Schwartz’s is touristy—even at 0 degrees Celsius there are lines out the door, tour busses parked out front—but classic. I still went back for a repeat visit.
I haven’t yet mustered up the patience for Mile End, though, so I can’t compare a Brooklyn interpretation of Montreal smoked meat to the real thing. I would say that the Canadian pastrami is seasoned a bit more mildly, is less salty and more tender (even though I’ve read the contrary) than their NYC counterparts. To be honest, I prefer it if only because the sandwiches are completely rational in size and price. I’ve never understood the half-foot tower of rosy meat spilling out of two floppy slices of rye. Why not just order a pile of meat?
Which is what we did. This was the $13.95 large plate, which came with $1.50 sharing surcharge. “Enough for three sandwiches” turned out to be plenty for five in reality. They’ll give you more bread if you blow through your ration.
I was stymied by something called “nash” on the menu (also “pogos” at a pit stop between Quebec City and Montreal). It turns out to be pepperoni sticks, a snack I didn’t realize was so popular in Canada until we were faced with a big bag of Piller’s pepperonettes at a grocery store and had to buy them.
Schwartz’s * 3895 Saint-Laurent Blvd., Montreal, Canada