Rosemary Rocksalt Classic Montreal-style bagel bakery and cafe with 2 locations in Metro Vancouver.
I grew up in Montreal so I am familiar with what the benchmark in Bagels is. Before people rave about this place they should first try some bagels fresh out of the oven at St. Viateur Bagel, Mount Royal Bagel, Queen Mary Bagel etc. etc. Rock Salt bagels would have a hard time competing in Montreal. Yes they are better than many places out west but that doesn't make them rave worthy. Firstly they are still too thick and doughy. So when you bite into it you get too much doughy center compared to crispy exterior. They are too heavy and not light enough. It takes years to develop a proper bagel making technique. They are still too much like a bun. They are also not crispy enough. Some of the ones I bought were sesame. Well the sesame seeds were not even toasty and crisp. That is a part of the flavor! Within hours they are no longer nice without maybe toasting them. I bought a half dozen for almost what I could buy a whole dozen for at St. Viateur. I also bought some smoked meat. The price was ridiculous to the point of insulting. But I wanted to try some. Hey this is brisket not Wagyu beef!! They better improve their sourcing because I can buy real Montreal smoked meat for less than half that price. YES right here in Vancouver!
Service is slow. To get my smoked meat she pulled out several small chunks wrapped in plastic bags. This caused discussion with other staff before showing them to me too choose. Both options were overly fatty. She sliced the meat extremely thin. Probably because when you order a sandwich it is paper thin. The texture of the meat was lost. The woman flinging the bagels seemed totally uninterested in what she was doing. Once flung she just walked back and sat down again to continue what she was doing. Not very inspiring quality control.