Montreal-Style Bagels Arrive In Seattle
Bagels are one of the creature comforts Lisa and I have missed since we moved to Seattle years ago. Sunday mornings with bagels, cream cheese, tomato and lox from Barney Greengrass are no longer regularities, like they were in our Upper West Side apartment.
Yet for all the celebrity status the New York bagel enjoys on the food/pop culture stage, I’ve often felt its cousin from Montreal offered a far superior product. Toasted in a wood-fire oven, the Montreal bagel is a smaller, denser and crispier version of the boiled NYC bagel. Each bite provides more of a satisfying crunch, balanced with a touch of sweetness (my opinion, not gospel). Last year, the New York Times heard enough of the chirping between the two cities that it felt the need to weigh in on the argument.
Despite my proselytizing, Lisa needed some convincing. A summer trip years ago to St. Viateur in Montreal quickly swayed her to my mode of thinking. So when news broke that Eltana, a Montreal-style bagel emporium, was Seattle-bound we followed with interest.
Eltana recently opened and has generated plenty of buzz in a short amount of time among our more food-inclined friends. A few days ago, we went for the super-soft opening, ordered a sesame and plain bagel (with honey and plain cream cheese, respectively) and tucked in.
The verdict: a close facsimile to the versions from the Mile End. While an Eltana bagel is not a complete reproduction of what the legendary St. Viateur and Fairmount churn out in Quebec, it’s still quite tasty. Not to mention a much-welcome addition to our city.
A lot of hours in the office have made for some stressful work weeks as the Holiday Bowl looms. Still, with as gray as Seattle has been recently, I’m not about to complain about a week-long trip San Diego.
On early resolution I have for New Year’s is to do more reading. Looking forward to delving more into a novel I picked up today: Dinaw Mengestu’s “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears.”