozen whenever we stop at City Line Deli for corned beef sandwiches (among the best in the city, as far as we're concerned). The search continues...

Mar 24, 2007
Criticus in Philadelphia

The great Delaware County bagel hunt...

Thanks, WP. The sigh you're hearing is one of despair. We'll keep hunting, and hoping for the best. If something decent should turn up I'll certainly let you know...

Mar 24, 2007
Criticus in Pennsylvania

The great Delaware County bagel hunt...

Thanks, Mawrter! Looking forward to trying both Hymie's and Murray's. My old mainstay in this area for a decent sandwich was always Koch's in University City, but it's my understanding that they've changed hands. This is very helpful to know.

Mar 18, 2007
Criticus in Pennsylvania

The great Delaware County bagel hunt...

My wife and I just relocated to Delaware County from New York, by way of northern New Jersey. We've had a hard enough time adjusting to the pizza down here, but we've found the bagels to be absolutely awful. Our friends in New York insist that the secret to a good bagel is a soak and a boil in New York tap water -- so are we out of luck? The closest thing we've found to a "real" bagel was at a bakery around the corner from the City Avenue Deli (where we had a very good corned beef sandwich, and better than average matzoh ball soup). Any other recommendations?

Mar 17, 2007
Criticus in Pennsylvania

Best Pizza in Delaware County PA

As a New Yorker first displaced to northern New Jersey and then displaced to Delaware County, I can sympathize with mchuchra and pjo. Our pizza experiences have been less than satisfying around here. Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. We plan to give Gaetano's and Brother's a try, to start.

I remember two remarkable places called Stromboli's Pizza in the Village -- one at the corner of Ninth and First, and the other at the corner of Saint Mark's Place and First Avenue. The slices were always perfect, and made more delightful still by long nights spent at the Grassroots Tavern.

And just as soon as we locate a decent pizza place in Delco, we plan to begin hunting for an edible bagel...

Mar 17, 2007
Criticus in Philadelphia