First Bite: Augie's Brisket Has Bite
This Montreal-style deli in Berkeley also serves poutine.
Smoked with a splash of maple syrup along with the requisite coriander and black pepper, the brisket at this family-run deli has a sweet touch of Canada. But what really gives Augie’s Montreal Deli its accent is the poutine—thrice-fried red potatoes doused in pastrami-jus gravy and loaded with squeaky cheese curds.
The signature Le Montroyal sandwich brings 12 ounces of warm beef served on superfresh, lightly seeded rye. Augie’s incorporates both the corned beef and pastrami portions of the brisket so you can order your meat lean, medium, or (do it!) fatty, but you’ll always get a house-made pickle and smidge of lightly vinegared coleslaw (“for digestive purposes only”).
While waiting for your monster sammie and pile of poutine, grab a La Fin Du Monde ale and nibble on the killer latkes—fried extra crispy with rye breadcrumbs.
Located in an industrial enclave off I-80, Augie’s is still improbably homey, due in no small part to grandma’s matzo ball soup.
875 Potter St., Berkeley, (510) 984-0283, augiesmontrealdeli.com. Lunch and dinner Tues.–Sun.