All in Montreal

Schwartz's Deli

A visit to Montreal would be incomplete without a smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz's. On Saturdays the line -- at times half an hour or more -- can be pretty intimidating, but it's worth it. There are few ways to fight off the Canadian winter as effective as a hot smoked meat sandwich on an icy-cold day. It's time to step into Schwartz's, the tiny but immensly popular deli on Montreal's Boulevard Saint-Laurent. This is undoubtedly the juiciest smoked meat sandwich I've ever tasted. Unlike corned beef, the meat is smoked. It's similar to pastrami but the spice blend is unique. The meat here is so moist I wanted to squeeze out the juice like a sponge dipped in gravy. The smoked meat sandwich, Schwartz's house speciality, is a generous mound of warm meat resting between two fat slices of rye each swiped with a thin layer of French's yellow mustard. The mustard's light acidity and short-lived spice cuts right through the meat's fatty mouthfeel leaving behind a really pleasant texture.

Cafe Myriade

I've been in Montreal for just over two weeks now and when I haven't been coding, I've been eating. The one place I find myself returning to almost daily -- sometimes even twice a day -- is a small cafe around the corner from where I'm staying. Its name is Cafe Myriade, and it has the best coffee in the city. Myriade is owned and operated by Canadian National Barista Championship finalist Anthony Benda and his business partner Scott Rao author of The Professional Barista's Handbook. Its drip coffee, espresso, cappuccino, macchiato, eva solo, and french press are nonpareil. Its syphon coffee is also at the top because, well, it's the only place in the city that does it. But also important is the atmosphere, one that just makes you want to come back. Or, maybe that's the caffeine speaking. Probably both.