Hazlet is far from being any kind of food Mecca, but at least there’s a place to get a decent bagel. Well, more than decent. Crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. That’s what a bagel should be, and Old Time Bagels in Hazlet delivers. It’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall with three tables. Eli’s in Aberdeen will always hold a special place in my heart, but I wanted to find somewhere different and a bit closer.
After only three visits, the owners (an apparent husband-wife combo) began to recognize me. We chat for a little bit when I am in there grabbing an everything bagel and coffee to go. That kind of pleasantness is sometimes more important than the food itself. These two seem to love the business they have and are always interacting with customers. You can just tell.
Their bagels toasted are delicious—grilled on the flat top and coated with butter. More importantly, I noticed how they are a lot less salty than others. I know how important such an ingredient is, but you absolutely can go overboard especially on something as compact as a bagel. They have found the right combination at Old Time.
Last but not least, I finally tried one with cream cheese and Nova. The owner pulled a whole fish out of the display case and shaved off the slices after I ordered. Can you get any fresher than that? Throw it on a sesame seed bagel with some fluffy cream cheese and you have a great way to start your day. Some may say the only way. 3.5 out of 5 stars (their deli and grill sandwiches are excellent too!).