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Jul 7, 2009 10:15 AM

Montreal Bagels in NYC (coming soon)!

Yipeeeee! I love Montreal bagels and have been lamenting for years that I couldn't find them here. Mile End is set to open in September and will feature St. Viateur bagels. I am a bit concerned that they may not be fresh. But I'm hoping for the best.

They'll also be featuring poutine.

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  1. this is really great! thanks for the tip :)

    7 Replies
    1. re: david sprague

      So sad to see that it wasn't Fairmount. Their everything, with fennel seeds, is the gold standard of the genre for me. The good thing is that they freeze well - each time I go to Montreal I bring a few sleeves back and store them for several months.

      I have to say I'm a little meh on both St. Viateur's and Fairmount's "plain" (sesame) bagels. That said, this place will either be amazing or horrible. I'm hoping they pull in some casks of Dieu du Ciel beers, too. Their Equinoxe de Printemps, a maple beer, is excellent.

      I think it's going into the place on Hoyt just south of Atlantic (behind the deli).

      1. re: lambretta76

        I am so excited about this :) Esp the poutine part...

        1. re: Nehna

          Sheep Station on 4th has a Quebecois chef and turns out some very tasty poutine. It may or may not be on the menu (I forget) but it's always orderable. TPoutine is opening in the LES in The City any time now. I've not had Pomme Frites' version, but I've heard positive things.

          1. re: lambretta76

            yeah i've been meaning to check that out -- but this place will be a much closer walk :) (though with poutine, maybe we'll need a longer walk.........)

          2. re: Nehna

            Oh my - this will be a only a block from me. I love poutine - I am going to grow to the size of a house.....

          3. re: lambretta76

            holy jesus... fairmounts muesli bagel was one of the best things i have eaten without ANY toppings. check out the inside of that baby:

            1. re: amysep

              This is all totally new to me. Never heard of Montreal Bagels. I'm intrigued. Definitely heard of but never had poutine. Very jazzed about that. Chatted with the owner in front of the shop on the weekend. He said it will be a few months.

        2. Can anybody explain why Montreal bagels can't be replicated in another place? NYC water was a typical explanation for the flavor of NYC bagels and pizza. Is some special ingredient only available in Montreal? Montreal has the best hot dog buns also.

          5 Replies
          1. re: MahatmaKanejeeves

            I'm sure water is a factor, and perhaps ingredients. But it's the technique - boiling in honey, cooking in a wood-fired oven - that just doesn't happen here. I'm not sure that it can't be replicated, it just isn't.

            1. re: lambretta76

              Lambretta's right. The Montreal bagel bakers add a bit of honey to the water bath, which imparts a sweetish tinge to the crust. The bagel dough is also enriched with eggs and sugar, which makes the bagels a bit cakier than American-style bagels. Further, the bagels are smaller than the super-sized American versions (with actual holes in the middle, increasingly lost in the puffiness of the modern American version) and baked in wood-fired ovens -- St. Viateur uses maple -- which gives the outside a pleasing char, and the bagels are coated with sesame or poppy seeds on both sides, not just one.

              If the above rumor about Mile End is true, I'm genuinely excited. To my mind, St. Viateur makes the best bagels in Montreal, with the Fairmount running a close second. Now, if they can start importing smoked-meat sandwiches from Schwartz's, we'll really be talking!

              1. re: motl

                Smoked meat really is divine. Hopefully, the owner of this place has a great palate and the smoking knowledge to approach the quality of Schwartz's. (Perhaps on par with Ben's, which I enjoyed, too.) I mean, the folks over at Char No. 4 turn out one of the best (if most unconventional) pastramis I've ever tasted.

                I am excited.

                1. re: lambretta76

                  As an expat Montrealer now living in Brooklyn, all I can say is OMG!!! I grew up eating St. Viateur bagels -- they were the preferred ones in my household (white seeds only, please.) My friends and I would easily devour an entire bag of the warm, fresh-from-the-oven bagels in one car ride home. The only problem is that they go stale very quickly. However, you can pop them in the freezer and then reheat in the toaster the next morning -- almost as good. (I wonder if Mile End will import them frozen...) Good smoked meat would be icing on the cake. And while we're at it, some Montreal cheese bagels would be much appreciated, too!

                  1. re: Fay

                    Holy shit ! This is great news. I love Montreal and this will be great to have a bit of here.

                    I seem to have missed where in Cobble Hill this will be...can anyone give me the cross streets?

                    If you can't wait for the poutine...check out Sheep Station. I think it's better than the stuff I had in Montreal (don't hate me Quebecois).

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. What's the latest on this place? Is it open? I can't wait to try poutine!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Puppimus

                I walk buy it every day. It's slowly coming together. Looks like it might open in a few more weeks. I'm scared for that as it is a block from where I live. I am a poutine fiend and had considered myself lucky b/c it's a trek to get some.

                1. re: Puppimus

                  As a Montrealer who visits New York fairly often and who has friends and family there this makes me extremely nervous. I hope for your sake that their poutine isn't disgusting and I would not be surprised one bit of it was. Good poutine is hard, great poutine is next to impossible (I know, I know how hard can it be, right? Well, with only three ingredients involved, if one is bad it's completely undermined the integrity of the entire thing). Even in Montreal it's exceedingly hard to find great poutine. There's maybe two that I've had here that I would consider great and this is food that I've been eating since inception. And they're having their bagels flown in? Lord, I smell disaster. The only way to convince a New Yorker that Montreal bagels are better is to drag them up here and shove a fresh-out-of-the-wood-fired-oven St. Viateur down their throat. Please, please, please tell me that this place doesn't suck and for the love of god, if you don't like their poutine don't swear the stuff off as crud because though it's hard to find, a great poutine is a thing of beauty.

                2. Isn't that sort of carrying coals to Newcastle?

                  It is impossible to find decent bagels outside of NYC, and even here it is hit or miss.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Fleur

                    Er, have you been to montreal Fleur? Impossible? Seriously?

                    I personally prefer Montreal style bagels to NYC --- and there are many, many people who would back up that sentiment (do a google search). That said, they both have their own merits. What makes Montreal bagels so tasty, I've read, is honey in the dough. I also prefer how small they are compared to most NYC bagels -- I don't feel stuffed half the day after eating one.

                    1. re: Nehna

                      i concur with nehna. i am a born and raised new yorker and i have to admit, those montreal bagels beat a new york bagel any day. but, a new york bagel beats a bagel anywhere else in the world. :-)

                      i don't like that new york ones are so doughy, too soft and gigantic. the montreal ones are smaller, crispy on the outside, light and warm in the inside. esp when you get them straight out of the oven at fairmount! heavenly.

                      bigger isn't necessarily better when it comes to bagels...

                      1. re: Linda

                        Not to mention the need NY deli people have to put a pound or so of cream cheese on said bagel. Does *anyone* really want that much cream cheese on their bagel? I've taken to actually asking them to go easy on the c.c. It's disgusting having that much.

                        1. re: Nehna

                          No matter how many times I ask for light or little cream cheese, its always the same huge glop of cream cheese. I end up taking half of it off with my finger.

                      2. re: Nehna

                        Y'know why I know about this particular regional sub-genre of cuisine and can express interest in it instead of dismissing it? Because I read everyone's contribution to this thread. Doesn't seem like a lot to ask but...whatever.