What’s a fitting way for Brokelyn to celebrate Canada Day, other than by gloating that our dollar is still worth more? By visiting a Canadian something or other, and the only one we could find today was Porges Canadian-style bakery on Coney Island Avenue, which is a kosher Canadian bakery, meaning that you won’t find the only Canadian food item familiar to most Americans anywhere near this place. What you will find: a sweet shop worth visiting even if you’re neither Canadian nor kosher.
What makes this bakery Canadian? Three things, explains owner Chaim Porges, whose Hungarian-Canadian family owned a bakery in Montreal for 50 years, and opened this one four years ago. The first thing is the cheese cake (top). “It’s made with farmer’s cheese, not cream cheese, so it’s a lot lighter than the kind you usually get here.” It’s not as sweet either, and has a cakier crust than your average cheesecake. Not unlike the Italian version. ($9.50/pound)
The second thing: The flaky chocolate Danish, which look like giant rugelach but are much better than the usual kind because the dough is flakier and the chocolate is better and there’s more of it ($2 a piece). “This is a real Canadian thing,” Porges says.
The third thing: The cheese bagels (left). We’re not talking some sesame thing with melted cheddar on top—in Canada, says Porges, a cheese bagel is a pastry puff wrapped around farmer’s cheese. They don’t have much in common with bagels at all, really, they’re more like sweet-cheese filled baked wontons with crunchy sugar on top. OMG-d are they good. $2 for a large one; the smaller size is $9.50 a pound.
There are actually more things, according to Porges, like water-baked challah, which he says is the specialty of the house but only available on Fridays. “Nobody makes it the way we do,” he says. We’ll be back to investigate.
Porges Canadian Bakery, 1441 Coney Island Ave. at Avenue K, 718-252-3025.