“Montreal-Style” Bagels Comes to Mississauga
For anyone who has ever devoured a "Montreal-style" bagel, you won't need any encouragement from me to pay a visit to The Bagel House - soon to open its doors to Port Credit Village. Signage was posted and renovations commenced back in January but as co-owner Sat Chouhan explained, "Our goal was to open in March 2012, however due to city re-zoning and parking restrictions, we had to postpone our grand opening - but now it's finally here!" So, much to the anticipation of many ex-Montrealers like myself and bagel fans in the neighbourhood, it's thrilling to know that the wood oven is now being fired up, the dough will be rising and soon the intoxicating aroma of fresh bagels will be wafting through the air.
Now, what's all the fuss about "Montreal-style" bagels, you ask? Well, Sat tells me that any other bagel is just "bread with a hole." He and his partner, Jessi Sahdra, have twenty years of experience perfecting these bagels - they both learned from two of the best bagel shops that Montreal has to offer - St. Viateur and Fairmount.
The bagel-making process starts at 4 a.m. when the baker creates a soft, slightly sweet dough which is then hand rolled, boiled in honey water and coated in poppy or sesame seeds. Next, fifteen bagels are placed onto a long wooden paddle which the baker slides into a hot, wood-burning oven. The paddle is then re-positioned three times to meet the varying temperatures in the oven until the golden bagels with their chewy centers are done. The process takes about twenty minutes and it's amazing to watch these bakers at their craft.
(From left, shop manager - Jerry Rai with Bagel House partners - Sat Chouhan and Jessi Sahdra)
The Bagel House will also offer an array of sandwiches including, of course, Montreal Smoked Meat and Lox and Cream Cheese. Their selection of flavoured cream cheese is exceptional - spinach feta, roasted red pepper, basil pesto and chive, just to name a few. The dill pickles are from Moishes, another Montreal landmark, and their baked goods such as knish, rugelach, and moon cookies are brought in raw from Solly's, and then baked fresh in the store's convection oven. Planning a bagel party? They have a wonderful selection of party platters to choose from as well.
As I was wrapping up my interview with Sat, an ex-Montrealer and Port Credit resident named Karen came into the store inquiring about the authenticity of The Bagel House's bagels - "I've been anxiously awaiting your opening," she said. "I hope these bagels will live up to my expectations!" Sat replied, "I'm up for the challenge - you won't be disappointed!"
The Bagel House is scheduled to open this Saturday, August 18th,2012 and its hours of operation will be from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily, with the possibility of opening 24hrs - just like their three other outlets in Toronto. They are located at 235 Lakeshore Rd. East in Mississauga. For more information, visit their website: www.thebagelhouse.com
Now the hunt to find the perfect croissant begins! Any suggestions?