Sorry if anybody else thought I was dissing Jersey City in my pan de sal post. When I read this blog roundup saying “Justin Schwartz brought his typical New York xenophobia with him through the tunnel…” it took me a while to stop laughing at the absurdity. Then I thought, does this guy know me? He seems to have me pegged as a close-minded jerk. I’ve written a lot about Jersey in the past — more times than I can count, in fact. But here’s a little extra J.C. love, for the haters.
Elio’s Bakery on Westside Avenue is a little out of the way. Actually it’s an easy trip on the Light Rail, but I started going here back when your best option was the #80 bus. The goods in the counter may look like standard bakery fare. They’ve got Italian sausage bread and various pizza-style treats as well, making this worth a visit almost any time of day. Did I mention that the prices are dirt cheap? But my passion for Elio’s is really specific. It’s for the bagels.
“Wait, justcooknyc, that’s not a bagel?” Yeah, but some of the bagels at Elio’s come this way. I ordered this with a little cream cheese. Still, it looks pretty normal, right? It’s all about the texture at Elio’s. Any time I’ve ever brought someone here, they’ve said, “Oh my god, this bagel is so soft.” I know that kind of thing isn’t for everyone, and Elio’s sells more traditional, crusty loaves, but the bagels are a must try. I’d say the difference between these and NYC bagels is the water, but I’d be making that up, and Jersey City has plenty of normal bagel spots. I’ll let the explanation for the soft goodness of these remain a secret. They’re soft, and they’re awesome. Just don’t bring your “New York xenophobia” with you here.
By the way, this pastry has a guava filling. Enough said…