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B & W Bakery

614 Main Street, Hackensack, NJ - (201) 342-5577
Posted By Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on 9/30/2007 10:06:00 PM
Have you had New Jersey-style crumb cake? If you're not from the Northeast it's likely you haven't, but once you do you may find that the standard issue crumb cake you've always enjoyed just doesn't do it for you anymore. What makes the Jersey edition unique is how the crumb cake concept is turned on its head. It's all about the crumbs. Oh, there's cake, but the half-inch of pastry supports four times its height in sweet crumbs!

Many northern New Jerseyans look to the B & W Bakery to satisfy their crumb cake cravings. While some Jersey cakes use a pound cake-like base, B & W's "heavy crumb cake" (their words) is built upon a lightly sweet yeasted pastry, like a Danish. The waist-deep pile of large crumbs, some crunchy and others soft, that sits atop the cake are not cloyingly sweet, though plenty sweet enough. This is a crumb cake that just cries out for a pot of coffee and a lazy morning.

Crumb cake is not all. Doughnuts are modest in variety but not in quality. The old-fashioned cruller is actually a plain doughnut, not what we think of as a cruller. The faintly crisp shell contains barely sweet pastry with a gentle flavor that never pales, and has none of the astringency of poorly-made chain doughnuts. The Boston cream is a tour de force yeasted doughnut filled with cool pastry cream and blanketed with dark, thick chocolate, while the iced crullers are true crullers, like sweetened eggy popovers twisted into a circle, topped with sweet chocolate or vanilla icing.

B & W is usually busy any time of day, but service is quick, and the women who work the counter are patient and friendly. Show any indecision and other customers are sure to cheerfully chime in with their recommendations. While crumb cake is the star attraction, many folks swear by the variety of Danish and pecan rings. And there's a tray of what looks like sticky buns that keeps whispering our names. We've not yet answered their call, but suspect that resistance is futile.

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4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
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B & W calls this
"B & W calls this "heavy crumb cake." You'll understand as you carry a bag out the door. For visual reference, this cake is, we would guess, about a 10-inch square, cut from a large tray. Trays of this extremely popular pastry are baked and brought out throughout the day."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle





A closeup of the crumb cake edge is a little deceptive: the cake below appears thicker than it really is.
"A closeup of the crumb cake edge is a little deceptive: the cake below appears thicker than it really is."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


An assortment of B & W cookies.
"An assortment of B & W cookies."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


B & W bakes a huge assortment of fruited and nutted pastries in every conceivable configuration.
"B & W bakes a huge assortment of fruited and nutted pastries in every conceivable configuration."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Home of the
"Home of the "heavy crumb cake.""
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle



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