Wednesday, November 12, 2008
On the Road Again...Part II
Although our trip to Montreal began with very little planned, we quickly learned that if there was one thing we had to do, it was to check out the major culinary hotspots that Montreal has to offer. While the complimentary cafe au lait and croissant at the hotel was lovely, it wasn't exactly what we were looking for. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that although many of the restaurants we planned to check out had lines (quite literally) around the block, nearly every patron was a local. And what better sign of good things to come (especially for a New Yorker) is there, than a line of patient locals willing to stand out in the cold for their lunch?
Our first must try following our first foray onto the Montreal metro (which is a lot like the one I grew up using in DC) and post art museum was Schwartz's. Famous in Montreal for their smoked meat, it didn't take long for us to high-tail it across town to stand at the end of the line around the shop and see how it compared our beloved New York pastrami sandwiches. Completely charmed by our wonderful waiter and his suggestions, we began with a can of local black cherry soda. By the time he came back to take our food order we were ready for soda #2, and knew exactly what we'd be eating. Surrounded by large plates of smoked meat, we decided to order as the locals seemed to and got a "platter". A few minutes later we had a build-your-own-sandwich cornucopia of ingredients: a plate stacked high with medium-fat smoked meat (beautifully pink and piping hot), another with sourdough bread, a huge jar of mustard and a side of the biggest dill pickle you've ever seen.
The platter made for about 6 sandwiches (depending on how high you stack 'em), and if that wasn't enough, we ordered a side of fries so delicious that even though we were stuffed to the gills, we considered a second helping. But we contained ourselves and held back since we practically had to role ourselves back to the hotel (only after a brief 3 hour shopping spree--oops). You'd think that after a meal of this proportion we'd be full for life, but foodies that we are, Gloria and I managed to fit no less than 4 or 5 meals a day during the 2 days we were there. Stay tuned for more photos and stories about some of the other places we ate, how we managed to eat every permutation of fois gras possible, and the best brunch spot in all of Montreal.