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Tim Tams at Montreal Loblaws?

Has anyone seen Tim Tams* at a Montreal Loblaws?

Supposedly Loblaws is importing them specially now and they're showing up in Ontario - see http://www.chowhound.com/topics/438448 - but I just came back from the Loblaws on St-Jacques and alas they didn't have any. No one around to ask, either.

thx.

*incomparable Australian cookie - see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Tam

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  1. To be perfectly honest, the Loblaw's on St. Jacques isn't exactly the gold standard. I often find it dirty, unstocked and the staff sorely lacking in any knowledge of the products they carry. I find the one in Lasalle a tad better, but the best, alas for us NDGers is the one on Jean Talon (Love that store). I make the rounds of many grocery stores so I will keep my eyes open.

    You just made me smile with a fond fond memory of my trip to Oz.

    16 Replies
    1. re: maisonbistro

      Ahh, the tim tam slam, what fine tradition.

      In the past, we have been able to find tim tams at Vielle Europe, they were not called tim tams, I think they went by "Arnotts". But my partner said he did not see them recently. You could try asking them if they still stock them. (it was the one on St. Laurent)

      1. re: moh

        Cool, thanks for the tip! I'm not often in that area, but when I run out of the Tim Tam supply my Aussie friend brought me back recently, I may have to make a trek.

      2. re: maisonbistro

        Maisonbistro, what a pity! I thought having a Loblaws would be a step up for people in NDG who were saddled with the infamous "Moscow Provigo" of yore (in eastern NDG near Benny Farm before its redevelopment) where the many pensioners near there faced empty shelves and dubious sanitary conditions.

        Well, the "flagship" Loblaws at Jean-Talon and Parc certainly has its high points, but I've been a bit disappointed with some of the changes in it - scuttling their lovely plant section, with well-informed staff who took good care of their plants - for a lot of rather cruddy non-food goods (dishes and such). I don't eat cookies - rarey eat sweets except on very special occasions - but will keep an eye open for the Tim Tams.

        See those are nothing like the historic Anzac biscuit - a cookie sent to troops from Australia and New Zealand fighting very, very far from home, and hence that could remain yummy after a long sea voyage... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Tam That is really an example of food lore as significant social history.

        1. re: lagatta

          I feel I should introduce myself. I'm Barbara - charmed I'm sure.

          If you mean the provigo on Cavendish and Sherbrooke - which used to be a Steinberg's it has improved - but honestly, why would I shop at Provigo and Loblaws? There is nothing unique to them now as anything you can get at one, you can most probably get at the other (foodwise that is - don't get me started on clothes and furniture and appliances available at Loblaws - which have no place in a grocery store IMHO- haven't the Loblaws people heard/seen the commercials that make fun of them because of this??). I have to say the most improved store in the NDG area has to be the Cote St Luc IGA. I swear by their fish, the staff actually knows about the foods in the store, and there is very little staff turnover (this store also used to be a Steinberg's - actually come to think of it, they were all Steinbergs' at some point, unless they were a Dominion - now who remembers those!!!???).

          Don't get me started on the Loblaws on St. Jacques. For anyone who doubts me, go to the milk section and take a whiff and a look down, way way down.

          Yup, that's mold you'll see.

          1. re: lagatta

            > "Moscow Provigo" of yore (in eastern NDG near Benny Farm before its redevelopment)

            Ha. That's the notorious-to-me former Steinberg's where I squished my toe as a small child while going in the automatic out door and had to be taken to hospital. Ah... memories. ;-) As Barbara said, it's improved a lot since then. The formerly sad little Metro on Somerled (also once a Steinberg's - is that possible?!) is also quite improved after a reno a year or two ago. The one time I attempted to go to the Loblaws at Jean-Talon/Parc it was closed at 9:30 pm on a weekday - I was surprised, cause the one in NDG is open late every day.

            1. re: lagatta

              Thank you lagatta for posting the wikipedia link for Tim Tams. It seems that Tim Tams are similar to something I used to love as a child and is now no longer available--- Ganong's Graham Sandwich. I'll now look for Tim Tams to satisfy my taste of nostalgia.

            2. re: maisonbistro

              Thanks for keeping your eyes out, Barbara. I agree the NDG Loblaws isn't great, but it's 2 minutes from my house and it was blizzarding out. ;-) What do you think of the one in St-Laurent? I used to go there before the NDG one opened. The thing about Loblaws/Provigo is that they have great private-label stuff, IMO (both No Name & President's Choice) - that's why I make a trip about once a month - otherwise, I do most of my shopping at Akhavan!

              1. re: kpzoo

                My name is cheryl, and I'm a President's Choice addict. As a former Prairie girl who suffered major Loblaws withdrawal after moving to Montreal in the late 1980's, I was delighted when they opened in Quebec, so I could get my PC fixes without driving to Ontario...but the stores have so badly deteriorated in Montreal, it's sad...The selection of goods (even their own brands) is spotty, and the stores vary wildly in what they stock. The St. Jacques store is the closest to me (unless you count the Provigo on Ste Catherine at Fort, and let's just not, okay?) and it is normally out of stock or doesn't even carry many items I try to buy on a regular basis - even after requests to the store manager. The one in Lasalle isn't bad, the one in Kirkland is a bit better, but still not great. The one at Parc and Jean Talon is acceptable, although it doesn't get the highest marks in the cleanliness department. The Provigo at Mount Royal and St Urbain is surprisingly well stocked and clean in comparison, although it's noticeably more expensive than Loblaws for some reason (same store, same products, different prices...go figure).
                I was in Ottawa last weekend, and went to a Loblaws there, and was able to buy all of the items on my list that I haven't been able to locate at any of the Montreal stores...and it was cleaner, and much better stocked (as the stores in Ontario tend to be), yet it was a smaller store than many of the Loblaws here. Can someone explain this to me, please?

                1. re: cherylmtl

                  Hey, so I'm not the only prairie transplant who had to import President Choice products from outside Quebec! When we first moved here in 1991, we had friends from Winnipeg bring products whenever they visited, most notable a whole box of the Decadent chocolate chip cookies... I have slowly weaned myself off of this product line, as there are so many wonderful foodstuffs here in Montreal. But I agree that the Provigo at Mont Royal is well-stocked and clean, and when I do need my fix, I go there. I didn't realize it was more expensive, but its is worth the convenience (it's close to where I live), and the selection is acceptable.

                  I just want to say that I love knowing there are a bunch of people out there who also travel to places outside of Montreal with the intent of bringing back food products. I can't remember the last trip I took that didn't involve bringing back food or drink products. Thanks for making me feel less odd!!!

                  1. re: moh

                    OMG- Travel = buying foodstuff.... is there any other way?????

                    We should form a club.

                    1. re: maisonbistro

                      No kidding! 10th anniversary coming up, hubby is suggesting Chicago or New York, I suggested Burlington. "What's there to do there?", he asked. Uh... we can buy some bacon...

                      On the subject of Loblaws, I was happy to see the Kirkland store now has Herdez Salsa. I used to buy a lot of PC products until I started reading ingredient lists more carefully. Now, I tend towards the PC Organics line, which has yummy honey, crackers and milk chocolate, and their chicken broth is the best prepared brand I've ever tasted.

                      1. re: Venusia

                        That bacon is definitely worth making Burlington a travel destination...

                        Don't all people plan travel around food? That's certainly how we choose our vacation destinations. Personally, I find the idea of being stuck on a cruise ship or one of those all-inclusive resorts scary, because you're stuck eating whatever food they provide - it may be good, but you don't have a choice, and you're certainly not discovering the local goodies.

                    2. re: moh

                      No, you're supposed to have friends from Winnipeg bring Jeanne's cake - preferably banana - even if it isn't anywhere near as good as it used to be!

                      1. re: cherylmtl

                        Ah bacon, yes, I bought some really great bacon from Dakin's farm in Vermont, it is really tasty!

                        And I'm sorry if I implied that we only got PC products from visiting Winnipeggers... Jeanne's cake.... it is classic. Next quest: Vinartarte! I may have to make it though, it is becoming rare.

                        The thought of a travel = buying foodstuff club is appealing. Perhaps we should all meet at Cocoa locale sometime to discuss! (i suspect many of us make many cocoa locale trips!) I'm going to stop by sometime tomorrow. If we can't get Tim Tams at Loblaw's or at Vielle Europe, we should plan a travel trip to stock up. For example, I will have a chance to go to Ottawa soon, would be willing to truck back large quantities of Tim Tams!

                        1. re: moh

                          Also there is a thread for ordering Tim Tams:
                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/459415

                          The site we saw was aussieproducts.com, and from what we could see, they ship to Canada.

                          So those of us craving timtams have options...

                    3. re: cherylmtl

                      I can't explain it but I can say that my Provigo (Cote Vertu/Decarie) rarely lets me down. It was renovated and expanded just last year, and they always have the newest President's Choice products available- I am also a PC addict. The ST. Laurent Loblaws is also a decent store, but my Provigo beats it by a mile.

                2. Clearly the food of choice to take to the tam-tam.

                  1. Update on the Tim Tam situation:

                    Went to Vielle Europe. Did not see product on the shelf. Spoke to an uninterested employee, who did remember the product, and said in a non-committed fashion "we'll probably get them again, but not before Christmas". Not very promising. But if a bunch of people go in and request it , they might get the hint.... I'll check again in the new year.

                    Went to Provigo on Mont Royal. No such product.

                    Sooo... Might have to check out grocery stores in NYC and Ottawa, my next few trips. We may just have to order them after all.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: moh

                      The Loblaws on St-Jacques (Cavendish) is perpetually lacking. I have made written complaints to management on several occasions regarding their disregard for removing clearly spoiled items from their produce section and understocking. I find that grocery shopping (regular, not gourmet) in MTL is very often a huge inconvenience. I can't even count the times I`ve come home empty-handed because of unavailablility or just plain gross offerings.

                      1. re: fel

                        Add your complaints to mine about the disgusting mess in the milk section - I'm surprised that so many people still go there. And heaven forbid you need to ask an employee where to find something.... you're looking for a what????????

                        Have I mentioned that I hate that store????? And in my line of work, I'm forever doing groceries.

                    2. Ok, new update on Tim Tam situation:

                      Went to Ottawa over the holidays. Went to a Loblaws in Ottawa, but was unable to locate any Tim Tams.

                      Saw a post on the Ontario Board. They definitely have Tim Tams there, in the Greater Toronto Area, in Loblaws/Superstore. But they don't always have stock, and sometimes people have found them in the Kosher Products sections of the store (Yes, I don't know how that is). So if you are TO, you will be able to find them.

                      I was recently able to find some in a Superstore in Winnipeg (yes, i have several boxes here in Montreal....I can feel your envy... hear my diabolical laughter....). So Loblaws/Superstore definitely should carry them here, but for whatever reason, they don't stock them. And it isn't a french language issue, because the boxes I bought are bilingual.

                      I spoke to one of the guys at Vielle Europe. He said they have trouble getting them, as they are always backordered, but he said to check back at the beginning of February, and that they were definitely trying to stock them again (seems they sell out pretty quick). Unfortunately, I have been unable to head out to confirm whether they have it, as I have been laid out with a cold...

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: moh

                        Oh I am SO gonna have to find some. I once ordered a few boxes online from an Australian store that shipped to expats - the shipping cost made me want to faint.

                        But oh it was so worth it. A chocolate tim tam suck with coffee is a beautiful thing.

                        I've found the Arnotts biscuits in various locations and while they look the same, they're just not the real deal.

                        1. re: phedre

                          Please elaborate! How are the Arnott's biscuits different? I don't recall a big difference the one time I had Arnott's, but it has been a while. The boxes I have are labelled Tim Tams, not Arnott's...

                          1. re: moh

                            Have any of you checked the big Loblaws at 2925 Rachel E.? I'd have thought that one was more of a "flagship" than the Jean-Talon one and there might be hope for the elusive cookies there.

                            1. re: Plateaumaman

                              what an excellent suggestion! i remember biking past that Loblaw's many times in the summer and thinking, that is one big superstore! Summer does seem very far away (looking out at the snowpile that once was the family car and sighing heavily)...

                              Don't forget to look in the Kosher section!

                              1. re: moh

                                Hmm.. I'm wandering down towards Rachel on an errand today. Perhaps I'll pop in! It's a bit out of my way, but it's worth it in the name of Tim Tams!

                                1. re: phedre

                                  Alas, the Loblaws on Rachel let us down - not a tim tam to be found. I did pick up a few oddities, including anise flavoured organic toothpaste and PC organic digestive biscuits.

                                  The location itself is bizarre, tons of brick facades held up by beams with nothing behind them, brand new buildings interspersed with dilapidated grafittied areas. The store itself is clean, bright, and huge with a lot of PC products (I know you addicts will enjoy that), including pacific smoked salmon. The produce section looks decent and well maintained, though I didn't investigate fully.

                                  On my way out, I stopped into the SAQ which is set apart in a tiny building. The selection is mediocre, but sufficient if you're in the area and want a bottle for something.

                                  Oh, if you're metroing it, stm.info LIES like a cheap rug. I took the 97 from Mont Royal metro and got off at d'Iberville as instructed, only to watch the bus as it travelled several more blocks and stopped directly across from the Loblaws! There's a return stop in the same area too.

                                  I doubt I'll go out of my way to visit again, but it was kind of neat to see.

                            2. re: moh

                              These were sold at a Pharmaprix in Lasalle of all places, and labelled Arnott's. They just didn't have the same caramel edge to the chocolate, in my opinion! They were good, no doubt, just not the same.

                              1. re: phedre

                                I am in Regina, Sask. at the moment. Saw the real thing at Superstore/Loblaws/Extra Foods here, I've never tried them. I will be returning to Montreal mid to late Feb., I could bring some along, any requests?

                                1. re: eatwell

                                  ... you're about to be swamped. Hell yeah! I'd take a few boxes! The chocolate and/or the caramel are my favourites.

                                  I highly suggest buying a box of the chocolate ones for yourself and trying the tim tam slam. It's worth the risk of chocolate covered clothing!

                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Tam_...

                                  Oh yes, email. phedre [at] gmail{dot}com :)

                                  1. re: eatwell

                                    ME me me me me me

                                    chefbarbara@maisonbistro.com

                                    A few boxes would be great, whichever ones they have - not fussy at all.

                                    1. re: maisonbistro

                                      Well, this should be fun! I will go back to Superstore in the next day or two and see exactly what they have. I'll report back!
                                      Hopefully Air Canada won't confiscate them when I fly back!

                                      1. re: eatwell

                                        Can't wait!!! You tell those Air Canada people to get their own Tim Tams or they'll learn the real meaning of Tim Tam slam!~

                                        LOL

                                        Thank you ever so much for offering.

                                        1. re: maisonbistro

                                          I'll do that!
                                          I will send you an email when I have more details.

                                          1. re: eatwell

                                            Could you give me an e-mail address that I can contact you to make the request for the Tim Tams?

                                            1. re: BLM

                                              nadine_griff@yahoo.com

                                              I will be going out tomorrow in search of Tim Tams! I went to the Extra(Loblaws) Foods nearby yesterday and they were sold out! It's frustrating that the phone numbers of SuperStore, Loblaws/Extra Foods are not listed!..grrrr

                                              1. re: eatwell

                                                You are a kind and gentle chowhound! Good luck in your quest.

                                                Now the real questions is: How come they are not selling these in Quebec???? I love this province (hey, I chose to live here, I'm originally from out of province), but sometimes this distinct society thing gets a bit stale...

                                                1. re: moh

                                                  There are a lot of things they don't sell in Quebec, grocery-wise, which I don't think have anything to do with language, but with distribution. For instance (and how can you tell I have an 11-year-old son?) flavour blasted Goldfish and Pillsbury pizza pockets - you can find them anywhere in Ontario, but very very rarely here (and only at Wal Mart, which is a place I try to avoid at all costs). I'm sure there are many other items - even certain President's Choice products are readily available in other provinces, but not easily found here - their stem ginger cookies for example.

                                                  1. re: cherylmtl

                                                    If it is any comfort, my familly in Toronto will scour their city for their Premiere Moisson bread (there are a couple loaves available at a Dominion store in Little Italy). That's when they've run out of bread they've carted back along the 401 themselves, along with dozens of bagels for themselves and friends, never mind cheeses, quark and all kinds of other products. Works both ways, I think.

                                                2. re: eatwell

                                                  Did you get people their Tim Tams, who contacted you by e-mail? I haven't heard from you in over a month(you were suppose to get back to me on it). I sent you a e-mail almost a week ago. I don't know what happened.

                            3. In case anyone is still searching... they've had them at Hogg Hardware on Sherbrooke St. recently, but I became addicted and think I bought their last box a couple of days ago. They'll probably get them again as they were obviously flying off the shelf!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: miss latte

                                Thanks Miss Latte!!!! So very kind of you to share! If we can convince them that it is a good seller, then we can hopefully keep a ready source!

                                (so good to do a TIm-Tam slam with Caffe in Gamba coffee - leaves you buzzing for hours...)