3895 Saint-Laurent Boulevard
T: +1 514 842 4813
Brief Description: A well-known and extremely popular Montréal institution, Schwartz’s offers generous servings of traditionally prepared, flavourful smoked meat.
Any foodie knows that before commencing on a food pilgrimage that they must do their research. So, before leaving for Montréal I had clocked up quite a bit of time researching the city’s “must-do” food establishments and one name that kept popping up was Schwartz’s.
Incredibly, Schwartz’s has been serving up smoked meat from its original location on Saint-Laurent Boulevard to loyal patrons for over 80 years. That alone is impressive but, thankfully, it is the food that will leave the bigger impression. From first glance, the restaurant is fairly lack-lustre but the line-up outside hints of the secrets within. Inside the restaurant feels a lot like a diner and, like any other typical diner, one side of the small, simple restaurant is taken up with a counter, complete with a row of rotating stools, whilst elbow-to-elbow tables take up the rest of the space. All the while, friendly staff bustle to and fro, shouting orders and serving cherry cola’s.
The menu is not extensive because what they do, they do well. The show-stopper is their famous smoked meat, which is prepared the old-fashioned way (no chemicals!) with their own blend of herbs and spices and then marinated for 10 days. You can order this delicious, smoky meat on its own or in a sandwich, which is what we did. My sister and I both ordered the small sandwich which came in at the bargain price of only $5.50. We added a side of pickle to our order and sat down to one of the most incredible sandwiches that I’ve had in a long time. Packed high, between slices of amazingly soft bread, was the most delicious smoked meat that I’ve ever had. And – thank the heavens –the sandwich was loaded up with meat!! I was in carnivore heaven.
I only had eyes for my sandwich but if you were so inclined there are other options on the menu besides the smoked meat (although, why you’d order anything else is beyond me!). There are other sandwiches; chicken, turkey or salami, or you could devour more meat with one of the meat combo plates (rib steak, steak, chicken or liver steak). But honestly, you can’t go to Montréal without trying the smoked meat so why not try it at the place that has been serving it up, unchanged, for the past 80 years? They are obviously doing something right.
Final Thoughts: Wow! Wow! Wow! I totally loved it – absolutely worth the hype! My only regret is not going back for Round 2.