Mr. and I went on a week-long trip out east to Montreal and Toronto. In the next few weeks, you will be reading up a few eateries that we visited. Enjoy!
We arrived in Montreal right before dinner time, so obviously the first thing we did, after we checked into our hotel, was to find a place to eat. Luckily for us, our hotel was on one of the main streets, Boulevard Saint-Laurent, so our eating options were countless. That took us to Schwartz’s, an institution that has been serving smoked meat since 1928.
To my surprise, there was a long line up of people on this Monday night. I guess if it’s a famous restaurant there would be people at any given time. Finally we were led inside the diner-looking space and grab a seat at the bar. Of course, given this is a smoked meat shop, we had to order a Smoked Meat Sandwich. You have the option of lean, regular or fatty; we opted for the regular option to get a good balance of lean and fatty meat.
And wow, check out the stack of meat! There was so little bread sandwiching this gigantic pile of sliced smoked meat! The meat juice just dripped all over the plate as we took our bites. The meat was tender but not mushy, with rich beef flavours and subtle smokiness. It was well seasoned with spices, and just the right amount of salt. It’s kind of like freshly made corned beef. The fatty bits added extra flavour to the meat, without being overly oily. The plain white bread was just, plain, but it made the meat shine. Simplicity is beauty. Seriously, it’s so simple and straightforward, yet it’s so good and memorable!
As a side, we also ordered a Poutine. Our first poutine in Montreal! The fries were topped with simple gravy and squeaky cheese; the gravy wasn’t overly salty and the squeaky cheese was so much fun to eat. It was of perfect portion too, so we weren’t stuffed afterwards.
Schwartz’s has maintained its 20’s diner look and it just has so much character. When we first stepped inside, I thought we travelled back in time! It’s hustling and bustling inside: staff called out orders across the room then quickly served up the dishes, diners ate happily, and more diners were led inside the restaurant, and repeat. So much energy in this space!
Our Montreal visit was off to a good start! The smoked meat sandwich may not seem particularly cheap at first (at around $10 each) but we think it’s worth the money. The seasoning and flavours were very well done, and don’t forget the meat pile! It was a simple meal — a simply tasty, satisfying meal.
Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen
3895 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec