Made from a cured and smoked brisket, the smoked meat of Quebec is a cousin of the pastrami found in U.S. delis. It is luxuriously fatty, packed with spice, and so fragile that it demands careful hand-cutting. Here are a couple of top sources in Montreal and a few along the byways of the province.
The smoked meat of Montreal's Jewish neighborhood is at its best at Schwartz's, where countermen make sandwiches with meat piled impossibly high on good rye.
Snowdon is a full-service deli with great breakfast and some of Montreal's best smoked meat -- radiant with spice, on good rye. Have it fatty, medium, or lean.
Chez Micheline is a Quebec snack bar serving excellent poutine, les hot dogs "Michigan" and a bowl of comfort called nouilles chinoise. All tables are outdoors.
This ragtag, eat-in-the-rough casse-croûte (snack bar) serves exemplary poutine and the Quebec sandwich known as guedille. French fries are superb.
Claiming to be the place where poutine was invented, Le Roy Jucep offers a dozen different variations on the signature dish of Quebec.