Monday, January 30, 2012

Schwartz's Deli - Montreal

My Death Row Meal When I have my last meal I know what it's going to be: a medium smoked meat sandwich with fries, extra pickles, and a Cott's cherry cola from Schwartz's. Nothing satisfies quite like a meal at Schwartz's.  I've enjoyed a lot of delicious smoked meat in Montreal, and I keep coming back to Schwartz's.  I love the hustle and bustle of the place - the small tables, cramped in next to other customers and sharing smoked meat pleasure with strangers.  I would suggest a medium smoked meat because the regular is a bit too fatty for me and the lean is not moist enough.  Schwartz's secret - everything's made from scratch from a near century old recipe.  Their briskets are brined for ten days, without preservatives, and then slowly smoked.  They now have a takeout store right next to the original.  Sit down, enjoy the best smoked meat you've ever had, then go next store and bring a some home and don't forget your friends.  
Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

M:brgr, Montréal

Montreal's Best Burger A cab driver told us about M:brgr and we owe him big. M:brgr has an incredible menu with many choices. First there are the meat options: AAA, organic, or Kobe. Then you have 20 toppings: caramelized onions, grilled oyster mushrooms, asparagus, grilled salami, pulled pork... And don't forget the eight different types of cheese: goat, smoked gouda, brie... And if that's not enough you can add foie gras or white and black truffle shavings. We went with the smoked meat burger (AAA and ground smoked meat mixed into one patty) and a AAA with caramelized onions and brie. Well, did we ever love it. The smoked meat burger was juicy tender and smoked meat salty. The caramelized onions were a perfect touch, as was the brie, on our second burger. They have a full bar so we enjoyed an excellent ginger mojito and a dirty martini with the brine and olives frozen onto a skewer like a popsicle - great presentation. My sons' eyes popped out of their head when they saw their drinks - a caramel shake and a rootbeer float. Their drinks were awesome. M:brgr has made it onto our list of Montreral must-eats. Note: a new M:brgr is open in Toronto.

Top left:Caramel shake
Top Right: Rootbeer float
Bottom Left: Ginger mojito
Bottom Right: Dirty martini

Left: AAA burger with caramelized onions and brie
Right:Smoked meat burger

M:Brgr on Urbanspoon

l'Avenue du Plateau, Montréal

922 Mont-Royal East
French toast and scrambled eggs
Montreal's Best Breakfast?  The best breakfast I've ever had in Montreal was at l'Avenue.  I simply devoured the sucre et sel (sweet and salty).  It's eggs benedict on top of french toast with real maple syrup and excellent fresh fruit.  The combination of salty and sweet is perfect.  Their hollandaise is from scratch and is exquisite.  The smoked salmon eggs benedict - another winning combo.  Each meal is served with great home fries in their own red mini Creuset pot.  The food looks as good as it tastes.  Of course, their lattes are smooth and robust and the orange juice is freshly squeezed. Portions are large and my boys shared french toast and still had difficulty clearing their plates.  l'Avenue has a very vibrant decor and is a popular club in the evenings.  Can't wait for my next serving of sucre et sel.
Sucre et sel
Smked salmon eggs bennedict
L'Avenue on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Point Brugge Cafe, Pittsburgh - August 2009

Case in Point We were pleasantly surprised by the great restaurants in Pittsburgh and Point Brugge is a case in, er, a fine example. Point Brugge is located in Point Breeze - a great neighbourhood complete with 1920's era brick homes with comfortable front porches.  And in the middle of it all is a house that has been converted to a great Belgian restaurant.  Of course, it's a place for amazing fries and delicious mussels.  The seafood is also amazing.  I drooled over my seafood waterzooi -  (top left) a bowl of shrimp, mussels, scallops and salmon in a tomato broth scented with fennel and saffron, oh, and it's on delicious polenta.  Awesome!  We loved the mussels (top right) in a white wine cream sauce.  Tender, rich and served with great fresh cut fries.  We loved the service and the comfortable atmosphere and the great wines and beers on tap.  If you love mussels and great seafood then you've got to go to Point Brugge.  Get the...? You know what I mean.

Point Brugge Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Enrico Biscotti Company, Pittsburgh

Twenty-six That's right -  The Enrico Biscotti Company has 26 types of biscotti.  There's your usual almond and choclate flavours, but anise, ginger, and pumpkin?  And they do them right.  The flavours shine through.  We particularly enjoyed cinammon and peanut butter chocolate chip.  In true biscotti style, the biscotti weren't very sweet; they had aromas which were more intense than the subtle flavours.  These crunchy, but not too hard biscotti, are best dipped in a cafe au lait which is also made on the premises and is just awesome.  Of course, they make all their own biscotti - each and every type.  You gotta make it by hand and from scratch if you're going to be on my blog.  Enrico's is located in the cool Strip Distrcit and there's a great looking restaurant and even their homemade wines were delicious.  So I had some wine while waiting for my cafe au lait.  They offered freebies and I accepted.  They even had bread making courses on site - you're expected to show up in your pj's.  I could crawl out of bed to make my way to The Enrico Biscotti Company anyday. 

Enrico Biscotti on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 9, 2009

Primanti Brothers - Pittsburgh, August, 2009

World's Best Sandwich? I've never eaten a sandwich quite like a Primanti's sandwich.  Picture this: great fresh cut fries, delicious coleslaw, soft and fresh white italian loaf bread, and tender homemade roast beef - all piled in together in one sandwich.  Nothing on the side.  It works.  Does it ever.  I devoured my first Primanti sandwich at a Pirates game at PNC Park.  Get there early and they're fresh and made to order.  Great food and baseball - a piece of Heaven!  The next day we ventured to the original Primanti Bros location in the Strip District.  The Strip is for food lovers; there are food wharehouses on the street parallel to the Strip and some serve food on site.  The Strip itself is full of restaurants, cafes, kitchen supply stores, Pitsburgh Popcorn and sidewalk food stalls - fresh grilled shrimp and crab right on the sidewalk were availble that day!  We saved our appetites for Primanti and boy did we need them.  We ordered the classic roast beef, (2nd pic from bottom) the pastrami and the corned beef (bottom pic) - each only $6.29.  Adults could easily share a sandwich, but it was so good I ate it all myself.  It's a real fun restaurant - laid back, no menus (it's on the wall) and very casual.  There are locations throughout Pittsburgh, though I  highly recommend going to the Strip District.  I know I'm going back.

Primanti Brothers (Strip District) on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Price Hill Chili - Cincinnati, August 2009

Chilli 5 Way? Cincinnati has not one, but two regional specialties and they can both be found at Price Hill Chili.  Cinci chili is saucy and sweet (hint of cinammon and nutmeg) and is prepared five ways.  I ordered the 5way chili - when in Rome.  The five way consists of 1) chili, 2) onions, 3) beans, 4) cheese (grated new cheddar) and 5) spaghetti.  That's right - spaghetti.  Really it's not that crazy.  I loved it.  I don't thinks I'd order it any other way.   The onions are raw and add some nice bite to contrast the sweet sauce.  The spaghetti just completes it very well.  I should add that Price Hill is a very comfortable place - lots of regulars and kind waitresses in an at home restaurant.  We felt so welcome that we went back the next day for breakfast.  That's when I got to try another regional treat - goetta (see pic).  Goetta (usually pronounced gett-uh) is composed of ground pork and steel cut oats.  These ingredients are mixed together, formed in a loaf, sliced into rectangular patties, and fried.  Goetta's popularity relfects Cincinnati's German roots, but I could not find it in any other city, including German influenced Milwaukee.  The steel cut oats give it a hearty texture and I futher enjoyed breaking my poached eggs over the goetta.  Yolks and meat - mmm.  Goetta and chilli 5 way - two great reasons to visit Cincinnati and Price Hill Chilli.

Price Hill Chili on Urbanspoon