Friday, June 22, 2012

Fat Meat at Dunn's Famous

Dunn's Famous on Urbanspoon I've heard from several people how Dunn's Famous downtown has authentic Montreal smoked meat. If you're hankering for exactly that, then you should definitely try it. I'm not going to give points for authenticity, however. I tried the 8 oz. "Giant Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich" and will be basing this review as if I'm basically new to smoked meat and don't care about some eastern province's tradition.

There is a take out menu, and on Thursday, that's all I had time for. If that's all you're looking for at lunch, the waitress will wave you in and point you to the bar where the bartender will take your order. It was just a single sandwich, so it came quite quickly.

I wasn't asked about a choice of bread, so there's just the "light sourdough rye" (as indicated in the menu) available. The three cuts -- lean, medium, or fat -- basically asks just how much fat marbling you want in your meat. That'll determine from where the meat is cut. My dining buddy said she'd tried lean and it turned out to be on the dry side. The bartender recommended medium being a happy medium, but also said more fat = more flavourful.
Remembering the time I went to Gotham and got a fat-marbled steak, I went with "fat".


Dunn's Famous Montreal smoked meat "is a whole double A beef brisket brined for seven days, dry smoked for 12 hours and steamed three hours to tender just before serving. Always hand sliced to order -- lean, medium or fat."

The sandwich comes automatically cut in half, which helps manage the heap of meat inside. There is a light amount of mustard brushed onto the bread, and additional mustard at the table. It also comes with a single pickle.
The steaming and hand slicing really helps with the final tender product -- meat so soft that it just flakes apart, which means this can be a pretty messy item to eat. It was also extremely moist, and that plus the warm meat caused the bread to become almost soggy by the time I opened up the take-out container -- Therefore, try not to do take out!

Taste-wise, the fat dominated my experience more so than any beef or meat flavour. I expected the fat to enhance the flavour, but all it did was give me a tired feeling. More mustard didn't help so much as the straight shot of sour from the pickle.

Overall, I wouldn't order a "fat" cut again, and I'm not sure I'd go with the smoked meat either, since this particular one turned out quite bland. The sheer tenderness of the meat is the only thing going for this sandwich. If you do try it, I recommend going for medium fattiness.


Dunn's Famous take out menu 1 of 4

Dunn's Famous take out menu 2 of 4

Dunn's Famous take out menu 3 of 4

Dunn's Famous take out menu 4 of 4

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