Monday, August 8, 2016

Gaming & Food in Montreal (re-post from the archive)

Montreal is an amazing city. It's a place where old world charm and ambiance meets modern style and joie de vivre. I have the pleasure of visiting Montreal several times a year as my wife was raised there and her parents still reside there. Whenever we visit the family there are two places in town I absolutely MUST patron, even if it's only a quick drop in.

One is Le Valet d'Coeur. Le Valet is a diverse gaming store on rue Saint-Denis. It has all the stuff you expect from a store where you buy tabletop RPGs, and a huge selection of traditional board, strategy and card games, as well as puzzles and toys. There is always a gaggle of gamers there hanging out at the tables in the back playing Magic or D&D or some other game. The staff are very knowledgeable and friendly. They also do online orders. Click here for the English website.

The second is Schwartz's Deli. This palace (hole in the wall, really, but all the best places are dives!) of smoked meat on boulevard Saint-Laurent is pure awesome and a Montreal institution. Get there with time to spare because you'll be waiting in line for at least 15 minutes, probably 30+ in the height of Summer. If you go to the take-out side of the deli, the wait time is far less and the food is the same (although the menu is more limited). It's getting to be pretty expensive for a Schwartz's sandwich these days (almost $10 each!) but the smoked meat is so freaking awesome. Click here for Schwartz's English website.

By the way, at the take-out side, you can order smoked meat to go by the pound (about $18 per pound), along with a half-loaf (or full loaf) of rye bread, a couple orders of fries, deli pickles, and a squeeze bottle of Schwartz's deli mustard (as well as whole briskets, spices, souvenirs, and other stuff). I do this now and the wife, in-laws, and I assemble our own sammiches at home. It's cheaper than buying individually for the family. They pack the meat in a container so it stays nice and hot! :-)