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Oct 5, 2012 08:11 AM

Nu Bagels - Wood Fired bagels coming to Kensington Market

Saw this posted on BlogTO today in the opening/closing/food weekly report.

BlogTO said by the same owners of Kalendar on College. They also said "Montreal" style bagels.

Will be interesting to see what comes out of it.

If anyone knows when they are opening please post or if anyone tries them.

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  1. Mmm, love the idea of wood fired bagels in the market. But I gotta say the bagels in that website pic don't look anything like Montreal style bagels.

    5 Replies
    1. re: peppermint pate

      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing... wondering if they just used a bad stock photo or what... That is why I was hesitant to put "montreal bagels" into the title.

      1. re: ylsf

        They kind of look like Great Canadian Bagel bagels (large and doughy).

        1. re: 1sweetpea

          I call those sort of bagels 'bread doughnuts.' Not bagels at all.

        2. re: ylsf

          Perhaps we are the dawn of a new era of Toronto style bagels? Let's hope so. The wood fired oven is encouraging, the stock photo on their web site, not so much.

        3. re: peppermint pate

          Is that a shot of the rack at Tim Hortons? Do they rely on the ignorance of the public when they publicize themselves using the word "Montreal"? There is no possible way to get the correct mouthfeel with those flotation devices. Ovens, wood or not, don't make food. People make food.

        4. to be fair, montreal is not mentioned anywhere in the linked webpage. . .but yeah, would love to have a closer approximation to proper montreal bagels in toronto. . .

          8 Replies
          1. re: afong56

            However, it's in the Post City coverage of them so it's in their press release. To also be fair, the photo here shows the markings of Montreal style. I wait to see the final product with tempered anticipation.

            1. re: Googs

              Still a bit doughy looking for a Montreal bagel but I agree, that's a way better pic - though I don't know if that's courtesy of the Post City editors or the people at Nu. Anyway, I love the idea of a great bagel place in the market and I'm happy to reserve judgement till I see the bagels they're actually serving.

              1. re: peppermint pate

                That's why I say "the markings" and not "the look". Who knows if either set of photos are theirs or if they're both theirs and the 2nd photos are a progression of the learning process. I'm with you. Wait and see time.

            2. re: afong56

              We do have a close approximation: Bagel House.

                1. re: Yongeman

                  Agreed + 1. But a close approximation in Kensington Market would be a welcome addition.

                  1. re: peppermint pate

                    Exactly. Right now the only reason I go out of my way to shop in Kensington is Perola's. If these people can make a proper bagel and maybe a decent potato knish (hint, hint) I'd go more often.

                2. re: acd123

                  i chose my words carefully. as i wrote, i hope it's a "closer" approximation. . .i have eaten many a bagel house bagel, and while they are indeed a 'close' approximation, they aren't the real thing. sticking to my original hope for a "closer approximation". . .

              1. BlogTo mentioned today that they hope to open up by this weekend

                21 Replies
                1. re: ylsf

                  Hopefully they're at least as good as Bagel House - I'm not going to be unrealistic and wish for a St. Viateur clone. Kensington is becoming my supermarket these days, with Sanagan's, Hooked, Thomas Lavers, and Hogtown Charcuterie.

                  1. re: childofthestorm

                    Just reading St Viateur makes me salivate.

                    1. re: Googs

                      Buy St-Viateur at Metro! Who cares if they're not out of the oven! Don't buy into any of that "same day only" nonsense.

                      They're still GREAT toasted, even days afterward!

                      1. re: magic

                        Is there something different about St Viateur bagels that makes them less prone to staling? Every other bagel I'm familiar with stales noticeably within a few hours of coming out of the oven. It's an honest question, as I've never had St Viateur bagels and it would be great if they aren't as time-sensitive as others.

                        1. re: autopi

                          If you can get them in the freezer within a few hours they are still great toasted.
                          Sadly I don't agree the metro ones measure up, they do not even compare to buying in Montreal, driving them home and freezing them yourself. They're just okay. Someone (embee? what happened to embee anyway?) speculated that the metro ones are not made at the original St Viateur wood-burning location, but at their "other" bakery.

                          1. re: julesrules

                            I don't know whether they're made at the original St-Viateur location but as long as they taste like they are then I don't really care.

                            They taste great (toasted). That's all I care about. To me at least. But, as the teenagers say, YMMV.

                            1. re: magic

                              The premise was that they don't taste the same to me, toasted or not, and the speculation is to why. If they tasted the same, I wouldn't care either :)
                              I'm not a purist about toasting or freezing. I had people in line tell me that I couldn't put them in the freezer, even, when they heard me discussing that plan with a roommate. It was quite funny, a whole line up of Montrealers shaking their heads at me... no no you CAN'T put them in the freezer. Um. Ok.

                              1. re: julesrules

                                Yeah I guess to each their own right.

                                Personally, I'm pretty sensitive to freezer burn so I rarely freeze bread or bagels, which I think "burn" easily. Yet I've found Montreal bagels hold up ok in the freezer for a short amount of time.

                                But yes, if you feel they don't taste the same or just aren't great to begin with then that is another story.

                                1. re: magic

                                  Magic, you need to buy a vacuum sealer from Costco. Your bread/bagels (and anything else you want to vacuum seal) will never get freezer burn again, and they will last way longer in the freezer (or in the fridge for that matter) than they normally would. I'd be lost without mine!

                                  1. re: kwass

                                    That's not a bad idea actually. I really should. Ok, thanks!

                                    1. re: magic

                                      You won't regret it magic. I can't tell you how much longer I'm able to keep food in the fridge/freezer. It's probably the best purchase I've made in the last 2 years.

                                      1. re: kwass

                                        Great suggestion, will do, for sure!

                        2. re: magic

                          Magic, while I agree that they hold up well, there's just something about biting into a freshly made St Viateur that's, well, magic, to me. I can (and do!) eat them straight out of the bag with nothing on them they're so perfectly made.

                          1. re: Googs

                            Hey, listen, of course I love them out of the oven just as much as anyone, who would argue that.

                            It’s just, for me at least, I see Montreal Bagels as two different products: fresh ones and toasted older ones. To me they are both great, just apples and oranges.

                            In my experience, even a few days later Montreal bagels (whether Metro's St-Viateur or brought home from some bagel shop in Montreal) taste awesome toasted! Are they the same as fresh? No? Are they worse? No. Are they something different altogether? Yes!

                            Everyone's preferences are their own of course, but I do get sad when people can't enjoy a Montreal bagel 3 days later with some cream cheese and lox, or butter or whatever. I just don't see how anyone could NOT enjoy eating a bagel that way. It's not out of the oven, true. But who cares?! It's still good! It's just not fresh.

                            1. re: magic

                              "It’s just, for me at least, I see Montreal Bagels as two different products: fresh ones and toasted older ones. To me they are both great, just apples and oranges."

                              Magic, I completely agree with this premise. In fact, I think I prefer Mtl-style bagels toasted to fresh (been to Fairmont and St. Viateur). Nothing like the taste of melted butter with that slightly sweet toasty dough. On the other hand, I wouldn't toast any of the TO-style bagels, but fresh and hot...oh, my.

                              1. re: Yongeman

                                Can't disagree with anything you just said.

                                1. re: Yongeman

                                  yongeman--i can't think of a bagel i've had that tasted better toasted than fresh out of the oven. st. viateur right out of the oven. . .you can almost still taste the flavour imparted by the wood burning oven. . .the chewy texture of the crust. . .i think both are lost in translation when shot through a toaster. you get a different experience entirely. i've felt the same way in toronto (bagel house, bagel world, st. urbain), or new york (ess-a-bagel, the defunct h&h, murray's, tal, or even bagel hole in brooklyn). . .toasting, for me, is the realm of the mass-produced country harvest bagel, or the no-longer fresh bagels that somehow escaped consumption that morning. . .
                                  unless of course i'm using the bagel as the starch conduit in my panini press. . .but that's a different story.

                                  1. re: afong56

                                    afong56, I agree with you on principle, but some magic happens when the sugar-enchanced dough of a Montreal bagel gets toasted and buttered while it's warm. I NEVER toast any other kind of bagels.

                              2. re: Googs

                                Agreed, but we don't live in Montreal. So, if you're like me and cool with toasting them, then Metro is a damn good option.

                                Even with Metro selling St-Viateur, I don't get them that often. I want them to be a treat. But not so much of a treat that I can only get them in Montreal!


                                1. re: magic

                                  Okaaaaay, I'll give Metro another try. And if you can't be with the bagel you love, love the bagel you're with.

                                  1. re: Googs

                                    Words of wisdom, Lloyd.

                                    Try them toasted with butter or cream cheese, lox, dill, cuccumber, tomato, red onion shaved thin, honey mustard, capers, black pepper, or however you like them.

                                    If you don't like, you don't like. At least you gave it a more than fair shake.

                                    Like I said, it could be just me! But I likem just fine.

                          1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                            Totally..I can see them trying to franchise the crap outta this..