Main Deli Steak House

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Main Deli Steak House
Restaurant information
Established 1974
Food type Kosher style delicatessen and Steakhouse
Dress code Casual
Street address 3864 Saint Laurent Boulevard
City Montreal
State Quebec
Postal code/ZIP H2W 1Y2
Country Canada
Website Main Deli Steak House (official site)

The Main Deli Steak House, also known simply as Main Deli is a delicatessen and steakhouse located in Montreal, Quebec. The restaurant was established in 1974 by Peter Varvaro and presently located on Saint-Laurent Boulevard right across the street from their main business rival, the famed Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen. The two restaurants are often compared against each other in their patronage and the flavours of their Montreal-style smoked meat.[1]

The staff of the restaurant is highly multinational, with individuals from Quebec and Poland to Pakistan. Varvaro is himself of an Italian background but grew up immersed in the Jewish language and culture.[2] The deli remains a family business and two of Varvaro's children have open their own smoked meat restaurants in the suburbs of Montreal. Some of the regular clients of the Main Deli, in the past included the likes of Stanley Lewis,[2] Leonard Cohen[3] and Celine Dion, the latter has gone on to become their competition as owners of Schwartz's.[4]


The Main Deli's main offering is smoked meat, which they cure and smoke in the back of their restaurant. Whole beef briskets are cured with brine and their own spice mix consisting of black pepper, garlic, coriander, mustard seed, and other ingredients found in Montreal steak seasonings. The meat is then smoked in a smoking oven and steamed to completion.[5] Peter Varvaro, the owner and maker of the smoked meat at the Main Deli indicates that while the spice mixture is important, it's the method of smoking and cooking the meat that contributes to its flavours and textures.[2]

The restaurant is also well known for their smoked meat poutine and smoked meat burger.[5]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Sax, David (2010-10-01), Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen, Mariner Books, ISBN 0-547-38644-3 
  2. ^ a b c Pope, Jeanne (2006), "Birth of the Smokemeat", RCI Vision (CBC Radio Canada) 
  3. ^ Langlois, Christine (October 2009), First We Take The Main, Reader's Digest 
  4. ^ WYATT, NELSON (March 11, 2012), "Celine Dion: Montreal's Schwartz's will go on", The Chronicle Herald 
  5. ^ a b Catucci, John (2013), "Evelyn's Memory, The Main, Dangerous Dan's", You Gotta Eat Here! (Food Network Canada) 

Coordinates: 45°30′57″N 73°34′39″W / 45.515925°N 73.577582°W / 45.515925; -73.577582