There are two foods that, despite the fact that they are not originally from Brooklyn, on which we Brooklynites (or ex-Brooklynites) consider ouselves to be experts. And they are pizza and bagels (but not pizza bagels, perish the thought!). There are also eggcreams, but a) that’s not really a food and b) I don’t think anyone under the age of 50 really likes them.
We have spoken here on the blog on many occasions about bagels, their presence or absence in Santiago and whether or not we would ever see a bagel shop again here in the capital. Read through the comments for more info on that. Recently a bagel shop opened in Viña, and I didn’t know anything about it, at the time except for the fact that someone I know had been there (updated with link at the bottom). But here in Santiago, we were still bagel-free, until just a couple of weeks ago.
On Saturday night I was headed out on my bike to Ñuñoa, first on the ciclovía on Santa Isabel, and then continuing on as the street turned into Diagonal Oriente, near Pedro de Valdivia. And as I careened by, I saw the words “Montreal Bagels.” Like so: (except I took this photo during the day).
And I thought back to a time, eons ago, when I was in Montreal and I climbed the big hill and marveled at all the languages people spoke there, and thought about how great it would be to spend spring, summer and fall in Montreal. And then I came down the hill and ate a bagel. Mmmm, bagel.
And so clearly, today being the end of Passover, a holiday I kind of didn’t really celebrate this year, I thought, I should go over to that bagel place and see what they’re all about.
Turns out they’re a Spanish/Russian Russian/Canadian couple, and they make bagels. And they sell Sorbete Letelier. To me this seemed an odd combination, but apparently there’s a cherry-flavored soda that people drink in Montreal while they eat bagels. Those crazy Quebecois! Maria (one of the owners) and I talked long and smiley, talking about translations and bagel recipes and whatnot. I took a phone call and while I was on the phone, an American woman from Connecticut came in and started piling bagels into a couple of bags. I panicked, but fresh bagels were on their way.
I bought a half-dozen, more sesame than poppy, because I’m like that, bid Maria a farewell and biked away. I had dreams of getting home and eating a bagel with cream cheese, kalamata (well, azapa) olives and maybe some tomato (lox being not exactly in abundance here). But the smell was too delicious, and I had to break into one on my ride. It’s only a little precarious to eat a bagel, ride a bike and take pictures of the bike path at the same time. No bagels were harmed in the ride, and no cyclists either.
The report? Ñami (yummy). A bit sweeter than what I know from home, to accomodate Chilean tastes, and a bigger hole than I’m used to, but that’s more traditional Russian, but the perfect dough texture, somewhere between doughy and cakey, but not at all tough. There are sesame and poppyseed, with the sesame being more popular, Maria says. You can call and order a passel, or bike by any time for piping fresh bagels (in Santiago, be still my glycemic index!).
Address: Diagonal Oriental 1915, near Pedro de Valdivia.
Tomorrow’s breakfast just got a whole lot more exciting. I’ve got cream cheese at the ready.