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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.

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