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The first Montreal-style Jewish deli in the Bay Area, Augie’s Montreal Deli serves versions of New York-style classics like matzo ball soup, latkes, and cheesecake. But the star of the show is uniquely Montreal: smoke meat. Beef brisket gets cured, smoked for three hours, and then roasted for five hours, giving it the crumbly texture of corned beef yet retaining an intense coriander-peppercorn crust that you’d associate with pastrami. Perhaps even more exciting is the poutine. While Bay Area chefs have been playing around with the Quebec favorite for years, it’s been difficult to find an excellent, straightforward version. Augie’s keeps it traditional: fries, brown gravy imported from Canada, and cheese curds that still squeak.

— Janelle Bitker

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