There’s a lot of smoked, marinated, and steamed beef brisket in Montreal, but the sandwich from Schwartz’s is a standout. It comes on rye with yellow mustard, and the meat is coated with black pepper and a secret mix of pickling salt and spices. We like the “medium fat” option best, washed down with a cherry coke and a half-sour pickle, just for nostalgia’s sake.
Schwartz’s (now owned by a consortium that includes Celine Dion) is one of the last remnants of the Eastern European Jewish influence on St-Laurent Boulevard, otherwise known as “The Main.” This street divides the city from east to west and used to notionally separate the French and English parts of town. But Schwartz’s smoked meat is one sandwich that pretty much everyone, including Celine, agrees on.