It’s that time of the year again…. cool weather, sweaters, cleaning out the dormant fire place, soup and chilli – mmm. And what goes great beside your bowl of chilli, well, a Montreal Style bagel of course! (or, is that just me?)
Now, why ‘Montreal Style’, you may be asking. Why not just a regular grocery store bagel? Well personally, I think that the less doughy, slightly sweet, crafted-with-love-in-a-brick-oven taste of a Montreal Style bagel just cannot be beat. My first memories of Montreal bagels are from a childhood visit to Ottawa, and I was hooked. I have since enjoyed the deliciousness of brick-oven made bagels in Montreal, small towns in rural Quebec, downtown Toronto, and in fact mailed ordered to Brantford, Ontario from the infamous St Viateur bagel shop in Montreal. Yes, mail ordered. It’s amazing.
After much internal debate, I decided that mail ordering bagels that would have to travel over three and a half thousand kilometres might be a bit drastic. So, I figured that I needed to find some local Montreal bagels. Imagine my excitement when I discovered TWO viable options in town from which to purchase doughy circles of joy!
We made our first bagel purchase from the aptly named Montreal Bagel shop found on the corner of Elbow and Heritage Drives. The second round came from Wayne’s Bagels on Macleod Trail…. Here’s how it went:
Taste: While both offer that good ol’ fashioned Montreal Bagel flavour, MB beat out Wayne’s with just a bit more/bit better flavour. Point MB.
Freshness: Dependent on timing. A subsequent trip to MB garnered us bagels that were as fresh as it gets, straight from the oven. Irresistible! I am sure the right timing at Wayne’s would achieve similar results. Toss-up.
Selection: MB carries the traditional poppy and sesame seed varieties, along with multi-grain & plain. Wayne’s branches out a bit more, with offerings that extend to cheese and blueberry. Point: Wayne’s.
Store Location: While this is dependant greatly on the home location of the bagel purchaser, we found MB to be difficult to pull in to, and the parking lot to be rather small (especially when a large portion is taken up by an oversized truck!). Wayne’s is simple to get in and out of, particularity if you find yourself travelling south on Macleod Trail. Point Wayne’s.
SO for those keeping score, Wayne’s has pulled ahead by a point. However, personally, taste really is the biggest factor, so we’ll be driving the extra few blocks to visit MB – at least 2 out of 3 times!
My partner in crime had never tried a Montreal style bagel before our first trip to MB, and safe to say he is now hooked! Like, 2 in a day hooked. They’re just that good!
Bagel hot tips:
When you get your fresh bagels home, slice them and freeze them right away (stores will provide you with plastic freezer bags!). This keeps them fresh, and allows you to simply grab them out of the freezer and pop ‘em in the toaster. Unlike some foods, the freezer does not take away from the goodness of the bagel!
Whipped cream cheese is where it’s at. MB sells some lovely light (in texture!) cream cheese from Winnipeg, which is awesome if you’re into keeping it local(ish).
MB is CASH ONLY! Bring some cash money to avoid disappointment. A dozen bagels cost $8.50. $7.50 on Tuesday! Prices are about the same at Wayne’s.