After our walk through Old Montreal and a visit to Bonsecours Market, it was time for some famous Montreal style bagels! I punched up Fairmount Bagel in Google Maps, and followed the turn by turn direction to Fairmount Avenue. I street parked the car and after paying for parking at the payment box, we walked across the street to the Fairmount Bagel store which is housed in a brick building. There isn’t very much room inside the retail area of the store but when we arrived, there wasn’t anyone ahead of us so we walked right up to the counter.
After being greeted with a smile by the staff, I told the staff that we came all the way from Los Angeles to try their bagel and asked for their recommendation. I was told that they were currently baking fresh sesame seed bagels and that we should definitely go with those. After some quick consultation with my parents, I asked the staff member assembling our order for half a dozen. My dad at this point intervened and said “Why not a dozen?” I changed the order to a dozen sesame seed bagels and paid the staff member working the register. BTW, Fairmount Bagel, just like Schwartz’s Deli, is a cash only establishment. If you want freshly baked bagels, stop by the ATM before arriving.
Before leaving with our dozen sesame seed bagels, I snapped some pictures of the bakers baking the bagels by first hand rolling each bagel, laying the bagels onto wooden planks before putting them in the wood fired oven to bake. There is a middle step where the bagels are boiled but I did not see that part happen. Having seen all of this on TV before, it was exciting to see it in real life. Once outside, the first thing we did was taste the bagels while they were still hot. My mom asked me why I did not buy any cream cheese and I told her I didn’t think Fairmount Bagel sold any. I didn’t see anything saying that cream cheese was for sale inside nor was I offered any cream cheese to buy.
Even without cream cheese, the bagels were good! The outside had a slight crisp and the inside was chewy but not gummy. One immediate thing one will notice is that Montreal Style Bagels have a much bigger hole than American Bagels. With the much bigger center hole, I don’t think it would be as easy making sandwiches with a Montreal Style Bagels. If one tried, I can see it being a lot messier to eat.When my parents first saw the bagels, they were like “Whats so special about it?” But after their first bite, neither my dad nor my mom could stop snacking on the Fairmount Bagel’s. My mom used the plastic bags that we were given along with the bagels to keep them from going stale, and the following day on our drive to Niagara Falls, we ate the bagels for breakfast. I thought we finished all of the bagels while we were in Canada, but later on, I found out that my mom brought the leftover bagels back home to Los Angeles and between her and my dad finished the remaining bagels toasted and smeared with cream cheese for breakfast.