The web-hype for a Montreal-based restaurant chain called Cora led me to expect something shiny and welcoming. Breakfast is a touchy meal for my family, with both wife and daughter seeking a repast that’s generally egg-, pancake-, waffle-, sausage-, potato- and toast-free. Cora’s site sports an impressive fruit plate featuring sliced apples sculpted into towers among other feel-good choices.
What we found, not far from downtown’s Berri-UQAM Metro station, was a fading eatery with the feel of a tired Denny’s. But I may be letting a quickly achieved prejudice get in my way. What I found, on my plate of eggs and sausage and potatoes, was a terrible bagel.
In Montreal, that’s unacceptable. The Montreal bagel is a phenomenon as rich in passion and partisanship as the New York bagel, both of which arrived in their respective countries with immigrant Polish Jews. But each stage of the northern-style treat is differs: the dough is honey-sweetened, the poaching is done in honey-infused water, and the baking takes place in a wood-fired oven.