An insult to Montreal’s smoked meat heritage

The other day, Wendy Kraus-Heitmann and her husband were up late and hankering for some food. “Because I fed him something nutritious and healthy for supper (seafood soup) he got hungry around midnight and we ordered some smoked meat and a poutine,” she said.

They called up a local restaurant called Pizza Expresso and soon thereafter the order was delivered.

“When he opened his smoked meat, we both looked at it. I blurted out ‘what the hell?!?!’ Pat was speechless. Finally I said ‘I need to get my camera.'”

She took this picture:

What Pizza Expresso considers a "smoked meat sandwich" (photo by Wendy Kraus-Heitmann)

“Does that look like rye bread to you? That’s because it’s not. And it’s about the worst mushiest tasteless wonder bread wannabe I’ve ever tasted in my life. These people should be run out of Montreal and shot on sight.”

Now, admittedly, you’re not going to get the best smoked meat in the city if you order it from a generic pizza place. But there are plenty of places that do a decent job (I get smoked meat from La Belle Province, and it’s good enough for me). You don’t have to offer it if you can’t make it, but if you’re going to have it on your menu, you really should prepare it properly.

Setting aside the taste (not good, reportedly) and the lacklustre presentation, who puts smoked meat on white bread?

25 thoughts on “An insult to Montreal’s smoked meat heritage

  1. Clement Côté

    That is the scariest picture of a smoked meat sandwich I have ever seen! I wouldn’t ever make toast with that kind of bread.

    I live in Côte Saint-Paul, so I get all the restaurant flyers from Verdun, including “Pizza Expresso” (or at least I used to before I stuck a “Pas de circulaires” pictogramme on my mail box – Tks city of Montréal) and I never had the guts to order from any of them. There seems to be dozens of these generic places in Verdun.

    So thanks to the Kraus-Heitmann for confirming my choice.

    BTW, if you live in Côte Saint-Paul, you can pretty decent smoked meat from Restaurant Da Frank on Laurendeau, and they deliver, probably to Verdun as well. No, Da Frank doesn’t have a web site and probably never will, but they do have telephone lines: 514-765-0389.

    1. wkh

      I forgot to mention but the fries were horrific also. And the poutine had this weird burnt taste, even though it looked “not burnt.”

  2. ladyjaye

    This is akin to all those restaurants that use mozarella instead of cheese curds in poutine. My family comes from the Victoriaville area, and fresh cheese curds are an absolute must.

    1. princess iveylocks

      Once my mother and I were served poutine with white processed cheddar slices laid on top! It was a sickening substitute. We gave up trying to eat it after about two bites.

    1. Franc

      I disagree! Jarry is one of the best place! I actually went there last Saturday with some friends, and one of them who’ve never been told me that it’s even better than Schwartz! I wouldn’t go as far as saying that, but it’s still very good!

  3. Jim J.

    That’s just…awful. The restauranteur should be ashamed.

    At the same time, ordering smoked meat from a place called “Pizza Expresso” shouldn’t inspire much confidence that it’s going to be any good.

    Also, something about that menu doesn’t instill much faith in the quality of their product, either.

    Caveat emptor.

    1. wkh

      Had it not been midnight and nothing open we would never have done such a thing.

      To be fair, La Frita actually does a “reasonable smoked meat for a place that serves pizza/gyros/pogos/hamburgers/poutine” kind of place.

  4. Mama Fagstein

    That just looks gross. Is it even real smoked meat, it looks like baloney. If it is baloney then it does belong on white bread.

    1. wkh

      It tasted like sort of smoked meat. Sort of. A few bites were ingested but the bread made it so inedible we ended up giving it to the dogs.

    1. wkh

      Who on earth would order a sandwich at Magnan?

      I think one time I ordered a hot open faced roast beef there but I don’t remember the bread as it was smothered in sauce. Now I am curious and will need to go check next time we’re there. (I live one block from there, we go OFTEN).

    2. Tim

      Magnan’s roast beef sandwhich? Sure.
      Hot chicken (the word ‘sandwhich’ is superfluous here, right?)? Absolutely.

      Smoked meat? Never!

  5. Pepper Boxer

    Best smoked meat is only available in New York. I know, this is blasphemy but once you go NY, you never go back.

  6. CJ

    No offense, but after looking at the flier – why would you even try to order a smoke meat sandwich from them? and only for $4.50?? There should have been some very loud alarm bells going off.

    On a side note – I have lived in Verdun for a while and I have not found a single generic pizza/casse-croute place that distributes fliers like this – to be good. The food is always bland, typically because they are using low-quality food.

    The only one that I can stomach is Pierrete-Patate – and even then I typically stick to poutine.

    1. wkh

      Because it was nearly midnight on a weekday and the only place delivering. We’ve had good luck with two or three other places around here. This was simply abysmal.

  7. Gilles

    Any real Jewish deli would never ever put smoked meat on white bread. Anyone at Schwarts Deli will easily confirm what I am saying (and you get the genuine article there).

  8. Jonesey

    Want to hear something sick? I just ate some frozen french fries from Wallmart in a low spot of my week and it is better than the poutines we have here in Ontario. I miss Montreal.

  9. susan

    i am totally disagree with your comment about pizza expresso( smoke meat sandwich) as i know this place from last 12 years.and all my group,friends,family order from pizzas expresso.and we feel so great about this resturant.this is best resturant in verdun.good taste,best prices.i and all my family and friends are totally disagree with photo and comment regarding pizzas have got wrong information.MUST GO EAT AND MEET THE GREAT PLACE TO EAT NOT EVEN SMOKE MEAT SANDWICH BUT PIZZA,ITALIAN DISHES AND BEST FRENCH FRIES


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