No trip to Montreal is complete without a visit to Schwartz’s Deli. Happy to say every visit I’ve made has included the cities most iconic restaurant. Locals will warn you about having to wait in line but they rave about the smoked meat! The place has a heart that has put smiles on so many hungry faces.
Mike and I were famished after spending a few hours at the Scandinave Spa. I remember the last hour sitting in a sauna with my eyes closed dreaming of mustard splattered smoked meat. It was a Saturday shortly after 2pm and we were most certainly greeted by a line of Schwartz enthusiasts. Hot Tip: if you are in a rush avoid waiting in line for the restaurant and simply stroll into the take out space where you can quickly grab your order and gobble it down on stools at the back.
We ordered two iconic smoked meat sandwich and a pair of juicy dill pickles as well as a steaming take out tin of poutine. I could actually feel my eyes bulging, my veins coursing, after the very first bite. My starved body was getting the fuel it needed. Before waddling home be sure to check out the framed photo gallery of celebrities who have paid a visit. You may just spot Joan Rivers and Celine Dion. Two gay icons who love their meat served up greasy and splattered with mustard. I can just imagine Ms. Rivers gnawing on that pickle!
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I am native Montrealer who has been going to Schwartz`s since 1970. Recently after a Sunday evening hockey game I went there with my 15 yo son for sandwich – not having been back there since it was sold to `investors` in 2012. Well – this visit confirmed what I have always said – `investors` and iconic restaurants don`t mix well. Schwartz`s smoked meat has had the same recipe for years – 10 days covered in spices in barrels, 6 to 8 hours or so in a smoker, then steamed for hours before finally being served.
While the smoked meat sandwich we had was big enouigh the meat had very little taste – like it was in the barrels for 3 days and smoked for 2 hours. Very, very, very disapointing and sad. I spoke to the manager who promised that nothing had changed but my taste buds tell me differently. I will go back there once again, perhaps this was an off night.
If this experience is sadly repeated many will mourn the passage of this iconic restaurant into a tourist trap for people who don`t really know better.
Anyone else there with the same experience.