Montreal has a huge Jewish population, and what is a Jew without smoked or corned meat? Schwartz’s has been a culinary tradition since 1928 when Reuben Schwartz opened the doors. Eighty years later, and people from all over flock to the tiny location to get a taste (or plateful) of specially seasoned meat where it is smoked daily.
When we arrived there were two lines extending both ways out the door. On the right the line was for those getting take-out and on the left, those of us looking for a spot to sit and enjoy a hearty lunch. Despite the long line, we got in pretty quickly since they were looking for two people to fill just two seats. We were seated in at the counter, in front of all the action.
After a quick look up the menu board, I knew that the smoked meat sammich, a side of fries and an A&W Root Beer and I were meant to be.
You might see that and go, “Eww, look at those fatty pieces!” No friend, not “ew” but delicious, as even they were delicate, rich and flavorful – not at all chewy and disgusting. The bread was fresh and soft, and served with mustard. We also ordered a pickle. I ate all of it in it’s glory in record time. David’s lunch was a bit more of an under taking.
Corned, smoked meat on a plate. It too, was great and was a bigger version of my own lunch. The slices were larger, and you got a stack of never ending bread to accompany the meat in all of it’s tender, delicate state of being. It nearly fell apart in our mouths. It was such an undertaking that we had to get the leftovers to go, but after a couple days in the car knew we couldn’t eat them. It was too bad.
The service at Schwartz’s is great; they are fast, yet patient and even speak English. If you end up in the greater Montreal area, it is a must, although be sure to have some cash on you, as they do not take credit. However, they do take USD.