Blake Joffe's memories of childhood vacations aren't of beaches or landmarks. Instead, he reminisces about the Montreal bagels he scarfed during many visits to his dad's hometown. This fall, Joffe, who currently cooks at Pizzeria Delfina, and partner Amy Remsen will bring Montreal-style bagels to the Bay Area with the opening of Beauty's Bagel Shop. While the pair scout locations in Oakland, they're for now using the ovens at Berkeley's Addie's Pizza, where Remsen is a server, to test recipes and provide bagels for Wise Sons Delicatessen, the Saturday morning popup in San Francisco.
Joffe told us that Beauty's bagels will be hand-rolled, boiled in honey water, and baked in a wood-fired oven. Though they'll be a bit smaller in size, they will have larger holes than traditional bagels. Classic flavors such as sesame and poppy will prevail, as Joffe is adamant about "no fruit bagels." The shop will also offer sandwiches, including egg and cheese, smoked steelhead trout (they hope to offer only sustainable fish), smoked salmon, chopped liver, and vegan paté.
Don't go looking for Beauty's bagels at Wise Sons the next few weekends, however. The pair are off to Montreal, where Joffe will apprentice at the legendary St-Viateur bakery.