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Sandwich, Savour and Smile in Old Montreal

by Erika David

Imagine a shop where quality gourmet sandwiches meet affordable prices. Then, add tall ceiling and high windows, walls clad with abstract art and personal portraits, and sleek black furnishings to set a casual tone. Intrigued? You should be! With Old Montreal at its doorstep, Café Pavé by chef Matthew Schnarch is a lunch spot to remember.

Neat and spacious, step up to the counter and you’ll find an extensive menu. Each sandwich, served on warm, toasted ciabatta, is as tempting as the next, so good luck narrowing your choices down to one. When you do, don’t forget to complete your meal with soup (big yes), salad or tortillas and a drink to wash it all down.

I wouldn’t recommend Coppenhagen ($9.99) because the lack of stuffing will leave you wanting more, but I do understand its appeal – thick, salty slabs of bacon braised in-house paired with the makings of a BLT. You’re better off with a hefty sandwich like Tijuana ($8.99) that features a generous hand of homemade pulled pork braised for 18 long hours, juicy and flavourful, heightened with Pico de Gallo and cilantro for a Latin flair.

Chicken lovers can look forward to a handful of options. Lyon’s ($10.99) promise of chicken and prosciutto tied together with sweet Dijon is sure to please. But Palermo ($10.99) is the real standout. It’s got juicy chicken strips seasoned to T, sautéed spinach and Portobello mushrooms, and a creamy artichoke spread that brings it home. In one word: delicious. How it fares against their best seller, Madagascar ($12.99), I don’t know, but the mouthwatering combination of AAA New York sirloin, Portobello mushrooms, red pepper, goat cheese, spinach and a smothering of aioli is one I’d like to get better acquainted with.

Café Pavé is only open for lunch, so make good on that and drop by (I know I will) for a hearty, tasty sandwich that won’t empty your wallet. You’re more than welcome to dine in, but with temperatures heating up, take it to go.  Find a spot on the greens by the water, soak up the sun and make love to that sandwich for an afternoon well spent in Old Montreal.

Café Pavé, 243 Notre-Dame W., Old Montreal, 514-507-5102, www.cafepave.com