Montreal Bagels Rule the World!
I've often had a problem with bagels. I find them to be too puffy and bland for my liking.
But last week, I was in Montreal, Quebec for my vacation. And while sampling the city's various poutine and smoked meat (Schwartz's rule, BTW) I decided to try another one of Montreal's signature items, their bagels, only because I heard they were different from ordinary bagels.
Without much knowledge, I checked the web to see what was avaliable and what was closest. I ended up coming across St. Viateur Bagels, which was located along rue St. Viateur between St. Urbain and Parc. There are actually two shops along this stretch. the one closest to St. Urbain is a wholesale shop that makes and sells their bagels with nothing more than that. They recommended I head over to their second store which was across the street and closer to Parc. Not only do they make bagels as similar to the first store but they also offer individual packs of cream cheese to spread on. They sold three types as far as I know: plain, sesame seed, and poppy seed.
I ordered only one sesame seed with a pack of herb and spice cream cheese to go. They aren't as big as your traditional New York style bagel but they cooked them in wood burning ovens after they have been in a bath of a water-honey mixture.
One bite and I WAS IN LOVE! They have a slightly sweet taste from the honey bath they were in. They had a toasty smokey crunchy exterior and a warm soft interior that makes them so addictive when bitten into. They were so good I went back and ordered two more. The next day, I went back and ordered a half dozen of these babies and finished them off before noon. I had to leave early the next day and never got to order some more. I was officialy hooked.
I know some of you (especialy those living in New York) believe there is only one way to make a bagel. But trust me, if you find yourself going to Montreal try their bagels out. Not only will you not be dissapointed but you will be wondering what you've been having all these years.