Wow! This summer is gorgeous and hot. The weather in Montreal is no exception. We are heading out this morning to Beauty’s Luncheonette, recently featured on The Layover with Anthony Bourdain. Beauty’s has been serving classic diner fare for breakfast, lunch and dessert since 1942. The luncheonette holds an unassuming spot on the corner of St. Urbain and Mont Royal. Hymie Sckolnick, the original owner is still greeting customers and gets you a “great” seat at 90 years old. He is Beauty.
We sit in a classic booth. Waitresses are younger and clad in jeans and Beauty’s tees but it is still a diner without irony. Our server brings excellent coffee and fresh-squeezed OJ.
We order the Beauty’s special to share and I chose a country omelette with bacon cheese and potato, while Rob chose the mishmash, an omelette with onion, green pepper, salami and french-cut hot dogs, grilled hard on the flat top so they have a nice caramelized finish.
The omelettes are very good but the star of the show is the Beauty’s special – a Montreal bagel loaded with cream cheese, red onion, tomato and smoked salmon. Happy Mouth.
Beauty’s is a place I would visit for that sandwich alone. However be forewarned, Beauty’s is not as Beauty’s does…this was a $65 breakfast for two, albeit including an extra Beauty Special — the smoked salmon sandwich that we shared. The real kicker is that the beverages — a coffee, a diet Coke and an OJ cost $9.00 together. These are not diner prices.
Back to the hotel to dump off cameras and head off to my rendezvous with Louis Vuitton. I have been drooling over his carry-on luggage for way too long. Time to commit. Rob went clothes shopping… or something, no one cares.
This evening the skies opened. We need the rain, but wow! Luckily we can get to Place des Arts mostly inside and then run across the street to the venue to see Jim Gaffigan at the 30th anniversary of Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. The show is great, all new material and a few favorites that the crowd wanted to hear. After an encore, Jim leaves and we are peckish. Time for a late dinner. Schwartz’s.
Schwartz is a Montreal institution going on 84 years now. One of the few places open for late night dining on a Monday, the deli is busy. We once again grab the last parking spot in front and manage to find two seats together. Schwartz is not a large place. Tables are grubby and slow to be cleared. 80-plus years of grime layer the joint – and you just know the food is going to live up to expectations.
We get seated and our server “Artie from the Sopranos” breezes by twice to let us know he’s getting to us. When he finally does we order fries, coleslaw and dill pickle to share and medium (half-fat-half-lean-you-need-a-little-fat-with) smoked meat sandwiches each, and I order the recommended Cott’s black cherry soda.
Our food begins to arrive. Coleslaw is excellent oil and vinegar slaw, fries are good, and the garlic dill is perfect. Our sammies arrive next. Smoked meat piled high on soft rye, with a little yellow mustard. Excellent. They’re “fall apart in your hands good”. I also appreciate the size of the serving. Schwartz delivers a hefty sandwich, with plenty of meat, but doesn’t overdo it a la New York City’s Carnegie deli which seems to pride itself on big, excessive and inevitable waste.