Montclair’s Simit House Bakery now closed
Simit House Bakery & Co. recently opened a corner café in the space vacated early this year by the Tory Janes shoe shop. The shop will serve simits–sesame studded circular loops of bread sold for centuries by street vendors in Turkey.
Although simits are sometimes called “Turkish bagels,” that’s a bit of a misnomer. They’re closer to a pretzel-bagel hybrid. Unlike bagels, simits aren’t boiled before baking. Instead, they’re dipped in a mix of molasses and water, then dredged in sesame seeds and baked. They taste nutty and bread-like, rather than rubbery and dense, and are infinitely easier to bite into. While it’s true that simits and bagels are both created from a ring of dough, so are doughnuts–and even cronuts (croissant-doughnuts). We in the New York metro area sure like our doughy hybrids.
Simits, while new to Montclair, have long been available in Middle Eastern grocery stores and bakeries in parts of Brooklyn and Queens. You can also get them at Paterson’s Taskin Bakery, and Simit & Smith of Cliffside, NJ, has several outposts in Manhattan.
The bakery is selling other Turkish foods as well, most notably pogaca (poo-WAH-chuh), which looks something like an empanada, and is stuffed with olive paste (my favorite), feta, chocolate, or raisin and walnuts. For those looking for a heartier fare, Simit House Bakery will soon be serving omelets, along with chicken, turkey, roast beef and vegetarian sandwiches.
2 Church Street, Montclair
Mon-Thurs: 8 AM to 8 PM
Fri: 8 AM to 10 PM
Sat-Sun: 9 AM to 10-11 PM