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Montrealís famous Smoked Meat or Viande Fumee

Montrealís famous Smoked Meat or Viande Fumee

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Old Jul 29, 03, 7:47 pm
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Montrealís famous Smoked Meat or Viande Fumee


My wife and I are deli nuts, we LOVE deli food. So much so that we blew off reservations at a supposedly good Portuguese seafood restaurant Ferreira Cafť to eat a Chez Schwartzís one evening.

While one probably canít explain smoked meat, Iíll try. Think a not very peppered pastrami w/a slight corned beef brine flavor. There, simple as Iíll make it. Oh, the cut of beef is the brisket.

We dined at two of Montrealís most famous smoked meat restaurants.

First was Schwartzís, a tiny (6 table and a counter) diner. Schwartzís consisted of old sweaty men serving and slicing Montrealís deli gold, smoked meat. Nothing fancy, ancient counters.
We sat down at the counter and ordered. One is give a plate w/vinegar cole slaw and a pickle. Slaw was good, pickle could have been crisper.
I order a sandwich; Iím asked fat or lean. Fat of course because fat is where the flavor is. Wife orders a combo smoked chicken and lean smoked meat plate. We both order cherry colas to wash down the food.
The fat meat is cut from the deckle or lifter or (myriad of other names for the flap of meat above the brisket), yes it was fatty, but what good flavor and the fat kept it moist. A most enjoyable sandwich. I noticed that as my wife was eating the smoked chicken sandwich first, the lean smoked meat became dry. I did not think the lean had near as much flavor as the fat meat did.
Smoked chicken was ok, but nothing special.
Fries were good and greasy. Thank God we walked almost everywhere.

A couple days later we had Benís for lunch. The location we went to is a much larger operation than Schwartzís but still stuck in the 50ís in term of decoration. Waiters wear white shirts w/black bow ties.
Benís meat had much more of a corned beef flavor to it and was not a peppery as Schwartzís. The bite of Benís smoked meat was very mushy as well. While a good sandwich, I definitely give the nod to Schwartzís.

Best smoked meat (according to the Montreal Mirror)
1. Schwartz's
(3895 St-Laurent, 842-4813)
2. Dunn's
(892 Ste-Catherine W., 866-4377)
3. Ben's
(990 de Maisonneuve W., 844-1000)
4. Nickels (various locations)
5. Main
(3864 St-Laurent, 843-8126)
Some other Montreal smoked meat places that were not mentioned but that I read about or saw: Wilenskyís, Snowdon, Rubens, Lesters.
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Old Feb 16, 04, 6:31 am
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I preferred Ben's over Schwartz's for 2 reasons -- it was closer for me to go there instead trudge all the way up St. Laurent but more importantly the meat is leaner which meant there was less suffering on my part afterwards. Every now and then when I want a nice fatty Schwartz's meat, I would make the effort. Both have their own appeal but I could not eat Schwartz's every other day; IMHO, one could do this at Ben's.

You can buy slabs of smoked meat to take away from both stores -- Schwartz's is a slab of meat wrapped in wax paper, then newspaper and bagged whereas Ben's have quite a few cuts vacuum packed to take home and enjoy later.

Either way, it is hard to eat simple corned beef after eating the smoked meat of Montreal!!
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Old May 16, 04, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by luxury
Ben's have quite a few cuts vacuum packed to take home and enjoy later.

Either way, it is hard to eat simple corned beef after eating the smoked meat of Montreal!!
so true, a buddy just came through ORD and was nice enough to drop off a package for me. I can't wait to dig in, even though I just got done smoking a prime rib, Lamb roast, Alaskan Salmon and some shrimp!!!!!!!!!! More smoked meat will never be turned down here.
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Old May 22, 04, 4:22 pm
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If you have a hankering for Montreal Smoked Meat, Dunn's also has locations in downtown YYZ and downtown YOW. Same stuff.
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Old Jun 20, 04, 9:31 pm
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bumped for a bud, have fun
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Old Jun 21, 04, 7:47 am
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Ben's for me too! Along with some of those soggy fries and a Coke! Great lunch in the yellow formica and plastic and chrome diner right out of the '50s - literally!
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Old Aug 24, 04, 2:22 pm
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We are there next month and look forward to trying it.
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Old Aug 30, 04, 1:34 am
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Enjoyed and would recommend Schwartz's, but you can definitely skip Nickels (cheesy chain diner).

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Old Dec 19, 04, 6:47 am
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just spent the weekend with my parents in Montreal as we are not going to be around for the holidays. Pop had read about a place called Katz's (no relation I hope the the tremendous NYC Katz') which is where we dined on smoked meat this trip.

STAY AWAY from Katz's in Montreal! very poor, not worth any effort to go even if you are next door to one.
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Old Dec 20, 04, 4:13 pm
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I just got back from Montreal and discovered a new place for smoked meat. It was recommended by the manager of the Hilton Garden Inn at Montreal's Dorval Airport. It's called Pete's Smoked Meat. It's located about 10-15 west of the traffic rotary at the airport. Just follow Route 20 West until the road narrows. Take a left at the first light after the road narrows and Pete's is right there on the corner. The address is 283 1ere avenue, Ile Perrot, QC

Their telephone number is 514-425-6068. It was by far the best smoked meat I've had in Montreal (or anywhere for that matter). I liked it much better than Ben's or Schwartz's. The ambience is nothing to write home about, it is more of a roadhouse than anything. They serve beer and on Fridays and Saturdays they featured live blues bands. It was a tad smokey inside, but not unbearable for my wife and I, both non-smokers. The french fries are also quite good here. If you like the blues and great smoked meat, and aren't looking to be impressed with the ambience, consider giving Pete's a try.

Also worth noting is Pete's chocolate cake, very fudgy.
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Old Dec 21, 04, 6:31 am
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I am having an extremely difficult time imagining smoked meat (delicious stuff) and chocolate cake (delicious stuff as well) at the same meal.
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Old Dec 21, 04, 4:44 pm
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Smoked meat sandwich, fries, beer, and a chocolate cake chaser....

It's the breakfast of champions.
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Old Dec 28, 04, 2:57 pm
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Nickels!

Yes, but nothing can beat a big plate of poutine with friends at 4 am after a night out on St. Catherine Street!


Originally Posted by RightD
Enjoyed and would recommend Schwartz's, but you can definitely skip Nickels (cheesy chain diner).

- RightD
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Old Dec 29, 04, 9:35 am
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Smile Can't beat Pete's Meat (-> their local slogan!)

Originally Posted by hhonorman
I just got back from Montreal and discovered a new place for smoked meat. It was recommended by the manager of the Hilton Garden Inn at Montreal's Dorval Airport. It's called Pete's Smoked Meat. It's located about 10-15 west of the traffic rotary at the airport. Just follow Route 20 West until the road narrows. Take a left at the first light after the road narrows and Pete's is right there on the corner. The address is 283 1ere avenue, Ile Perrot, QC

Their telephone number is 514-425-6068. It was by far the best smoked meat I've had in Montreal (or anywhere for that matter). I liked it much better than Ben's or Schwartz's. The ambience is nothing to write home about, it is more of a roadhouse than anything. They serve beer and on Fridays and Saturdays they featured live blues bands. It was a tad smokey inside, but not unbearable for my wife and I, both non-smokers. The french fries are also quite good here. If you like the blues and great smoked meat, and aren't looking to be impressed with the ambience, consider giving Pete's a try.

Also worth noting is Pete's chocolate cake, very fudgy.
Definitely amazing smoked Meat - well worth the wait... Pete does like his blues... but AprilWine's Gerry Mercer has been known to drop in for a drum solo on occasion... My preference downtown, however, is the Main (although Schwartz's brisket can be sent to Calgary (...just a little culture for our western friends ) We prefer it because you can literally just slide to the counter, order, with a side of cheese blintzes and a cherry coke... and ooze outta there a little later
Bon Apetit!
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Old Jan 7, 05, 12:30 pm
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I used to be a devotee of Schwartz's - until I discovered Smoked Meat Pete's. There is no turning back after you've tasted Pete's.
I don't see what the fuss is about in terms of decor. Schwartz's, while "colourful", is a hole-in-the-wall kind of place. Pete's, while far from upscale, is comfy and has live music sometimes, and good blues piped in the rest of the time. The seating is more spacious and comfortable as well.
It's a bit inconvenient to get there, depending on where you're coming from (requires a car), but that's the only downside. Pete himself is usually there, working and keeping an eye on things; Schwartz is long gone.
I didn't like the chocolate cake! But who needs chocolate cake after smoked meat? Pete's fries are excellent, whereas Schwartz's are pretty bad.
Pete's can be hard to find in the dark. Look for the Dairy Queen - it is immediately behind the Dairy Queen. Pete's has a lot of neon as well - I think it's red and green, but I am not certain.

Last edited by loo; Jan 7, 05 at 12:32 pm
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