Monday, February 12, 2024

Eating on the road: First visit to the iconic Schwartz's Deli

Every other time I've been to Montreal it has either been for sports, like a Habs or Expos game, or for political, like a Liberal conference. This was the first trip where I had the time to just tool around the city, and so it was the first time I made it to a Montreal landmark: Schwartz's Deli.

There's one other reason I had never made it, and don't come at be y'all. But I'm not the biggest smoke meat guy. It's OK, just not a huge fan. But I had plenty of time this trip and it was high time to knock a Montreal institution off the list.

I ventured uptown on transit, and while I was trying to avoid the lunch rush I was already greeted with a line. I joined the que but was quickly pulled put and ushered in as a solo diner, with a seat having opened at the counter.

One other confession that will horrify the purists: I don't like mustard. No mustard for me. Also don't like pickles. I know you're all shaking your fists at me behind your phones.

So I ordered a smoked meat sandwich, no mustard, no side pickles. And a Diet Coke -- while I was tempted by the Black Cherry cola, I was and am trying to avoid sugar.

It was...fine. A lot of meat, rye bread was fresh. But it was dry and kind of one note. I fully accept that's largely my fault since I held the mustard. I learned later that I I could have ordered it with fattier, juicier meat (wet, in the parlance of Texas BBQ) and would have been a less dry sandwich.

Still, I enjoyed the experience and am glad to have had this quintessential Montreal experience.

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