Tag Archives: Boulangerie Montreal

Boulangerie Guillaume

17 Aug

When Hof Kelsten is closed for vacation, I need to find my bread fix somehow. For this summer, I decided to use the opportunity to try the other popular bakery close by to see how it stacks up, so I found myself at Boulangerie Guillaume a little further down the Main to try some different bread and goodies for a couple of weeks. The popular bakery, originally located on Fairmount, moved to a bigger location on St-Laurent and recently also took over the space next door where La Cucina used to be.

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The bakery is very modern and sleek in look with a huge display wall and a small seating area upstairs. They have also turned the old Cucina terrasse next door into a public outdoor space to sit and relax in. As with every bakery, the wonderful smell of fresh baked goods provides a wonderful fragrance as you wait to make your selections.

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Boulangerie Guillaume is very much a French bakery in nature and has a variety of breads and pastries available each day. Over the course of two weeks, I tried a few of their goods to get a sense of what they offer. First up, the first bread I tried – their demi-miche or country bread. A great crust on the outside. The interior was fluffy and nicely chewy. The rise was such that the air pockets were not too big. The bread had some heft to it with a slightly salty taste. Excellent bread.

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On my first visit, I also grabbed a few pastries. First was the white chocolate and vanilla champignon. Compared to the bread, this was more dense and rich while keeping the fluffy texture. The notes of vanilla and white chocolate were subtle but present.

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Second was a lemon and poppy mini-cake. Again a nice crust and a dense but fluffy interior. The lemon flavour came via pieces of confit lemon zest. As such, the flavour was nice when you bit into a piece of the zest but otherwise the cake felt bland.

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The following week, I tried a few different things. First a heavenly swiss cheese croissant roulé. The croissant itself was wonderfully flaky and buttery – everything that is good and bad (diet-wise anyway..) about croissants. The addition of the swiss cheese added a little sharpness.

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The apple turnover was also another hit. More flaky goodness from the turnover itself. The apple filling was smooth and sweet. I would have loved a little more inside given the size of the pastry personally.

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I also went for a different bread for round 2. I decided to try their sourdough bâtard, or torpedo loaf. Very similar texture wise to the country bread which would makes being also a sourdough. The torpedo loaf struck me as more sour in flavour though. Excellent bread once again.

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Guillaume certainly knows his bread. Both loafs were excellent and worthy of all the praise I had heard previously. The pastry were a little more hit and meh but you can see the quality there. Given the variety available, I would hesitate to try some others in the future. I am very envious of my old Plateau neighbourhood for having such amazing bakeries to enjoy. Just gives me more reasons to keep re-visiting!

Cheers!

Boulangerie Guillaume
5134 St-Laurent
514 507 3199

Boulangerie Guillaume Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Hof Kelsten

12 Dec

Over the past few months, I had heard plenty about a bakery right on the edge of Mile End. A place started by a chef who, turns out, sells bread to many of the best restaurants in the city – Joe Beef, Toqué! and Nora Gray to name a few – something that I had never known and that completely blew my mind. The fact that all of these places look to Chef Jeff Finklestein for bread speaks volume about the quality of his product. His new bakery Hof Kelsten now allows us common folk to get a fresh loaf for ourselves.

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Hof Kelsten is located just off the corner of Saint-Laurent and Mont Royal in what I recalled being an old super club Videotron which was confirmed when I noticed that the overnight return slot in still present with the sticker above it. There is no sign outside and the interior is relatively sparse – unfinished wood counters, a white tile wall, concrete floor and a few spot to sit down. The only indication of the name is the green fluorescent lights shaped into Hof Kelsten above the counter. Behind the bread wall, you can see the large kitchen where all the work is done.

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Hof Kelsten offers a variety of bread and pastries with a few weekly specials such as Challah only available on Fridays. For my initial visit, I went with a loaf of their sourdough. Now I love sourdough bread – it is pretty much the only bread I eat when in the States as it is readily available there. I have never been able to find good sourdough to bring home here until now. This bread was great – beautiful crust, great flavour and perfect texture. I finally have sourdough bread in Montreal. Thank the heavens!

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For the bread alone, I will be coming back quite often from here on out but there is even more. They also have a sandwich menu and a number of other items with a strong Jewish influence. Grabbing lunch, I went with the brisket sandwich with a half portion of Matzo ball soup and some latkes. The brisket is served warm with sliced apples, red cabbage and beet slaw with what appeared to be a homemade thousand island dressing all on the house rye. Just a wonderful sandwich. I never would have thought of apples and thousand island dressing with brisket but the combination works extremely well.

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The Matzo soup was wonderful as well – great depth of flavour in the stock (and surprisingly not as salty as I expected), generous amount of chicken and vegetables in the soup and the matzo balls themselves were great. A perfect addition on a cold December as it was.

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The last item was the latkes – quite large individually. Great crust on them while maintaining a nice texture inside. The surprising plus was the dipping sauce – a nice sweet addition that offset the lack of actual apple sauce to use instead (Note that I’ve always been a apple sauce over sour cream guy).

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All in all, Hof Kelsten is a great bakery that lived up to all the praise I’ve heard and then some. The fact that I am only a quick bike or drive (or longish walk) away means that I have found my new “neighbourhood” bakery. Getting restaurant caliber bread on a weekly basis will be a beautiful thing and something that everyone near and far should run over for as quickly as they can.

Cheers!

Hof Kelsten
4524 Saint-Laurent

Hof Kelsten on Urbanspoon

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