I found St. Viateur bagels here in Oakville!
- YYZSolly Aug 5, 2006 05:12 PM
Yep...my favourite little gourmet shop - Jubilee Fruit Market - right at the corner of Lakeshore and Allan (right in the heart of downtown Oakville).
I don't go there much anymore, now that we have Whole Foods and Organic Garage. After a bit of post-workout garage sale-ing this morning, I stopped at Jubilee for some scallions and a jar of Silver Palate pasta sauce.
Well, there they were. A bag of six St. Viateur bagels, reasonably fresh, for $5.00. Sure, that's twice what they cost back in my old hometown but, hey, its worth it.
In the same vein, Oakville also has an excellent Montreal-Style bagel shop now. It's called Taylor's and it's in the plaza on Third Line, right at the corner of Third Line and Dundas. They have the right type of oven, the correct seeds, and a reasonable amount of expertise.
But how well do the bagels travle.
Lates face it is hard to beat a fresh, hot out of the oven, Montreal bagels straight from the source!
if you want mtl bagels, fresh. then the bagel house is where you should go. its on avenue road just above lawerence. made there, with an wood oven and the bagels are soked in honey water, just like 'back home'
yes its not in oakville, but a good thing, i will drive for
St. Viateur sesame bagels are $4.49 for 6 at some Metro stores.
I am not truly impressed, although these are good bagels.
There is a good crust, slightly sweet and nutty, but the interior is soft. Not chewy.
Made from all purpose flour, or eastern flours (Ont.) rather than the prairies, which would yield a stronger dough.
This was a major disappointmnet for me, but I know I can get what I want with the New York bagel, made with midwestern wheat.
I have now seen St Viateur bagels at several local Metros, in plastic bags and very stale. Temptation to buy? Nil. If they get them frozen, as I assume they must, they should sell them frozen. A badly handled version of a legendary name isn't the legendary food.
A comparable example: I've never tasted Poilane bread (baked at a monster plant in France) at its source, but the stuff sold at Holt Renfrew, while not bad, is hardly worth its high cost or exalted reputation.
Montreal gossip suggests that St Viateur often thaws and sells frozen bagels at their own store, and not necessarily wood oven baked ones. While I'm in no position to evaluate these statements, I'll stick with Bagel House, at least when they are fresh.
I have bought them and no, they do not compare to fresh Montreal bagels. I can't remember which of St Viateur or Fairmont I finally picked as a favourite when I lived there- but if they were somehow sneaking frozen bagels into the mix, they would have to had been very clever, because isn't the entire baking process visible to the customer at the 24-hour stores?
The Metro I went to had bagels with Best Before dates 6 days apart which also annoyed me. But even buying the 'fresher' ones, they were far from fresh.
The reputedly have a second commercial bakery location. Toronto's Gryfe's also has a commercial distribution bakery totally separate from their "baked in view" Bathurst St. store. I believe Bagel World also bakes offsite for wholesale distribution, including to stores.
There's nothing inherently wrong with doing this, assuming the end product is identical. But is it?
In any event, stale is stale, however the product is made. No "real" bagel, of whatever style, is edible within a day, much less six days.
Shelf life was considered an important advantage when I was a kid, and much "real" bread disappeared over the years. Now real bread is back, and bagels seem to be following the same trajectory a couple of decades later.