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New York Flavor Comes to Freehold Border

New York Water Bagel Co. features a drive-thru option and ships in their water from New York for an authentic bagel and pizza experience.

When Suzanne McLean and her husband Brian moved to Manalapan more than two decades ago they were disappointed they could not find a slice of pizza or a bagel like they had known growing up in New York and northern New Jersey. 

It took some time, but a little less than three years ago they opened New York Water Bagel Co. in Toms River and in the past few months they opened a second location on Route 9 on the Howell-Freehold border.

New York Water Bagel & Pizza Co. features a wide ranging menu that is open from early in the morning until late into the night. With their new location McLean said it has helped them to fulfill their dream of bringing the tastes they know to the area they call home. 

The location has been empty for many years but with their grand opening on Saturday, life has come back by providing another dining alternative near the border with Freehold. 

As the name suggests, McLean said one of the things that separates their shop from others in the area is the water they have shipped in to make the dough for their pizza and bagel. Hundreds of gallons of water get trucked in to the location and is then made into the fresh dough. 

The result, she said, is a bagel that takes her back to her childhood. "The outside is supposed to be crunchy and the inside is supposed to be soft," she said. "It's not supposed to be real doughy. It's supposed to be light. Dense, but light."

In an area where there are several bagel places and pizza shops fairly close together McLean said the food has to be good, but there is more to it than that. "Everybody is on the same page," she said. "Quality is first, with customer service and our employees also important. We believe in taking care of our customers."

Much like the specific water they use to make their products, McLean said all their ingredients are key to their successes. "Everything we use is what you would use at home," she said. "We don't buy the off brand of anything."

Another aspect of the shop, that sets it apart from just about any other competition in the area is a drive thru window. McLean said when they saw it as a possible use her husband was immediately excited about what it could mean for their business. "He said we can do drive thru. Nobody has a drive thru," she said about their conversations before buying the property.

It may provide a new level of convenience for her customers but McLean said the window provides some challenges for her staff. "It's difficult because you have to have a very limited menu," she said of cutting down from her regular full offering. "There's only certain things you can do in under two or three minutes."

The basic drive thru menu includes the shop's bagels and individual slices of some of their pizzas but McLean said customers can call ahead and order their full pies to be picked up without getting out of their cars. 

It has only been a few months, but McLean said she has enjoyed working on the new location especially with it being so much closer to her home. "It's great. It's 17 minutes and I'm home," she said. While she may not see the sun on the drive in or the drive home, McLean said there is definitely something to be said for being self employed. "It's nice to work for yourself. You're killing yourself, but it's for us so it's good."

To learn more about the new shop in town check out their Facebook page. 

Gene Zonis January 08, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Went there last week. Complete chaos with order. 3 times to make it right. Bagels are nothing special. Terrace bagels are much better.
Kelly Barry January 08, 2013 at 09:10 PM
Bagels are just OK - very slow service with no one else in the restaurant. Found the prices to be quite high - I'll also stick with Terrace.
Lisa January 09, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Sounds like Terrace is asking people to post here.
Kelly Barry January 10, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Sorry, Lisa - my recommendation is unsolicited. Terrace is just better, in my opinion. I would think that for a new operation, they would fall over themselves to provide fast and friendly service - but that is not what we got. Businesses today fail to focus on one of the most important things they can manage: providing the best service. Their out front people are the face of the business - take more care that they are great at what they do.
Donna fiorenza January 12, 2013 at 06:35 AM
No way terrace' bagel is better and considering they've only been open for a short time I think NY Water Bagel is doing a mighty fine job ... Once their staff is more experienced theyre gonna blow everyone else out of the water. I didnt wait any longer than i do at terrace. I've been going to Terrace for 12 years and have NEVER encountered a friendly person...as a matter of fact I hated going in there because they're down right rude especially the older blonde lady and the big bald guy who I think is the owner!!! I was in there a few weeks ago and ordered a turkey bacon, egg white & cheese sandwich and got 1 slice of turkey bacon, 1 slice of cheese and what looked like the equivalent of 1 egg white. At NY Water Bagel my sandwich was huge & I believe it was about the same price give or take 20 cents. Same with the salads .... At Terrace I got the grilled chicken with romaine & fresh mozzarella & roasted peppers .... The container was1/4 full.... I ordered the same thing at NY Bagel yesterday and it was $1.00 more but I got the same size container filled to the top of the lid! I'm sticking with the new kid on the block. Btw I asked the girl at the register why she was standing there waiting for someone else to pick my bagels and her response was "money is filthy... You have know idea who had it & where it was before you.... it is the policy here that people who handle money never handle food ". I LIKE THAT!!!!!

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