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Deli Delicious Corned Beef Sandwiches

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Deli Delicious Corned Beef Sandwiches

Montreal, Canada

Blog update June 19, 2015: Sadly Ben’s Deli in Montreal closed for good since our original posting. Luckily the deli-inspired Corned Beef recipe below will help capture the memory of this iconic restaurant.



K.O. and I traveled to Montreal, Canada in August of 2004.  We checked into our hotel that was located just a few blocks from Crescent Street, a main attraction for restaurants, bars and people watching.  We were immediately taken by the charming streets filled with beautiful architecture, vibrant flower beds and hanging baskets and sparkling cleanliness.  It is truly a beautiful and friendly city.



We spent the next five days exploring in and around Montreal.   We walked and took the Metro to all of the recommended places:  Vieux-Montreal, Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, The Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Musee McCord, Little Italy, Marches Pulics de Montreal, Olympic Stadium, Montreal Botanical Garden, Mount Royal and many shops, restaurants and bars.  In every venue, the people were friendly and gracious.  We were always greeted in French and responded back in our feeble attempt in the native language.  Once detected as Americans, the merchants and servers were quick to speak English.  We loved the city and its people and cannot wait to go back soon.




On our last day, just before heading to the airport, we walked from our hotel to an iconic Montreal deli called Ben’s.  Founded by Ben and Fanny Kravitz in 1908, the delicatessen was known for its smoked meat sandwiches.



Upon entering, we were greeted with a saying in both English and French:“Through these doors pass the nicest people in the world, our customers.”

The restaurant’s yellow, green and chrome décor was cluttered with signage, tchotchkes and autographed pictures of luminaries who visited over the years.  Cooks and servers were clearly veterans of the restaurant.  They were, shall we say, “set in their ways.”

We ordered the famous smoked meat deli sandwich with cole slaw on the side.  It was wonderful.  It will never be forgotten or repeated either.  The deli closed permanently in 2006 after 98 years.

The Ben’s smoked meat sandwich inspired us to develop a sandwich meat specialty of our own.  Both of us are of some Irish decent, so it is only fitting that we cure and cook our own Corned Beef.  We recently prepared our Deli Delicious Corned Beef with a side of Cole Slaw for an Irish-themed party.  We received rave reviews.  Enjoy!


Home-Cured Corned Beef






  1. Stove Pipe says:

    Ben’s was a legendary eatery in Montreal; a place where the Two Solicitudes (French and English speaking Montrealers) could meet and let down their political guards and generally just talk about things that mattered to both: The Expos, the Montreal Canadiens (the Habs), the Mayor’s office, taxes, Pierre Trudeau’s and René Levesque’s latest faux-pas, etc. Good thing y’all could see it before it closed in 2006 (I think, and the building itself was demolished in 2008). If you ever go back to Montreal, you can still get good smoked meat sandwiches at Dunns, Schwartz’s and a good few others. Montreal-style Bagels can be had at Van Horne Bagel Factory and a few other outlets. They are well worth hunting down. Thanks for bringing back fond memories. 😉


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