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Saul (Briskets) Ettinger's stepson to open Ettinger's Deli

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Driving in Lasalle today, I saw a sign "Ettinger's Deli" open soon. Its a huge building that used to house a Napa Auto Parts store on Newman. Curious, I googled and found this
http://www.ettingers.ca/index.php
According to the site, Saul Ettinger opened the old Briskets as well as Il Etait Un Fois, and Linguinis on the 40. Apparently his stepson is going to open Ettinger's Deli as a hommage to all 3 places.
Looks like they're going to feature in-house smoked meat. Interesting concept.

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  1. 30 years is hardly a "legacy" in terms of being a smoked meat institution here in Montreal. It's probably a good track record for a restaurant to be in business that long, but though Briskets came on the scene 30 years ago, they certainly didn't last that long. In fact, are there any open still? They state there were 12 Briskets franchises in and around Montreal. What happened? 12 restos all going out of business doesn't look good. Even Dilallo's, which at one time expanded to multiple locations, only to see most of them close up, has two or three outlets still in operation.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Haggisboy

      I figure the stepson is simply trying to inflate the "legacy" and drum up a nostalgic reputation.

      1. re: Haggisboy

        Isn't there still a Briskets on Beaver Hall Hill?

        1. re: kpzoo

          There is a Montreal Briskets on Beaver Hall, not sure if it is the same as Briskets. Went to an event catered by them (Montreal Briskets) and didn't find their smoked meat to be very good. Better then Nickel's/Belle Province, but very far from Schwartz.

          -----
          Beaver Hall
          1073, Cote du Beaver Hall, Montreal, QC H2Z 1S5, CA

          1. re: NickinMtl

            Its not the same owner it is owneed by the guy who bought the franchise

      2. Interesting only if properly executed; I didn't like Briskets (and I think they're all defunct) and Il Était une Fois was pretty torturous back in the day. Hopefully they'll have learnt to leave the less than stellar back in the past.

        1. Their website is great. The informercial that plays by default talks about a dining revolution and then proceeds to enumerate a list of deep fried crap. "our menu is varied and exciting and our kitchen is uncompromising and includes homemade delights such as our guiness beer battered fish and chips, fried mushrooms, onion rings, as well as our delectable sweet potato fries, and incomporable smoked meat eggrolls, join the dining revolution"

          So they got their menu from Dunns and their logo from Baton Rouge. yikes

          6 Replies
          1. re: BarackHObama

            In the video on this page, the owner talks about how amazing the burgers were while a food stylist prepares a model for the sham http://www.ettingers.ca/en/media.php LOL

            1. re: BarackHObama

              Got to watch 1.5 video interviews.
              I cringed through the entire Luxembourg thing (that guy seems a little self-loving...I'd bet that he is the #1 money guy and made sure his interview was the first default video as you hit the site...). Then I watched half the Saul Ettinger video. This guy does not seem to get too excited, but he was telling a good story.
              Will finish watching later including the other guys.
              Passed by Friday night and they now seem open. I'll likely try it in a few weeks.

              1. re: porker

                That Luxenberg video is pretty sad/hilarious. He's writing two books(!?!). Something tells me they spent a lot more time working on their branding than on the actual food.

                When real-estate guys and lawyers open restaurants...

                1. re: SnackHappy

                  That guy must watch himself talk in the mirror... wow.

              2. re: BarackHObama

                LOL,

                enjoy our homemade smoked meat sandwich with a glass of "merlot" !!!!

                It looks like a big informercial!!

                This got to be a joke.

                1. re: Maximilien

                  "It looks like a big informercial!!"
                  Hit the nail DIRECTLY on the head.

            2. I tried Ettingers Deli last night with some LaSalle friends and their baby. Although the resto has been open for a couple of weeks according to their Facebook page, things are still a little rough around the edges in several departments.

              The decor is dark and atmospheric - somewhat incongruous for a deli featuring ice-cream sodas and retro posters. It wasn't unenjoyable, just a bit unexpected. We were seated in the front section near the windows, which already had families with several babies, so we didn't feel out of place at all with our group's nearly one-year-old. A high chair was brought over quickly and they apologized profusely for not being able to find the tray that goes with it; they brought one over later when another family had finished.

              The first disappointment came when we started ordering and I asked for the smoked-chicken egg rolls as an appetizer. "We have no chicken," the waiter said. As a puzzled look spread across my face, he qualified it, "We have no chicken at all. No chicken soup or anything with chicken." As a non-red meat-eater, this news was very disappointing. No explanation or apology was offered for the lack of chicken - an ingredient in at least a half-dozen menu items - at 6 pm on a Friday night. I ordered the smoked-turkey club instead.

              Friends' order of deep-fried calamari came quickly and was enjoyed. The rest of the food took quite a while to arrive. A California Dreaming burger was generously sized and tasty. The two smoked-meat sandwich eaters declared it alright, placing third after Schwartz's and Smoked Meat Pete, according to one. Biggest problem with the smoked meat was that it was way too fatty, like having ordered an "extra super fat" cut, only the waiter hadn't asked how anyone wanted theirs. Curly fries were OK, not outstanding; cole slaw was unremarkable. House spicy mayo was very good. My turkey club was just OK - very bland, with no detectable smoky flavour. On the positive side, the meat was real, solid, turkey, not the processed stuff. The large sandwich was made with large oval rye bread, and was not a triple decker as clubs usually are. The bread was barely toasted - I would have preferred it darker. Baby's seasonal vegetables side order consisted of a generous helping of broccoli and carrots and was devoured by the tot. Husband declared his cappuccino the best part of the meal, with very good taste and froth.

              Service was friendly, but spotty. My friend was asked to repeat her ice-cream float particulars (cream soda with vanilla ice cream) on at least three different occasions. Water was initially not refilled without prompting.

              Leftover turkey sandwich and cole slaw were packed up cheerfully but when I got home I opened the container and saw to my chagrin that they had dumped out the cole slaw directly, soaking the bread in cole-slaw juice. Staff needs some take-out packing lessons.

              Ettingers has a lot of potential as a reasonably priced, family-friendly restaurant convenient for the people of LaSalle, who should enjoy the large space, fun deli menu and ample parking. To attract customers from beyond the area, the place just needs to work on improving their food and polishing their service.

              -----
              Ettingers Deli
              9100 Boulevard Newman, LaSalle, QC H8R 1Y8, CA

              2 Replies
              1. re: kpzoo

                Thanks for the report, kpzoo.
                I hope they'll shape up. I'm always wary of people making ginormous claims before opening, big lead-up hype (I'm thinking of their videos mentioned above), etc, only to have another, run-of-the-mill resto open up.
                I'll probably give it a try in the coming weeks.

                1. re: kpzoo

                  At my daughter's suggestion we lunched at Ettingers last weekend.
                  First thought crossed my mind - location, location, location.
                  Getting there from the north side of Newman takes a roundabout route
                  and anyone unfamiliar with the area might decide to give it a pass.
                  My daughter prefers smoke meat to be thinly sliced and dry so she was
                  satisfied. On the other hand my wife prefers it to be thicker and moist, so
                  her experience left her dissatisfied-mouth watering is not how she described it.
                  Having enjoyed steer burgers in other establishments I was expecting a taste treat.
                  What arrived was rather a shock. A burger that looked like it had been prepared on
                  a griddle - a large black spot from maybe having been pressed down against the
                  griddle. It did not look to me like a char-grilled steerburger. because a steerburger it wasn't)
                  No cross hatch marks one would expect from having been prepared on a grill. My disappointment was heightened when I bit into it. To be sure I was not mistaken I had my wife sample a bite - we both agreed it was a tasteless, bland, dry hunk of meat.
                  Lunch for 3 - one order onion rings , two smoked meat sandwiches, the "burger",
                  and one soft drink cost with tip about $55.00
                  Maybe they should think "lunch menu" (lower prices....)
                  We decided not to return ever again.
                  Local residents are hard judges of new eateries in LaSalle and a number have come and gone
                  including a well known deli name.

                2. I went there this weekend and its definitely worth stopping by if you are in the area.

                  The smoke meat is made on premises the right way without sodium nitrates, fresh fries, homemade coleslaw. A very welcome addition!!!

                  It may not be up to the level of Schwatz's or even Pete's, but its good. The other thing holding it back was the service, slow and aloof, the fries were a little lukewarm and the smoke meat too reheated. (But hey, bad service seems to be a staple at most smoke meat places)

                  If they can make adjustments, maybe they can overcome the awful location of the restaurant. You kinda have to know where it is, its tough to just just drive by it . Its still a lot more easy to get to than Pete's and parking is 100 times easier than downtown.

                  Overall, a good addition!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: ScoobySnacks20

                    I don't get it.

                    If their main attraction is smoked meat and they serve it "reheated" and the fries lukewarm, then they are doing it wrong.

                    1. re: ScoobySnacks20

                      I stopped in around the holidays. It was more of a stop for a drink and an app, not yet tried their smoked meat.
                      The app was fried squid. Either the oil was not hot enough, or the squid was simply not cooked long enough, but it was very mushy.
                      They didn't charge us for it.
                      Service, difficult to judge since we sat at the bar on a night when the bartender did not show up. An owner fumbled along, trying his best to fill the dining room's drink orders.
                      However, from the action elsewhere, it seems they're still trying to find their stride.

                      I look forward to trying their smoked meat and compare it to others.

                      I'm just curious, ScoobySnacks20, what makes you say "the right way without sodium nitrates".
                      Are you differentiating between nitrites and nitrates?
                      I'm not being snotty, I'm just trying to figure out your post.
                      First, I'd be dubious about the claim, considering the color of the smoked meat
                      (here's Saul cutting a very red smoked meat brisket @ Ettinger's)
                      http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/S...
                      (and heres a picture off their website showing a very reddish sandwich
                      )http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:AN...
                      The color of the meat is consistent with nitrite usage.

                      Second, is making it with sodium nitrate the wrong way?

                      I know of Saul's quotes of turning away from the Briskets chain when they were mass producing the meat, but I think he was unhappy with gang needling injection and wet cures. "Old fashioned" methods are more of a dry cure, requiring more time, yet still using nitrites.

                      1. re: porker

                        Y'all are right, my post was a little confusing.

                        A- Smoke meat is first smoked slowly then steamed a few hours before cooking. Mine was oversteamed a little. I had the plate, but if I had had the sandwich, I probably would not have noticed.

                        B- Nitrites, nitrates, don't hold me up to semantics, I'm just a hound. :) The smoke meat did not have the nasty taste nor chewiness of mass produced junk that is even sold in restaurant that claim to specialize in the meat of gods (I'm looking at you Jarry Smoke Meat).

                        C- The fries were actually quite good, they just stood in the heater for too long for the waitstaff

                        Conclusion: good product, poor execution. Really hope they fix it.

                        1. re: ScoobySnacks20

                          Re: Nitrates, nitrites. I think what you're talking about is phosphates. Phosphates are used so that the meat will absorb water. Think cheap deli ham. It's when you use too much, the meat will become almost jelly-like. Industrial meat processors use phosphates for two reason: to make the meat more "juicy" and to increase weight. My opinion is that it denatures the meat and I hate that jelly texture. Some people like it. I think one of the reasons why some folks don't like Schwart's is exactly why I love it. It has the texture of actual meat.

                          As for the nitrite, if they didn't use any the meat would be grey. I'd be highly surprised if they did such a thing.

                          1. re: ScoobySnacks20

                            Thanks for the clarification.
                            Reading your post and SnackHappy has me remembering a point I might have posted elsewhere; I grew up on "mass produced junk" smoked meat. My mother picked it up at the corner grocer's deli counter. It was a rare treat over the usual salami or bologna. So its not that I necessarily liked "that jelly texture", its what I was used to as smoked meat and didn't know otherwise.
                            When I first tried Schwartz (as an adult), the meat was VERY different (as SH describes, 'meaty'). I wondered what all the fuss was. As I continued eating at Schwartz's I began understanding and appreciating it, to where its now a bench mark.

                            I also remember a quote from Saul E. It was maybe on their website, or a Gazette article on modern smoked meat culture in Montreal. He was talking about his disdain to mass produced smoked meat, then went on to say something along the lines of "Montreal smoked meat is that good that lousy smoked meat is still pretty good..."

                      2. FWIW, The Mirror gave a lukewarm review....seems like a pattern is starting to form...

                        1. we got here on a Friday night . And my husband loved the place , the service was so so and really you need to wait for a freaking burger for 20 minutes ,, but OK they told us it will be worth the wait so we both took a burger ,,then finally it arrived to our table 24 minutes later ,, hot and steaming .
                          where we happy ? NO tasteless and NOT worth the wait , the waitress told us this is how we sell our burgers full of natural flavor and no preservatives pfff . really burger king is much better and cheaper and we have it in no time , maybe i can get my husband back home for some us time .
                          that is important in a couple,s time together ....

                          it turns out that the wait staff was more busy with a group of drinkers then taking care of the small tables ., Hee we pay our bills too you know

                          will we go back ....

                          HELL NO , no burger is a wait of 20 minutes worth .... a burger is a burger not a new thing

                          don't invent the wheel again .... its bin done Ettingers

                          Nicole and steve