74 Fairmount Avenue West
Phone: (514) 272-0667
See also Eastern European, Mile End
In my early twenties and late teens, I used to drive with my friends and compare the contrast the taste of a St. Viateur bagel versus a Fairmount Bagel. To this day, I still cannot tell the difference between the two delicious bagels unique to Montreal. It is said that both bagels are boiled in water then baked in a wood oven but one is boiled in honey water and the other sugar water. If anyone knows the secret, please contact me at http://markaaron.torontobrunch.com
Located on a sidestreet from the busy Ave du Parc in the heart of Mile End, a stone’s throw from the lovely city of Outremont, Fairmount Bagel has been in business for over 77 years. Founded by Isadore Shlafman using a secret recipe from his eastern European Jewish family. The same tradition prevails. Bagels are made in the same way they were close to 80 years ago. They are still kneaded by hand, leaven, and cooked in a wood stove.
Unlike St. Viateur who only offer bagels in the sesame seed variety, Fairmount offers bagels in the following varities. Some would argue that they lost their tradition, that these bagels became “Americanized” (like Lender’s bagels in the USA – which never came to Canada) . Some would argue that they lost the tradition of what a good bagel should be.
In any case, Fairmount does offer an assortment of bagel varieties to please your palette, whether you want sweet or savoury. They offer plain, sesame, poppy, cinnamon-raison, caraway, onion and garlic, mini-bagels, pesto and black olive. You can order them with cream cheese and smoked salmon, whitefish, or trout or plain. At the time of my visit, they only accept cash. Open 24 hours.
Reviewed by Mark