New in Old MTL
Two new stores recently opened in Old Montreal: Serafim on St-Paul & Bonsecours is a health food store (a bit like Rachelle-Berry). They have a nice choice of organic fruits & veggies and also have take out meals. They have a couple of tables inside if you want to eat there and I was told they have wireless internet. The second place is stewstop on St-Paul between St-Pierre & McGill (across from Olive & Gourmando). This place also serves organic meals and sell organic wines. Haven't tried it yet but looked at their menu online: www.stewstop.ca.
It is a bit of both! You can buy products to take out (either from a freezer or a refrigerator). I was given the impression that most of their stuff is made in St. Sauveur and either "finished" or reheated at the restaurant. My one take out experience was less than stellar and I found it expensive given the relatively small portions. Given the choice of StewStop or Olive and Gourmando right across the street I would opt for the latter hands down. That being said I wish them luck.
In addition, there is a new Italian restaurant about to open in the location of the short-lived boulangerie on Place d'Youville.
Yeah, that was my impression too: small portions, awfully high prices for refrigerated takeout, and a marked lack of variety. I also noticed they don't even include a small side salad or even a drink with the grain/stew combos; their wimpy looking side salad was $4-something extra (on top of the average of $9 per entree!). I walked out empty-handed and got the $6.50 lunch special at Clafouti on St. Jacques instead. (Love that place!)
That said, I have been known to overpay for O&G's addictive tofu panini which comes with even less in the way of accountrements. But that place seems more appealing when I'm craving a special treat for lunch. I might sniff around this StewStop joint a few more times before giving up completely, but suspect I'll continue to be disappointed.
Man, this whole experience made me really miss that short-lived, ill-fated catering joint that was on St. Pierre for a few months last summer - you could pick up a chilled tray of amazing stuff from the day before, and it usually included a starch, veg, and protein. You could add a soup or salad for, like, $1, for a total cost of $5. In retrospect, these insanely low prices almost certainly contributed to their untimely demise...<sniff>
I haven't been to the Stew Stop, but my colleagues (my office is a couple of doors away) were definitely not impressed - I heard horror stories of overpriced tiny portions of tasteless (but organic and healthy!) dishes. They ate everything they ordered but still left hungry.
Also, I was talking with the owner and apparently none of the food is made on site, it's all assembled in St-Sauveur and just heated up there!
I guess the undoubtedly exorbitant cost of driving to and from up north on a regular basis is reflected in the prices... not to mention the rent they must be shelling out (the place is huge... what are they thinking!!)
I guess the high prices are indirectly associated with the outlandish price of