Whenever I get the chance, I try to look for hidden gems in the burbs of Vancouver. After all, the majority of the population live outside of Vancouver itself. Thus, there must be good eats out there. Being quite last minute, we took the kiddies to the Laity Pumpkin Patch out in Maple Ridge on Halloween. After all that rain, the patch resembled a swamp more than anything else. I really don't like mud. When I used to mountain bike, I would hate wiping out. Not because it hurt; rather, I'd get all muddy. Yes, call me a wuss. Since we were out near 200th already, I thought we should take another jaunt over the Golden Ears Bridge into Langley. Why Langley? Well, there is this little place called Estrella's Montreal Deli. Have you ever noticed that there are very few places that you can get real deli sandwiches? You know, the big honking ones you get in NYC or Montreal? And don't even put Kaplan's in that category. Their sandwiches are so small, you'd think they were vegetarian.
Well, if you crave those sandwiches you'd find back east, Estrella's is the place to be. They smoke their own meats and it shows with the final product. There are full slabs of smoked meat in the display case along with other items on the menu including Paninis; but I came here for the smoked meat sandwich. You can choose from several sizes: Petite, Classic, Large (The Montreal) and Extra large (Oh Canada!). I wasn't in the mood for a $17.99 sandwich, so I went with the Montreal for $12.49. For a little variety, I made Viv's into a Reuben adding $2.98 for sauerkraut and cheese, grilled on a press.
If you look at the picture, you can clearly see that they did not skimp on the smoked meat. Furthermore, it was truly melt-in-your mouth
goodness. You can choose how you like your meat: extra lean, lean, or medium We went for medium naturally! The Smoked Meat Sandwich (non-Reuben) was predictably just as good; but rather than crispy grilled bread, it was soft light rye. Eating this sandwich was like eating butter. It was soft, and literally melted in our mouths. This was indeed a pleasant surprise. I've had deli sandwiches in NYC and the ones here at Estrella's are not that far off. I would definitely drive out to Langley for more of these delicious sandwiches and I think you should too. And yup, I drove out again, with closet meat-lover Mijune. Well, I actually sorta kidnapped her and took her out to almost out of Langley to Hilltop Cafe Diner for their Everest Burger. After that, I gave her more meat... uh... at Estrella's. This time, I had no doubts in my mind and suggested we share the Oh Canada! It's a pound of delicious moist and tender Montreal smoked meat. It has just the right amount of seasoning where it doesn't taste salty at all. We went for half medium and half lean. Take it from me, go for the medium, there is no other way to eat it.
For a bonus, we also got an order of their Smoked Meat Chili and it was friggin' fantastic! They used the same spices from the smoked meat (or it was just the spices from the smoked meat) and it gave the chili a unique flavour from the peppercorns, cloves, all-spice and so on. It had an underlying heat and a nice tang/sweetness. Loved the melted cheese too. Sitting beside us were a couple from Montreal and they confirmed this is the place to go in the GVRD for smoked meat. The owner is from New York and went to Montreal to learn how to make it. It shows and I think everyone should make the trek out to give it a try!
- They make their own smoked meat, which is melt-in-your mouth goodness
- With the larger sandwiches, they definitely do not skimp on the meat
- Prices are reasonable for the quality and quantity
- It's quite a small place, you might need to get take out
- Food takes a bit of time to prepare (which can be a good sign)
- Too bad for anyone not near Langley