29 March 2006

Review: Bakeries

I previewed the Turkish pizza at the new Agora Bakery and Market that opens next Monday on Route 130 Cinnaminson just north of Haines Mill Road. A sure hit. There is other Turkish pizza to be had in the area but this is more convenient and of exceptional quality. A Caucasian with muddy boots, I was mistaken for the building inspector by the Brazilian landlord who gave me a hard time for making him wait four hours and then proceeded to give me a tour of the beauty parlor renovation until I blew my cover.

Just a few hundred feet north is of course the Sultan Bakery, which is still in top form. Agora assures me they will bake fresh bread as well. I like the internet and indoor plumbing like the next guy, but if you can’t get a loaf of bread right out of the oven for a dollar it ain’t progress. Slightly further North they have cheap cans of spicy Morrocan sardines at the Nigerian market in addition to the funky potatoes they sell.

I recently became enamored of the eastern stretch of Federal Street in Camden. Mexican food in the US, even in Texas, is a major disappointment, and the more you pay the worse it gets. Since my months in Mexico I discovered the new restaurantes in the Italian Market Philly, which are like the real thing. But Federal Street is better. There’s no question the corner markets are far superior: even if Supremo gives you supermarket selection it is no substitute for the corner markets, and the variety, price range, and quality of the eateries are in another league. There’s Vietnamese too, but that’s where Washington Street can’t be beat.

Our state slogan should be: New Jersey: Cities Without Yuppies. Slogans aside, it’s the best place to eat, period. You can’t load the bags into the trunk in Brooklyn, Paris, Singapore, etc., can you?