Smörgåsbord of Montreal questions
1) Howdy. Last time we were in Montreal, we enjoyed the following restaurants:
Jean Talon market
Au pied de cochon
We're looking for recommendations for tasty and cheap French and Quebecois food primarily. Maybe one splurge meal. I've seen rec's for Lebanese and Portuguese places that we plan on checking out.
2) We're trying to track down some a couple places we visited and enjoyed. One was a very good bakery situated in north Plateau, it was out of the way and you have to walk down an alleyway to visit them. It was recommended here several times as making the best baguette in town. Secondly, there was a great beer bar which I remember being around park St. Viateur. Any help tracking down these names would be great.
3) I live for cheese. Last time my favorite find was pied-de-vent, a cheese from the Magdalen islands. Any recommendations for other Quebecois cheeses?
4) I live for beer. I'm well acquainted with the Unibroue beers, as well as the McAulsan stuff. Any other breweries you'd recommend?
I just got back from Montreal and by far my favorite meal was lunch in a little Quebecois place on the Plateau called LA BINERIE MONT ROYAL. Its just off St Denis on Ave Mont Royal. There are a few tables and a counter. Its been there for 70 years. My complete meal for $8.50 included impossibly great bean soup (my wife has a fresh tomato soup that was the best I've ever tasted), a generous portion of delicious quebec meat pie with mashed potatos and carrots. We got dessert, tasty fresh maple cake dripping in syrup and coffee. Also ordered a bowl of the best baked beans ever..white beans baked in lard with crispy bits of pork..put a little maple syrup or molasses on top and its bean heaven. I would drive 4 hours just for this meal again! What a simple and amazing and cheap meal. The man and woman running the place were very pleasant too. They also have maple beer and spruce beer (I guess like birch beer) but I passed since I don't like carbonated drinks.
Also had a delightful dinner at L'Express. Sat at the bar, drank some wine, ate some food..had the steak frites. Good.
The bakery you're referring to is probably Le Fromentier. http://www.google.ca/local?q=le+fromentier&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&sa=G&near=montreal,+qc&rl=1&sc=1&radius=0&latlng=45512363,-73675627,13554747439445166052
Don't know of any beer bar near St-Viateur park. Fûtembulle used to be located on Bernard just west of Park Ave. but has closed.
Cheese: current favourites are Tomme d'Iberville, Chèvre Noir goat milk cheddar (make sure it's the raw milk stuff) and anything by Chaput. But your best bet is to go to Les Saveurs du Marché, the Quebec products store at Jean Talon Market, and ask for reccos and samples (they're very generous with both). You'd also probably enjoy one of the specialties of Hamel, also at the market: they import young, raw milk Maroilles from France and mature it over several weeks while regularly bathing it in Unibroue's Maudite.
My favourite Quebec cheese of the moment is Alfred le Fermier. Should be available at Hamel and I'm guessing Saveurs du Marche as well. You might really enjoy Bouchonne, a wine bar with a wonderful cheese selection, especially Quebec cheeses (should be plenty of references to it on other threads). And no, there are no bakeries closer to downtown of the quality of Fromentier - Fous Desserts is even better (although not for bread, which Fromentier wins hands down) but it's only a few blocks west on Laurier, so no closer to downtown.