Experiencing up & down terrain and ‘up & down’ food in Montreal!
Schwartz ( lunch ) - This could be the easiest and shortest review I have made of an eatery! Not much more can be said about this iconic ’ Montreal Smoked Meat ’ institution except, for me, I found this place ho-hum and over-rated!
Considering we have here in the GTA, ’ Similicious ’ offering identical taste profile, generous portion, flavourful, moist, juicy and semi-fatty briskets; the original, lean and dry Schwartz version was a total anti-climax! The servers never bothered to ask patrons about their fattiness preferences?!
Joe Beef ( dinner ) - Once again, trying out another iconic Montreal institution, this time the infamous ’ Temple of Gluttony ’ Joe beef. Serving up unpretentious, hearty and luxurious food, steeped with cholesterol, in a cramped, dark and rustic space. One could smell the arrival of each dish by the aroma of the ‘excessive’ butter and cream used in each creation. There is no doubt the food is super rich and delicious. By looking around at what other patrons ordered, if one is into this sort of occasional ‘artery clogging’ suicidal meal, then this place is indisputably THE place for you!
Based on quality/quantity and price ratio, food is definitely on the high side! My dish of ’ Crispy Veal Sweet Bread in a rich, creamy lobster bisque sauce ’ ( 4 small chunks of lobster meat, a few half cut mushrooms, bits of crispy lardons and served with sea-shell pasta ) all housed in a smallish skillet, came at a whopping $80!
My desert ‘Tarte fine au Pomme’ was nothing like what I had in Paris/France. Crust was soggy, overly chewy and lacking buttery aroma. Apple was mushy and the entirety served with ‘commercial like soft ice-cream’. At $19 it was $7 more than the gorgeous, bigger and tastier ‘Tarte Tatin’ I had in Quebec City a couple of days later!
Considering the difficulty in securing a priced table at this place, I was expecting the food be packed with wow-factor! Sadly, this was not the case. Instead of ‘wow’ I’ve got a few ‘woe’ instead…though overall, the meal was still delectable and enjoyable! However, IMO, Toronto’s ’ Dreyfus ', opened by an ex-sous of Joe Beef offers less heavy, expensive and more delectable food.