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Baked Goods

Bagels on Fire

Posted by Sarah Ratchford / Posted on July 27, 2013

Bagels on Fire TorontoBagels on Fire is a new little bagel shop in the Beaches that churns out Montreal-style bagels which are served distinctly not on fire. They do, however, come from a wood-fired oven. Husband and wife duo Hazel and Julio Penullar make the bagels themselves from scratch, and alongside your traditional everything, poppyseed and sesame varieties, they also make pretzels and giant twisty bagels. There are specialty flavours, too, like pumpernickel and coconut.

I get to chatting with Hazel, and she says she and her husband used to work together at The Bagel House, he as a baker and she as a cashier. They've been saving and planning for six years with the hopes of opening their own place, and, finally, Bagels on Fire is the realization of that dream.

Bagels on FireMy picky palate and stomach are happy to report that their hard work truly paid off, and I would venture so far as to say many Beaches residents are in agreement with my body parts. The shop was full of people venturing in and out during the half hour or so I was there, from older folks picking up bagels to bring home, to teenagers grabbing quick snacks, to parents and small kids having play dates. Bulk bagels can be had for as little as $7.25/dozen.

Bagels on FireI was there late in the morning, and Hazel told me that, aside from bulk bagels, their sandwiches are big sellers. So I order a sesame seed bagel, my absolute favourite, garnished with tuna salad, lettuce and tomato ($5.50).

The sandwich is perfect, with the bagel toasted to a light, slightly crunchy golden brown, the tuna salad having the perfect portion of mayo mixed in (not soggy, but not too dry) and the produce crisp and fresh. It is, in short, the ideal lunch, both taste and portion-wise.

Bagels on FireIn the mornings, Hazel says her bacon breakfast sandwiches fly out the door almost faster than she can make them. Their Kicking Horse drip coffee ($1.19) goes pretty quickly, too. I enjoy a cup as I sit and chat with her, and as far as drip coffees go, at least, this one hits the spot.

Because my lunch was so good, I wind up going back later to grab some take-home bagels in the most popular flavours, which are onion and everything. They underline my early impression that these are some legit baked goods. The bagels remind me of St. Viateur in Montreal. Sure enough, Hazel tells me they were inspired by the legendary Montreal bagel house.

Bagels on FireWorth noting is that Bagels on Fire is pretty small with seating for about nine, and the worst top 40 tunes blasting from the radio. If you hate Bon Jovi, I would recommend Bagels on Fire as a takeout place as opposed to a sit-down restaurant.

Bagels on FirePhotos by Kat RIzza



Waffles / July 26, 2013 at 09:42 am
Love the bagels and definitely reminds me of St-Viateur. Maybe a bit thicker then I'm use to back in Montreal, but they have the consistency and flavor bang on. The fact that I can eat them straight out of the bag is a great sign. Keep it up and we'll definitely be coming here every weekend to grab a half dozen!
Tom / July 26, 2013 at 11:18 am
If he baked at Bagel House then he got good training, because Bagel House is hands down the best bagels in the city.
Michael Fox / July 26, 2013 at 11:31 am
This is the best thing to come to the Beach since the lake!
Warren M / July 26, 2013 at 01:00 pm
I have had bagels from St. Viateur (MTL) and St. Urbain (Toronto), but my fav hands down has to be Gryfes! They taste so damn delicious with smoked salmon and cream cheese. Also, they are sold at the Kitchen Table for $0.79/bagel so I don't have to go all the way go Bathurst to grab them.
Lee-Anne / July 26, 2013 at 02:24 pm
Why are bagels in Ontario so puffy? I miss my hard as rocks Montreal bagels.
Laura Bee / July 27, 2013 at 01:47 pm
I saw this review this morning, and headed out the door for some bagels. They are good - but they are not St. Viateur. The pumpernickle was the closest to a chewy montreal bagel flavour. The honey-crisp crust on the sesame was pretty close too. Definitely worth checking out.
...the bagels are really really good / September 8, 2013 at 10:25 am
Back to the food at Bagels on fire:
This couple is doing it right. The bagels are fresh, have a good crust to chew ratio and have good quality toppings.
Also worth a taste are the knishes and hamentashen.

The coffee is fresh and fairly priced (an increasing rarity).

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