Monday, October 14, 2013

A Loaf Of Love

Woods Corner, a shopping center in the Kempsville section of Virginia Beach, has largely changed for the worse since my almost-daily visits to the complex ended in 2003. The Rack "N' Sack/Farm Fresh grocery store, once the source of many before-midnight beer runs, now rests like an empty bottle of Colt 45. Does CiCi's Pizza still have hungry hordes amassed outside the door for their $3.99 buffet? Nope. Not only has the price for grazing privileges increased, Kempsville residents now have to fill their faces at out-of-the-way CiCi's locations in Lynnhaven and Janaf. Forget about finding cheap CDs from the likes of XTC and The Black Crowes amongst the glorious mess of the former Consignment City. These days, the only items marked down inside the structure are bingo cards clutched by aging librarians. Something called Cheryl's Restaurant sits vacant next to the still-functioning CHKD Thrift Store. A 60% rating on might be a main reason for Cheryl's extended absence from the kitchen.

"Don't be afraid of comparing the luscious lump to a heavenly Hot Pocket encrusted by the godliness of a Golden Corral dinner roll." This was my status update on Facebook yesterday. It's also a layman's description of the go-to choice from Glory's Bakery. Immune to blight, natural disasters, World Wars and Crusades, the crown jewel of Woods Corner has been plating tasty Filipino fare such as pancit and lumpia for over 25 years. The prime factor for its 93% urbanspoon mark, though, is the incredible pepperoni bread. A soft loaf stuffed with copious amounts of said meat and stringy cheese, the generous portion certainly tops 93% of the pizzas I've ever sliced. Additional fillings such as sausage and meatballs are available, but I'd recommend your first order remain true to form. $3.99 is what you'll hand over for the bread, and $2.50 more will earn you four rolls of lip-smacking lumpia. Because of Glory's limited seating and lack of restrooms, most customers opt for the to-go Styrofoam boxes. Take that, McDonald's! Six weeks ago, my sister Shannon and I couldn't stop raving about the once-familiar offering that's now become an occasional treat on the car ride back to Peanut City. We agreed that the bread itself was worth the four bucks, and I downgraded the still-superb Golden Corral rolls to an A-minus. Sauce packets went unused, because they were a tricky proposition in the backseat. As for the lumpia, Shannon liked it well enough, but she stubbornly preferred her own take on what I've called the "best game-day food ever." Having devoured at least four dozen of Shannon's samples, I'll concede her point and posit Glory's deep-fried delight as #2 in Tidewater. The pepperoni bread, however, has no challengers for the title of "Signature Taste of Kempsville."

I regret not dining at Glory's Bakery more often when I lived about a mile from the establishment. The lure of CiCi's cheap grub was an irresistible temptation. Now that it's shuttered, people won't have the lesser option to deal with anymore. Sometimes, choice can be a bad thing. Stay away from Subway's supposed meal deals and spend only a fraction more for exponentially increased quality.

Glory's pepperoni bread: Makes me want to shout the title of a Leonard Cohen song. Well, almost.


  1. How long would it take me to drive to Virginia Beach from Foxboro?

    Also, which Leonard Cohen song did you have in mind?

  2. Uh, about 12 hours?

    The song covered by Jeff Buckley and countless others.