In fact, it may not even be the best smoked meat in town. Wha'!? "Blasphemy" you say? Listen, I grew up dans la belle ville. Spent 33 years there and had many a Schwartz's sandwich (medium, double mustard, fries and the mandatory cherry cola). And yes, it's delicious. No argument there. And yes, it's a part of the history of the city, Montreal Jewish history and now every Montrealer's history. It's a landmark. A foodie and tourist mecca. One of those places that puts Montreal on the gastronomic map. Yeah, yeah. I know. I agree. But hear me out.
People, there is an alternative to the now insanely popular and line-up encumbered Schwartz's; A more accessible, authentic Montreal smoked meat source exists mere metres away across the street! It's called The Main. And here's the dirty little secret that Schwartz's and their reputation-makers don't want you to know: The Main is every bit as good as Schwartz's. Yes. There. I said it. Damn straight.
|The Main, Montreal's other smoked meat|
But let me tell you, for my money (and time) The Main is the shit. It delivers on quality, service and the decor is every bit as old, musty and atmospheric as Schwartz's. The only difference is, at The Main, you actually have breathing room and booths to eat at.
Again, I'm not disparaging the Schwartz's experience. Everyone should have it. But from my veteran Montrealer's perspective, The Main's sandwich is delectable and its relaxed atmosphere and perpetual non-trendiness makes it my choice for smoked meat in Quebec. Everyone should also experience The Main.
That being said, I fucking hope Céline and her entourage don't get it into their heads to franchise Schwartz's into some Nickels-type monstrosity. Leave Schwartz's alone! You hear me Angélil?! You purchased a living piece of Montreal history. Don't fuck it up. Just enjoy your lifetime of free smoked meat sandwiches and your V.I.P. stools and let the place continue to bring joy to taste buds around town. And for God's sake, don't try and muscle out your competition across the street. You can exist in harmony with The Main like Schwartz's has for decades.
God, I'm hungry now.