Snowdon Deli, off the main strip of Queen Mary, is a full service delicatessen featuring hot meals, smoked fish sandwiches, and desserts. The number-one reason to go is smoked meat, a Montreal delicacy that is similar to pastrami. Snowdon offers corned beef in addition to regular smoked meat, and if you get the latter you have a choice of regular or old-fashioned. Old-fashioned is radiant with exotic spice.
After choosing your meat, you have another important decision to make: fatty, medium, or lean. Lean lacks the succulence that is smoked meat’s allure. Fatty is virtually all fat, available only when the meat cutter can gather enough on his block while carving the other kinds. When we told the woman behind the counter that we like ours pretty fatty but don’t cotton to the idea of a total fat sandwich, she suggested yet another option: “extra medium.” With a straight face, she explained that extra medium is more fatty than regular medium.
Among the other temptations in Snowdon’s long glass cases are smoked whitefish, lox and carp, knishes, pickles, salads, and pastries. As we stood at one case gaping at gorgeous spheres of gefilte fish, a woman tending seafood salads asked if we’d care for a bite of karnatzel. She pointed behind her to a hanging curtain of long, cigar-thin beef salamis, a Montreal deli trademark, then quickly sliced a couple of four-inch lengths and wrapped the chewy pieces of karnatzel with a squirt of mustard in slices of oven-fresh rye bread for us to nosh while we waited for the sandwiches to be assembled.