Way off the beaten track (unless you live in or near Valois Bay). But I had business out there today, and was pleasantly surprised. Very Traditional Montreal Deli style combined with rustic wooden furniture and blues playing on the stereo. Which does make for a weird combination, unless you've been to Smoked Meat Pete's... But this place is much smaller, like a third the size. And there's no live bands.
I scanned the menu which seems to have all the standard Montreal deli items, but it seemed that there were a couple of interlopers as well. But I didn't pay too much attention as I figured that for my first visit (and perhaps my last) I should try their Smoked Meat. I ordered the platter. $9.95+tax. You order at the counter, and the food is delivered to the table. They don't have a liquor license.
The platter comes with four slices of rye bread, fries, a dill pickle wedge, and a ramekin piled high with cole slaw. I would guess that everything is made in house except for perhaps the pickle. I didn't ask anyone, but since the fries were very irregularly shaped I can't believe that they would have been from the company that pre-peels potatoes and delivers all over town. But then again, without asking, one never knows. They were more of a British chip-style and extremely tender and soft inside. Not too crispy, but just crispy enough. Once they cooled down they weren't half as appealing.
The smoked meat itself was juicy and tender. Much more similar in style to The Main (as should be expected since Philip Varvaro is the son of Peter Varvaro Sr.) than Schwartz's. The spicing is more discrete allowing for the flavor of the meat to come through. It was just the right shade of pink, although since I ordered mine medium, the color of the fat seemed a touch flat to me. Normally (and purely for visual reasons) I like my fat all bright, shiny and sparkly - kind of like what I would imagine a coconut Jell-O shot with an LED inside to look like. This also might have been due to the fact that we were sitting by the window and it was cloudy today. The cole slaw was crunchy, tangy and not too sour.
I was told (without asking) that all the Smoked Meat is made on the premises, and it definitely tasted like it. My platter made one sandwich the size of the special and a second sandwich slightly smaller. I definitely will return and pay more attention to the menu and the non-standard items, although I'll be hard pressed to try them when the smoked meat is this good.
I don't know what their opening hours are, but I can't imagine given their location and lack of a liquor license that they are opened late. Pretty much a lunch place. A good lunch place if you're ever in the neighborhood.
And lastly without even looking I can tell you flat out, they don't have a website. (Ooops, I looked, and I was 100% wrong)
There's a story, and a bit of a mysterious one at that, behind Delibee and Smoke Meat Pete. Both, I believe, are owned by members of the same family (the Varvaro's), and, if my memory hasn't gone wonky, Delibee's used to be named Smoke Meat Pete before Pete moved out to Ile Perrot. The Delibee website makes no mention of Smoke Meat Pete, which is strange considering the family connection and that geographically, both are so distant from each other as to not compete for the same market share. I'm wondering if there was a family feud or something.
The Mayfair is right next door. Although after my visit, I started contemplating making a route of sketchy West Island taverns/bars. I have a friend from out of town who enjoys them in an anthropological way. Since the fire Cunningham's has cleaned up its act. And it's a pity that Clyde's is no more.
- "Thanks for the info! I Might have to take a dedicated trip to the Green Hornet dive bar on Lakeshore, then stop in at Delibees." -
Just so you know, each are on different sides of the 20. I only say this because I don't want to hear a report on the radio that there are ham hocks and pigs jowels spilled all over Sources or Donegani because some crazed, drunken, pork-laden chowhounder got t-boned trying to drive from the Green Hornet to Delibee's.
I eat regularly at DeliBee (I live in Valois). Virtually everything on the menu is homemade. (The potato salad is awesome). It's a totally family run business - when they go on vacation - it closes.
The smoked meat is FAR superior to Chenoy's - these days there's no comparison. I too frequented Chenoy's after nights at The Maples Inn. Often wondered how I could eat so much at 3:00 am!?
While it's true there is no liquor license, you can eat DeliBee food next door at the Mayfair Tavern - Phil owns both establishments and there has always been a pass-thru for food.
So the mother-in-law gets it in her head she needs a new credenza and we plan to hit IKEA on Sunday. We go to IKEA (2 boxes in trunk/backseat) and plan to continue on the 40 to Sources, Donegani, and Delibees for lunch.
Mrs. Porker asks if we should call ahead. "Naw" I say.
Meanwhile, shes fiddling with the new iPhone and is reading Delibee's menu online. It *is* a deli and everything is sounding good; soup, latkes, chopped liver. The deep fried mushrooms put a smile on my m-i-law's face; besides obscure furniture, she sure loves battered mushrooms.
Theres a few cars parked out front, but something seems amiss - the lights, the total lack of people in the joint...the closed sign on the door...
Refusing defeat, I get out and look into the Mayfair. Its my kind of place: 1950s man-tavern. Even Mrs. Porker would like this place (she accompanies me to Capri). My mother-in-law...not so much.
Sullen, we leave.
Ate at the Manoir, no mushrooms, but the old lady was happy with fish&chips. Cheap wine and beer dulled the disappointment.
Maybe next time!