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Jan 29, 2014 03:30 PM

Hard Rolls, Bagels and Italian cookies

I'm in Red Bank tonight,, leaving tomo late morning.... Need tips on finding the best of the above subject to take back to Houston.. Thx in advance from this Jersey native!

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  1. La Rosa's in Shrewsbury for the cookies.

    Sorry, can't help you on the bagels & rolls.

    1. Bagel Oven on Monmouth St in Red Bank for the bagels. The place is a dive/dump, but the bagels have that wonderful crisp outer crust and soft insides that makes them yummy. They also freeze well.

      The Whole Foods in RB has good hard rolls.

      1+ on LaRosa's for the cookies. The bakery is quite good, so in order to make fewer stops you might want to look at their rolls too. (though the ones I had @ friend's who live in the area were Italian sub rolls, so IDK if they have the classic round hard rolls)

      Hope this helps. (and maybe on your next trip to the area you can bring us a care package of BBQ and some good fresh salsa!)

      3 Replies
        1. re: PuniceaRana

          The Bagel Oven is a true gem and and outstanding recommendation to the OP.

          I'm not sure if I'd really call the Whole Foods rolls true hard rolls though, more of a Kaiser in my experience. Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen a real hard roll in Red Bank since Freedman's closed, so maybe WF (which to clarify for the OP, is actually a couple miles north of RB in Middletown) is the only place nearby that even offers something bearing the name. Personally, I'd just stick to bagels and cookies (and maybe an Elsie's sub for the flight).

          1. re: PuniceaRana

            Another vote for Bagel Oven. Love that place. Its my go-to stop on the way to the golf course in the morning.

            The owners name is Frank. Great guy. Tell him that Scrappy sent you.

            Good subs next door at Elsie's luncheonette.

          2. I prefer Bagel Masters 661 Broad St. (Rt.35) Shrewsbury 2 miles south of Red Bank over Bagel Oven. Not to knock Bagel Oven, Bagel Masters is just a slightly larger bagel.

            Hard Roll's I'll go along with the Whole Foods as noted it's about 2 miles north on rt. 35.

            Instead of La Rosa's, which I'm not the biggest fan of, I would suggest the new novelty in town, Carlo's Bakery of Cake Boss TV fame. They recently opened up at 86 Broad Street and I will "assume" (yes I know what happens when we assume things) he has good Italian Cookies.

            Hand's down the best Italian Cookies is at J&M in Middletown about 5 miles north on 35.

            9 Replies
            1. re: jrvedivici

              I haven't been to J&M recently but was at La Rosa's for Christmas and the cookies we purchased all rec'd raves. Especially the rugelach, the gingerbread men and the double wing raspberry filled sprinkles on top Italian cookies.

              As for Cake Boss...with MANY locations and THE BOSS not working in any of them..don't run to the RB location when there are long standing bakers a few doors away. The Boss has already moved on to new ventures in Vegas.

              I was just at WF last night and quickly reminded of how stale their bread is if you don't hit them the day of.

              I don't eat bagels so I can't offer any suggestions.

              1. re: HillJ

                Well I will say this, I moved to the area in 94 and for the first year in the area I went to La Rosa exclusively and was never thrilled with anything. So I haven't stepped foot in the place in 19+- years, so anything can change. Maybe I'll give them another try, only cause I trust you HillJ.

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  If I've been, you can generally count on me to give a fair but truthful I can count on your for the one liners and comedy relief.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    What like I'm funny? How am I funny HillJ? I amuse you? I'm here to amuse you, is that what your saying?

                    (Movie quote I'm not yelling at you, can you name that movie?)

                    1. re: jrvedivici

                      Goodfellas. You some kinda gangster now? LOL...the gangster of Sunday gravy?

                      1. re: HillJ

                        I use to go in on Sundays to one on my restaurants and make Sunday gravy. I would take my shirt off, tie an apron around my suit slacks and be in my tee-shirt behind the line making the gravy. My employees use to call me Paulie on those Sundays.

                          1. re: jrvedivici

                            Thanks for that mental image. For the first time in my forty-odd years, I actually have no appetite.

                2. re: jrvedivici

                  I was going to put in a comment for J&M, but I've never tried their bread.

                3. I know you said Red Bank (and I hate when people suggest places that aren't really close enough to be viable) but Caputo's in Long Branch is my go to for hard rolls.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: taboni

                    Caputo's is a great recommendation. It's been too long since I've been there - thanks for the reminder. They may be the last bakery still making old school hard rolls in the County.

                    1. re: taboni

                      My sons enjoy the eclairs from Caputo's every summer. A few go in the beach cooler on the way down to the beach.

                    2. I have not had a simple but good hard roll, usually with poppy seeds, sine moving to NJ from Staten Italy. Now I am on a mission after reading this thread