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Montreal Bagels are Best


mb7o
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Lesley,

There are many more of us transplanted Vancouverites who are in love with Montreal than are not. :)

I've seen you talk about the high quality of Montreal breads in this and other threads. Can you recommend a place on the Plateau where I can buy a good whole wheat or multigrain bread?

(and thanks for including a heads up about this forum in your Gazette column!)

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quanneur, welcome to eGullet.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Hi quanneur and welcome. :smile:

You're lucky, there's some terrific bread on the Plateau. My favourite boulangerie is Le Fromentier at 1375 Laurier St. E. They have superb bread, all made with organic, stone-ground flour. And the people are nice too.

In the same space you'll find Le Maitre Corbeau cheese affineur and the Queue de Cochon for artisanal sausages and charcuterie (amazing cretons).

Hmmm...think I'll start a new thread on this topic

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Hey Richard, I couldn't agree more with the answer submitted to you. This is Laurier street est, a nice little est end heaven around the Marquette street area. After my Jean Talon outings, I do head out to fromentier for some of the best bread in town (what an art !). Making bread is truly an scientific operation. Queue de cochon has some really nice merges and can set you up witha complete and very nice "Choucroute".

By the way, I'm new here but I'ma real food crazy person. I am also an organic grower and most of the produce used in my kitchen are directly dropped to my place by some of the best producers in the Montreal area. The best kitchen is in your garden. Due to my occupation, I also have to go to restaurants a lot so I have a good check list of places to go or not to go (I tried Lemeac last week and SOY last thursday) both were great, soy is great as always and Lemeac is like an upscale Express plus they have their own smoker on site.

Reguarding the bagel thingme, it is basically understood that there are two types of bagel in this world, the new york style bagel and the montreal style bagel. Many new yorkers think the montreal style bagel is from New York, in fact, it was the montreal baguel that was imported to some of the jewish communities of New York. The major difference between the Montreal Baguel and the New York Baguel is the fact that the shapped doe IS POCHED IN HONEY WATER PRIOR TO BAKING in the montreal style baguel. The New York style is closer to the thick bready stuff... (I'm not a fan...)

Another point of importance between the montreal and new york style bagel... The montreal style baguel takes advantage of gravity fed, whipped, Liberty creme cheese. The new York gets that lumpy thing called philadelphia... (but it stores 3 months in the fridge...)

Identifiler

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Identifier and quanneur: Welcome. And why don't you post your bios on the bio thread?

You are making an ex-Montreal girl incredibly nostalgic. Trust me, here in the great city of Chicago I have yet to find a bagel which comes even close to the bagels , which, in my student days at McGill I scarfed at 6:00 am. On Durocher? Pins? (Sidebar: Is Pines Pizza still there?)

Thanks to Leslie for bringing in so many Montrealers.

And yes, Montrealers work to live. Perhaps alone in North America.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Maggie, I travel a lot to Chicago and yes... There are some things difficult to get in Chicago compared to Montreal, however, you will see in the "mexican food in Montreal" that we do very bad compared to you. My last stop in Chicago had me going to Topolobambo, that is fine mexican !

I'll fly in some fresh bagels if you pay my bill at tompolobambo.

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Maggie, I travel a lot to Chicago and yes... There are some things difficult to get in Chicago compared to Montreal, however, you will see in the "mexican food in Montreal" that we do very bad compared to you. My last stop in Chicago had me going to Topolobambo, that is fine mexican !

I'll fly in some fresh bagels if you pay my bill at tompolobambo.

Mon cher,

That would be a lot of bagels!

And you're right. We have a lot of excellent Mexican here.

When next you come by, let us eGulleteers in Chicago know. Maybe we can get together.

If you haven't figured it out already, you will. eGullet isn't just a food site, it's a way of life. And we love to meet each other and eat. And talk.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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identifiler, there're Montreal-style bagels in Jewish communities of New York?? Where specifically in New York, & give me names of the establishments.

maggiethecat. Pines Pizza is now at Parc & Mount-Royal(next to Dusty's). During what years, did you go to Pines Pizza at their original location? I'm trying to figure out, approx. when they moved to their current location. The original owner sold Pines Pizza around 4 years ago. Have you eaten the pastrami at Manny's in Chicago? I wonder if it's any good(comparable to the best Montreal smoked meat?). Manny's is listed in The Saveur 100, as among the best pastrami

anywhere.

---------------

Steve

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  • 5 months later...

Montreal Bagels, best in the world that I know. These bagels beat anything I’ve had in the states anywhere (yes NYC that includes you).

I did a side by side taste test w/both plain and sesame bagels from two of Montreal’s famous bagel bakeries, St. Viateur and Fairmount. All bagels were purchased w/in 5 minutes of each other, all were still warm from getting out of the oven.

Hands down the winner was St. Viateur. The St. Viateur bagel was more dense and chewy, had a more rich wood fire flavor to it. The sesame bagel from St. Viateur was an epiphany for me, that good!

Fairmount should not hang their head, their bagel is head and shoulders above anything in the US.

According to the Montreal Mirror, the best bagels in Montreal are:

1. St. Viateur

(263 St-Viateur W., 276-8044)

2. Fairmount

(74 Fairmount W., 272 0667)

3. REAL Bagel

(4940 Queen Mary, 737-8841; 6160 Côte St-Luc, 484-3323)

4. Dad's Bagels

(5732 Sherbrooke W., 487-2454)

5. Yagel Bagel

(Décarie Square, 738-4231; 2075 St-Louis, 748-9016; 6579 Somerled, 489-5250)

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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Montreal Bagels, best in the world that I know. These bagels beat anything I’ve had in the states anywhere (yes NYC that includes you).

It's been quite a few years since I've had a Montreal bagel, but it was from St. Viateur, or so I recall. It was better than anything I had tasted in NY at the time. Since then, bagels have not improved in NY. If St. Viateur has kept its quality up, this New Yorker is on your side. As to whether the St. Viateur bagel could compare to the bagels of my youth in NY, well that's just too far back in memory.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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If St. Viateur has kept its quality up, this New Yorker is on your side. As to whether the St. Viateur bagel could compare to the bagels of my youth in NY, well that's just too far back in memory.

IMO, St. Viateur bagels are still the best in the city. Whether the bakery has kept its quality up is less clear. The bagels are fatter, less chewy and a bit sweeter than they were, say, in the '70s. In fact, these days you sometimes get ones with holes so small you can't thread them on your finger! They've also begun to offer other flavours — cinnamon raisin, for example. To date, there's been no popular revolt, probably because the changes have been gradual and the bagels remain so superior to others. But neither trend is to be encouraged, and if someone wants to start a petition, I'll sign it...

Edited by carswell (log)
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What makes the montreal bagel better  than the new york bagel?

please explain!

joanne

That's easy, it because they're baked by elves!

Actually it might have something to do with the way that they are boiled prior to baking and are lighter and more airy than NY or Toronto bagels

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What makes the montreal bagel better  than the new york bagel?

please explain!

joanne

Montreal bagels are said to be closer to the original Old World bagels. They're scrawnier and chewier than NY bagels and have a coarser crumb. The smaller diameter of the cross-section means the ratio of crust to doughy centre is greater, which is probably one reason they're chewier. And they are briefly boiled in honey water before being baked in a wood-fired oven. Have also heard that the dough is different, with Montreal bagels using more malt and a different yeast.

Edited by carswell (log)
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The bagels are fatter, less chewy and a bit sweeter than they were, say, in the '70s. In fact, these days you sometimes get ones with holes so small you can't thread them on your finger!

Wow! When I lived in Montreal in the mid 1970's, you could easily fit several fingers through one. Very different in appearance from a NY bagel. Much better tasting too, but less adaptable to being schmeared with stuff.

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I love St. Viateur bagels, but I think we are talking apples and oranges when comparing them to NYC bagels such as H&H. They are different species. It is like comparing lamb and beef. I love them both and would wish to not have to give up either.

In either place, they are at their best when fresh, but I think NYC bagels revive better in a toaster when less than perfectly fresh.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Wow! When I lived in Montreal in the mid 1970's, you could easily fit several fingers through one. Very different in appearance from a NY bagel. Much better tasting too, but less adaptable to being schmeared with stuff.

Side-by-side comparisons being impossible, it's hard to say for sure, but my impression is that the taste hasn't changed much in the last 30 years. Schmearing may be one of the factors driving the trend to fatter bagels; they do make for better bagel burgers.

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today i went to st. viateur and bought a dozen, and then when i got to work i put them in my locker. later on in the day, i went down to the dry store to grab a bottle of olive oil, passing my locker, the whole room smelled wonderfully of fresh st. viateur bagels. yay.

"Bells will ring, ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting.... the bell... bing... 'moray" -John Daker

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riboflavinejoe:

I can smell those bagels way out here in Alberta!

When I grew up in Montreal many an early morning was spent lined up in the St. Viateur bagel factory picking up a bag to two to bring home as a "peace offering" to the rest of the family.

My brothers came to become fans of Fairmount but whenever I venture "home" I head to St. Viateur...recollect one puzzled security guard who called over a supervisor when my hand luggage went through the x-ray machine at Dorval...I had packaged some bagels and cans of maple syrup and it must have looked like a bomb to him initially.

Whenever I head south to Calgary I bring home dozens of bagels from "Wayne's Bagels" in Kensington as they make them Montreal styled in a wood burning oven...closest I have found to the "real thing" in these parts...smallish, dense, with a touch of sweetness.

Merlin

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Between St.Viateur and Fairmount ,I find them both phenomenol but I prefer Fairmount there sweeter and tasteier I'll have 3 before I get home.But thats my taste.

Con il melone si mangia , beve e si lava la facia

My Nonno Vincenzo 1921-1994

I'm craving the perfct Gateau Foret Noire .

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My first post, and I'm proud that it's about Montreal bagels. Though most of my family has moved away, whenever we come back "home" we have standing orders to stock up on St. Viateurs and cream cheese (lighter/airier cream cheese is a nice balance to the density, IMHO). Upon return to Southern Ontario, there is always a bit of a feast, as all of us meet at my parents to split up the bounty.

One taste, and you're there.

Drat. Now I want one.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Picked up a dozen sesame bagels from the St. Viateur factory last night. Pulled one out of the bag to eat on the way home and was shocked to see how fat it was — a new record in my books. And while the others in the bag were not quite as obese, they were still pretty tubby. Curious, I just pulled out a tape measure and got some stats on the thicker of the two remaining bagels: 15.5 cm (6+ inches) around at the thickest point with the diameter of the cross section an astounding 5 cm (2 inches). The really thick portion forms about half of the bagel; the other half is thinner, c. 10 cm (just under 4 inches).

The taste is basically unchanged, though the higher ratio of dough to crust means the bagels are definitely less chewy and maybe a bit less sweet. They also tend to compress more when you bite or cut into them.

Yuck. What is driving this trend?

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  • 7 months later...

Went to pick up some Viateur bagels and they were huge, practically no hole in the middle!!!! Why is this happening? Do more people want to make sandwiches with their bagels these days, or just want more room to drape their lox on top?

They were also a bit more heavy tasting.

Does any one else feel this way?

I think there should be two types, fat and classic thin ones.

I am sorry to say this but I am starting to like my Ottawa Bagel Shop Bagels more these days because they are still fairly thin. :huh:

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