With its tangerine-coloured sign, Nu Bügel is easy to find among the hodgepodge of Kensington Market businesses. Sitting in the former Kensington Clothing Co. space, the shop is both a takeout joint and a sit-down café, with its Montreal-style bagels already drawing plenty of customers in the first week of business.
The name itself hails from the historical way of spelling bagel. Translating to stirrup in both Yiddish and Austrian-German, bügel refers to the imperfect shape handmade bagels took back in the 16th century.
“We love bagels,” says bubbly co-owner Carolenys Tovar. Pointing out the cross-cultural appeal of the bread, Tovar notes that she — along with her husband Roberto Iglicki and the rest of the Nu Bügel team, Juan Hernandez and Shawn Khuram Shahzad — find both the sweetness and the density of the Montreal bagel preferable to its New York cousin.
Boiled in honey-water and then baked in a wood-fired oven, the bagels are available in five flavours: plain, poppy, sesame, onion and everything ($1). Up to 600 bagels are baked each morning, and the rounds are hung out to cool on a rack before meeting their buttery demise.
Heavier fare is also available, with veg and non-veg sandwiches including the traditional lox and cream cheese ($8.50), a veggie sandwich starring avocado and brie ($7.50) and a corned beef number with Pommery mustard and horseradish jelly ($8). Soups hail from College Street bistro Kalender (which Iglicki ran for several years), and a few sweets are available too.
It’s only a few days in, but it looks like Nu Bügel has hit the ground running.
Published: Feb 1, 2013