Real Jersey-style bagels coming to Providence Pizza on Saturdays

Luca Bagel is popping up at Providence Pizza on Saturdays/Courtesy photo

Providence Pizza has launched its own pop-up bagel concept (pop-in?) making “Jersey Inspired” bagels on Saturday mornings.

Luca Bagel was inspired by family trips back to Jersery, where the mother of Providence co-owners Aaron and Luke Salvatore came from.

“My fondest bagel memories come from being in New Jersey as a kid,” says Luke Salvatore. “A big, fat, puffy, bagel with excessive amounts of cream cheese.  And there’s barely a hole in the middle if at all.”

For the Salvatores, there is no “there’s no difference in my mind between a NY & NJ bagel.” Some very nerdy bagel people will say that Jersey bagels tend to be a little puffier.

Luca Bagel

Luca Bagel uses a wild yeast starter supplemented with commercial yeast though Luke Salvatore says he’s not opposed to moving toward totally naturally leavened bagels.  He does not want them to be sour at all, however. The bagels undergo a two-day fermentation process so, he says, “they’re going to have that flavor and digestibility that comes with long fermentation. “

“We hand roll all of our bagels as opposed to using a machine, which helps give it that look,” Luke Salvatore says. “There’s not one specific place we’re emulating though over the last couple of years we’ve had some excellent bagels at the Jersey Shore during summer vacation.”

Providence is offering the bagels at its locations in Grandview and Westport on Saturday mornings until noon.

The bagels are made by the traditional method which separates credible bagels from the, ahem, St. Louis Bread Company version. “It turns out our pizza ovens work wonderfully for the baking stage,” says Luke Salvatore.

Don’t expect rainbow bagels or the like but since it’s providence there may soon be a pizza bagel. Blueberry and dark rye pumpernickel are also in the works. There is cinnamon raisin but you are discouraged from eating it Cynthia Nixon-style.

Another piece of news: Providence is planning to bring in a Taylor Ham and egg bagel sandwich.  The last time this was done in KC, at the then-new King G, we wrote about it and lines started forming. King G ultimately had to pull it off the menu because filling lots of orders for the heavily processed pork product created so much smoke it disrupted their operation.

So it goes whenever you bring a traditional East Coast foodstuff to KC.

“I have also noticed that people get unusually excited about bagels in general,” says Salvatore.

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