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Jul 1, 2008 08:20 PM

Outstanding Lunch

I am looking for ideas for a not just good, but great lunch spot. My foodie brother is in town from Vancouver and I have booked some dinner places for his visit, but am stuck when it comes to lunches. I need to redeem our fine city after a terrible meal at Garcon the other night (perhaps one of the worst restaurant meals I, my brother, or my mother have ever had... and we each ordered different menu items!).

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  1. Europea never disappoints, for lunch or dinner.

    Did you complain to the waitstaff about the meal at Garcon ? I certainly hope you did, and if so, what was the outcome?

    1. Can you tell us about the dinner? What you had and what went wrong?

      How about lunch at Schwartz's? You can't go wrong there. A foodie should appreciate the best smoked meat!!

      9 Replies
      1. re: maisonbistro

        We will be heading to Smoked Meat Pete tomorrow... tested and approved annually.

        Lower in this thread I have left a link to my brother's blog about our experience at Garçon... check it out.

        1. re: maisonbistro

          Long lines, dry meat. overrated. Don't bother with Schwartz unless you're craving a topic for conversation. Try L'Express for an authentic French experience. I have never had a lunch anything like it.

          1. re: kelarry

            If your meat was dry, you didn't order right. Lean is for tourists.

            1. re: carswell

              I let most of this preserving the status quo (your opinion) business go. But, come on, Schwartz is what it is. I can accept that some people enjoy this place and over-hype it because there is a sentimental attachment to the place. You, on the other hand, should accept that not every one is going to go there, wait in line, for a sandwich and fries, and come back exalted. The lean is for tourists business is really quite condescending. The place is inconsistent and always has been. Schwartz, in my opinion, is not something worth making a detour for.

              Havre aux Glaces, however...

              1. re: 1Marlowe1

                It's not condescending. It's a quote from the staff. No one who orders medium fat or fatter complains about dry meat.

                And you shouldn't jump to conclusions about my relationship to Schwartz's, a place I rarely recommend beyond acknowledging that it's one of the top purveyors and a more or less compulsory stop on the classic Montreal experiences tour. I'm not a fan of smoked meat -- or pastrami for that matter -- from there or anywhere else and would never queue to get in.

                1. re: 1Marlowe1

                  There was a long discussion here about the merits of Schwartz's. They do smoked meat andthey do it well. Maybe you don't like smoked meat, that's fine - not everyone does, not everyone likes Havre aux Glaces (I've tried many flavours and well, wouldn't go out of my way for that) - so really to each his own. As far as being inconsistent, I would gladly go out on a limb and say that they have been one of the most consistent restaurants around. You go there, you know what you're getting. A tight squeeze, a surly waiter and great smoked meat.

                  1. re: 1Marlowe1

                    I've never had a bad sandwich at Schwartz's. In my experience, the line moves fairly quickly, so I've never waited more than a few minutes either.
                    Maybe I'm just lucky.

                    Also, when I was a kid, I used to eat at a diner where the owner would call out "All right, already! Make way for the live ones!" as soon as you were done with your food. Schwartz's waiters seem downright polite by comparison. :)

                    1. re: 1Marlowe1

                      No seriously, I really really enjoy Schwartz, and cannot understand how one could say that it is overrated. It might not be your taste, you might not like it, and of course you are entitled to hate it. No problem with that. I hate ketchup for example, does that mean it is overrated? Non, I don't think so.

                      For what it is, Schwartz it is pretty good, however noone is obliged to like that kind of food. Moi, I love it, especially during the cold winter months when I need something with "substance" (and fat). And this comes from a former vegeterian tryout, Middle Eastern descent, recent immigrant, "try to cook like a vegetarian at home". woman that only tasted this kind of food in her late 20st. I guess that helps to refute the romanticization/ attachment hypothesis.

                      1. re: emerilcantcook

                        This is just a theory, but I wonder if the expectation factor/waiting-in-line annoyance comes into play here at all. What I mean is, if one were a tourist and had seen Schwartz's overhyped to death in all the guidebooks, and had built it up in one's mind to be some kind of better-than-sex experience, and then waited an hour in line next to other similarly hyped-up tourists for a meal of a sandwich and fries that is devoured in 15 minutes while sitting elbow-to-elbow with strangers, I can actually kind of see how one might be a little let down with the experience, no matter how good the food might be under other circumstances.

                        Personally I hate lineups and won't wait that amount of time in line for a meal, so try to only go during off-hours (4:00 pm is pretty good - in the dead of winter even better!) or if you don't mind smoked meat for breakfast, I believe they open at 9:00 am ;-) .... or do takeout. My 2 cents on the matter.

              2. La Montee du Lait is open for lunch. I was there last week for lunch, it was pretty good. Hopefully you'll have time for a leisurely lunch (I spent 2 hours+ there, so not a place to go if pressed for time).

                1. Bazaar might be a nice option for lunch.

                  1. Andria, here is a great thread on best gourmet lunch deals:


                    There is a link to an article outlining the best lunch deals, and the list is pretty decent!

                    I love Lemeac for lunch (nice terrace), and the $22 lunch deal at Milos is excellent.