Monday, 21 April 2014

Fat Duck Gastro Pub

210 Kortright Road West
Guelph, Ontario

519-827-0533




In her opinion:
We are always on the quest for new and interesting places to eat near home. This is often easier said then actually done. But this last Saturday we found one such place. The restaurant's name is actually funny if you are a foodie and are familiar with the chef Heston Blumenthal! It's funny because unlike its Michelin starred British namesake "The Fat Duck"...this Fat Duck is a gastro pub serving quintessential British pub fare in Guelph, Ontario.

We walked into a Premiership soccer game blaring on the big screen television and the sounds of yelling observers. This really could have been anywhere in jolly old England! We were seated right away at a booth away from the happening bar area and ensuing soccer game.

After studying their drink menu, I decided that I wanted to start with their namesake beer..."the Duck Lager". Our waitress had informed me that his was a hoppy brew with citrus notes and I gave decided to give it a go.



This was a good beer. I wouldn't say it was my favourite beer ever...I prefer a more refreshing brew like Mill Street Organic but it was good never the less.


Edgar and I decided to share an appetizer, the Black Bean Dip. It was served with grilled naan, chopped veggies, crumbled feta and jalapeños.


This was really tasty. The black bean dip itself was very flavourful. It was topped with a tomato relish, jalapeños and crumpled feta which added an extra boost of flavour and heat. I really enjoyed this appetizer.

For my main, I decided on the "Curried Chicken Pie" served with sweet potato wedges.


This was so delightful. I know that the Brits have a love for anything Indian and this dish just proved it! The chicken pie itself was packed with chicken and veggies in a nicely flavoured curry. It was topped with a lovely yellow curry reminiscent of a true British pub curry. 



I was way too stuffed for dessert so I didn't even check it out. Overall, this was a great lunch. The Fat Duck is a nice new addition to our restaurant roster.

In his opinion:
Let me start by saying that I'm not a huge fan of British pubs. This is not because I'm not a huge fan of Football(Soccer), or beer or hanging out with my mates but mostly because in many of them the food just seems sub-par or very bland. Thankfully there are good exceptions to the rule and those are usually found when the chefs get creative, stir away from an all British food menu and also when they incorporate England's best food import, Indian cuisine.

The Fat Duck is a relatively large gastro pub with a few different sections, the bar, the dining room (which part of it serves also as a private party room), the fireplace room, the darts room and when in season, their nicely appointed patio. The menu choices are plenty and showcase a certain flare with lots of choices inspired by international dishes.

I started with an ever so predictable Mill St. Organic beer, I know, I know, I seem obsessed with this beer and usually have it anywhere they serve it. But I find it irresistible especially on a hot day and it goes very well with food. While browsing their menu I couldn't help looking around and noticing the decor, it is well appointed with a a great mix of period furniture with some more modern and industrial accents such as their cool hanging lights.



For an appetizer, we shared the "Black Bean Dip" at the suggestion of our waitress. This consisted of grilled naan, cut veggies, jalapenos and crumbled feta surrounding a generous portion of the black bean dip, which is way to big to be consumed with the small naan that is given and the veggies supplied. At an additional $1.99 we ordered another naan to be able to finish the dip. The dip itself was very well made, with perfect spreadable consistency and plenty favourful even without the jalapenos.



For my main, I ordered their special of the day which was the "Pork Belly Sandwich with lettuce and tomato". I am a huge lover of anything pork and pork belly is no exception but I can't recall the last time I had it in a sandwich. The presentation was very inviting with the sandwich cut in half, displaying the layers of goodness awaiting a bite. The brontosaurus like fries (sweet potato in my case), are both very visually appealing and extremely tasty. The sandwich was great with a plethora of flavours with every bite. The components of the sandwich just collaborate very well as does the BBQ sauce that bonds it all together.


The experience at the Fat Duck felt very similar to a lot of pubs I have visited.  The flow of return visitors, most of them locals and I'm sure regulars, bring this place a sense of community and family. This is definitely illustrated in the amount of people that came to their rescue during a sprinkler incident earlier this year, when many of the patrons donated their skill, time and money to get the place back together in time to re-open for the superbowl. 



The Good: Great food, inviting spaces and good service.
The Bad: Limited draft selection, having to pay $1.99 for an extra piece of naan and no one addressing the continuous loud cursing going on in the bar area while the dining room had elderly and children in it.
The Verdict: With food a cut above the usual British Pub fare, good service and an inviting decor. it's no wonder that this place has been a hit with patrons for seven years. It sits above your regular British Pub experience and the food elevates it to a great place to eat. A must try.

I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 Olives as rating.

Fat Duck Gastro Pub on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Fireside Deli & Family Restaurant

800 Ottawa Street South
Kitchener, Ontario

519-581-1200



In her opinion:
I love brunch on Sunday mornings, especially warm spring mornings like this past Sunday. But the constant question is "where should we go"? After some debate we decided on Fireside Family Restaurant. We had been there a few times and never had bad service or meal, so we decided to give it a go.

We waited about 10 minutes to be seated. That wasn't bad at all considering when we left the line-up was out the door and into the parking lot! Once we got seated, our server came over right away to take our drink orders.



I started with coffee for myself and an orange juice and water for little man.  After looking over the menu just for reassurance (I knew what I wanted before I even left home), I ordered the Fireside Melt.  This is a melt consisting of home fries, cheese with hot peppers, onions, mushrooms, bacon, ham and sausage. Served with two eggs and toast. I ordered my eggs poached and with rye toast. I also ordered a side of Hollandaise sauce.



The melt itself was excellent. Full of flavour and absolutely delicious. The hot peppers add the right amount of punch and heat. The eggs were perfectly poached. The Hollandaise sauce was smooth and creamy and tasted really good. Overall, an excellent brunch dish.

Our little man had the kids waffles. This was a nice serving. This was more than Ethan could handle but he devoured half easily. They tasted really delicious.



The Fireside Family Restaurant is a great place for breakfast/brunch, on a Sunday and it also serves lunch and dinner. It is popular and you may have to wait a little bit but it was worth it in my opinion.

In his opinion:
You are driving along when you casually notice the lineups outside a certain restaurant and you can't stop from wondering...this place must be great since there are huge lineups out the door, right? Well...given my experience, that is not always the case!

Enter Fireside Family Restaurant, a decent sized restaurant that fits that exact bill of having lineups at peak hours and has consistently done so for a few good years. So what is it that keeps people coming back over and over? What do they have that warrants baring the bitter cold for 20 min to get some breakfast on a Sunday morning?

The answer in short is, I don't really know! Surely there aren't a lot of good spots for breakfast in Waterloo Region and yes, you will be full at the end of a meal here but is it worth lining up for a meal here? 

After waiting a minimal time to be seated, I found myself in a booth next to the parking lot window, staring at an extensive menu and trying not to notice the rip on the seat of the booth that has been patched over with large clear scotch tape. 

I order coffee which is poured swiftly but a bit sloppy and zone in on a certain item on the menu. I love eggs Benedict and I also love cordon blue and they have a dish that combines the two? Well, sign me up for that already...

Having made my selection and while I'm sweetening my coffee, I notice the fast pace at which this restaurant operates. The service is very friendly however, you do feel rushed and the waitresses might as well have roller skates on given the speed at which they "glide" from table to table. Speed surely keeps the waiting times shorter for the patrons outside but makes the patrons inside feel like they are only allowed to chew twice because you are on the clock. The 1 hour limit WiFi helps cement that idea.


My dish arrived and it consisted of small squared hash browned potatoes, a small cup with beans, a slice of orange and the piece de resistance itself, the cordon blue eggs Benedict. The Hollandaise sauce tastes unlike any other Hollandaise that I have ever had, great consistency but the creaminess is replaced with an aftertaste that is hard to describe, in short it's good but very different. 

The beans were just run of the mill and the eggs themselves were done very well. I found myself having to drown my potatoes in the sauce just to get any flavour off them. The portion was big which is consistent with their usual service. Overall, the meal was fast, filling but a mile away from being a great one.


The Good: Friendly service, big portions and extensive menu are big attractions for many people looking for a breakfast restaurant.
The Bad: 1 hour complimentary WiFi limit. Also patrons feel rushed through their meal.
The Verdict: Regardless of some of the low points about this place I strongly believe that they will always be busy and have lineups out the door. People want those huge portions, large restaurant, friendly service and extensive menu as the staples for their "go-to" spot. Is that enough to line up out the door for? You decide...

I give it 3 out of 5 Olives as rating


Fireside Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, 14 April 2014

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria Waterloo

15 King Street South
Waterloo, ON

519-954-1900



In her opinion:
We had been invited to the VIP opening night at Famoso Waterloo back in February, but unfortunately, a sick child had prevented us from attending. Their PR rep had been kind enough to invite us to our own VIP night when Ethan was feeling better. That was followed up by an email from Patrick O'Shaughnessy, the general manager at Famoso Pizzeria Waterloo personally inviting Edgar and I to visit the Uptown Waterloo restaurant.

We finally got the chance to visit this past Sunday. So on a gorgeous spring day in April we took the drive to Uptown Waterloo. Famoso is happening. When were arrived we were greeted by crowds of waiting guests and also by a lovely hostess that knew we were coming and told us our table would be ready in 15 minutes.

Exactly 15 minutes later we were shown to Table 2 where a note from Patrick awaited us welcoming us to Famoso Pizzeria. Our waitress then came over and explained the ordering process to us...basically the concept is that you peruse the menu, pick what you want, write it down and then bring it up the counter where a lovely barista will take your order...it's up to you if you want to pay then or after your meal is done. The waitress will then deliver your meal.



We picked our drinks...Famoso serves Pepsi so Edgar was happy and I settled for a San Pellegrino Limonata. 

We then decided that we would start with the Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls. These are described on the menu as "Fior-di-latte wrapped with prosciutto (Italian dry-cured ham), baked in Campania tomato sauce, fresh basil and pecorino romano". All served with flatbread.

These were really really good. The cheese was gooey and soft and the prosciutto provided the right amount of saltiness to the dish. But the star of the dish was the Campania tomato sauce...fresh tasting and oh so unbelievably delectable. The flatbread was garlicky and delish!

We decided to order two pizzas to share. The first was a white pizza...the Quattro Formaggi - it consisted of fior-di latte, smoked mozzarella, Gorgonzola and pecorino romano served with a lemon wedge.  Our second pizza was the Capricciosa - it was a traditional red pizza with Italian ham, roasted mushrooms, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, extra virgin olive oil and pecorino romano. 

I enjoyed both pizza's very much. The crust on both was thin and nicely baked with the right amount of crisp. The Quattro Formaggi was flavourful and gorgeous. The four cheeses worked wonderfully together. I really liked the Capricciosa...the saltiness of the olives and pecorino romano cheese worked beautiful with the sweetness of the ham and artichoke hearts. It was my favourite of the two.

Even though we packed a few slices to take home...we found room for dessert and decided to share Dolce and Banana (this is a cute take on the designers Dolce and Gabbana). This dessert consisted of "oven-roasted bananas coated in caramelized brown sugar, crushed pecans, caramel sauce and vanilla bean gelato".

As I had tweeted, "the smell was intoxicating and the taste was heaven". I love a good banana caramel dessert and this did not disappoint!

Overall, our dinner at Famoso Waterloo was great. Patrick had stop by a couple of times to make sure everything was good and from the appetizer to the pizza to the dessert it was all perfect. The staff is attentive and food was delicious. It's a great spot for delicious Italian style cuisine. Make the trip to Uptown Waterloo!

What we ate:




In his opinion:
How do you open an Italian Eatery that serves variations of Italian food, serves family style pizza and feels modern and inviting without making it cheesy like East Side Mario's? It's a tall order and most of the time a recipe for disaster but there is a right way to do it...is this what Famoso has accomplished?

Famoso is a new Italian eatery in uptown Waterloo where a gigantic brick oven sets the stage for a quasi Italian experience. The feel and decorations are bright, modern and inviting and at the time we visited it, it was bustling with patrons eager to try their food.

The menu as expected is quite extensive, with all of the usual suspected dishes you would find in an Italian eatery. You write the order on a paper pad, take it to the order counter and then they deliver it to your table.

We started with the "Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls in tomato sauce". This place is all about the region of Campania so you know that the tomato sauce was going to be great. Take mozzarella balls, wrap them in prosciutto, throw in some fresh basil and top it off with picorino romano cheese and...forget-abou-it, it's a slam dunk. It was so flavourful that for me, the flat bread that came with it did little to enhance it.

For "mains" we shared 2 pizzas, a "Quattro Formaggi" (four cheese) and a Capricciosa which consists of Italian ham, roasted mushrooms, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and pecorino romano cheese. At the restaurant, I enjoyed the Quattro Formaggi better as this is one of my favourite pizzas and the one served was excellent, but as we brought home the leftovers of the 2 pizzas (watch out they are big enough to share) I must admit that the next day, the Capricciosa tasted better, which to me is the true sign of a great pizza.

To finish off, we split a dessert that brought me back to my childhood in Europe, well minus the caramel sauce that is. It's amusingly called Dolce and Banana and like the name suggests it's bananas roasted in the oven in caramelized brown sugar topped with crushed pecans, caramel sauce and a huge scoop of vanilla bean gelato. Like a good foodie I had not room to finish the pizza but always make room for dessert...it was delectable and also a great way to finish the meal.


The Good: Inviting atmosphere, friendly service and great pizza. The options are plentiful and they deliver on the promise.
The Bad: Waiting times can get long.
The Verdict: Overall, they accomplish the task of not being "cheesy" with flying colours. The experience goes way beyond the "little Italy" attempts of others and even though you at no point feel like you are in Italy, you can close your eyes and let the food transport you to the region of Campania.
Buon Appetito a tutti...

I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 Olives as rating

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria (Waterloo) on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Homage

44 Grand Avenue South
Cambridge, Ontario

519-740-9119



In her opinion:
I was thrilled when I drove past the round sign that read Homage Restaurant! Edgar and I had been saying for ages that someone needed to open a new restaurant near the Dunfield Theatre and well, Chef John Baltazar did! His soul food restaurant whose motto is "rooted in classic techniques, sourced from the community of farms around the area, served with respect and care" is housed in an old antique store across from the theatre and it is a much welcome addition to Cambridge's starving downtown core.

Our friends' son, Jacob is a foodie in training and has been bugging us to try this place. So we decided to give it a go on a Saturday night. I honestly believed that we wouldn't be able to get a reservation for the 6 of us but they were able to accommodate us with no problem. That was mostly due to the fact that there was no play going on at the theatre, so keep that in mind when you decide to visit!

When you walk in the doors of Homage you will be greeted with a well appointed room...it's all exposed brick, reclaimed wood and clean lines. It is warm and welcoming, we were shown to our table near the bar and our waitress filled our water glasses. When our entire party was seated she took our drink orders. 



I stared with the Signature Cocktail. It was a beautiful cocktail of sparkling water, lemon, gin, blackberries and basil called the "Black and Basil Royale". 



It was absolutely delish! It's a perfect sipper. A great way to start my meal. Our waitress brought over some delicious gougeres to start off. These little cheesy bites were so so good!



I started my meal with a delicious "Gerber Farms Ham Hock Terrine with Seasoned Pickles and Apple Gastrique" served with beets and pickled red cabbage. It was accompanied with grilled bread drizzled with olive oil.





In a word...perfection. I am a big fan of nose to tail eating. And ham hocks have been a stable in my world from the time I was born...so I was impressed with the flavours on this plate. Just beautiful. The beets were excellent as well.

For my main, I choose the Tanjo Farms Pork Chop with sweet potato mash and kale sauteed with bacon.



I will go out on a limb and say that this was the best pork chop I have ever eaten in my entire life! The sweetness of the sweet potato and the saltiness of the bacon in the kale were amazing. The whole thing was exceptional and my only complaint was that I finished it too quickly. 

For dessert, we decided to share. I picked "Chocolate". This was a chocolate bouchon, coffee ice cream, coffee crumbs, and cherry compote creation.



This was so so good! Not too sweet! The coffee flavoured ice cream was excellent and the perfect partner for the chocolate cake or bouchon.  I loved this dessert.

We had the pleasure of meeting the chef after dinner, Chef Baltazar is soft spoken and very humble. He is a force to be reckoned with and a genius in the kitchen. I told him I was glad that Homage had opened, after all, Cambridge needs all the culinary help it can get!

I loved our dinner at Homage. In fact, I informed my darling husband that this is where I want to celebrate my birthday in June! It really is that good.

In his opinion:
After the down town Galt area of Cambridge was blessed with the Dunfield Theatre, quickly came the realization that something was missing in order for theatre goers to enjoy the "dinner and theatre" experience. Sure there is the fish and chips place across the street but who wants to go to the theatre smelling like fried cod?

Since then a couple of restaurants have opened but none in the calibre of Homage. The name of the restaurant is suppose to be the tribute to the ingredients, their teachers and especially "Homage" to the building itself and its long standing heritage.



As you walk in, it is visible that the space has been transformed but while minimizing the change to the overall look of the building. The look is sleek and inviting and very bright with large windows. We were shown to our seats promptly by our waitress where a copy of the menu sat on each of the plate setting. The menu is diverse but small with some staple dishes and a couple of spins of traditional ones.

We were served some bite size cheesy gougeres as we waited for our drinks to come and browsed the menu for our selections. They are delectable and we ensured we got more of these along the meal.



For my appetizer, I chose an oddly but very fitting dish entitled "Rags to Riches". This dish sports pasta rags surrounding a healthy dose of braised short ribs, thinly slices sweet pickled pear, herbs and Jerusalem artichokes. It was a light but very flavourful and a perfect appetizer portion.


For my main and I must say after much deliberation, I chose the burger and it didn't disappoint. I know, that`s a lot of burgers in my last few posts but I just get in these moods. Then again, this wasn't just any burger, it was an Oakridge Farms b beef burger served on a very large egg bun with smoked cheddar, arugula and herb mayo and it cost $18. It was worth every penny but I'm sure that is a debatable subject for many. Every bite was a burst of flavour and the patty was extremely tasty on its own. The slightly toasted bun was the only thing stopping every bite from melting in your mouth, simply delicious.


To finish up my meal, I ordered a French press coffee and was happy to hear that they had honey to go with my coffee (my usual way of sweetening coffee). The coffee was good and I got to also have some of the dessert that I was supposedly "splitting" with my wife. It was a dessert simply called "Chocolate", a chocolate bouchon served with coffee ice cream, coffee crumbs and a cherry compote creation. Rich, decadent and filling is how I would describe it.


The Good: Great location, striking atmosphere and exceptional service are perfect backdrops for the real star in this restaurant, and its food.
The Bad: No espresso machine, limited menu and limited drink selection.
The Verdict: The sourcing of ingredients from local farmers show the true food philosophy placed upon this place. The food is upscale without ever being standoffish and demonstrates just a bit of flair to otherwise traditional dishes. It's a welcome sight to this part of Cambridge and we can only hope that the patrons understand and cherish this new gem in West Galt.

I give it 4 out of 5 Olives as rating



Homage on Urbanspoon

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Village Bistro

421 Greenbrook Drive
Kitchener, Ontario

519-208-3233



In her opinion:
Pursuing new and exciting restaurants is a major part of what this blog is about! Trying to find new favourites...places that become staples in our dining repertoire. That is the challenge and unfortunately, it is an extremely difficult challenge in our neck of the woods. We rely a lot on word of mouth and that is the case with our visit to the Village Bistro.

The Village Bistro is located in a sad looking strip mall in a residential area off of Fischer-Hallman Road, but don't let that discourage you. The interior is nicely decorated and inviting. The Village Bistro was actually packed with locals  enjoying their evening meal as we walked in. There was live music playing in the background provided by the acoustic sounds of Paul Schultz. The owner, Keri sat us down and explained that it was a bad night as her kitchen was flooded but it was business as usual. 



Our waitress came over right away to take our drink orders. After checking out their menu, we started with the Antojitos. A delicious spicy, cheesy appetizer made with tortillas and baked in the oven. It was served with a delicious creamy dipping sauce.



This was so so good. The antojitos had a nice amount of heat with every bite. The dipping sauce provided the necessary coolness.

For my main, I ordered the philly cheesesteak sandwich. Unfortunately, there was mix up in the kitchen and I got a pulled pork sandwich instead! I quickly pointed this out to the waitress and she had the kitchen prepare a new sandwich. She also informed me that the pulled pork had been taken off the bill but I was free to take the sandwich home.



The philly cheesesteak was not traditional. It was pieces of tender beef sauted in barbecue sauce with sautéed mushrooms and onions. It was served on some type of flat bread. It tasted really good. The french fries that accompanied this sandwich were awesome. Twice fried and seasoned with a spice mix. Even my picky 8 year old loved these fries.



The next morning I tasted the pulled pork.  And it tasted really nice. There was a sweetness to the sauce which worked perfectly with the tender pork.

Regardless of the mix up, I enjoyed our dinner at the Village Bistro. Turns out I had met Keri once before on a bus in Cuba...don't ask... and it was easy to see this woman's passion in regards to her restaurant. I wish her much luck and success. 

Try the Village Bistro, I don't think you'll regret it.

In his opinion:
Sometimes and almost by accident you do find a nice hidden gem, and by hidden I mean hidden in a residential plaza that you would probably never find unless you are looking for it. This is the case of the Village Bistro nestled in the Kitchener community of Forest Hill.

A cozy place that sometimes boasts live music but always has great hospitality and food. The place sits roughly just over 30 people in 2 levels and is cozy and inviting. Reds, burgundies and wood are prominent throughout the decor and a large bar sits at the far right when you walk in.



To start, we ordered the antojitos appetizer to share and I'm glad we did because not only were they delicious but also the portion was large and plenty to be shared. The antojitos tasted fresh, creamy and the tortillas were just the right amount of crispy to add some good texture. It did have a bit of spice, not much but noticeable.



For my main course. I had my eyes on "Evan's Bottomless Pit" burger. There are plenty of pics of this burger on Facebook and its notoriety is well deserved. It is huge...extremely tasty and hard to get a full bite into for obvious reasons. This burger is not for the faint of heart, size wise nor is it for the calorie counters out there. Two gigantic and juicy patties are the base for this burger and also sports a healthy dose of cheese, bacon and mushrooms. Hard to find a big burger with great taste but this one definitely is one. The fries presented had a dark tone to them but we were explained that it's just the way they are fried. They were fantastic with a little spice.




The Good: Friendly service and a mixed sense of community and nostalgia make this restaurant unique. The food surpassed my expectations and was done extremely well.
The Bad: Some small parts of the restaurant still need to be update from it's last greek incarnation, but mostly the ceiling
The Verdict: If you enjoy good food, friendly neighbourhood atmosphere and locally sourced ingredients, then this place is a must to visit.

I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 Olives as rating

The Village Bistro on Urbanspoon

Friday, 4 April 2014

St-Viateur vs. Fairmount - The Ultimate Bagel Showdown

St-Viateur Bagel        
263 St-Viateur West    
Montreal, QC           

514-276-8044  



         

Vs.     

Fairmount Bagel

74 Ave. Fairmount Ouest
Montreal, QC

514-272-0667




The bagels:


St-Viateur Bagels


Fairmount Bagels
In her opinion:
The hubby and I debated about which bagel place we should visit during our recent visit to Montreal. We had been to St-Viateur before and we had enjoyed it very much, so I wanted to repeat the experience. He on the other hand wanted to try someplace new - Fairmount Bagels. My only concern was what if they weren't as good as St-Viateur bagels? The solution - we would get two bagels from each place and decide which was the best.

Our first stop was Fairmount Bagel. This place was buzzing with patrons waiting in line to place their bagel orders. I ordered two sesame. The small bag that was handed to me was still warm and there was a woodsy smokey smell that lingered along with the toasted sesame smell. We didn't eat them right away. 

We drove the 2 minutes down the street to St-Viateur Bagel. This area is ripe with Hasidic Jews dressed in their shtreimels since it was Sabbath. I love watching these mysterious men walk about on these modern streets as life goes by sticking with their tradition way of life. 



Inside the "Mason de Bagel" as St-Viateur is known, there was also a lot of people waiting for their bagels. I again ordered two sesame but got whipped cream cheese and orange juice as well. These bagels weren't warm and they didn't have the smokey woodsy smell just the sesame smell.

Once inside my car...great precision was carried out to determine which was the best Montreal bagel! Here are the results in my opinion:

Although not warm and chewy like the Fairmount bagel(Fairmount they got brownie points for still being warm)- St-Viateur was the best tasting bagel in my opinion. It was less chewy, had a sweeter flavour from the honey that is used in the making of Montreal bagels and less of the woodsy smokey flavour which I appreciated. It tasted delicious on its own or topped with cream cheese.

Having said that - Fairmount Bagel still makes excellent bagels! I suggest that you do the same thing if you are in Montreal and want to have good bagels - get bagels from both spots and compare for yourself...one thing is for sure...neither will disappoint! Shalom!

In his opinion:
The great debate goes on and on in Montreal about where you can find the best bagel. The two top contenders are consistently the same, St Viateur and Fairmonth Bagel which rule the Montreal bagel world and are consistently the most talked about two by locals and visitors.

As a food blogger that never backs down from a good challenge, we took this on, early in the morning while the bagels were still hot and fresh. We took to the streets of the neighbourhood of Miles End, in the borough of Le Plateau Mont-Royal to try our first contender, St Viateur.

This place is one mean machine of bagel making. Everything inside seems well choreographed and systematic. Everyone knows their job well, they could probably perform it blindfolded and the outcome would still be the same. The result is an amazing bagel with a chewy harder texture on the inside and just the perfect amount of crust to give you a texture blend in every bite. The sesame seeds seem more sporadic in this bagel, not sure if its on purpose but it does work.

The standard for Montreal bagels had been set and now it's time for the competition to step and measure up.

St-Viateur Bagel

Next and only a few blocks down the road, Fairmount Bagel. The other original bagel institution in Montreal. Oh this is getting heated up...

Fairmounth outside looks like a house more than a business but don't let the face fool you into thinking this is not a serious place. One step inside and you feel like an old world establishment that has stayed the same for hundreds of years. The more modernize back of the establishment where the magic happens is a sign that they mean business.

The lineups were larger at Fairmount and  placing an order felt like dealing with the "Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld. Wait your turn, move towards the counter, 2 steps sideways then face the cashier and put your order in, in French preferably but they sort of accept English.

The bag in handed to you in the same military fashion as the order and the bagels are still steaming inside. I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into that bagel and I almost didn't reach the car without doing it. As I broke it open, the steam and scent of the bagel involved the car like walking into your grandma's while she doing her baking.

The inside is softer than St Viateur but the outside is harder and chewier. The sesame seeds seemed to cover every inch of this bagel and they tasted more toasted than St Viateur. With ever bite, the bagel got better and better until I started wishing we had gotten more. A great bagel and border-lining perfection.


Fairmount Bagel

The Verdict: They are both quite amazing, but on this day my vote goes to Fairmount. I know that is contrary to the "she said" opinion stated above but for me the Fairmount bagel just tastes better and is more flavourful. The truth is that you can't go wrong with either, they are both out of the world good. When in Montreal, do yourself a favour and visit both...tell us which one is your favourite and above all, enjoy. 



St-Viateur Bagel on Urbanspoon Fairmount Bagel on Urbanspoon