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May 31, 2007 12:17 PM

Heading to Jean Talon Mrkt this weekend

Please tell me which shops should be an absolute 'NOT MISS'' for a foodie like me.
Thanks in advance!!

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  1. Havre-Aux-Glaces is an absolute must. The finest ice cream in town.

    1. The market is small enough for you to cruise both side & walk in & out of ALL the shops in a relatively short period of time - or longer if you like to linger. If you like cheese, you will spend more time in Hamel & Lait qui Cru. Quebec only products are found at the Marche des Saveurs (I think that's the name?). Some of the best ice cream at Havre aux glaces. Definitely stop at the Olive oil & spices shop next to Lait qui Cru. Although not in JTM, a vist to Quincaillerie Dante a block or so away, is warranted. Google Dante hardware to see why. And if you're on Dante, then Pasticceria Alati-Caserta 277, rue Dante, 514 271-3013 a few blocks away, across from the big church for some of the best cannoli in the city.

      3 Replies
      1. re: RhondaB

        At Alati, don't forget to try their Buoni Brutti cookies - they are amazing. They also serve a lemon granita

        1. re: swissfoodie

          Agree on the cookies. On a good day, the lobster tails are special too. First I've heard of the granita though. Worth a detour?

          1. re: carswell

            Haven't tried it but might consider it on my weekly pilgrimage for those cookies. There is another cookie, the name escapes me, that is also to be considered. It's made of almond paste with a praline/chocolate centre and covered in sliced almonds. Very very nice and not too sweet, like the amaretti

      2. Ah, but we need to know what a "foodie like me" likes, eh? :^)

        Balkani for things Balkan--they'll be grilling some mici [= cevapcici] sausages. Yum.

        Au lait cru--great cheese shoppe

        etc. --but give us a hint what you're about.


        2 Replies
        1. re: galeg

          Hey Galeg,
          Half German and half French Canadian so I do have a "european tongue" when it comes to food. Looking forward to visiting Boucherie Atlantique tomorrow as well since I've read that I'll find all kinds of German goodies there.

          1. re: FrenchPeach

            Wonderful place (except for one old lady who works there who thought I was a shoplifter - don't worry, that was ironed out after she listened to my earnest attempts at German) but nowhere near the Jean-Talon market. A very quick easy link by public transport though, as Boucherie Atlantique is right next to Côte-des-Neiges métro, on the blue line to de Castelnau or Jean-Talon stations.

            Peach, have you ever been to Alsace? Sure you'd be happy there.

            I may start a thread in the "not about food" board about foodies who look at every ingredient and get accused of shoplifting. Re grrrrrr - I really am an honest person.

        2. Most of the shops are interesting. Marché des saveurs offers Québec products like beer, wine, cider, cheese and various preserves and such, Hamel and Qui lait cru and great cheese shops. I'd also make a stop at Veau de Charlevoix for great veal and Porc Meilleur for well, pork. Not too far there's also the Iles-de-la-Madeleine stall where they have great pork products and in the same area, there's a new stand that offers nuts, raw and flavored that are all great tasting. Olive et Épices is a great joint for olive oil and spices whereas I like Capitol and Milano (a 5 minute walk to St-Laurent boulevard) for italian products. Don't miss the chocolate shop in front of Marché des saveurs, they're really good. Of course, Hâvre aux glaces is a great recco.

          1. Great reccos so far.

            A few others: Chez Nino and especially Chez Louis on the south side for vegetables and fruits, including miniature varieties, seen on the plates of the city's top restaurants (with prices to match, alas). La Boucherie du Marché (next door to Chez Louis) is a fine French butcher, Capitol a good Italian butcher (though I prefer Milano) and Fermes St-Vincent in the new extension has a good selection of excellent organically raised and breathtakingly expensive (e.g. $40 rabbits) meats.

            Qui lait cru also sells Le Fromentier bread.

            But half the fun, especially this time of the year, is just wandering around and seeing what you find. That's how I ended up discovering the superb mesclun (whole leaves plucked individually and presented like a bouquet) and organic asparagus last week at Les Serres Barri (toward the north end of the west side of the aisle running from Chez Nino to the SAQ outlet).

            1 Reply
            1. re: carswell

              Chez Louis is very pricy, for his exclusive veg and fruits, but he also has surprisingly good deals. I just got back from the market (er, I go there almost every day...) and he had very, very nice apricots for 1,49$ lb and tasty melons 2 for 5$. Boucherie du Marché was closed for minor renovations and has just opened again today - it is much better organised, with one cash at each front corner - there were always huge queues on Saturdays, though living right by the market I can usually avoid them. I prefer Milano to Capitol as well, though both have things worth trying - remember the Capitol and Milano also have a good selection of cheeses, especially Italian ones of course, and Milano sells a goat's milk ricotta that is a godsend for the lactose-intolerant (me).

              There is a vegetable truck at the southwest corner of the farm stands (near Première Moisson) only there on weekends - the sons of the late Mme Jiminez - she always had a variety of leafy greens grown without pesticides, crooked, really the kind of thing you find on a farm (not certified organic though). They have very nice asparagus now for $1 a bunch.

              There is a branch of the Polish bakery Wawel, for wholegrain rye breads (the very dense kind one slices very thin) if you want something healthy, or very nice Polish doughnuts if you can afford a caloric indulgence.

              Balkani also has excellent dry, hard sausages ... sometimes. They are very good and hard to keep in stock.

              Also don't forget the Maghrebi (North African) foods. L'Olivier has some interesting breads etc but I don't like their meats so much - there is better North African meat at a little shop on the north side of Jean-Talon opposite the market, just west of Henri-Julien, and an even better one a short block north, at the corner of Henri-Julien and rue de Castelnau. Up on rue de Castelnau (this is a very short block) you will also find boulangerie Zaatar, with interesting Levantine savoury baked goods.

              A very nice casual place to eat opposite the market is Le Petit Alep. It shares a kitchen with the fancier Restaurant Alep. Syrian cuisine (similar to Lebanese or other Levantine cuisines), and tasty choices for both vegetarians and carnivores. The little terrace is very popular, but inside is pleasant as well, as it is well-ventilated.

              I could go on for about a year, since I live very close by, but I'll wait for other comments and questions.