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Bagels

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Hey Chowhounders,
I'm going to Montreal on business later this week. I'll of course be making the obligatory stop at Schwartz's, but wanted to pick up some good Montreal bagels to take home with me. My colleague who went to McGill said that Fairmont Bagels was the best back when she lived there. Do you guys agree/disagree?
Also, does anyone know if these or other good Montreal bagels are kosher? My girlfriend is Jewish and hosting a shabbat lunch and I'd like to bring some good bagels but she won't eat them if they're not kosher.
Thanks a lot, guys!
JG

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  1. >>My colleague who went to McGill said that Fairmont Bagels was the best back when she lived there. Do you guys agree/disagree?<<

    You like playing with fire, eh? Well, put on your asbestos suit and search the archives. Here, for example, is a recent discussion: www.chowhound.com/topics/350116

    Was also disappointed recently to read the following on one of my favourite local blogs, an entry on their anti-top ten list: "Lester's, 1057 Bernard W.--Lester's is another puzzler. Who are these people that continue to claim that Lester's has the best smoked meat in town? I'll never understand it. (I'm shaking my head in disgust as I write this.) Come to think of it, they tend to be the same people who prefer St.-Viateur Bagels over Fairmount Bagels." http://endlessbanquet.blogspot.com/20...
    Disappointed not because the author prefers Fairmount (and certainly not because he disses Lester's) but because he trashes anyone who disagrees with him. Well, guess I'll just have to console myself that James MacGuire is a fellow trashee (or so I've read and heard). But, then again, what does MacGuire know; he's only the city's best artisanal baker...

    >>Also, does anyone know if these or other good Montreal bagels are kosher?<<

    Not kosher at St-Viateur, Fairmount or R.E.A.L. on Queen Mary. Don't know about the other shops.

    1. Last year, over several months, I would pass by either Fairmount or St Viateur in the early morning and pick up a few bagels. They were the first thing I ate every day, and they were always just-baked, so I think it was an even comparison.

      As far is which is the better bagel, I'm convinced that there is more variability within each shop's product than there is between the shops. So depending on who's working that day, who's cutting and rolling, who's boiling, baking etc, you're going to get a slightly different bagel.

      This is a beautiful thing--both places' bagels are always amazing, but they're not precisely consistent. They're handmade. For those who like the narrow crunchy ones with a dark crust, there's always a few in the dozen, for those who's idea of perfect bagel is a bit fluffier and lighter, there's always a few in the dozen.

      1. Is the St-Viateur Bagel & Cafe shops on Mont-Royal & Monkland producing bagels as good as the original St-Viateur Bagel on St-Viateur? Usually go to the original only.

        5 Replies
        1. re: BLM

          Do they even make bagels?

          1. re: SnackHappy

            Yes, as they have wood-burning ovens in both St-Viateur Bagel & Cafe locations. They also make other flavours at these locations(like the cinnamon raisin bagel). In fact the cinnamon raisin bagel that's available at the original St-Viateur Bagel on St-Viateur is made by the St-Viateur Bagel & Cafe location on Mont-Royal. The original St-Viateur Bagel only makes the sesame & poppy bagel varieties. St-Viateur Bagel also has 3 more locations, mainly to produce for their wholesale market, but it's also open to the public(158 St-Viateur West; 340 Marcel Laurin; 7030 St-Michel).

            1. re: BLM

              Forgot to add, the three more locations that St-Viateur Bagel has for their wholesale market, at least at their 158 St-Viateur West outlet, they have a gas-fired oven(not wood burning oven). My guess, the other two locations for wholesale, it's a gas-fired oven they use.

              1. re: BLM

                you are wrong i work there for over 10 years and there is no gas oven in any of the locations. the recepy is the same. the taste may vary a little, depending who is baking them.

                1. re: saulalbeiro

                  You are abolutely correct. I had confused St-Viateur Bagel with Fairmount Bagel(I checked since I posted that). Fairmount Bagel's wholesale location has a electric oven.

        2. Fairmount are the best, hands down. In fact, they trumped St-Viateur bagels in a blind-taste test that included die-hard St-Viateur patrons.