oh, the bagel debate. every now and again there is an article in a NYC publication bemoaning the demise of the old-school bagels that gave new york city it's reputation for legendary, amazing bagels, and then lists a few places to try that are still keeping the dream alive. the difference between the old and new generally resides within a debate over density and size - a big, fluffy, bready bagel is easy to come by these days, but the appeal of a smaller, chewier, denser bagel is what most foodies seek. this quality only comes from boiling the dough before baking it, which is the slightly more elaborate original process than the steaming technique mr. lender invented to speed up the process for grocery-store mass production. while i was satisfied with most bagels in new york city (even the bigger, easier-to-come-by versions), since moving to LA it has been tough to find a bagel that has adequate character. the husband and i drove almost downtown today to try out the brooklyn bagel bakery... and we have a winner! yes, we even commute on behalf of bagels here in LA. on the flipside, though, doughnut shops are far more plentiful and amazing out here, but that makes for another post.
anyhoo...supposedly, montreal has a bagel-making technique that surpasses even that of new york. they boil their bagels in not just water, but water sweetened with honey. then the dough is lovingly baked in a wood-fired brick oven, which imparts a subtly unique flavor that makes them a top bagel contender among the kind of foodies who obsess over such things. oh, and to be montreal-traditional, order a sesame or poppyseed. and that's why bagel eating is pretty high on my list of things to do when i go to montreal someday! here's a little list of the top bagel places to hit in montreal:
- st.-viateur bagel - 1127 av. mont-royal est, near rue la roche in the plateau mont-royal area
- fairmount bagels - 74 fairmount ouest
- real bagel - 4940 Queen Mary; 6160 Côte St-Luc
- dad's bagels - 5732 Sherbrooke W.
- yagel bagel - Décarie Square; 2075 St-Louis; 6579 Somerled
let the tasting begin!