Ville-Marie, or City of Mary, is the original name of Montreal. Its current name comes from the triple-peaked hill in the center of the city, Mount Royal, or Mont Real; hence, Montreal. As seen in the first three photos, the heart and center of the Old Town is Notre-Dame Basilica, which faces a square with people gathered and even live music in the summer (see video at the end).
It is a very pretty city, with all the requisite large office and residential buildings. But it is also very reminiscent of a European metropolis, with lots of trees, lovely flowers, interesting shops, cafes everywhere, and restaurants galore. One of the specialties in Montreal is what they call smoked meat, or smoked beef. We call it pastrami, but there is quite an argument about that. Schwartz’s doesn’t wood-smoke their meat, nor do they make it from the fatty, lesser cuts of beef. Rather, they use brisket in an electric smoker. At any rate, it is the most tender, delicious meat we have ever eaten. Served on rye, with mustard…now, THAT is a sandwich! We ate at Schwartz’s two years ago, fell in love with their meat, and Mike even bought a T-shirt that he wore out. We visited yesterday and swooned as we ate the meat. We had to return today for another go, but the line had 40 people in it, with a waiting time guesstimate of 90 minutes, which was way too long for us. Others kept piling in, though! If you are ever in Montreal, don’t miss Schwartz’s Deli!