Friday, July 18, 2008

Dear Mr. Smoked Meat Man...

You are pudgy and your hands smell like cow and you wear a funny little paper hat, but damn it, I love you. And I love your meat.

Smoked meat, that is.

I'm talking about Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen, a place I did not know even existed until my worldy husband, the one who knew that people speak French in Montreal and the one who has had to listen to me speak in "zee French accent" ever since I learned this little fact, insisted we go.

He actually said, "You can't leave Montreal until you've had smoked meat." My man is very decisive about "zee beef". I was all like "What eez theez smoked meat you speak about, mon petite chou?"

This is when he starts to pretend I'm married to someone else.

Now, I know that going gaga over Schwartz's is a little like being a tourist in New York City and going gaga over the Carnegie Deli. I mean, yeah, the corned beef is good, but is it worthy of a blog post and a photo essay?

I mean, it's not like I found this little hole in the wall in some Montreal tenement where a little old lady hand-smokes sides of beef in her garage and her place can only accomodate like six people and a dog and requires a reservation four months in advance and like, 30 people total know about it and Demi Moore is a regular. Hell no, I discovered a place that like 10 million people discovered before me.

Somebody call Gourmet Magazine. I'm a freakin' trendsetter.

Everyone knows about Schwartz's and I know this because the Smoked Meat Man offered to take a picture with me holding a slab of meat, and any deli guy that wants to get in on the picture is a guy who gets his picture taken a lot. And the shot would have been great but my boob was hanging out and you know, no one needs to see my nipples. Again.

I will, however, share a little photo essay with you (below) that illustrates our time at Schwartz's which was absolutely, insanely scrumptious.

We're in Montreal for a bit, then on to Miami. We are with one of David's shows, which is always fun for the girls because they love playing on the stage, climbing the wardrobe racks and running around with backstage passes dangling from their necks, which besides being cute, is a strangling hazard waiting to happen.

David is out hobnobbing right now with someone famous "you are not allowed to blog about". Okay, honey, I haven't said a word.

Anyway, I'm drinking alone and watching CNN. That's not a bad thing, right?

xxoo YM

PS Thanks for the tip YM #2 in Toronto. What nut would order smoked meat "lean"? That seems rather blasphemous, doesn't it? I'm looking forward to the Poutine next, although I wish you hadn't told me it was actually "cheese curds". Always better to keep me in the dark about these things...




ntsc said...

Have I mentioned I also smoke my own pastrami, bacon and sausage?

The Yummy Mummy said...


You know I was thinking about you while writing this post! I knew you smoked stuff. You are that kind of guy!

I really am a smoked meat fiend now since my indoctrination ...although I won't be smoking anything in my NYC apartment.

I leave the crazy meat hijinx to you, my friend.


Izzy's Mama said...

This is completely blogworthy. I have heard tell of that Montreal of smoked meat but never before have I gotten a firsthand account.. and such a colorful one at that. LOVE IT!

and NTSC..home smoked pastrami??? WOW

Krysta said...

i need to have that sandwich! and ntsc you are too talented for words, i love how you just casually throw that little comment out there.

ntsc said...

I am less into cooking than preservation of food for later use. My wife just bought a wine cooler so I can hang the dry cured ham for more than 5 months, perhaps the 2 years they are supposed to hang.

The book Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn, and I met most of you at Ruhlman's blog, is excellent for the home. I've also picked up some advice from Bob DelGrosso, who seems quite happy to help people with this sort of thing.

ntsc said...

And while you are in Montreal, find a store, or rather a shop complex, named Les Halles. When we were there they were quite happy to help English only people buy raw milk cheese, which that year you could bring home. Meat products were forbidden, or at least beef.

avra said...

The other thing to try is Montreal-style bagels. And poutine. Fries, gravy and cheese curds. It's delicious, artery-clogging, goodness that you have to eat at least once in your life and a Quebec specialty. And a little gelato place on Rue Prince Arthur. Montreal is FULL of great food, and funky places to shop. Can you tell I really like it there too? And I'm only 2 hrs away!

melissa said...

What a wonderful lunch. I'm envious about that meat. Droooool.

I love that picture of you laughing with David and your girls. Actually, all the pics are great!

SaintTigerlily said...

I haven't had poutine in years but I'm fairly sure I want it at the wedding. Lovely pictures, I especially like the angelic wide eyed expression of a child transfixed by a smoked meat paradise. Adorable.

Annie K. Nodes said...

I never thought it was a bad thing to have a best friend from Montreal who is a vegetarian. UNTIL NOW. What the hell? How come I've been to Montreal on more than one occasion and yet NEVER heard of this place? Because my best friend only eats twigs and leaves, that's why. Sheesh.

Looks great. And sweet pix.

Annie K. Nodes said...

Oh, like Avra said. The bagels are divine. Have several.

Anonymous said...

Great photos. The best thing is capturing the atmosphere ... like pink flipflops on the dining counter. Priceless!

New Reader

Rebecca (Foodie With Family) said...

Ohmygoshpoutine! That is one of my favorite things. It's so horribly terrible for you and so, so good. Enjoy it!

Neen said...

You know, I think that that IS awesome... for all of us who would never, ever associate Montreal and smoked meat in the same sentence. Texas maybe. Not Montreal. Cool! How'd your hubby find out about it?

The Yummy Mummy said...

It's so great to hear from all of you. We are in Miami now and I should have my first Miami post up tonight.

The kids are like up til midnight and sleeping in in the mornings and David is working a lot with the show, and it feels a bit like we've "run away with the circus", which we kind of did, but the kids are once again backstage babies and running amok on a barren stage and last night we ate Japanese in bed and it's hot, the beaches are sandy and we are surrounded by pools of all sizes and shapes and this running away with the circus can't be a bad thing, right?

So, to keep you up to date, I totally missed the poutine, which sucks because you all got my mouth watering for cheese curd (Who would have thought?)but I loved Montreal and we'll go back for one thing or another and have the poutine and a pile more of smoked meat.

Saint Tiger Lily - Are you really having poutine at your wedding? Fantastic! I'd like to see your caterers face when you tell him that! And I want to go to any wedding where the bride serves fries and cheese curd. That's my kind of affair! Okay, too many exclamation points...

I don't know how David knew about Schwartz's, Neen but apparently I'm not the only "foodie" in our family. He continues to surprise me on a routine basis. In all the good ways. This is a nice thing.

And thanks, Anonymous for joining us and for noting the pink flip flops. Although not intentional on my part (Did I eat the whole meal with pink flip flops next to my plate?), I suspect you have discovered the perfect visual metaphor for our family.

More later...

xo Kim