Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Bond and Smolders, ham and cheese, happy patron

I don’t want to admit how many years I have been searching for a grilled ham and Swiss on rye like the ones Shelley’s Take-Out used to deliver in Gainesville, back in the Pleistocene era, when I was a student living in the Broward dorm. I wish I had a dollar for every one of these greasy pressed ham-and-cheese sandwiches I ate, or for that matter, all the Krispy Kremes I’d bring back hot from the oven at 3 in the morning on my bike in my pajamas back when the world was a happier place.

I probably will never be able to duplicate a Shelley’s ham and Swiss (just like the Creamsicle, which I think is extinct), but I found a close runner up and it’s maybe three minutes from my house. Bond and Smolders bakery, which I think is Dutch, just opened in the tail end of the abandoned Winn-Dixie shopping center at Woolbright and Federal. I would peg this as maybe the worst location in Boynton Beach, except it may not be—the center has been sold, and it’s already home to the “best sushi north of Nobu” (to quote our food critic Bill Citara) in Sushi Simon, and the highly respectable Prime Catch, just around the corner. And now you have a lunch and breakfast spot with really, really good sandwiches—including a melty ham and cheese that. Is. To. Die. For.

Open Monday-Saturday, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., Bond and Smolders has a full counter full of everything from croissants and caramel cookies and cheese crackers and brownies and apricot tarts and a million other sweets to freshly baked bread and blueberry muffins, brioche and cinnamon rolls. Breakfast includes homemade marmalade, every kind of coffee or tea, even caramel Macchiato and chocolate milk and fresh OJ.

Lunch is an impressive menu of cold and grilled sandwiches or wraps and salads, from Vegan to a BLT to smoked salmon and a classic Caesar. Prices are reasonable, there’s lots of seating and an airy industrial feel.

So life begins again in the ashes of Winn-Dixie—and it’s name is Really Good Bakery. As for me, I see a bike ride over the bridge to Bond and Smolders as an everyday ritual.

Maybe I’ll see you there.

Bond and Smolders, 1622 S. Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, 561/808-4557

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