by Fiona O'Connor
Last week, food and travel writer and fellow Montreal Insider Alexandra Forbes brought our attention to Montreal's latest in diner hipster-dom: Dépanneur Le Pick-Up, the corner-store-cum-snack bar that was recently featured in The New York Times' ever-trendy T Magazine.
The NYTimes article, written by local journo Geneviève Paiement, does a great job of elucidating Quebec's très unique dépanneur phenomenon- an essential lesson in Quebecois culture for anyone wishing to understand daily life in the province. "Dépanneurs, also known as deps, " writes Paiement, "are to Montreal what bodegas and delis are to New York: family-run dispensaries of everything from toilet paper and beer to cigarettes and empanadas."
So, New Yorkers, if you don't know, now you know...
I come back to Dep Le Pick-Up today, however, not to wax poetic about the joint's perfectly ironic airbrushed decorative touches or its friendly, thick-rimmed glasses-wearing staff, but to reiterate Paiement's praise for what she calls its "killer pulled-pork sandwich."
Le Dep's top-selling sammy: pulled-pork.
This sandwich deserves mention because it packs some serious punch in all its elemental simplicity. Juicy and mildly smokey, the pork is combined with a tangy and delicious home-made coleslaw and some spicy pickled peppers, all served on a standard white bun (the Portuguese variety with which virtually all Montreal deli sandwiches are made). For under $6.00, this is bang for your sandwich buck, even coming with a vegetarian alternative - just ask for the Dep's faux pulled-pork.
While I have yet to hear of any writing career jump-started by a dedication to writing sandwich reviews, I feel a guide to Montreal's sandwich scene may be of considerably practical use to on-the-go visitors who, in between museum visits and late-night shows, just don't have time for fancy, sit-down meals. With this, I urge you to stay tuned for another edition of "Sandwich City: The Best of Montreal Between Two Slices."