Estrella’s Montreal Deli (Montreal Smoked Meat)

Restaurant: Estrella’s Montreal Deli
Cuisine: Deli/Sandwiches/Cafe/Canadian
Last visited: June 28, 2011
Location: Langley, BC
Address: 5932 200th Street
Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 6
Service: 3
Ambiance: 2.5
Overall: 5
Additional comments:

  • Locally owned/operated
  • Famous for Montreal Smoked Meat
  • Authentic smoked meat
  • “Best Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwiches”
  • All natural ingredients
  • Home made soups
  • Home made cheesecake
  • Popular/busy at lunch
  • Comfort food
  • Local favourite
  • Hidden gem
  • Affordable
  • Accepts MC/Visa
  • Catering available
  • Eat In/Take out
  • Mon – Fri: 9-5pm
  • Sat: 11am-5pm
  • Closed Sun/holidays

**Recommendations: Estrella’s Montreal Smoked Meat, Smoked Meat Chili

I’m calling all Montreal Smoked Meat Lovers… out to Langley! You will thank me! Unless you’re a true Montreal smoked meat fan, then you probably have discovered this gem on your own. Housing Metro Vancouver’s “Best Montreal Smoked Meat” is the one and only Estrella’s Montreal Deli, Restaurant & Delicatessen. Oh god. I don’t even know where to begin. First, it’s a must try. Second, it’s a must try.

Whether you’re familiar with Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwiches, it doesn’t even matter. As long as you like meat, I almost guarantee you’ll fall in love with Estrella’s Montreal smoked meat. This place is the real deal and although I haven’t tried any of the ones in Montreal, this is apparently the best there is in Metro Vancouver, and I believe it. So pack your day bag, save your money on a plane ticket, but spend on gas and cushion your bum with this mean sandwich that is a must try in the city! In fact, make it a day trip if you’re not already in the area, and I’ll even plan it for you.

Follow Me Foodie to Langley/Surrey

1. Breakfast at Be ‘wichedApple Pie Stuffed French Toast, Chain Gang Chili, & Triple Cream Cheese Citrus Bar to go

2. Lunch at Estrella’s Montreal Deli – Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich, Smoked Meat Chili

3. Late “Afternoon Tea” at Krause Berry Farms – U-pick berry picking, Roasted Corn Pizza, Berry Milkshakes, Berry Ice Cream & Berry Pie to go

4. Dinner at Pho TamHouse Special: Combination of Beef and Rice Noodle in Soup (Pho Dac Biet)

5. Dessert – The desserts you got to go (I haven’t found many 6/6 desserts in Langley/Surrey yet)

6. Late Snack Munchies at U-Lounge Bar & GrillAvocado Rolls

7. If you plan ahead you should pre-order a pack of Parisian Macarons from Kitchening with Carly too.

Estrella’s Montreal Deli is pretty packed during lunch. It’s full of neighbourhood locals and the menu is even more extensive than I thought. There’s a selection of sandwiches, but of course the Montreal Smoked Meat is the way to go. All the soups are made in house and the owner is really proud and passionate about everything that comes out of his kitchen.

I’ve known about it for quite some while, but being that I’m rarely in the area I never made plans to really go. Gosh, why I ever waited so long I do not know. I don’t think I realized how good Montreal smoked meat could get. Even if you’ve never had Montreal smoked meat, this will make you an avid fan.

A big thank you to Sherman for the pictures and the extra push to actually go. In this case, it was more of a physically push since I was 1000lbs by the end of our epic foodie day. We decided to come after our Cowboy’s Eggs Benedict, Everest Burger, Coconut Cream Pie and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie a la mode at Hilltop Cafe Diner also in Langley. Yes, we came here after the EVEREST BURGER, and after Estrella’s we even made a pit stop at Be ‘wiched Cafe for Chain Gang Chili, Blueberry & Lemon Glazed Scone, and Chili Chocolate with Lime Coconut Icing Cupcake. Food drunk is an understatement for how I felt after.

Another bonus is that Estrella’s offers their Montreal smoked meat vacuum sealed to go!

On the table:

**Estrella’s Montreal Smoked Meat – Oh Canada! (Ex-large)6/6

  • Petite (Small) $5.99 Classic (Medium) $8.99 The Montreal (Large) $12.49 Oh Canada! (Ex-large) $17.99
  • Sliced, old fashioned Montreal Smoked Meat stacked on light rye with your choice of regular or Dijon mustard. Extra lean (no fat), lean (some top fat), medium (marbled) when available.
  • All our sandwiches are served with your choice of a kosher dill pickle, hot cherry pepper, or pepperoncini peppers.
  • True Montreal-ers will order medium which is the classic, and many say it’s the only choice for an authentic Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich.
  • I ordered it with a “blend” of meat because I wanted to try the lean as well as the medium for comparisons sake.
  • Since I got the “blend” you can see that the bottom half was lean meat and the top half was medium. I thought they were going to alternate the layers which would have been better.
  • The medium is a lot looser, more fall apart tender and obviously more moist. I’d just go 100% medium next time.

You’re looking at a pound of meat in the Oh Canada! (Extra-Large) Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich.

  • The extra-large is stacked with probably 5 inches of meat!
  • As amazing as the meat is, the extra large was too much meat for me and I prefer the small or classic. It’s just more enjoyable and balanced as a sandwich. No doubt this was visually exciting though and still good!
  • Close your eyes. Just do it. Actually, no wait! Don’t! Because you have to read my blog! But, imagine sinking your teeth into the tenderest, butteriest, softest and ultra thin slices of smoked meat. The meat, being beef brisket, sliced by hand. The only way.
  • I’m telling you, your teeth glide through the layers with the smallest about of biting pressure. Omg. OMG! Foodgasm.
  • I’m not exaggerating, the first bite will send you to heaven, but come back because you have to finish!
  • The meat was melting in my mouth and it required very minimal chewing.

My photo isn’t as nice, but just showing the texture of the meat.

  • The meat slices were almost falling apart into shreds with every bite and the fat was marbled so that it didn’t taste fatty or gelatinous or have any of that “fatty” texture despite how it may look. It’s not particularly juicy since it’s cured, but it’s moist.
  • I could have picked up a slice and dangled it around and the meat probably would have fallen in chunks like snowflakes… meat snowflakes. That’s how tender it was.
  • The flavour was just as incredible as the texture.
  • It’s salty and peppery with lots of whole black peppercorn interwoven throughout the meat slices. It had good spice and it was even a bit sweet. The saltiness isn’t sharp, but rounded, and it was just the right amount to enhance the natural meat flavours.
  • I could taste a mild hint of star anise or licorice aroma too. It may have been fennel seed, but the flavours were dynamic and layered.
  • Despite it being called “smoked meat”, there was no smokiness that I could taste, but I didn’t really care.
  • It’s served on a traditional thin Rye bread and I asked for Dijon mustard which just brought out the black pepper flavours and added an extra kick.
  • This is a must try sandwich. I have dreams about it.

**Smoked Meat Chili 6/6

  • Small $3.99 Large $5.99
  • I didn’t think anything could beat one of my all time favourite chili’s from Be ‘wiched Cafe – the Chain Gang Chili, however this was some serious competition. They’re so different, but both so good and I don’t even know if I can pick! Both certainly have Follow Me Foodie stamps of approval, but it’s just a matter of beef or pork?
  • The chili is made in house and of course it’s made with pieces of their Montreal smoked meat.
  • It comes with two small slices of toasted Rye bread that was almost like crostini for dipping.
  • I love cheese, but I actually could have gone without the cheese for some reason. It was amazing as is.

  • The chili was thick and hearty with lots of beans and Montreal smoked meat scraps.
  • It used the same seasonings in the smoked meat and the flavours of the meat just infused into the chili.
  • The chili had that freshly cracked black pepper flavour balanced with sweet bell peppers and some acidity from perhaps tomato paste.
  • It was savoury, smoky, sweet, slightly tangy and moderately spicy. It carried a good amount of heat and lots of flavour.
  • I could have used more Montreal smoked meat, and most of it was itty bitty peices, but regardless the chili was delicious and it’s not to be missed.
  • I’ll remind you that this meal at Estrella’s was already after a monstrous brunch at Hilltop Cafe Diner, and my spoon was still like a magnetic with this chili. I was so full and I couldn’t stop because it was that good.
  • How we made it to Be ‘wiched Cafe after this… I have no idea… but we did it and you really should too!

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Estrella's Montreal Deli on Urbanspoon

41 Comments

  • Aaron Koo says:

    Good God that sandwiches looks oh so unbelievably salty and rich. I could probably do with a petite, just to get a good ratio of meat to bread.

  • Tyler says:

    Love this: “..fallen in chunks like snowflakes… meat snowflakes..”

    How exactly do you eat such a large sandwich? lol
    I want one! and the chili too!

  • Kathryn says:

    As a Montrealer I have to agree that medium is the way to go. A Cott’s black cherry soda and side of really crispy fries would make the experience complete 🙂

    p.s. am ashamed to admit it but this is the one occasion where I would recommend French’s yellow mustard over Dijon …

  • LotusRapper says:

    Wow, are you like, now a Follow Me “To The Suburbs” Foodie ??? LOL.

    That is one amazing smoked meat sandwich (Oh Canada XL). But $18 is also an XL price :-/ A sandwich almost the same size at Schwartz’s (Montreal) is < $7, sigh:

    http://www.schwartzsdeli.com/menu_eng.html

  • Rmd_Foodie says:

    Seriously…..you and Sherman are insane! LOL! How you stay such a skinny-mini is a wonder to me…..so jealous!

  • Mijune says:

    @Aaron Koo – It’s actually not that salty! It’s amazing! I’d go with the classic size, but honestly it’s not greasy like BBQ so it’s not as indulgent as you may think! It’s delicious!!!

    @Tyler – lol I’m so surprised you caught that! Seriously if it was raining.. chucks of this would not be bad! I was eating it like I would corn almost! it was huge! I dipped my sandwich in the chili… or topped my sandwich with some chili… either way it’s so tasty.

    @Kathryn – Really? Okay? I’ll take your advice and go for the French’s next time! Would you recommend making it a Reuben and adding the sauerkraut and cheese? have you been here? I’d be so curious to know what you would think! it’s full of Montrealers/ex-Montrealers and the owner did tons of research before opening this. Is Shwartz your favourite in Montreal? Or have you tried Lester’s in Montreal? I head that’s the real local’s joint.

    @LotusRapper – LOL I noticed!! Next week is almost back to downtown… I had to switch things up and since it’s the summer people might want to make the drive out. Also it’s berry picking season! Gotta do that in Fraser Valley!

    Yeah Schwartz is most popular in Montreal… need to go someday.

    @Rmd_Foodie – lollll…. my arteries are probably clogged.. i can’t walk two blocks without losing my breathe if that makes u any less jealous lol

  • Kathryn says:

    I’m not a fan of the Reuben so not a good person to ask. I have not tried Lester’s – Schwartz’s was our Saturday lunch spot when I was a kid, always sat at the counter. May have to take a road trip out to Langley …

  • Sherman says:

    I think Mijune had the meat sweats after this…

  • WS says:

    Mijune, true Montrealers will only order it medium-fat(medium is still too lean). The smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz’s is maybe half the size of Estrella’s extra-large.

  • LotusRapper says:

    They sell Dunn’s smoked meats (vacuum-packed, I think) at Costco. And now ……..

    http://www.dunnsfamousbc.com/

    Be still my heart (well, it will be still literally if I eat too many smoked meat sandwiches, briskets, etc, haha)

  • vivian says:

    whoa! can your mouth even fit around that sandwich! Looks yummy though. Have you tried Zuke’s in Portland? They are famous for their smoked pastrami, I wonder how this one compares..I guess that c alls for a trip to portland:) Just part of your duty right?hehe

  • Kyle says:

    When I worked in Montreal, all the locals told me Schwartz was the best.. and indeed the taste was indescribable. I went often..

    I haven’t heard about Lesters but I’ll ask my friends.. maybe not all the montrealais have discovered it yet! :p

  • Mijune says:

    @Kathryn – oh you must! I was sitting around ex-Montrealers… please feel free to comment back on here because I’m curious to hear your opinion since you’re so familiar with Schwartz. I think in the context of Vancouver… this is it though.

    @Sherman – your fault!

    @WS – I bet the “medium” here is “fat-medium”. Vancouver doesn’t like to use the word “fat” in anything for marketing purposes and I can see why. Personally I like medium more than fat, so if this sacrifices “authenticity” I’m fine with it. I guess everyone has their own preferences… so maybe this is “Vancouver tastes” 🙂

    @LotusRapper – start your own Costco and stock up here! I still want to try Dunn’s… more I try the more I have to compare!

    @Vivian – duty calls in Portland!!! There’s a Zako’s Deli on West Broadway I really want to try to compare too.

    @Kyle – Yes, Schwartz is the classic choice, but Lester’s is supposed to be the really really locals secret.. a lot of old locals though I think. It looks like a hole in the wall and not many people know since it’s not the obvious Schwartz. For Vancouver… this is the best it’s gunna get, which I’m fine with.. it’s good! You gotta try it Kyle!

  • Mijune says:

    @Kathryn – btw they do offer poutine and fries here, but I didn’t get to order them… I’ll be back for sure though! let me know if you’re going and i’ll meet you there lol! 2 stomachs can get through a menu faster than one! 😉

  • WS says:

    In Montreal there’s also ‘medium’ for smoked meat. At Schwartz’s in Montreal, they ask if you want your smoked meat medium or lean. Honestly, there’s sizable amount of Montrealers who order their smoked meat lean or extra-lean. Lots of Montrealers also don’t like fat.

    Dunn’s is scheduled to open a Vancouver Dunn’s Deli location in near future. It’s suppose to be “Located on the ground floor, lobby level of the new Capital 6 building at 827 Seymour at Robson, Dunn’s Famous, BC is scheduled to open in early fall, 2011.”

  • Sherman says:

    @Vivian Are you referring to Kenny and Zukes? Yah, their sammies are really good too! Mijune, you need to try it out!

  • Carly says:

    Awesome post. It is after midnight but I feel an urge to drive all over my city trying some of these dishes I haven’t had yet! Thanks for the mention! I was going to say, you do know a 6/6 dessert place in the Surrey/Langley area. It’s me! Okay, I’m using too many exclamation marks as usual. By the way, LOVE Estrella’s and I would say it is comparable to Schwartz’s in Montreal.

  • Mijune says:

    @WS – yes! I remember now! Dunn’s tweeted me when I tweeted about trying Estrella’s couple weeks ago! I’m excited to try them!

  • Kathryn says:

    Mijune – DEAL! 😉

  • Mijune says:

    @Kathryn – ready when you are! Would love to go with someone who knows Schwartz and can compare for me! Feel free to e-mail! mpak]@[followmefoodie]dot[com

  • Mijune says:

    @Sherman – I should have known you’ve been there! Does Estrella’s compare?

    @Carly – I love exclamation marks!! Why not be excited about things? Espcially FOOD! Nothing wrong with that! Also it’s a blog, not a newspaper 🙂 and yes yes!! You’re macarons are tres excellent! Oh so you’ve tried Schwartz?? Good to know!

  • Sherman says:

    I think Kenny & Zukes is different than Estrella’s. Estrella’s specialized in one thing while K&Z do a number of different sammies, breakfast and so on. If I had to compare, Estrella’s sandwich beckons me more than anything K&Z can make.

  • Mijune says:

    @Sherman – good to know! Sherman, let’s try Dunn’s together when it opens!

  • LotusRapper says:

    I can’t wait for Dunn’s to open too. Between them and Estrella’s, the two might be as good as Montreal smoked meat gets in Vancouver.

  • WS says:

    Mijune, have you tried New York pastrami at the top delis in NYC(the best one is probably Katz’s Deli)? I’ve tried Montreal smoked meat in Montreal many times, but never NY pastrami. So I don’t know if there’s a significant difference. You can get Montreal bagels in Vancouver-area(there’s at least one establishment that makes it, at last check)?

  • R says:

    For desserts, try : http://www.sugarpatisserie.com/ in Cloverdale on 64th Ave.

    Though not quite as refined as Sugar, there’s Sweet and Chic on Hyw. 10.
    :http://www.sweetnchic.ca/

    If you’re willing to drive out to Crescent Beach, there’s Fieldstones. The coconut cream pie there even trumps the Chocolate Truffle cake in our house. http://www.fieldstonebread.ca/sweets.htm

  • Sherman says:

    @WS I’ve had the pastrami at Katz’s Deli and for me at least, it seems like a leaner cut of meat than smoked meat (although they both use brisket, but then again, some pastrami doesn’t?). I find that pastrami is more sharp as in more zing probably from pickling juices (I think? I’m not completely sure) and of course smoked meat is smokier. I prefer smoked meat myself.

    @Mijune I’d love to share some more meat with you! Er…

  • Mijune says:

    @LotusRapper – Hear Hear!

    @WS – Oh there’s a huge difference between Montreal Smoked Meat and NY Pastrami… I know Montrealers and New Yorkers battle about that a lot! For me.. I’m not sure cause I haven’t tried those places yet, but I’ll tell you when I go to NYC soon… 😉 … but I just know Montrealers are dedicated to Smoked Meat and putting it in the same category as NY Patrami makes them mad lol… vise versa.. they’re passionate about their meats.

    @Sherman – too easy!!

  • LotusRapper says:

    @ WS, Sherman, and whoever has an enquiring mind and stomach 🙂

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal-style_smoked_meat

    “Montreal-style smoked meat, Montreal smoked meat or simply smoked meat in Montreal (French: viande fumée or du smoked meat), is a type of kosher-style deli meat product made by salting and curing beef brisket with spices. The brisket is allowed to absorb the flavours over a week, and is then hot smoked to cook through, and finally steamed to completion.

    Although the preparation methods may be similar, Montreal smoked meat is cured in seasoning with more cracked peppercorns and aromatic spices, such as coriander, and significantly less sugar than New York pastrami.[1] The meat is typically served in the form of a rye bread sandwich slathered with mustard. While some Montreal smoked meat is brine-cured like corned beef, with spices applied later, many smoked meat establishment prefer dry-curing directly with salt and spices.”

    So there, take Wiki for what it is.

    I’m gettin’ hungry !!

  • Mijune says:

    @LotusRapper – thanks! lol

  • LotusRapper says:

    By “happenstance”, I was at Oakridge Mall area today around lunchtime, and was hungry for …… you guessed it, lunch. Drove by Omnitsky and thought: “smoked meat !” 😀

    Popped in, ordered a standard smoked meat on light rye, with mild mustard and coleslaw ($7.95):

    http://www.omnitskykosher.com/Eat_In_-_Take_Out.html

    The sandwich came with maybe 1/2 the amount of meat you see in the pic in the link above. The meat was rather salty, didn’t have any smokey flavour that I could detect, and was very thinly sliced. The bread was alright but nothing special. The star of the meal was the coleslaw ….. cool, vinegry & sweet, fresh-tasting and generously portioned. With a coffee, the meal was just a titch over $11.

    I’m not sure I would return to Omnitsky solely on their smoked meat sandwich alone. I like Kaplan’s on Oak St. better for overall food quality.

    Looking forward to Dunn’s ………

  • Sherman says:

    @LR I used to be a Kaplan’s man. Heck, I grew up on it (lived 2 blks away). But somehow, I find that their portion to price ratio very poor. For $12, you get a sandwich that is 1/4 the size of the Oh Canada at Estrella’s. Must be the high rent… 🙂

  • LotusRapper says:

    @Sherman – yes, if big portion size is important, then Kaplan’s is not great value.

    Curious: you grew up on the original Kaplan’s, or the new Kaplan Star’s ?

  • Sherman says:

    @LR, the original Kaplan’s and then I have had the new one too. It’s fine, just expensive for what you get. I liked their Matzah Ball soup when I was a lil one.

  • Mijune says:

    @R – wow! Thanks for the recommendations for dessert! I’ve been to Fieldstone’s but not to the other two! Will have to check them out! Thank you!

  • Linda says:

    WHY ARE THESE PLACES SO FAR!?!?!??!!? lol

    i love how they sell the meat ‘to go’ and that the price to proportion of the meat is fair… if you were to get this sandwich in new york, it’d probably cost twice as much! maybe i’ll need to get my friends to drive down here to pick up this delish sandwich.. or at least buy some vacuumed packed meat to go lol

  • Mijune says:

    @Linda – I know I KNOW!!! but people in the suburbs have to eat too lol.. can’t find places like these in Vancouver….yet. lol nice call on that vacuumed packed meat to go idea!

  • Rino says:

    Had the montrel smoked meat sandwich today. Not impressed. The meat was cut very thin. It was dry and not moist. I have had smoked meat sandwiches in Montreal when i lived there. This does not measure up.

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