When I first started planning Lawman's surprise birthday trip to Montreal, I knew it was a food-loving city, so I was looking forward to some serious recreational eating. Visions of poutine and croissants danced in my head. I didn't anticipated chowing down on a glorious smoked meat sandwich, but I did. Oh, yes, I did...
Midtown Lunch founder, Zach Brooks, has never steered me wrong with a food pick before, so when I discovered he wrote a 48 hour eating guide to Montreal, I bookmarked that sucker. Lawman loved him some good deli and he rarely indulges in the city, so I put the historic delicatessen Schwartz's on our must-list.
When we arrived there were two lines out the door. One for the takeout lunch crowd. The other for the eat-in crowd. Thankfully the eat-in line moved fairly quickly an we were ushered to a table in the back.
The menu is fairly simple. Sandwiches take center stage with smoked turkey, smoked chicken and salami on offer, but it's the smoked meat that draws the crowds. Smoked meat; the name sounds so dull and generic when it's anything but. Beef brisket is cured with spices and marinaded for 10 days then smoked. When it's ready to serve they steam it for a couple hours before it hits your plate. Taste and texturewise smoked meat is closer to corned beef than pastrami. You choose your fattiness level: lean, medium, medium-fat, or fat and moments later and overstuffed sandwich on rye arrives.
Lawman went with the medium-fat, pictured above, while I went lean, pictured below. Lawman won. Fat is goooooood.
And makes for a more moist and drool inducing 'wich, while my lean sandwich was on the dry side. Don't get me wrong, it was still delicious, but I was more than a little grateful for the generous schmear of mustard.
As someone who hasn't eaten beef in years--like maybe fifteen years--this was a can't miss sandwich and I'm glad I gave it a try. At $6.15, it's a bargain for a filling lunch and worth including on your Montreal itinerary.