It’s been over a decade since I’ve been to Schwartz’s, Montreal’s legendary purveyor of smoked meat, and I wondered: is it as amazing as I remembered? Sometimes nostalgia can turn rosy memories into an unobtainable ideal, and of course, legendary restaurants like Schwartz’s run the risk of being overhyped.
Well, it turns out that Schwartz’s isn’t quite as amazing as I remembered — it’s even better, somehow?? Their smoked meat sandwich might literally be one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.
I should note that I ordered the sandwich fatty, which is clearly the way to go: the fat here is creamy and luxurious, basically melting in your mouth like unctuous meat butter. It’s so good.
The ultra-tender meat is crazy delicious; I don’t know what’s in the spicing, but it’s absolutely perfect. But then everything here is absolutely perfect: the meat is super tender, incredibly flavourful, and just the best thing ever. The absolute best. The sandwich has the perfect amount of meat, too — it’s generous, but not a comically tall pile that’s impossible to eat.
I got a side order of coleslaw, which was crunchy and zingy — the perfect counterpoint to the indulgent sandwich.
Hot tip: if you’re planning on coming here (and yes, it’s worth the drive to Montreal for this place alone), arrive early. I showed up at about 10:30 in the morning; the place was already quite busy, but I was able to get a counter seat immediately. By the time I left, the place was packed and there was a line out the door.