Do you like bagels? No, not the soft and chewy, fat white bagels you buy in most grocery stores, but real Montreal-style bagels baked the old-fashioned way. If so, you are in luck because Rosemary Rock Salt has opened two North Shore locations to keep their customers satisfied.
The first location at 1669 Lonsdale has been open for awhile, and has been so successful that a second location at Park and Tilford mall has been opened as well. If you are a bagel fan and the taste seems familiar, that’s because the bagels are baked from a recipe perfected by Joel Siegel, whose bagel shop has been operating in Kitsilano for over 20 years.
Rosemary Rock Salt was founded in 2012 by Joel’s daughter Parise, who has been in the family business for 18 years. (The name Rosemary Rock Salt refers to the most popular bagels at Siegels.) She uses the original recipe, which calls for the bagels to be boiled in a mixture of honey and water. This firms up the bagels so they don’t get bloated when baked. The bagels are then baked in a stone hearth flame oven. Then, just like they do on St. Lawrence Boulevard in Montreal, the bagels are rolled down a wooden chute (called a shiva) to cool down.
No bagel can be called “original” unless it is piled high with Montreal style smoked meat. Rosemary Rock Salt gets its beef brisket shipped directly from Montreal. Of course you can order cream cheese, lox, and a wide variety of other components, but it’s always the bagel itself that is most important. Rosemary’s is a bit smaller than the big doughy ones you get at most groceries. Prices range from $3.75 for cream cheese up to $11 for a mammoth smoked meat monster. Best for breakfast or lunch. Open until 8 pm.
By Staff Writer