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Nov 15, 2011 02:24 PM

Dunn's Famous Deli(Montréal smoked meat deli)-Nov 16th 10 AM

it's official. Nov 15th at around 10:30am, I walked by and there was a sign on the door that was placarded "PRIVATE FUNCTION". I asked a tuxedoed young man what time they were opening tomorrow . He replied 10am

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    1. re: vandan

      827 Seymour Street(west side, just a few metres south of Robson Street, downtown Vancouver.

      1. re: YVR flyboy

        Is that where tje Thai place used to be ?

          1. re: fmed

            Vandan, where the new building is going up is. Nothing stays static in Vancouver nowadays:


              1. re: vandan

                I just went to Dunn's. It's the first authentic smoked meat sandwich outside of Montreal I've had. It 's hand sliced. I had it extra fat and it's on rye. They have latkas, matzoh ball soup & the dense strawberry topped cheesecake. A smoked meat brisket will cost $15 a pound if you want to steam your own at home. A full brisket of pastrami at New York's Katz Deli(the only NY place with the best NY pastrami) costs around $42.

                1. re: vandan

                  In my opinion, Dunn's is superior & more authentic than Kaplan's, Zako's , Siegel's, Frenchie's

                  1. re: YVR flyboy

                    Dunns may be more superior because of the hand cutting and such, but the best quality smoked meat is still siegels.

                    1. re: bigeaterjustin

                      Can one get extra fat at Siegel's?(& btw-offering it on a bagel is sacrilegious). Here's an interesting article:

                      1. re: YVR flyboy

                        As an ex Montrealer, I'm going to get slammed for this remark. I prefer a New York Katz Deli extra fat pastrami sandwich over a fat Montreal smoked meat.

                        1. re: YVR flyboy

                          Katz's sets the bar by which pastrami sandwiches are measured for me too. Love their pickles as well.

                          1. re: Le Beep

                            Pickles!! Then you run over to Orchard Street to Guss's Pickles and hmm, which makes the pickle salesman snap up a pickle from the barrels of pickles. Who would've thought that a store just selling various pickles out of barrels could survive several decades?

                            1. re: Le Beep

                              At Katz you often get either a slice of pastrami or a whole pickle to subdue one's impatience in waiting for your sandwich.

                          2. re: YVR flyboy

                            As a seasoned vet of smoked meat, I can tell you this, cold and lean will always get you the best that they can give, extra schmalze, is to bury the quality or lack thereof, of said smoked meat. As an old time deli owner once said, hot is what everyone wants, cold lean is what everyone should know......btw dunns on a ciabatta bun is more sacrilegious ;)

                            1. re: bigeaterjustin

                              Speaking of sacrilegious, a server bringing a pepper mill to add to the smoked meat sandwich is akin to asking for salt at a French restaurant

                              1. re: YVR flyboy

                                Just wrong, so so wrong, did they have Schwartz's Smoked Meat Spices in it

          2. I was at that private party last night (a media/industry launch) and was able to taste a smoked meat sandwich (or two!) as well as their sliders, reuben sandwich, poutine, and dessert items.

            For anyone who has eaten at Schwartz's or Dunn's in Montreal, the real deal has finally arrived in Vancouver!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Florentine

              Having attended the Tuesday party as well I can say it was great. The smoked meat was delicious and piled high, sliders nice and flavourful and the poutine done proper. It was hard to invision the room set up with all the tables and chairs but there is a nice private room in the back as well. Definitely worth a visit.

            2. I ordered the smoked meat with poutine combo plate ($16.50) to get the full experience. Just to clarify pricing structure, a similar combination at the Main in Montreal is $9.95 and includes a free drink. So, yes, it is priced on the high end for what they are offering.

              The plate arrived and it looked good. For some strange reason they had the bottom slice of bread turned the opposite way from the top slice of bread - like it was in need of a good chiropractic adjustment - making it a very difficult sandwich to pick up. I guess they were rushed as it was pretty packed for an opening day. The sandwich itself was piled reasonably high and the meat was very tender. It was slightly less seasoned that I am used to for smoked meat, but that may just be Dunn's style compared to others. The bread was falling apart though as if it had been steamed/gotten wet/been sitting too long with steamed meat on it before being served. I'm guessing they have to work out the kitchen a bit to avoid this issue. But overall it definitely showed promise and the meat was good.

              The coleslaw was superb. Light, nice hint of acidity. The thin slice of pickle was properly sour. I would have preferred a full pickle rather than just a slice, but I'm nitpicking.

              The poutine sucked. It was absolutely one of the worst poutine I have EVER had (and I'm talking even those crappy ones at an A&W are better). Granted, not as bad as the ones at Roxy Burger, but those aren't even poutine - just cheese fries called poutine on the menu. This was a seriously "authentic" 1 star poutine. The fries were undercooked with little hard raw potato centres and mushy outsides. The curds were not fresh and didn't squeek at all. Not even a hint of a squeek. Undercooked fries just aren't good. Adding not so fresh curds and gravy doesn't cover it up. These were 1 star poutine. I won't order these here again.

              So long story short, meat good, poutine bad, kitchen needing some time to work out the bread kinks.

              7 Replies
              1. re: YVRChow

                This is just a little note. I've occasionally had the mismatched bread slices of rye at various smoked meat joints in Montreal especially the iconic Schwartz's and also in the reputed best insanely oversized overpriced New York patrami sandwich at Katz's. Smoked meat & pastrami are meant to be a messy event beit Schwartz's , Beauty's, the Main, the Snowdon Deli or NY's pastrami at Katz. These days, I always bring wet naps. The bread is also essential.I must admit, Dunn's Vamcouver' s cheesecake is creamier than Montreal's. It normally is more solid and dense.

                1. re: YVRChow

                  FYI- the 4 main smoked meat delis in Montreal(Schwartz's, the Main, Dunn's and the Snowdon Deli) always ask if you want it lean, medium, fat or extra fat. A true afficianado chooses either fat or extra fat. Here's an interesting article on smoked meat vs pastrami:

                  1. re: YVRChow

                    It sounds like you had bad luck with the fries. I thought they were good - curds were squeaky and the potatoes were cooked well. I agree about the coleslaw - I thought it was excellent. I ordered sandwich extra "fatty" and it came with a good interleaving of fat and lean. I thought it was good. It is milder in seasoning and flavour than from the other usual suspects (Schwartz's, et al.)

                    1. re: fmed

                      In Montreal, my brother goes to one place to buy a brisket of smoked meat and chooses "old fashioned", which has more spices coating the meat. He also gets them to show him the brisket before buying to make sure there is enough fat in the brisket.

                    2. re: YVRChow

                      Had the flu last week so I didn't make it down until today. Had the smoked meat (fatty), fries, pickle, cole slaw, coke. The smoked meat was exactly as I remember from Dunn's in Mtl. Ditto the fries. The pickle was fine and the cole slaw was very good. Service was ok as well. My only issues was the bread. Not quite the real deal. It needs to be a bit more dense in order to stand up to the weight of the meat. Also, it was a really odd shape, as if it came from a low risen loaf.

                      I will be going back though when my arteries open up again.

                      1. re: Tinfoilhat

                        The crust of the bread should be crisper-but having it hand sliced and fat makes up for the minor bread issue(bur at least it wasn't the marbled black/beige rye of Yaletown's Phat