I was wandering around Le Petite-Patrie, which is a small neighbourhood in Montreal, when I stumbled upon this nondescript bakery at the corner of the street. Normally, I wouldn’t think twice about an old school bakery like this, but I remembered reading about their maple donuts so I stopped in to take a look.
Sadly, the first time I was there, there weren’t any fresh donuts ready. I nearly caved in to buy two lone donuts that were sitting in the display, but the owner (Nick, who’s from Greece) told me not to buy them because they wouldn’t taste as good. Turns out those donuts were a day old and going at half-price. I love how he’s so friendly and honest about his products. I asked Nick what he would recommend I get instead, since I had already made a trip all the way down. Between his broken English and my broken French, we managed to decide on a Chocolate Babka. It only cost $1.50 and it was really heavy and dense. I wasn’t expecting something so dense.
One Chocolate Babka makes a heavy snack, trust me on that, cause I’m a big eater. It’s the first Babka I’ve eaten, so I have nothing to benchmark it against. It was hard and verging on dry… but there was so much chocolate especially at the end! Each layer was filled with a chocolate glaze, like the glaze you see on his chocolate donuts, but richer. I really enjoyed it, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t like chocolate. It was definitely good value-for-money.
Sadly, I tried it again on two other occasions, and they were just average. I guess I got lucky on my first time!
On my second visit, I was lucky to catch him bringing out a fresh batch of donuts! I grabbed one of each: Sugar, Chocolate and Maple. If you can’t already tell from the photo, these donuts are BIG. Like 1.5x the size of regular donuts you get from Tim Hortons. They sell at $1.50 each, just like the Babka.
I forgot to take a photo of the sugar donut, but that was my favourite since it wasn’t as sweet as the other two without the glaze.
The maple donut was super duper sweet, especially because maple is a concentrated form of sweetness. But I would say it’s worth a try, especially since maple is such a Canadian thing.
I liked the Chocolate donut too! The chocolate glaze was similar to that in the Chocolate Babka, but with a thinner consistency, and it was crisp because of the sugar mixed in.
The best part about his donuts is the fluffy dough. I could do without the glaze and just have the dough dipped in cinnamon sugar (like a donut churro!). It really depends on what you look for in a donut. I prefer fluffy yet with enough bite, so this did the job for me (unlike some of the light airy donuts that make you wonder if you even ate anything after you’ve eaten them).
I would recommend trying Samos Bakery, even if it is just to stop in and say hi to the every friendly owner. When you enter, a bell on the door rings, and he will hurry from the kitchen at the back to greet you and help you to pack your goodies in a rustic paper bag. He also sells argentinian empanadas and other biscuits, pastries and breads. The pastries are sweet no doubt, most of them too sweet for me, so you should pair it with a bitter cuppa coffee for a nice afternoon snack.
201 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal, QC H2S 1R5