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Dec 5, 2006 10:55 PM

Anjou Quebec


I just returned froma couple of weeks out in the country, and Anjou Quebec in Laurier seems to have succumbed to a fire. When did this happen? Are they planning on re-opening? That place ha been around for what seems like an eternity - it would be a shame if they simply closed the place.

Their ready-to-eats, although pricey, are quite delicious, and their meat is always top notch.

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  1. Oh, a fire, eh?

    When I passed by on Saturday, the windows were papered over and a sign in the door said they were closed for renovations but would reopen "very soon." Didn't know what to make of it but feared the worst, since such signs on restaurants are usually the equivalent of a death notice and since Anjou-Québec's business seemed to have fallen off after the original owner's death.

    Will be very glad if they do reopen. They've always been one of the best French butchers in town and their presence in that neighboorhood -- along with Gourmet Laurier, the SAQ Sélection, Cocoa Locale, Au Pain Doré, etc. -- made it possible to put together the ingredients for even a fancy dinner in one fell swoop, something hard to do even at the Jean Talon Market, with its sorry SAQ outlet and relative lack of pastry shops.

    7 Replies
    1. re: carswell

      People in my neighbourhood looking for fine wines go down to the SAQ Sélection at the corner of Beaubien and St-André. Even the little SAQ on St-Laurent at the corner of Mozart (2 minutes' walk from the market) is better than the one in the market, which has little of anything.

      I can't help much with pastries because none of us really eat them at home.

      But yes, in Outremont/Mile End I remember when Anjou Québec was pretty much one of a kind.

      1. re: lagatta

        While the Beaubien Sélection, one of the better SAQ outlets in terms of selection though somewhat chaotic in product display and inventory management, may be the closest decent store to the market (may be because the Jean Talon Station outlet, a Sélection in everything but name, is possibly slightly closer), I don't think of it as in the same neighbourhood. I'd count on 20 minutes by foot or, unless you're lucky with timing, public transportation. That doesn't meet my "one fell swoop" criterion. In 20-30 minutes on Laurier/Park Ave. it's possible to buy everything you need to make a fine dinner, including wine. Not necessarily so at the JTM, especially if you want dessert to be something other than ice cream or baklava. And that's not even taking into account that there are certain products, duck confit a prime example, that Anjou-Québec does very well while JTM's butchers drop the ball.

        In fact, I can't think of an area other than Laurier/Park Ave. that meets the "one fell swoop" criterion. Atwater market has a good Sélection outlet but falls short on pastry shops. Laurier East is strong on pastry, bread, cheese, charcuterie, etc., but doesn't have a first-rate butcher and the Mont-Royal Sélection has one of the city's highest rates of heat-damaged bottles (I refuse to shop there anymore). CDN isn't strong on pastries and the SAQ outlet, while good for a Classique, has some surprising gaps (no southern Rhône whites except Guigal's CDR, for example). Rockland's Sélection is one of the best but foodwise it's a wasteland. Ditto downtown. St-Viateur/Bernard/Van Horne have some decent food shops but no SAQ store worth a detour. Monkland? Maybe, but Laurier's better in just about every department. Westmount? Don't shop there enough to say.

        1. re: carswell

          Hmm, Jean-Talon market obviously has far more than the edge in terms of fruits and vegetables, and no doubt more choice in cheeses. But it is true that PA fishmonger's might well beat out any of our sad fishmongers - except on weekends when the Atkins brothers have a small but excellent selection of fish and seafood. And PA is also surprisingly good for a little supermarket in terms of produce.

          I know that area well as a couple of close friends live there. But are there really many pâtisseries? Isn't Cocoa Locale more an American-style cake shop?

          My closest friend there is as non-sweet as I am, but the other one does appreciate Cocoa Locale - she lives just across the street from it. Though I don't eat sweets (or very rarely) I am interested to be able to treat friends with a sweet tooth.

          1. re: carswell

            I like the concept of the one fell swoop, and agree that Laurier/Parc meets it. In defense of Jean Talon, I agree about the wine and will take your word on the duck confit, although I have seen duck confit there, I have not compared it to the Anjou Quebec product, which as you say is excellent. But for Patisserie, I'd disagree only because the presence of Premiere Moisson in the market does allow you to buy excellent desserts at the market. And there is the really great Italian bakery across from the church on Dante has a great cannoli and other fine italian desserts. Plus there is that cute chocolate shop on the side for great mignardise. So dessert is easily covered.

            Re: Lagatta's question about patisserie on Laurier/Parc: READ MY HIPS! too many good patisserie in the area for my own good. Cocoa Locale as stated before, but there is patisserie Gascogne and Au Pain Dore. Plus the chocolate shops: Juliette and Chocolat (in the old Daskilidis spot) Leonidas, and a little further up, Genevieve Grandbois on St. Viateur. You can do quite well in this neighbourhood....

            1. re: moh

              Yeah, but I don't do sweets. (Want to know about them for guests, though). I do cheese (drug of choice).

              The little SAQ on St-Laurent corner Mozart is obviously not a full selection, but has a surprising number of speciality wines, and not only Italians. Much better than the one within the market (and hey, it is two minutes away, across a side street from Milano).

              For me the clincher is the core selection of local vegetables, in season, and decent ones out of season. And good grains and other staples, at Alfalfa and the shop opposite it.

              I had a HEAVENLY organic cantaloupe today, a wee one, from the organic place at the southern end of the gastronomic aisle.

              1. re: moh

                I'm not claiming that Laurier/Park Ave. is a better shopping destination than the Jean Talon or even Atwater market. A habitué of the JTM and the surrounding neighbourhood since the '70s, I consider it the closest Montreal (and maybe North America) comes to foodie paradise. But on this one criterion -- walking in empty-handed and walking away 20 minutes later with all the makings for a complete fine meal, including libations -- Laurier/Park Ave. is better. If, as had been rumoured before the JTM's recent expansion, the new annex had incorporated an SAQ Sélection outlet, the situation would be different. But it didn't and it ain't.

                You're right about Alati-Caserta, though you pretty much have to be in the mood for cream/ricotta-filled pastries or their (delicious) cookies. Not much in the way of fruit-based desserts.

                What pastries do you recco at Première Moisson? My experience of their sweet wares is limited but invariably disappointing. Same's true for Au Pain Doré. The pies I've had from both places are especially lacklustre.

                Adding to your list of Laurier/Park Ave. dessert stores: La Boutique du boulanger, Anjou-Québec, Vova and, last I checked, La petite ardoise. You used to be able to get killer baklava at Le Petit Milos but, alas, no more.

                1. re: carswell

                  I have no idea why, instead of opening up a Sélection as rumoured (I'd heard it was planned not for the new annex, but the old fire/police station that lies almost empty) SAQ decided to open a second "Petite Italie" branch round the corner from the market. It would have been more logical to open one, larger outlet, but SAQ management is not always known for its logic.

        2. I found this article at L'expresse d' Heck I didn't even know they had a site!

          1. On a lighting trip to the Laurier-Parc gourmet nexus this afternoon, I noticed that Anjou-Québec is open again. Didn't have time to pop in and check it out. From the street it looked much the same as ever. The front window display was not as cornucopian as it used to be, though that's not surprising at this early date.

            1. Anjou-Quebec is scheduled to re-open this Wednesday(August 1st).

              5 Replies
              1. re: BLM

                It re-opened back in December. Is this an end-of-vacation re-opening you're talking about?

                1. re: Mr F

                  No. The store has been closed for two or three months for renovation. The renovations after the fire were makeshift.

                  1. re: carswell

                    Aha. Shows how much attention I pay to some of the establishments within a virtual stone's throw of home...

                    1. re: carswell

                      They're definitely reopening then? I got quite the nasty shock when I stopped by there last month for duck confit!

                      1. re: phedre

                        Yes, they're definitely re-opening, although they might miss the Wed August 1st date I suspect. I looked in their window yesterday.

                2. Offtopic, but does Anjou Quebec have a website?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SocksManly

                    Not that I'm aware of. And I don't think they do mail order, though I'll ask the next time I'm there. If you're hankering for some of their mason jarred duck confit, you're best getting a visiting friend to bring some back with him or her. If you're interested in their cryovaced duck confit, get your friend to pass by Le P'tit Plateau, a small BYOB on the Plateau, instead; chef Loivel's duck confit is the best in town and it costs slightly less than Anjou-Québec's.