Oh the mighty mighty works of Couchsurfing.com. Before arriving in Montreal, as I do before going to any city, I placed a discussion on Couchsurfing, inviting locals to dinner, drinks, good times on the town, and more. The amazingly talented Swedish singer and engineer, Sarah, wrote me, and I was on my way to the L’Escalier on Saint Catherine. She had me at “there will be live jazz.” Great music, even better conversation between the five of us at our table, and great beer wine, cider, and tequila.
As so many of you know by now, my love of food is large. I told Sarah about my Montreal food goals, and she agreed to join me the next day on the quest for Smoked Meat and amazing desserts.
By pure luck, I happened upon Schwartz’s (3895 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1X9, Canada). After telling Sarah about the place so she could catch the train to meet me, she told me Schwartz’s was the apex of smoked meat shops. Hell yeah!
Hands down the most amazing smoked meat sandwich I’ve ever had, and I’ve eaten in bodegas all across Harlem, Brooklyn, Washington Heights and the Bronx. Chased it down with laughs and an orange soda, and followed that up with conversations about how French Canadians were able to maintain French culture and language over the years.
We then hopped in the car and drove downtown to find Gelato. No luck, but we did stumble into Maison Christian Faure (355 Place Royale, Montréal, QC H2Y, Canada), a parlour and pastry shop with desserts that could have only been made by the hands of a god. MMMM! I don’t even know what the rum-soaked goody was I ate, but…MAN! Find out and get it.
We had coffee while Sarah told me about Fika, a swedish custom, simply meaning “to have coffee” and maybe a pastry. Fika’s purpose is to pull you away from the hustle and bustle and it allows you to live in the moment, building friendships, sharpening relations at work, or whatever pleasure you need it to provide in that moment. We learned the difference between romantic relationships in the USA and Sweden, and what sex may mean in both places. It’s always a fun time when love and sex are topics of conversation.
So if you’re in Montreal, check out Schwartz’s and Maison Christian Faure!