When it comes to food, a discerning Montrealer must decide where he or she stands on certain issues. Are you a Fairmount bagel devotee, or a faithful worshipper of St Viateur? Do you turn to la Belle Province or to Lafleur’s when the overwhelming urge for poutine strikes? Steamie or toasté?

When it comes to smoked meat, though, there is only one choice: Schwartz’s. For over 80 years, the iconic orange and black storefront on St Laurent has beckoned meat-lovers in for a medium-fat platter (there’s really no point in ordering lean smoked meat), cherry coke and a pickle. Scoff all you like at the snaking lines of tourists enduring sleet, heat and rain to buy a meat sandwich; when you finally get your hands on one of those perfect pink sammies slathered in mustard, you know those tourists are on to something.

Gazette columnist Bill Brownstein tells the story behind the Montreal landmark in Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen: The Story. First released in 2006, the book has been newly revised and expanded with more pictures, a new chapter on Jean Béliveau, and a new cover designed by Michel Rabagliati (pictured).  

The edition will be launched with an event at Schwartz’s (3895 St Laurent) on Tuesday, 15 March, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Don’t forget the cherry coke!