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Schwatz's Deli: Better give this one a miss!
OK, I admit it, a deli is my idea of good food. I've been to delis from NYC to LA and each one has its own distinct and inimitable flavor and when planning the trip to Montreal, first on my list was a trip to Schwartz's, of which I had heard a lot. I wish I had had a conflict the night we went to try it, however; it would have spared me the disappointment. After eating, I wasn't sure I had been at the correct restaurant since everything I had heard had been positive; perhaps I'm just a little more picky than everyone else.
If you've never been, this is a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant opened early in the century by one of the forbearers of current ownership and they achieved their reputation with their smoked meat. In my opinion, they have been riding this reputation just a tad too long and it's now time to diversify the menu and improve the service. Drastically.
The meat was dry and no amount of mustard improved the texture or flavor. The service, or what passed for service, was centered on upselling, or delivering things without their having been ordered and then playing the guilt card when it was brought to their attention. All in all, a sub-standard meal from what I had hoped would be a first-class deli.
Favorite Dish: none
Schwartz's: Like all big cities, Montreal...
Like all big cities, Montreal offers you a vast selection of restaurants.
I don't have any personal favourite, but the person visiting Montreal must have a Smoked Meat Sandwich. Some say Schwartz's on St. Laurent street has the best while other's might argue that Dunn's have the best so we'll let you decide.
Thanks to Redlats for pointing out Ben's Deli!
Ok, I'm doing my own poll here: Where is the best smoked meat in Montreal! Send me your comments via email and I'll be posting the results here!
I dedicate this tip to my friend Nadim who loved this restaurant.
Schwartz's: Do you like Salted Cured Meats?
I was very excited about sampling the world famous smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz's. In the early 90s I heard Jim Rome raving about it and have wanted to visit Montreal ever since to give it a try. It didn't matter that I had no idea what smoked meat was, I yearned for it. When I read the Schwartz's reviews on VT and discovered smoked meat was a cousin to pastrami, I was even more enamored. After all, I've been a long-time believer that pastrami is the finest of the salted, cured meats. I was not disappointed. Big chunks of salty meat, smoked over charcoals on rye bread... delicious. This really is one of those places that has become a legend for a reason. I'm not sure if its the ever-present line out the door, the surly, yet friendly (is that possible) waiters, the furniture that hasn't changed in decades, or what... but this place delivered for me. Visiting Montreal without at least trying Schwartz's is like splitting tens... you just don't do it.
Favorite Dish: Smoked meat sandwich with a side of coleslaw. Ad coleslaw to the sandwich and you'll be in heaven!
Schwarz's: NYC vs. Montreal: Battle of the deli's
This place has to be experienced to really appreciate the hustle bustle of this classic deli. It's a bit of a greasy spoon and a sure throwback to 50's, and a not to miss Montreal dining experience!
Favorite Dish: Though the sandwiches are quite small compared to NYC deli's, the prices are about half, so bite right into one of their absolutely packed smoked meat sandwiches, and wash it down with a black cherry soda.
Schwartz's delicatessen and Ben's
Schwartz's delicatessen and Ben's delicatessen.
There is two great kind of smoked meat, you have the New-York style and you have the Montreal style. Here is the Montreal style!!!
Schwartz's still serves the best smoked meat in the city using the original recipe of spices since 1930. The place doesn't look like much, but the food is great and plenty at reasonable price.
Ben's is an excellent second best. Try the monstrous 6 inches cheesecake with strawberries, you might survive it!
Favorite Dish: Specialties: pastrami, smoked meat, corned beef
Schwartz's: Famous Montreal Smoked Meat
The lines are long as the deli is famous :) It is at least famous enough that someone created a musical about it called Schwartz: The Musical!
Schwart'z seems to be a must-go tourist spot for the famous Montreal smoked meat. We got there around lunch time on Canada Day, and the lines were quite long. We cheated and snucked into the take out area and waited around 5 minutes for our food instead. There are actually seats inside the take out restaurant.
The smoked meat sandwich was good - well seasoned but not too salty. However, comparing this sandwich to another one we had in Quebec City later on, the meat was a tad dry. The take out portions were good for 1 person. For the price, the food is pretty good, however, I have a feeling that you may be able to find similar quality smoked meat sandwiches with less wait time. Too bad we were just passing through, so we did not have a chance to do a comparison test.
Favorite Dish: I only had the smoked meat sandwich, which was quite good.
Schwartz's: Tourist trap that's worth visiting
Just because Montreal is a French speaking town doesn't mean the food is all heavy cream and fondue. Montreal is famous for it's smoked meat. And from what I've found, Schwartz's is the best place to get it. You may have to wait on line a bit, but it goes pretty fast. Also, I've seen groups of people seated in different sections of the restaurant. Realize that this is a place to eat and not socialize. Don't be turned off by that; check it out and your taste buds will thank you later.
Favorite Dish: Smoked meat - small plate, request not a lot of fat - it's good for 2 people
Cole slaw (this is the only place I'll eat it)
and maybe some pickles
Schwartz's: Smoked Meat Heaven!!
Schwartz is a something of an establishment in Montreal. This is hard to believe as you walk past it because of its non-descript appearance, but you only need to walk in and taste the smoked meat to know why it is so popular. Expect to queue up for a while...... especially if you are in a big group, but dont be put off by the long wait.... a trip to Montreal would not be complete without a trip to Schwartz!!!
The service isnt great but the food is unmissable.
Favorite Dish: The smoked meat here is great. I also had the roast chicken but its best to stick to the meat which is the specialty.
Its very reasonably priced as well.with a smoked meat sandwich costing less than $5.
Schwartz's: THE place for Montreal smoked meat
Amazing. Very busy, bustling everyday with people getting montreal smoked meat. For $4.50 you get a sandwich with about 2 inches of steamed 'meat' (=beef) with a dab of mustard.
Add a kosher pickle, and let your mouth water.
I've gotta admit, it looks a bit grungy, but boy was it good, and fresh. There's stacks of smoked beef brisket in the window, and apparently they make that much up every single day, and sell that many sandwiches every single day. They never freeze it, and cook it by steaming it!
Favorite Dish: Montreal smoked meat sandwich with a pickle!
Schwartz's for a vegetarian was a hard sell, but I made somewhat of a meal from the coleslaw and pickles. Get the half sour pickles, they're the closest to NYC pickles you can get up there.
Favorite Dish: Half Sour Pickles - the freshest tasting.
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Schwartz's deli / or/ The Main
Schwartz's deli / or/ The Main
Schwartz is considered by many as the best smoked meat in the world.
Favorite Dish: Montreal Smoked Beef
Schwartz's Charcuterie Hebraique
This place is very popular. The servers are very brusque and the food is very good!
Favorite Dish: The best place for corned beef for a long ways!
Schwartz's Deli: Amazing!
I had a half smoked meat sandwich with fries and cherry coke. To die for and worth lining up 20 minutes. Pure heaven!
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