Saturday, September 28, 2013

Montreal: Fairmount Bagel

Fairmount Bagel is a classic bagel bakery---you walk in, order, pay, and walk out with a bag of bagels. That is, you stand in line, patiently waiting for your chance to buy these bagels. The line afforded me the chance to watch the bagel-making process. The wood fired oven is carefully tended. Bagels sit on long, thin boards so they can be put in and taken out quickly. The bagel maker stood in front of a huge mound of dough almost as big as he was, cutting it into strips, then into pieces, and rolling them into shape. I watched as he took the long, thin piece of dough and twisted it into a circle with one hand, then effortlessly twisted the ends together. Practice does, indeed, make perfect.

I was very impressed with this bagel. It has just enough of the taste of the wood-fired oven to delight the tongue. The crust is very crusty. The inside is soft and tender while maintaining the essential bagely chewiness. The onion on top was a wonderful savory complement to the bread. This is an outstanding bagel, probably the best I've ever had.

Fairmount Bagel on Urbanspoon

Montreal: St.-Viateur Bagel & Cafe

St.-Viateur in the Mont Royal district is a busy, thriving bagel café. Their woodfired oven turns out a constant stream of bagels. I decided to eat in and have a light meal.

This is the classic, with salmon, cream cheese, and a healthy dose of capers. The bagel itself was a pretty classic bagel, slightly chewy but still very soft. The salmon was of excellent quality and with a very subtle taste. It's amazing that the capers didn't stand out more, so I guess they got the dose right.

St-Viateur Bagel & Café on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cranford NJ: Emma's Brick Oven Pizza

I used to live in Cranford back in the 20th century. Back then, it was a nice, sleepy little town. It has evolved into a bit of a foodie town with a restaurants offering a variety of cuisines. But a trip to New Jersey these days demands a pizza run, so I headed to Emma's. It's a fun family-oriented spot. Perhaps this is the future of New Jersey pizza: nicely appointed surroundings serving good pizza at reasonable prices.

This is my margherita with sun-dried tomatoes. (Note that the pizza stand is built into the table. I haven't seen that before and it's a nice touch.) The wood-fired oven gave it a nice crust, although a little more char would have been fun. The sun-dried tomatoes gave it a very nice zing. This puppy didn't last long.

Emma's Brick Oven Pizza & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tucson AZ: Chickenuevo

I landed at the airport and needed a bite to eat. I was pleasantly surprised by Chickenuevo, a family restaurant masquerading in fast food guise. The service was a little confused but the food was tasty and very well priced.

This is my red chile chicken burro. The chicken was very moist and tender. The red chile sauce had a great flavor, a great chile taste without being overly hot. It was pretty big, too.