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Posts Tagged ‘Bakery’

Expensive but chic brunch and lunch place in Old Montreal. Complex ordering system – a waiter reserves your table but you order at the sandwich counter, then once you’re seated the waiter serves you through dessert, after which you pay at the register (or at the cash, as the Montrealers call it). My favourites include the herbivore salad with cashew dressing (of Jake Gyllenhaal fame – apparently he saw the owner eating it while he was filming Source Code nearby and she eventually put it on the menu), which seems to be a seasonal dish, and the toasted Cuban sandwich. The “poached egg on your face” sandwich is also good, but only available until it’s sold out around lunch time. Small bakery counter for takeout. Pleasantly eclectic. Prepare to wait at least 15 minutes for a table, crammed like sardines by the door, or get takeout and eat it at a nearby cafe.

351 Rue St. Paul O. at Rue St. Pierre

metro: Place d’Armes

See my September 2009 review here.

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One ritual that my husband and I have is to immediately follow a visit to St-Viateur Bagel on Mont-Royal with a visit to Petits Gâteaux, a small cupcake boutique that just happens to be on the way to the metro from St-Viateur. Petits Gâteaux looks very girly, with its pink logo and adorable globes of frosting, but don’t fear the frill. No man, woman, or child could pass up these delectable cupcakes, which are everything that a cupcake should be and more. That’s right – they taste every bit as good as they look, from the moist little bits of cake to the creamy swirls or puffpalls of frosting topped with a pinch of garnish.

I recommend sampling the mini cupcakes instead of going for the regular-sized ones. Why? Because you can eat more of them, that’s why! My favorites are the chocolate – which is just chocolate enough – and the coffee. Be prepared to wait in line. It’s not always possible to sit down, so be prepared to take your cupcakes to go.

Metro: Mont-Royal

783 Avenue du Mont Royal Est at

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It somehow seems appropriate that this tiny cash-only, counter service doughnut place is located next to an adult theater by the seedier part of town. Voodoo Doughnut, a local institution, is an alternative doughnut bakery between downtown and the Pearl District in Portland. Branded clothing proclaiming that “the secret is in the hole” and bumper stickers admitting that “I got VD in Portland” should clue one into the general vibe of the place, as should the walls plastered with obituaries and zombie paraphernalia. A steady stream of old and young customers, some of whom commented that they’d driven out of their way especially to try one of the VD donuts, flow in and out. Rumor has it that even Reed College regularly offers their donuts at their internal meetings.

Voodoo donuts are just slightly more expensive than those at low-end fast food joints, and with their colorful PG-13 (13 ans+) titles, inventive sweet toppings, and anatomically correct shapes are definitely worth the extra dollar. Half of the menu is vegan and the current offerings are paraded about a rotating display case so one can visually inspect each pastry before making final selection. I enjoyed a vegan Old Dirty Bastard, which was a plain doughnut drizzled with chocolate and peanut butter sauces and encrusted with Oreo pieces, and a “butterfingered” vanilla-glazed devil’s food doughnut. They’d run out of chocolate milk, so I settled for a small apple juice instead.

22 SW 3rd Ave., Portland, OR, USA

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Next to its affiliated resto, Chez Gauthier, sits a small bakery with simple yet well-done baguette sandwiches. The bread isn’t too hard, and it isn’t too soft. The staff are francophone yet don’t seem to mind communicating in English as well (je veux parle le français, mais quelquefois, c’est impossible). My favorite combination thus far has been brie, smoked turkey, tomato, and of course butter. Prices are reasonable and the pastries look flakey and delicious. There’s no place to sit inside, but you might be able to set up camp at the Second Cup across the street if you buy a coffee.

metro: Place des Arts

3485 Ave. du Parc at Rue Milton

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While my husband prefers Guglhupf to Fosters, I remain more reserved – most importantly because their hot chocolate tastes faintly of mold (the kind of harsh, tangy mold that’s in blue cheese) and is too watery. Plus, they are closed on Mondays.

This German beehive of the intelligentsia is situated in what could very well be a post-industrial bunker, all poured concrete and iron railings, with a chic staircase and orange paper lanterns dangling from the ceiling grates. Diners bottleneck about the small front counter, which is uncomfortably cramped and too close to the door, pressuring one to decide what they want before they really want it. Then one sits and waits for their food to be brought to them. The drink serving system is confused – does one wait for the beverages or are they brought to the table? and can change from day to day, causing much frustration from those desperate for their first sip of coffee.

While the menu is more diverse and sophisticated than Fosters, with consistently good soups and a popular German potato salad side, the sandwiches are very similar and use a disappointingly large roll of deli meat in each. On the plus side, tables are well spaced out, and it’s common to see professional tête-à-têtes or lone diners barricaded behind laptops and/or Kindles.

2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham, NC 27707, USA

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I had heard that one of the best bagels in Montreal could be had at Fairmount Bagels, and took my foodie in-laws there for brunch one day…only to discover a hole in the wall with just enough elbow room between the counter and floor stacks of store-ready bagels to order a bag of bagels and a tub of high end cream cheese. Behind the counter, workers endlessly cut and hand rolled bagels in front of a wood-burning stove. Back at my place at my own table, the huge, tender sesame and poppy seed bozo bagel was my favorite, though the nutty flaxseed bagel was also praised. These were indeed some of the best bagels in Montreal, and pleasantly inexpensive.

74 Ave. Fairmount O. at Rue St. Urbain

metro: Laurier

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Premiere Moisson has bakeries scattered throughout Montreal and several grocery stores carry their bread. I’ve only been to one thus far, but the experience has been good. Take a number and be prepared to order in rapid French. One side is bread and sweets, one side sandwiches, and one side is a house-packaged refrigerated pate/sauce section. Sit-down area is also available, though often full during peak moments. Traditionalist hot chocolate – molten chocolate goo served with an espresso cup of steamed milk.

1490 Rue Sherbrooke O. at Rue Mackay

Metro: Guy-Concordia

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