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Farmer's market/Local must tries - weekend foodie trip on a budget

Would appreciate recommendations for a leisurely weekend in Montreal in late Feb - we're staying around Sq.Phillips. We're from Toronto so we're looking for Montreal specific foodie must-tries. We will actually have a kitchenette so are looking to do a mix of cooking and eating out (on a budget). We have a car so distance is not necessarily an issue.

We are looking specifically for for a few things - I've perused the boards already - so further commentary on these picks would be much appreciated!

1) Farmer's Markets: Jean-Talon Market - and specific must-tries there?
2) Affordable gourmet: Lemac (after 10pm)
3) Comfy-modern bar (for beer): I'm a devoted fan of blanche de chambly
3) Dessert: Juliette Et Chocolat
4) Other must-try food items?
Poutine: I'd love a good poutine. One of the best we have in the city of Toronto is Jamie Kennedy's upscale version with pulled pork and fresh, waxy, slightly melty cheese curds. I'm talking about some good old fashioned calorie laden poutine!
Bagels: St. Viateur we like
Smoked meats: Schwartz we like
Any other local must tries?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. There are so many things that could be recommened. Just one comment though about #1- consider that you are going to a "farmer's" market at the end of Feb. Not much farming going on in these parts, this time of year, so market is mostly shipped in stuff when it comes to produce. The fun part of the market at this time of year are all the stores in the periphery - cheese shops etc.

    If you're hungry when in the neighborhood, Le petit Alep is a must eat.

    Enjoy!

    2 Replies
    1. re: maisonbistro

      Yes - excellent point. It's not easy here either this time of year. I guess I should rephrase - I am looking for good places to buy ingredients :)

    2. For poutine it's La Banquise or Patati Patata. Both are yummy, both are in the Plateau. The former is open 24/7.

      1. A "should have" that I don't see mentioned often, at the Jean Talon market, although it is definitely my "must have".

        In the fish store at the fryer, ask for the eperlans (fried smelt). Have them piping hot standing outside the store. I imagine it would be a welcome warm-me-up snack in that February weather.

        8 Replies
        1. re: tarteaucitron

          OH definitely! Those smelts are delicious, and they come with a great sauce.

          Petit Alep gets another vote from me, and Les Havres aux Glaces for ice cream (I'm from the Prairies, we don't let winter interfere with our consumption of frozen products).

          There is also a vendor in the covered part of the market that sells olives and marinated vegetables. They are next to the Happy Sheep people (Mouton Heureux) who do some lovely sheeps milk cheeses. Anyhow if the olive vendor has the balsamic vinegar marinated cipollini onions, buy some. They are magnificent.

            1. re: maisonbistro

              You and many others. They are great. The only disturbing thing is, I haven't seen them the last few visits...

              Another disturbing point: Someone mentioned on one of the other boards that Les Havres may be closed for renovations. Hopefully not for too long!

              To replace the onions and the ice cream (although hopefully these will be back at Jean-Talon Market when Janni3 makes the trip: The sarrazin crepes (buckwheat) at the crepe place near the fish store that makes the fried smelts: oh yummy! Ham and cheese and bechamel sauce: can't go wrong. The sweet crepes are marvelous as well. They have chestnut creme (Creme de Marron) and the berry/Nutella mixture is a classic treat.

              (hmm, haven't been up there for a while... Hubbie: brush up the car!)

              1. re: moh

                Yea, so how's that diet coming??

                ROFLMAO

                1. re: maisonbistro

                  :(

                  Diet is failing miserably. Had pogo dogs, popcorn, M & Ms and Maltesers for dinner last night at girls night out chick flick thing. But I chose water instead of pop... small victories (one would almost say Pyrrhic)

                2. re: moh

                  I confirm that Havre aux Glaces is closed for renovations. The sign didn't say when they expect to re-open.

                  1. re: jptimbaud

                    Thought the sign inside the store said reopen on January 26 - I was very bummed last Saturday

                    1. re: RhondaB

                      I'm sure after the renovations it will be for the better. The winter is the time to do renovations, for a ice cream shop in Montreal. I'm sure several of the local artisanal ice cream shops close annually all winter. I wanted to check out Bo-Bec ice cream 2 months ago, to finally try the flavours recommended by people on this board, but I found out my arrival there, they close all winter.

          1. The chocolate store in the JTM. Specifically, they have these individually baked chocolate "cakes", for about 2 or 3 bucks each. Don't be fooled, these cakes look very plain, no frosting, no decoration, no pomp whatsoever. But boy are they decadent and delicious.

            1. Highly recommend dessert at Cocoa Locale - it's a takeout place so grab a cake or some cupcakes to bring back to your hotel room. Incredible stuff.

              4807 du Parc
              Tel (514) 271-7162

              For more scoop including flavour suggestions, see: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/404732