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Where to get a turkey in Montreal

We're from NY and our son's in his first year at McGill, so we though we'd head up to Montreal and do American Thanksgiving dinner with him this year (on the Saturday, since he'll have classes Thurs & Fri). We've rented a house with fully equipped kitchen, right near the Atwater market, which is also close to his dorm. I can shop for the food when I get there but I'd like to make sure we have the turkey secured. I can send my son out scouting if I know where to send him. Would prefer fresh but could do frozen if we have to. I know there are several butchers in the market as well as a couple of large supermarkets in the neighborhood. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. There are probably numerous viable options, but I tend towards one of two when I feel the need to sate my fowl desires. I'm not sure, however, if either will have birds for American thanksgiving...

    For sheer novelty, Schwartz's sells birds smoked in a manner similar to their famous smoked meat. It’s not really a substitute for a freshly cooked turkey at the table, and it tends to be a bit on the dry side, but it’s a unique option with a distinctly Montreal feel.

    Schwartz's
    3895 Saint-Laurent Boulevard
    Montreal, Quebec
    H2W 1X9
    Canada

    Tel.: (514) 842-4813
    Fax: (514) 842-0800
    http://www.schwartzsdeli.com/index2.html

    I go to a little German grocery store near where I live that is very serious about its butcher shop, and I’ve always been impressed by the Turkeys they sell. In truth, I think I get them at Christmas, but you could check, the might have them for American Thanksgiving. I always reserve one in advance. I think you’ll be well cared for there, and you’ll probably enjoy the store itself, as it has a wide variety of excellent foodstuffs

    Boucherie Atlantique Ltee
    5060 chemin de la cote-des-Neiges
    Montréal, QC H3V 1G6
    (514) 731-4764

    1 Reply
    1. re: erich wiess

      We had schwartz's last giftmas and the instructions were to heat it up in oven with water in bottom of pan so it gets steamed and hence less dry.

      I did not find it to be like a similar principle of meat reparation to their smoked meat at all, but I might just be clueless.

    2. erich weiss's reccos are spot on though I'd be surprised if you couldn't score a fresh turkey at least as good as Atlantique's at the Atwater market. On the other hand, Atlantique sells a wide assortment of delicious sides -- many of them Germanic like spätzle and cucumber salad -- that might tip the balance in favour of a visit. Three Atwater butchers I've had good experiences with are Boucherie des Tours (514 931-4406), A. Bélanger et fils (514 935-2439) and, probably best (and definitely priciest) of all, the organic Les fermes St-Vincent (514 937-4269). All three are located on the second floor. And, yes, since it's not a holiday up here, you'd be smart to order your turkey ahead of time.

      The public markets have a website: www.marchespublics-mtl.com
      For the English version, click on Welcome and then on Atwater market.

      4 Replies
      1. re: carswell

        Where would you recommend picking up an organic turkey (preferably at Jean Talon market) this weekend?

        1. re: Plateaumaman

          There's a Les fermes St-Vincent outlet in the new extension (514 271-0209). You could also ask at Prince Noir (514 906-1110) and, maybe, Les volailles et gibiers du marché (514 271-4141). Probably best to call now and reserve.

        2. re: carswell

          Thanks both! I'll make a few calls and see what I can get.

        3. I bought an organic turkey from Les Fermes St-Vincent at the Atwater market one year. It was pretty expensive but worth it. It really was the best Thanksgiving turkey I've ever had.

          1. Funny thing is that we buy turkeys in upstate NY and Vermont and bring 'em back. They're a LOT cheaper.
            You can bring it up if you're worried about it.

            4 Replies
            1. re: porker

              i did think about bringing one with me in a cooler (it's about 7 hour drive) but I guess I'd have to check customs rules. Wouldn't want to be stopped at the border for smuggling in poultry!

                  1. re: corgimom

                    FWIT, I saw fresh turkeys at Costco last week (Oct. 9 maybe?). Not that Costco is necessarily everyone's first choice for meat (but actually they're not so bad...)