Friday 23 August 2013

The bagels of St-Viateur

For this Friday, I am plugging, as it is now a sort of blogging tradition, a restaurant or food joint that I particularly love. I have mentioned them time and again before so it will not be exactly something new, but they deserve their own post. I am talking about the bagels of St-Viateur Bagel of course. My first year in Montreal, they were part of my main diet and made me survive starvation. That and pork pies, omelettes and a few other things, but mainly the bagels from St-Viateur, which I had very often as my Friday treat. I used to go to the café on Mont-Royal Avenue, buy a few fresh from the oven, with salmon, cream cheese, capers, bring them back to the apartment, then toast them and eat them with cream cheese, smoked salmon, onion and lots and lots of capers. And a zest of fresh lemon too. Sometimes I ate there too, I usually take the Traditionel (classic smoked salmon bagel), but I also tried the Omertà once (years ago), which from what I remember was quite nice. My youngest brother had the one with smoked meat, which seemed delicious and very Montrealer. You can find the menu here, in PDF format. My other brother and I had them replacing the bun in hamburgers, and they work very well like that too.

You might think I am exaggerating, but Montreal is the place for bagels. Read the reviews on TripAdvisor. Of course, I need to mention that there is also a "bagel war" in Montreal, between St-Viateur and Fairmount. You can read more about it on this BBC News article, which also features a video. I am sold on St-Viateur, but I may be biased because I had my first Montreal bagel experience there and because it was so close to home. In any case, they taste much better than the cardboard donuts they call bagels here. If you go to Montreal, your trip is not complete until you eat a bagel from St-Viateur, fresh from the oven.


jaz@octoberfarm said...

of all my trips to montreal, i never heard of these! how could i have missed these? i sure do know montreal smoked meat though. montreal is one of my most favorite cities!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Oh yes, I know that Montreal bagels are legendary and made the old fashioned way -- boiled and then baked. What passes for "bagels" in other stores are just buns with holes in them. Not the same thing at all.

Rachel Lucas said...

I am just reading a wonderful book on Jewish cooking called'The Mile End Cookbook'...and one of the authors, Noah Bernamoff is from Montreal. There are many references to S Viateur bagels & how they are the absolute best on the planet! In fact, although their deli is in NYC, much of the book is an homage to the food of Montreal's many fabulous delicatessens. You would enjoy it, I think!

Guillaume said...

@Jaz-It is maybe the most famous food after the smoked meat.
@Debra-They taste wonderful.
@Rachel-Thank you for commenting again! The Mile End is the name of a neighbourhood in Montreal, part of the Plateau Mont-Royal where I used to live. I don't usually buy cookbooks, but this one I might be tempted to. Thank you so much for the info.