A sea of Siegel’s day old bagels

Made a trip to Granville Island just to buy 2 bags of Siegel’s day olds… hmmm 2 dozen bagels.

 … YUM!

You never know what you’re getting (well, you do, you can see it, but what I guess I’m saying is that you never know what kinds they have left over and bagged up), but still…both T and I agree it is simply.. aaahhhhhhh. Bagelicious. This time it was a dozen poppy seed and a dozen of mixed (mostly rosemary and rocksalt, some cranberry). Went through half a bag before the rest made it into the freezer (hence the two bags. I made the mistake the first time I got these: I bought only one bag and had only 3 bagels left to freeze).

siegel\'s bagels

Now when I open my freezer I see a sea of bagels. Hm, in fact the freezer is mostly bagels and bread right now. There’s some frozen halibut (emergency rations for when it’s no longer halibut season), several bags of shelled edamame (my snacks), some frozen berries and mango (for shakes), a pack of smoked salmon, and a few small bags of frozen fish and meats. But seriously, over 80% is bagels and bread. MWAHAHA!


Worst. Bagel. Ever.

worst bagel ever

I got sucked into this little place called Bagel and Coffee, it was across the street from my (very Japanese) hair stylist, and I’ve been meaning to check it out. Bagel and Coffee is located on the south side (ie. side facing McKim Way) of Pacific Plaza – on the corner of Cambie and Garden City in Richmond. It’s the giant words Coffee and Bagel that lured me in, because – well, it’s coffee and bagels, why else?

It was a rainy day, almost lunch time, there was one guy sitting outside and I think another customer inside the little shop. The decor is quite pleasant and warm, and it was clean inside.

The woman working there gave a very friendly welcome as I walked in. She speaks Mandarin, although I don’t. Anyway, today’s bagel was whole wheat, she touted (at least twice as I can remember, I think it’s because whole wheat is soooo good for you). So I got one. It was still warm. 

From the looks of it i should have known better. Or at least I should have when I sniffed at it. Of course it smelled like that very characteristic smell of whole wheat, which isn’t the problem, but it smelled so doughy and underbaked that I should have known better than to sink my teeth in it. 

Of course I did. And it was just… ugh. Gross. It wasn’t really underbaked, but it felt like it. The outside was not tough, it wasn’t even bagel like. It was heavy but it wasn’t the right kind of bagel-dense. It was like somebody’s first ever attempt at making bagels and they forgot to boil it or something. I just. Ugh. I’m sorry. I can’t continue on with this post.


I didn’t try their coffee. Maybe it’s better. Maybe somebody else would like to try it and tell me what it’s like, because I’m not going back soon.



Bagel and Coffee

Pacific Plaza- 8888 Odlin Crescent, Richmond

OY! Bagels from Save On Foods

Baked in Store

It was a lazy, get-all-my-groceries-done-at-one-supermarket kind of day, so I was tricked into buying bagels at Save-On-Foods. Supermarket bagels are essentially baked rolls with holes in the middle that aren’t boiled, and look exactly like it. (See IGA’s, for example.) These ones looked OK from the outside, and were on sale. Probably a bad idea, but the mantra of my Bagel Quest is to try bagels from all walks of life. So what the heck.

What can I say about this thing? It’s not a bagel. It tastes like nothing – worse than Tim Horton’s plain bagel. Weighing at almost 5oz (that’s pretty heavy for a bagel this size), it is just a really, really dense roll with a hole in the center.

plain bagel

At least with Safeway’s bagels, I could finish the bagel as what it was. And if I had no other choice, I wouldn’t mind eating them if I really wanted a bagel fix. But these Save On ones were so bad I just couldn’t … So I took the rest of them, sliced them up, toasted them in the oven and made bagel chips. Less suffering this way. 😉

bagel crisp

Mount Royal Bagel Factory

Mount Royal

I’ve noticed that a Jewish church around my workplace gets bagels delivered from the Mount Royal Bagel Factory. I thought this bakery must make some awesome bagels, for the church to be ordering from so far away (there are other closer Kosher bakeries, I believe, maybe they don’t make good bagels).

So I decided to give their bagels a try. As per usual with my Bagel Quest, I went for the plain ones. They’re cute looking-  very puffy, fat, and round, with a small little hole in the center. Certainly not “artisan” looking like Siegel’s or Solly’s. And sweet! I mean, literally. Mount Royal’s bagels smell sweet, taste pretty sweet, feel even sweeter. As in, they are sticky. Never have I touched such a sticky bagel. Must be the malt they used. These are pretty dense, heavy bagels. The crust was not extremely thick, but sufficient. The inside was a bit doughy for my taste. I didn’t like that they were so darn sticky, and I also found them a little too moist. They were decent bagels though, and definitely much better upon toasting (perhaps because that dries them out a bit). Not as good as Siegel’s or Solly’s, IMHO. But maybe because they were packaged and not fresh.

mount royal

Mount Royal Bagel Factory
701 Queensbury Avenue, North Vancouver

Safeway Bagels

This is something I should be rather familiar with, as our lab is a 5 minute walk from Safeway. Safeway bagels have thus been a feature for many a morning lab meetings. I never really touch them, but now my Bagel Quest keeps getting me into … interesting situations. There is to be no bagel-discrimination here, so I have to try bagels from all walks of life. In fact, a few weeks ago (during some storm) I tried a package of Dempster’s 12 Grain bagels. Uuuuugh. Bad. I don’t have pictures to show for that. They aren’t bagels, maybe they might make decent, dense, whole-grain bread, but they sure aren’t bagels. Maybe I will hold off on the pre-packaged bagels until I get very desperate. (And even then, I still have one plain bagel from Siegel’s left in my freezer.)

Anyway. Safeway makes these so-called “New York Style” bagels that sell for 69 cents each. They are quite giant and have a very commercially beautified appearance, all perfectly round, nicely browned, and puffy looking:

Safeway Bagels

Each weighs in at about 3.5oz. They are both slightly sweet and slightly salty. Chewy, and doughy. Crust isn’t too thick. OK bagel, probably one of the better supermarket ones, but definitely nothing like Solly’s or Siegel’s. Most supermarket bagels are just dinner rolls with a hole in the middle, and aren’t boiled before they’re baked. I’m not sure Safeway really boils them, they don’t really feel like they are boiled, but at least they are better than those Dempster’s bagels.

Safeway Plain Bagel

Agro Cafe and Siegel’s Bagels @ Granville Island

A nutritionist might start commenting on how I have not been having the most varied diet. Indeed, I seem to be constantly blogging about cafes, latte’s, and bagels of late. Ah but we can be biased foodies, at least for a while right?

Granville Island… It’s a bit of a trip for me and I’ve been there so often that I don’t really end up buying anything interesting at the Public Market. But I still love just soaking in the place. Nothing like coming down here and grabbing a Siegel’s bagel for lunch. Or any other place in the Public Market for that matter. Still, I can’t resist a good bagel.

Siegel’s Bagels

I’m not sure whether their lox and cream cheese is the best, but it’s not bad. There’s just a bit too much cream cheese though:

Lox and cream cheese

On this visit I also stopped by the Agro Cafe, a popular coffee shop/bistro on Railspur Alley serving organic coffee and food. It’s pretty large and spacious, with seating upstairs and outside. Service is friendly. Usually the outside is filled with people, but it wasn’t busy when I came. I just had coffee, because unfortunately I already ate lunch. They do serve up some nice sandwiches, soups, and snacks though.

Agro Cafe

Hmm, Agro’s latte. What can I say… It is good, not too bitter, the art is nice, but doesn’t have quite that great body and aroma of Cafe Artigiano’s, which is heavenly and still my favorite. The Americano here is pretty good. And I do so love their orange mugs. 🙂

Agro’s Latte


Related post: Siegel’s Bagels

Agro Cafe
1363 Railspur Alley (Granville Island)
1207 Hamilton St (Yaletown)

Tomato Fresh Food Cafe

Tomato Fresh Food Cafe

The day before my surgery last week, W and I had lunch at the Tomato Fresh Food Cafe. This would be their new home in Kits that opened this summer, after the Canada Line construction forced them to move from Cambie Street. I like their warm, casual, and inviting decor: the restaurant is brightly lit – mainly by skylight, there are large indoor trees, the restaurant is very spacious, and the bars and booths are comfortable. Definitely more trendy and sophisticated compared to the old Cambie location.

We arrived at about 1pm. The place was busy but not full, but they still make you sit in the little waiting area (with tables and comfy couches) for about 10 minutes before they seat you. We were seated by a big tree near the back of the restaurant.

W and I shared two sandwiches: the vegetarian with hummus and mayo. The hummus was OK. I ordered it on the sourdough (instead of the whole wheat). The sourdough was OK, not that sour, not that crusty, and I think there is some whole wheat flour in it. Overall, it was an OK sandwich.

Veggie sandwich

And we also ordered the lox and cream cheese on a bagel. I love lox and cream cheese. This was very good. (Though I have yet to compare it to the same thing at Siegel’s or Solly’s.) The smoked salmon and capers were quite fresh. The bagel itself was great. It was a sesame bagel, with a nice chewiness and slight sweetness to it. I wonder where they get their bagels from.

Lox and cream cheese

I like how things are freshly made here, and you can ask them to make a particular sandwich on the menu to your liking. The atmosphere is nice and relaxing, though if I was in a hurry for lunch I might just pack my own sandwich, because it does take a while for them to seat you and then for the food to come. Two little things: They didn’t refill our water even once, and a leaf fell on W’s head while she was eating her bagel. 😀 Otherwise, a nice place and I might revisit for the brunch menu.

Tomato Fresh Food Cafe

2486 Bayswater Street (and W. Broadway)