Deli Delicious Corned Beef Sandwiches
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.
MAPPING THE DAY
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.
VIEW FROM THE TABLE
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