Kristel’s Kitchen Tribute to Schwartz’s

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Anyone who’s ever heard of Montreal has also heard of Schwartz’s. It is not only a Montreal landmark but it also offers up some of the city’s legendary smoked meat. So good in fact that people congregate in lines for an hour plus just to have a taste on the spot. In the last year, they opened up a side store meant exclusively for takeout, for which I am very grateful. A few weekends ago I was strolling along the Main and decided to pick up a pound of cold sliced smoked meat and rye bread. Since I have no patience for lineups, I take the meat home and prepare various sandwiches. In my love and quest for a good breakfast sandwich, I have concocted my brunch tribute to the Schwartz’s smoked meat sandwich.

  • One pound of cold smoked meat, this is usually enough for 4 people
  • Eggs, one per person
  • Arugula, or lettuce of your choice
  • Mustard – I used creamy dill mustard that I found at, you’ve guessed it, Schwartz’s!
  • Rye bread, sliced
  • Caramelized onions

Begin by caramelizing the onions: in a pan on medium heat drizzle some olive oil, sauté the onions and season with salt and pepper. When the onions are soft start to brown, add a sprinkle of brown sugar and cook for a few more minutes. At the end they should be delectably golden, soft and sweet.

To heat up the smoked meat, I usually prefer to steam it – Schwartz’s, if you’re reading this, let me know if you have a better way to heat it! While the meat is heating through, cook your eggs to your liking – I prefer to have my egg fried sunny-side up for this sandwich.

Now is the time to start building. Grab two slices of rye and spread mustard on both sides. On the bottom slice, layer the arugula, meat and egg. Top with caramelized onions and close it up with the other slice. Cut the sandwich in half and chow-down!

For a city that prides itself on its diverse culinary culture, how is it that Montreal does not have a go-to breakfast sandwich to be proud of? Let’s see if somebody picks up on this – hint hint, nudge nudge – and perhaps I’ll get to share some of the fame… [Here you must imagine me gazing into the distance and a twinkle light up the corner of my eye].

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