Apparently you can't leave Montreal without getting some smoked meat. Schwartz's is the most famous place for it, but peoples of the Internet warned about long lines and food not living up to the hype. We decided to swing by and check it out regardless. When we saw that there was no line, we thought what the heck and stepped in.
Only to discover that Schwartz's is cash only...of which we had none. So off to the nearest ATM we went. By the time we returned with cash in pocket, there was a bit of a wait, so we had to stand outside until a table opened up:
Soon, a line formed behind us. It was no wonder we had to wait outside because Schwartz's was packed:
When it was our turn, the three of us were led to the back where we shared a table with another party of three.
The bread came quickly:
As did our sweet pickle ($2.10):
Instead of getting a sandwich and struggling to split it between three people...or getting three sandwiches and struggling to finish one per person, we ordered a large plate of smoked meat to share ($17.25):
Fatty, of course.
The key is to take a slice of bread, slather it with mustard, and then gently lay a piece of smoked meat (preferably a particularly fatty one) on top. And when you start to feel full, ditch the bread and apply the mustard directly onto the meat.
Sometimes in life, you just have to prioritize.
Is Schwartz's worth the hype? As I haven't tried smoked meat anywhere else in Montreal, I can't really make any comparisons. I can say, however, that the smoked meat was pretty darn tasty. 10-15-minute-wait tasty though...not over-an-hour tasty. And while service is a bit brusque, let's face it, who cares when the food is good?
3895 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Montreal, QC H2W 1X9 Canada