Dyakowski: A culinary guide to Montreal

Peter Dyakowski

With its second installment, my blog has already lived longer than I feared. I begin this week by issuing a retraction of some of the claims I made in my previous note on this website.  I erroneously accredited to Shawn Burke, an intern of little importance in our team offices, all of the great work that is in fact done by Scott McNaughton. I apologize for the mistake and I hope that, in the future, my editors can do a better job of catching such things. But enough of that.

Since we are on our way to Montreal this week, I’ve decided to share the story of my last trip out to that lovely city. I am a perpetually hungry fellow and I have always enjoyed the road trips to M-town (as the locals call it) because it offers a guy like myself plenty of opportunities for filling up on tasty foods. What follows is a step-by-step recap of that trip last year, with some of the boring bits removed.

5:00 PM:  Arrive at the Montreal train station, right on time!

5:11 PM:  Check in at the hotel.

5:15 PM:  Beat Marwan to the room and pick the better bed.

5:17 PM:  Change out of my sweaty train clothes.

5:19 PM:  Go up the street to Dunn’s, a noted purveyor of smoked meat, and purchase one sandwich to go. This should tide me over on my walk to the Keg.

5:38 PM:  Arrive at the Keg. Accept a wager for $20 that I can’t eat a loaded baked potato with the gristle from a prime rib stuffed inside in only three bites. I can. Heady with the rush of victory and $20 richer, I proceed to order a Keg-sized prime rib. I easily polish that off along with several loaves of bread slathered with their special butter.

7:22 PM:  Head over to Ben and Jerry’s for first dessert. I am crestfallen to discover that they do not have the best ice cream flavour in existence: Blue Bubble Gum. I settle on a large chocolate milk-shake with which I console myself as I continue my search for dessert.

8:36 PM:  After an unnecessary detour with some of my “fancier” teammates to a clothing store which did not carry anything that would fit a more generously proportioned man, I head back to Dunn’s to visit a Toblerone mousse cake that had caught my eye earlier.

9:49 PM:  Hop into bed with a nice, full tummy. Marwan and I commence filling the room with the music of two broken diesel engines. Dreams of smoked meat sandwiches dance in my head.

8:45 AM:  Wake up. Hungry.

9:30 AM:  Meetings etc. Still no food.  Starting to hallucinate.

11:00 AM: Team breakfast. Ho-hum. I have several omelettes and a few piles of bacon.

1:00 PM:  Catch a cab to Schwartz’s with Sim-Dog to delight in their famous smoked meat. The line-up is outrageous. It stretches down the street and disappears into the distance. With time being tight, we go across the street to The Main instead. I order a smoked meat sandwich and a poutine with double cheese. Sim does likewise. The sandwich is as delicious as it is nutritious: Very. The squeaky cheese (le fromage squishe squishe) on the poutine is a treat. I order the same again. Sim looks on in disgust.

3:45 PM:  After a light nap, I head over to the stadium and get ready for the game. I’ve got plenty of energy and I stop feeling full around the time the first half is over. By the end of the game I am once again quite hungry.

11:00 PM: Leave the stadium, catch a cab on my own and go straight to Schwartz’s.  To my surprise I was able to walk right in and sit down. I order a large plate of smoked meat, medium-fat, and a black cherry pop. A pile of meat arrives at my table with a stack of rye bread. I might not have anybody with me, but I am not alone. The smoked meat keeps me company. As I devour it, I am brought as close as anybody has ever come to heaven without dying.

Though I ate other meals before I once again set foot on Hamilton soil, none of them could compare, or even be worth recounting alongside that one.

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