Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Montreal Food Journey - Day 1: Schwartz's

My favourite word: CHARCUTERIE
A trip to Montreal is not complete without going to Schwartz's. It is a fact that Schwartz's is the best place for smoked meat in Montreal. According to its websiteSchwartz's has been around since 1928 (founded by Reuben Schwartz, a Jewish immigrant from Romania) - it's the oldest deli in Canada and has been at the same location ever since. Schwartz's has been visited by many famous people including Celine Dion, The Rolling Stones, Angelina Jolie, Halle Barry, and also by our ex prime minister Jean Chretien. 

I've been to Schwartz's once, but that was a few years back. I remember going with a few friends for dinner there, and we had to line up for more than an hour for a table. This time, I wanted to go for lunch, so a twitter friend of mine from Montreal (vinman15) suggested that I go either at 11:30am or 1:30pm to avoid noon hour rush. So taking full advantage of this tip, my boyfriend and I were there by 11:30am on the dot. We didn't have to line up at all, and found street parking too =)

This picture was taken after our meal. Lineup was out the door by then!
Although we didn't have to line up, it was still packed inside. All the tables were filled, and it just so happens that there were two seats left available at the bar! YES! I actually prefer sitting at the bar when the restaurant has an open kitchen because then I get to see everything that's going on.

Love the deli/diner/traditional feel of the place!

These spices are also available for sale at the store beside the 
restaurant - 2 kinds: "steak and beef spices" and "poultry seasoning"

Hmmmmm...what to order??? Menus everywhereeee!

In front of us...

On our left...

On our right.

Sensing that we looked totally perplexed, one of the guys came over and asked if it was our first time at Schwartz's. I replied yes just so I can hear what he has to say. He gave a quick run down of the above menu, but pointing especially to the #1, which was a plate full of assorted smoked meats, or #3, which was the smoked meat sandwich. He said the smoked meat sandwich is by far the most popular. We looked around, and he was right - almost everybody we saw around us was having that delicious looking thing.

No more doubts - we both ordered this!

The guy was also hard selling this black cherry soda for some reason and told us it is popular too. Again, we looked around, he seems to be right...so my boyfriend gave in and ordered one for himself. It's not bad...average.

As I'm waiting for my food, I see this ***drool*** on the kitchen counter. See why I love sitting at the bar? =P

They were taking the meats out... stack after stack

Our sides came first

Juicy pickles ($1.50). Not as big as the ones from the
maple syrup festival hehe

The one bad thing was the rather small side of fries... for $2.50!

Anywayyyyy, here comes our smoked meat sandwich! 

How can I say this....the meat, the brisket is just fabulously soft, flavorful, and....brittle.  The meat was literally stuffed to the max in between two tiny pieces of bread with only mustard spread. Because the smoked meat is so perfectly prepared with just the right amount spices and herbs (marinated for 10 days), mustard is really all you need - adding anything else to it is a crime. You can really taste the freshness of the meat (it is smoked daily with no preservatives), and because it is so fresh, the smokiness of it really stands out.

Half way done! Look at all the meat spilling over on to the plate! I ate this sandwich with a fork and knife - there was no way one can handle all that meat in your hands. Looking back at these pictures just made my stomach growl >_<

I was beyond satisfied after this. I wouldv'e never imagined myself eating sooo much meat at lunch....but MAN! Was it ever SATISFYING! This is what I call REAL GOOD FOOD!!! I'm so glad I went to Schwartz's for my first meal in Montreal...what a great start! =)

Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen on Urbanspoon