Quebec has a couple of iconic dishes... Some of them more glamorous than others! Obviously a lot of them revolve around maple syrup, such as "Tire" or maple taffy. It's a good thing I don't live in Canada, I'm addicted to the stuff. It's boiled maple syrup that you pour on the snow and let crystallise. You then roll it on a popsicle stick and eat it! It's basically the socially acceptable way of drinking maple syrup (which I obviously *never* do...)
Another Montreal dish would be smoked meat! It originates from Romania (Pastrami) and made it's way up north to Montreal. The original, most famous and best place to get it is Shwartz's Smoked Meat. It was founded in 1926, and wasn't renovated much since then! But it's all part of the experience...
I'd say get there early but it's pretty much full all the time... So bring a friend to chat! And maybe don't go as a big group as it's easier to squeeze in 3 people than 8.
Plus, whilst you wait, you get to enjoy the art work on the walls surrounding.
Once you're finally in (hooray!) you will be seated at a big table. Probably with people you don't know. But it's all in good spirit! The menus are on the walls, diner style, but you usually just order the standard smoked meat sandwich with fries. It's customary to add a giant pickle as a side... but I'm not a fan!
When you order the sandwiches you have a choice of three "fat contents". You can pick lean, medium or fat. I usually go for lean but it's true that medium can be tastier!
Look at that sandwich! The rye bread is more for convenience in holding the meat, I mean ratios are way off. The bread is slathered in mustard and oh man is it good! You get melt-in-your-mouth meat with a slight tang from the mustard completed with a delicious smoky after taste.. yum! So good you could "freeze to death" in winter waiting for a place in the restaurant for it!
It was J's first smoke meat and he loved it! It's not so much of an acquired taste like maple taffy is, so no worries you'll like it too I'm sure.
It's also customary to order cherry cola with it, so if you want the full Shwartz experience go right ahead!
We walked it all off on St-Laurent street. It's full of vintage stores and small designer boutiques!
I can't recommend Shwartz's enough, if you're in Montreal give it a try!