When I was living abroad I had two great friends – Mark Segal and David Goodman – and the three of us were inseparable. The two New Yorkers and I had a lot in common, but one thing that we never agreed on was food… for some reason the two of them never understood the supremacy of Montreal smoked meat over New York pastrami. (We also fought about bagels, but who doesn’t?)
A few years later we had all moved back to North America, and Goody (David) came to visit me in Montreal. I picked him up at the airport and after dropping his gear at my tiny basement apartment I took him to Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen on St. Laurent. I ordered for both of us – a medium old-fashioned hot with mustard, fries, and a dry karnatzel for each. We sat near the front of the crowded restaurant sharing a table with whoever else they sat with us, reminiscing about this and that.
When the food came he was still skeptical, but after a couple of bites he was sold. You seldom hear a New Yorker admit that he was wrong about anything to do with food, but Goody admitted to me that day that I was right. I doubt he would admit it today, but he did then!
Someone sent me the following link comparing the two meats. I thought of Goody and Mark (who to my knowledge is still uninitiated) and the times we had together… then I got hungry for a good medium old-fashioned!