I have travelled from coast to coast and have eaten in Montreal's finest. Schwartz's, The Main, Pete's Meat (related to The Main), Briskets, Snowden Deli, the old and now gone Ben's, Dunn's, and a large number of others around the island.
I have had smoked meat in Toronto at Centre Street Deli (related to Snowdon Deli in Montreal), the Pickle Barrel, The Corned Beef House, Dunn's (gone thankfully and not the REAL Dunn's in Montreal which is great, by the way), a place that tried to copy Wilensky's (the famous Special) on I think Adelaide or King and it was good, and a few others.
Then there was Michel's in Saskatoon. Another in St. John New Brunswick... a couple in Calgary, including Cafe Metro (now gone) (not even close to the real thing and everyone raved about them!) and another with the name Pickle in it I think, My Marvin's and another greasy place that sells steamies near the airport called King of Subs.
Okay, let's see here. Annie's. Sorry. Compare champagne to Baby Duck and you're close there when comparing to Estrella's. Estrella's is Champagne.
Then Kaplan's. Please. Not even close. Phat's in Yaletown. Nope. Not even close to close. European Deli on Davie. Uh uh. And the deli on Cambie and Broadway... sorry. Not authentic.
Costco. Yup, they sell Dunn's in a package. That's better than all the restaurants named above... as it comes from the REAL Dunn's... not the imitation stuff that was in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto
There is only ONE outside of Montreal that is as authentic as it gets and it IS Estrella's.
If you know Montreal Smoked Meat and have had the real thing (only a few places now serve it in Montreal... Schwartz's, The Main, Pete's Meat, THAT's what you'll get at Estrella's.
Oh and for my fellow Smoked Meat snobs from Montreal who may be reading this and scoffing... ha! Try it. You'll see what I mean.
One more thing. Real Cole Slaw (not the creamy stuff), real Pickles... (Mrs Whyte's and Putters), Karnatzel (those who know will know), Cheese Cake and real Montreal fries (yes, he makes it and it's great)... and the rest of his food is just as good.
No he's not paying me to say this either.
If you LOVE Montreal Smoked Meat, just go to Estrella's. Just go. Then enjoy. Then carefully re-roll your eyes from the back your heads!