Steve McCarthy’s bagels are not a fluke!

by Lynn on June 29, 2020

in The Passionate Playgoer

Steven McCarthy’s St. Steven’s (“Pure Bliss”) Bagels are not a fluke.

I wrote last month about ordering a dozen sesame seed bagels from Mr. McCarthy, who is not only a gifted actor, director, musician, screenwriter, but also a bagel maker. People on Facebook raved about them. I made an order. I picked them up at Steve’s Parkdale veranda (my apartment is out of his delivery area and his schedule was full of meetings, so I went to his house to get them.)

Steve gave me two bags, with six bagels in each and on each bag. The bags were warm! On each bag was a square label that says “St. Steven’s Bagels” with a dark-haired woman at a microphone underneath which was the phrase “pure bliss”. I ate a warm, chewy bagel immediately, raved and wanted to eat another but thought that might be rude or suggest gluttony, so I waited until I was in the car to hoover down another.

After a pleasant chat about the good neighbourhood Steve let it drop that he and his wife were moving within the next two months, to Hamilton!

I thought I better order another dozen bagels before Steve left. And, forgive me, to see that they were not a one-bake wonder. They weren’t. My tests were rigorous. My arrival time was one hour later than I was told to be there—I got waylaid with stuff. I texted Steve when I was there. I was greeted on the veranda by Ben who barked loudly at me. Ben is Steve and Alyx his wife’s Labrador. The bark was not menacing of an angry dog who would go for your throat if you made one wrong move. Rather it was to tell me he was the boss. I stayed on the step. Ben yawned, licked his lips and spread out on the veranda for a nap.

Steve came out a few minutes later and gave me the two bags. They were not warm. Did it make a difference? No. The bagel was crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. St. Steven’s Bagels are simple, pure and obviously made with care and pride. And they had the same effect as before, it was like eating potato chips—you can’t eat just one. Again, I waited to eat the second one in the car.

Steve, Ben, gripping a Frisbee in his jaws, and I walked up the street—me to the car, he and Ben to get a coffee for Alyx and to say hello to every neighbour on the street who knew them. It was worth the trip to Parkdale to get such delicious bagels. And truth to tell, I’d go to Hamilton in a shot, if he was baking there too.  It’s times like these that I miss hugging because of a job well done, for being gracious and kind. And I feel the same way about Ben too.

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