The Hole Story
by Cate Murway
Depending on whom you ask, the word bagel comes either from the Yiddish beygel, which means bracelet, or buegel [German for stirrup]. The latter oft-repeated theory holds that in the 17th-century, a Jewish baker fashioned the first bagel to commemorate the victory of Polish King Jan III Sobieski’s Battle of Vienna over the Turks in 1683. The roughly hand-sized ring of the roll’s stirrup shape honored the ruler’s equestrian obsession.
Bagels should be found in the dictionary under delicious, [“An American Dictionary of the English Language" has sold more copies than any English book except the Bible], but according to Noah Webster [1758 – 1843] (who probably liked his with a shmear) a bagel is "a hard bread roll made of yeast dough twisted into a small doughnut like shape, cooked in simmering water, then baked."
New York-style bagel dough traditionally consists of flour, water, cake yeast, salt and malt syrup, but the boiling is what makes a bagel more than just a roll with a hole! After the rings have risen, they’re briefly immersed in a kettle of briskly boiling water and it is this step that produces the characteristic dense, chewy, doughy interior texture. This also keeps the crust from becoming too crisp when the bagels-to-be are subsequently baked at 425 degrees for about half an hour.
Once relegated as a bland breakfast food given flavor by the addition of lox and cream cheese, there are now more bagel flavors than you can imagine. The bagel has also risen up in the culinary ladder beyond breakfast fare into real meals to become a popular base for sandwiches. Short on time? A bagel can be long on taste!
As one not privy to the arcane knowledge with which one must be equipped to produce a spectacular bagel, and not adept in the hallowed alchemy of bagel creation, only the fact that R & R Bagels have reached the pinnacle of “bagelness” can be shared. A bagel, you see, isn't meant to be a muffin gone awry with delusions of donuthood.
Each morning the lumps of dough get formed into a hoop, are dunked in boiling water, baked, and then finally emerge as a crisp, perfect bagel, alongside a sturdy pile of its compatriots and make the “bagel rounds” from R. J. Bagels in Yardley. Per the owner, Anthony Papeo, “They are traditional New York-style water bagels.”
Quality products and satisfied customers, certainly well worth the dough!
The art of bagel making used to be a closely guarded secret. The International Beigel Bakers' Union was founded in New York City in 1907 (now disbanded), with the strict regulations only permitting sons of members as apprentices.
A breakfast gem, bagels can make good eating even if they’re not pretending to be from New York.
R & R Bagels is home to at least 19 flavors of freshly baked bagels. There are too many appetizing types to TRULY declare a favorite, but a few exceptional choices are sesame, honey oat, Dijon rye, pumpernickel and multigrain.
Prepackaged varieties cozy up to English muffins on supermarket shelves but they’re just not the same! Delivery is free to local business with a $10.00 minimum order.
R & R Bagels owners, Bath Street resident, football/baseball athlete [Melvin] James [Jim] (uses “Larry”) Daniels, Jr. BHS ‘57/ “college of hard knocks” and Garden Street resident Rita Antoinette [Mari] Daniels, BHS ‘58/Marinella Hairdressing School, dated in High School. The couple is from a lineage of Bristolians. Late parents Army veteran Melvin and Katherine Daniels, Sr. lived in the Borough and Romano and Mary Mari owned the “Hofbräu” and then the Beaver and Garden Street “Mari’s Café”. Rita’s brother Louis and his wife, Virginia continued to run the café into the 1970’s. Currently Jefferson Avenue residents, they were married at St. Ann Church on January 22, 1961.
Happy 47th Anniversary!
They have two grown children, Dr. [Melvin] James Daniels III, DMD, BHS 80/ Temple U./ U. of PA, General Dentistry, Implants, Periodontics, office on Mill Street and Mount Holly, NJ resident Traci Moore, BHS ’82, an executive in the computer industry.
They are proud grandparents of Shelby Lynn, James Anthony and Sara Rae.
“Ding” [his nickname in H.S.] has also played first base on the AA hardball Borough team and is on the Board of Directors of BSAA [Bristol Senior Athletic Association].
Crossing guard Rita, who at one time worked with the Radcliffe Learning Center pre-schoolers, was normally stationed on the busy Pine and Buckley Streets intersection with concern for the well-being of the Snyder-Girotti elementary school students and occasionally was relocated near St. Ann School and BHS.
Confidence, energy and unlimited ambition exude from the lifetime “bagel buddies”. Larry and Rita both possess considerable creative and artistic talents.
Woodworking enthusiast Larry owns a home wood shop and confesses that he “used to spend a lot of time in the basement; loves it but no time now”. He crafted the intricately scroll saw carved train and has displayed his artwork in a handmade pine frame that hangs in their bagel shop. Rita expresses herself through knitting, crocheting and crafting with vibrant colors and textures of yarn, and glaze painting/kiln firing ceramics.
After “retiring” from their collection agency, “Central Bucks Commercial Agency” in Doylestown and their Pennsburg Beer & Soda retail distributorship, Larry continued to work for Home Depot for the last decade, employed now at the Neshaminy location, as a phone operator, directing calls.
Obviously, none of the secrets of success will work unless they do!
Larry is a self-declared “food man”, “likes everything- roast beef, turkey, salmon, crabs, flounder, anything!” Rita’s favorite dish is shrimp marinara over linguine at her nephew’s, “Cesare’s Italian Specialties Ristorante” [the closest thing to home cooking!].
The R & R Bagels décor is simple and casual. The place is always kept clean and there’s a lottery and an ATM machine and a rack with the day's newspapers in it! All Borough residents, the staff, sporting Great I.D.’s by Anne designed T- shirts, are “here since day #1” [manager] Missy Adamson; energetic Kellie Mohan; 7th grade teacher at St. Ann School, Julieanne Cappuccino; 5 year employee, currently attending college for Nursing, who also works at St. Mary Medical Center, Alyssa Casmirri, and newest welcomed conscientious employee, Marie Waters, who are always pleasant, cheerful, and efficient.
You have to navigate the winding drive to reach the 6-year-old [on March 1st] R &R bagels that was an expresso place for about ½ year and then vacant for a long while, housed in the retrofitted Bristol Borough train station building off Beaver Street. One of the top things the borough lacked in regards to food was a solid New York style bagel!
Now you can finally get your breakfast on “track”.
Rita, whose special song by the Platters is “My Prayer” with the lyrics, “My prayer is to linger with you, At the end of the day in a dream that's divine” shared that she played in the ticket station as a child. Larry’s favorite Chuck Berry tune, “Johnny B Good” has the lyrics, “…sit beneath the tree by the railroad track, Oh an engineer could see him sitting in the shade. His mother told him some day you will be a man, Maybe someday your name’s gonna be in lights, Many people coming from miles around”.
At the bagel mecca - not “nothing but bagels”, the menu includes breakfast burritos with potatoes and an assortment of bagel/bread/English muffin or Kaiser roll- egg sandwiches and choices of pork roll, ham, bacon, sausage and turkey bacon. Or opt for Belgian waffles or homemade French toast to start your day.
The authentic, dense, chewy textured plump and “chubby”, hefty but not too huge bagels
[heartiness makes them more filling than a croissant and sans topping they are a reasonable 200 calories] can be complemented with some traditional [bagel breakthrough since 1880] Philadelphia Cream Cheese or any flavor including health nut, sun dried tomato, onion chive, horse radish cheddar, strawberry, cinnamon butter, or vegetable.
It’s a common breakfast among commuters and such a satisfying combination to sink your teeth into!
P.S. Spreading bagels with peanut butter is not a sacrilege!
Choose from great variations of grinders, steak sandwiches and hoagies or try the tortilla “wraps” stuffed with almost any filling imaginable that are served with chips and a pickle. Or experience a Quesadillas, a 12” flour tortilla covered with another flour tortilla stuffed with mozzarella cheese and a choice of ingredients that comes with salsa and sour cream on the side and easily satisfies two appetites!
Also on hand are a variety of fresh salads and the sure-fire hit with kids of all ages- the grilled hot dog!
Try the homemade lasagna or one of the every day specials offered and a steaming serving of the soup of the day: cream of mushroom, sausage & pepper, clam chowder or French onion.
The daily desserts include homemade rich brownies, decadently infused with chocolate chips, a wonderfully rich and buttery pound cake with just a dusting of powdered sugar and the most delicious tempting homemade cookies that can also be ordered and purchased for $8.50 per pound.
Mouth watering for cheesecake? Special order any 13” type for $22.00-$24.00.
Choices include key lime [a real keeper!], an excellent chocolate chip, traditional blueberry, or the Grand Marnier liqueur selection that lends an orange flavor, or the always a hit, Kahlua cheesecake.
Beverages include juice, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate and cappuccino; French vanilla or pumpkin spice cappuccino for the holidays. Buy 9 cups of java, get the 10th free!
It’s a great summer lunch spot- it’s nice to take your order outside to the tables and enjoy the fresh air, fabulous Bristol Spur Line Park and landmark Grundy Commons clock tower views and a great lunch at the same time!
At the risk of already sounding like a commercial for R & R Bagels, let’s mention one more perk. When you purchase 9 sandwiches, they will give you your 10th free. Enjoy their baker's dozen [13 total] when you order a dozen bagels to go!
$6.20 / dozen and $5.50 on weekends.
Hint- bagels are among the most well-behaved bread products in the freezer, happily keeping for 3-4 months in an airtight heavy-duty freezer bag. Slice your bagels before freezing and it’s OKAY to toast your bagels right out of the freezer.
Repeat as needed.
Special on Thursday 1.10.08- “Thanksgiving sandwich”, turkey breast w/ homemade stuffing and cranberries on a Kaiser roll w/ chips and soda $5.75
Mention this spotlight article and receive 10% off any purchase.
100 Prospect Street
[Bristol Borough train Station]
Bristol, Pa 19007
Mon-Fri 5:45 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Sat- 7:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Sun- 8:00 a.m.-noon
Catering & Meeting Room available.
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Louis R. Mari, age 84, of Bristol Boro, passed away peacefully on Sat., December 29, 2012, at home surrounded by his loving family. He was born and raised in Bristol Boro. In his youth, he was employed by the former Hunter Wilson Distillery in Bristol Boro. Later, he owned and operated Mari’s Café for 20 years and eventually worked at Philadelphia Park as a “hot walker.” He was later employed by the PA Racing Commission working in the office of the state veterinarian. Lou was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard for 3 years and was stationed in Cape May, NJ. In 1949, Lou as invited to tryout for the Philadelphia Athletics, but personal circumstances prevented him from proceeding. Louis was an avid fan of all sports, and he almost never missed watching Phillies and Eagles games on TV. Some of his final moments were actually spent watching a college football game.
He was predeceased by his parents Romano & Mary Ciotti Mari; and sister Loretta Pascoe. He was a member of St. Ann Athletic Association. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 63 years, Virginia (nee: Hickey); his children Raymond Mari and his wife Sharon, and Ginny O’Donnell and her husband Kevin; his grandchildren, Colin O’Donnell (Shanna), Evan O’Donnell (Briana), Eric O’Donnell (Nicole), Jonathan O’Donnell, and Alison Mari; and his adoring great grandchildren, Celia Grace O’Donnell and Rian Bailee O’Donnell. He is also survived by his sisters Natalie Mosco and Rita Daniels. Relatives and friends are invited to call today (Jan. 3), 7pm-9pm, and tomorrow (Jan. 4) 8am-9:30am, at the Galzerano Funeral Home, 430 Radcliffe Street, Bristol Boro. Funeral Mass will be celebrated 10am at St. Mark Church. Due to military scheduling, interment will be held at a later date at Washington Crossing National Veteran’s Cemetery. Because of his lifelong love of thoroughbred horses, it is requested that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in his memory to Friends of New Bolton Center Fund. Checks should be made payable & mailed to: Trustees of the University of PA, Trustees of the University of PA, and mailed to Development Office at New Bolton Center, 382 W. Street Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348.