Montreal Miscellany

We flew back to Chicago from Montreal on a Sunday, but we had a few hours to enjoy the city before heading to the airport.DSC_0447

Judy was eager to have some Montreal bagels for breakfast, so we headed to Fairmount Bagel, a tiny bakery on the Avenue of the same name. Jeez, that place is popular – we must have waited close to an hour in line.


As someone who grew up in the New York City area, I was not as enthusiastic as Judy about Montreal bagels. They’re fine if you think of them as a kind of roll or BLBO (Bagel-Like Baked Object). Compared to real (that is to say, New York) bagels, though, the Montreal variant is slightly sweet, and not quite dense or chewy enough.

Of course, they are infinitely better than chain store pseudo-bagels such as those produced by Einstein Brothers, which are so insipid that they border on anti-semitic.


Anyways, we got our Fairmount bagels and some cream cheese and ate them in the car. It was a fine breakfast for our last day in Quebec.


After that, we drove to Mount Royal Park, on the mountain that gives Montreal its name. There is a chalet up at the top.


The day was a little hazy, but there was still a wonderful view.


After enjoying the vista, it was time to head to the airport.


I’m missing Quebec already, though I’m not tempted to visit during the winter (it’s even colder there than in Chicago). Some day soon we will have to go back, though.

51 Comments on “Montreal Miscellany

  1. We loved our time there too, doing all the “touristy” things in the three days that we had there. Didn’t know about the bagels or we might have been tempted to try them! We were there in June and it was so very hot, much hotter than we are used to, but we still had a fabulous time.

  2. One of the things I remember with great pleasure is the bagels we had a Grand Central Station before taking the train to Washington DC.

  3. I’ve added Quebec to the growing list of places I’d like to visit one day thanks to your posts, Jason! We are all looking forward to experiencing proper NY bagels when we visit this summer. My 16-yr-old is getting quite excited about the food prospects πŸ™‚

  4. Most amazing pictures of flowers you have ever posted. A couple look a lot like flags and others seem to have inspired skyscrapers.

  5. Oh, Canada! We have a daughter who lives in New York City, and as a result, we, too, are bagel snobs πŸ˜‰

  6. “so insipid that they border on anti-semitic”….ha! Colder than Chicago huh? Surely I’ve mentioned we spent our honeymoon in Montreal, in December. Thank god for the underground walkways downtown.

    • That’s insane, Loree! What were you thinking going to Montreal in Dec? Feeling snow-deprived? πŸ˜‰

  7. Really enjoyed these posts of your trip Jason. I have to admit I have never eaten a bagel. In fact I probably wouldn’t even recognize one…. am off to google them now to see what I’m missing!

    • Cathy, where in Bavaria are you? I spent a wonderful summer in Kochel many many years ago.

      • What a beautiful place to spend a summer Judy! I hope you had a chance to visit the surrounding area too. I have often stopped off there on drives down to Garmisch or to the mountain alm at KrΓΌn. Sadly we are quite a way from there, a strenuous two-hour drive at least. We don’t have mountains nearby, but we have a very rocky and hilly landscape around us. We are just north of the Danube, a little west of the city of Regensburg.

      • This is Judy again – can’t seem to reply except as Jason after the first reply. I did get around a fair amount, to Munich, and had a friend at a Max Planck Institute in Tubingen (I think), and got to Herrenchiemsee, and my favorite trip was to Innsbruck to an amazing historical museum. I was there in 1972 — it must be time to go back!

      • Oh definitely… I am sure a lot has changed since then! The national park at Berchtesgaden is a favourite region of mine, and the beautiful city of Salzburg is just over the border. πŸ™‚

  8. Oh, poor New Yorkers…you never will be satisfied with bagels made elsewhere. As to the lines: we were advised in this morning’s paper to try those popular places during the Super Bowl. Here, it’s Salt & Straw ice cream where lines stretch around the block.

    • Well, there are a few places here in Chicago that make good bagels. The best is actually called “New York Bagel and Bialy”. Fortunately it’s very close to home.

  9. Sadly I don’t think I would know a good bagel if it smacked me in the face! My only experience is UK supermarket attempts which I guess are miles away from the real thing!
    I enjoyed your photos and would love to visit Quebec one day.

  10. I have visited Montreal in the winter. Of course, you can do a lot without ever stepping foot outside between the underground network of shops along the metro and the overhead skyways connecting buildings.
    I share your opinion of Montreal bagels. I got very excited a number of years ago when a bagel restaurant opened in my part of Maine, but it turned out they were selling Montreal bagels. (A large proportion of the population in this part of Maine is of Quebecois origin.)

  11. We had fantastic bagels in New York, (lucky we didn’t stumble on the pseudo-bagel from the Einstein Brothers, that might have scarred us for life) and have been disappointed with any other bagel since then….I think some foods belong to certain cities and countries, and are never the same elsewhere…

  12. Hello Jason, I can’t believe the size of that batch of dough, I also couldn’t stand to wait an hour for a bagel. Some lovely views in your pictures, I hope you had a safe trip back.

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