In early February, the Gloucester Premium Outlets welcomed a new store; a Friendly's restaurant and ice cream shop. The new Friendly's is located in the 300 building in a spot directly next to a small outdoor children's play area, and Toys-R-Us is just a few stores down!
Bellmawr’s Carmen’s hoagies has been famous for years as the area’s go to place for delicious and large hoagies. The Food Network’s “Big Daddy” even picked it as his favorite place to eat, giving Carmen’s a small taste of national attention.
Well a few short years ago, another famous area foodie place, Del Buono’s Bakery of Haddon Heights, purchased Carmen’s and the rumors have been that they planned to expand the Carmen’s locations… adding hoagies and cheesesteaks to their own bread bakeries first. (which is something that other area bread bakeries such as Liscio’s and Aversa’s have been doing for years).
So this past week the Del Buono’s Facebook page made the big announcement that Carmen’s II has opened in the Haddon Heights location! To be clear, the Bellmawr location is still open and this is a SECOND location! And from what we hear, there are more to come!
Even if you aren’t familiar with Del Buono’s, I guarantee that you actually do know of it. ha. Their main store in Haddon Heights is frequently confused with Mt Ephraim. Its on the Black Horse Pike almost directly across from the Mt Ephraim McDonalds.
Two distinctive features of this bakery location is, well this is probably why you are familiar with the store… it features large animal and cartoon figures outside… many of them are what you remember from old school miniature golf courses. If you’ve driven by, you’ve noticed the building! The other cool thing is while they have rolls and breads on racks to pick from, they have their main commercial conveyor belt oven right there for people to pick their own rolls… right from the oven! (See pic). If you haven’t taken your kids to see this… you should.
Anyway.. so it seems like a great idea. Take one of the most famous hoagie places in the area and combine it with one of the most famous bread bakeries in the area… and only good things can come from it.
Not only does the location feature a new deli store with full accommodations to make Hoagies, Cheesesteaks and other sandwiches, they have remodeled the entire place inside and out (which may have happened over the years as I don’t get over their way much since moving to Deptford). With all of the cash-registers moved into the new deli area, the bread area has more room to focus as, well… a bread area! They floors have been retiled, everything is cleaner, and I believe the massive oven is new too. Outside the entire building is freshened up and the parking lot is nicely paved.
I did order a hoagie from the new location. The rolls are huge and fresh (of course, they are baked right there!). This is definitely a large hoagie. We had a Turkey and Cheese and it was delicious. I’m not going into a full review here, but I’ve been tossing around the idea of an area “hoagie shootout” with my Facebook friends. Maybe that happens soon…
Click the pics below for slide show