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Who makes the best Challah in Montreal?

b
bigfellow Oct 27, 2009 11:07 PM

I'm curious, who makes the best challah in the city? I was spoiled in Vancouver by a small bakery on west 41st run by a chinese couple who made fantastic challah. I am still searching here in Montreal.

  1. c
    chantillytm Jan 26, 2010 04:15 AM

    Le Fournil on Victoria makes a great challah... traditional, raisin (no skimping on the raisins) and whole wheat (not my fav)

    Cavallaro is great too.

    Buying frozen challahs from Kosher Quality on Victoria and baking them yourself is AMAZING too.

    1. a
      aliris Dec 18, 2009 08:37 PM

      Yes, yes about Cavallero's! I actually searched for "challah" just to start a thread praising their challah and wondering about the origin of the bakery it came from. I was just wandering down Sherbrooke/Victoria today and thought the challah looked good so grabbed one. Only later did I think: "wasn't that an Italian bakery"?? And then when we ate it: Wow! I do think it's the best challah I've ever had. Which left me wondering what *else* there is out there in this city if just random wandering turns up such a good one!

      I've also tried the "brioche" I think they call it at Atlantique. It is braided sprinkled with chunks of rock sugar I guess. It's not what I would call a brioche or even a challah; kind of a hybrid -- well, it's sweet and soft but not really very eggy. Whatever it is, it is delicious and also sells out fast; they do make them daily and I imagine you can reserve them with less difficulty than Cavallero's where I agree, the staff seemed especially vague. Not so definitively at Atlantique! Anyway, my kids inhaled the Atlantique brioche before ever I had more than a taste: it was a hit big-time. Though again, not a traditional, Jewish "challah" by my books, which requires an egg dough.

      I stumbled on what must be Cheskie a few weeks back and *loved* their tiny chocolate thingies -- were they supposed to be rugelach? I didn't taste a sour creamy dough. They were more like small croissants. Whatever they were, they were mind-blowingly terrific, definitely worth a trip for; definitely a taste-sensation to remember in one's old age. The babka was great too but I do think the best incarnation were the little rolls. We tried a mess of stuff, including, I believe, a challah. The challah was not memorable; dry. Those little chocolate delights however ... wow. Golly. Writing without having recourse to one of those morsels is a little painful....

      2 Replies
      1. re: aliris
        d
        Dusty08 Dec 18, 2009 09:25 PM

        This may clear a few things up:
        Cavallaro does make their challah every day. Yes, it is an Italian bakery, but a few years ago when they started to make challahs for Rosh Hashannah and they got a write-up in the Gazette, the craze started. Since then, they make challah every day. Throughout the week of the high holidays (the day before Rosh Hashannah starts to the last day of Yom Kippur- 8 day time span), they bake and sell over 1600 challahs! That is a lot of bread. Friday's, being shabbat, they make the traditional braided challah, but they also add round ones, one with sesame and one with raisins. If you want to reserve a challah, it is highly recommended that you call in advance, i.e. the day before at least. If they run out of challahs, which is not uncommon, then try the challah rolls. It's the same dough just in a smaller version. They only bake about 3-4 braided challahs on every other day during the week.

        Check out my blog once in a while. It just started, but I will be updating it regularly:
        http://foodguymontreal.wordpress.com/

        1. re: Dusty08
          a
          aliris Dec 19, 2009 04:39 AM

          Interesting; thanks. Where there's a market....

      2. l
        lovescone Nov 2, 2009 11:01 AM

        Kosher Quality on Victoria. By far the best.

        1. b
          berbatov Nov 1, 2009 08:39 AM

          A Cheskie's challah is, in my opinion, a different animal. I wouldn't compare it to others in the city simply because it's so different, but good in its own way. People who like it, love it. For a more "conventional", if you will, challah, I agree that Cavallaro makes a very nice one. The only issue I have is with their reservation procedure, which leaves something to be desired. I've "reserved" a challah on several occasions to show up and discover they either never put it aside or gave it away. The fact that they simply put a post-it with the person's name on it means that anyone can simply come in, read the name and say, I'm so-in-so and take it. It seems an silly complaint for something like bread, but anyone who knows about Friday night challahs knows that they run out! If you're going to take reservations for bread, then you should have a better system in my view.

          1. b
            Bexmtl Oct 31, 2009 02:41 PM

            My mother buys them raw and frozen from Loblaws, metro or IGA. (i think the kosher bakeries also sell them like that) defrost them, let them rise and bake them yourself. AMAZING!!!! My brother in law jokes it's the reason he converted to judaism.

            1. b
              bigfellow Oct 31, 2009 01:04 PM

              Bought my challah at Cheskie's this week. Very nice.

              1. RhondaB Oct 29, 2009 01:01 PM

                As mentioned in the post that Carswell linked to and to reiterate, I love the braided challah from Atlantique (CDN x Queen Mary). It is on the sweeter side but has a very dense cake-like texture. It reminds me of the challah my bubby used to make on special occasions. Last time I bought one frin Atlantique, it did not make it home and was ripped apart and eaten in big hunks in the car. The also tend to run out early but I believe they bake them daily. Moh ... are you listening? I have eaten Cheskies challah but find that it tends to be a bit too well done for my liking. And the last raisin challah from Cheskies left me wondering where the raisins were! Now Cheskies Russian babka, that's another story.!

                3 Replies
                1. re: RhondaB
                  j
                  julius_ii Oct 29, 2009 02:18 PM

                  If you're lucky enough to snag a table at Fuchsia on one of the weekends they decide to make Challah for brunch, prepare yourself for yeasted beauty. Recently, a friend and I enjoyed an aubergine ragout over rosemary polenta with a vivid baby greens & purple cabbage salad, accompanied by challah, which emerged from the kitchen in an arm-length towel-wrapped basket for diners to tug steamy chunks from. Memorable, though made problematic by two factors: 1) the challah isn't produced (as far as I know) on a schedule, so you can't plan to get it, and 2) since it's a communal loaf making the rounds of the café, you can't just sit and eat the whole loaf, which is, of course, what we all wish to do.

                  1. re: julius_ii
                    w
                    williej Oct 29, 2009 03:44 PM

                    Adress or website?

                    1. re: williej
                      kpzoo Oct 29, 2009 07:45 PM

                      Here's their site:

                      http://www.epiceriefleur.com/

                      They spell it "Fuchsia."

                      -----
                      fuchsia epicerie fleur
                      4050 Avenue Coloniale, Montreal, QC H2W, CA

                2. carswell Oct 28, 2009 08:03 AM

                  From last year:
                  Best challah in Montreal and/or Laval?
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/395979

                  1. m
                    moh Oct 28, 2009 05:22 AM

                    Ooohhh, I am a Cheskie's fan. I don't find it dry, as mtb suggests. But that being said I haven't tried mtb's Cavallaro suggestion!

                    1. mtb Oct 28, 2009 05:09 AM

                      There's always the Kosher bakeries on Victoria, in the 6000 address range on down to Jean-Talon. Cheskie seems to be another favourite as well, although I find theirs a bit dry and am much more partial to their rugelach. However, your mentioning that the best you found in Vancouver was made by a Chinese couple leads me to make a heretical suggestion: Cavallaro (4865 Sherbrooke just west of Victoria). My family has always ordered our challahs there for high holidays, and they are always sold out well before the end of the day whenever I go. Tony, the Italian gentleman who runs the show, just seems to have a knack for creating the most perfect moist, eggy and sweet iteration I've found.

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