Good Montreal (Downtown) Butcher ... ?
I recently moved downtown (right near McGill/Royal Victoria hospital) and am looking for a good butcher. I am not impressed with the selection at the local grocery stores (not that I was expecting anything, anyway). I am looking for a good butcher who will offer great cuts of meat (lamb, rabbit and so on). I am italian, so I know all the places to go at the Jean Talon Market, the Inter Marche stores in RDP, St. Leo and Laval, villeray area and so on. I am looking for something close to the downtown area and/or , at 'worst' the Plateau.
I know of one butcher shop on Roy (i believe they are Portuguese) and 'Maison de la Roti (i believe it is called, but that is on Papineau and Mont-Royal ... a little far).
I'm guessing there are quite a few at the Atwater Market, but if i'm going to go there, i might as well just go up to Jean Talon.
Any suggestions ... maybe in Westmount? NDG? Something along the 144 Bus Line?
Fernando, the Portuguese place on Roy, is probably the closest good butcher to you. There's also Slovenia at 3653 St-Laurent.
Two excellent Mile End/Outremont butchers are not much further: Chez Vito (5180 St-Urbain, corner Fairmount), who's Italian to boot, and the pricey Anjou-Québec (1025 Laurier West).
Fernando is great, but they do mostly poultry and game (though I think I've recently saw them advertising lamb). They also sell bunnies (you monsters!) and great house made sausages, tourtieres, etc.
The butcher shop the OP talks about is I think Alim Pot just West of Fernando. Nice family run business with fair prices and they nicely fill the gaps in Fernando's poultry heavy offerings.
I don't have a whole lot of experience with MTL butchers, but I can vouch for Fairmont, 3833 St. Laurent. Joseph (Joe) runs the place and will try his best to accomodate you. I've special-ordered a couple of things in the past and prices were extremely reasonable. He does quite a bit of his own charcuterie, mostly east european, but will probably do special orders as well.
Was there a couple of days ago (buying house-made fried pork rinds, liverwurst, and paprika jellied tongue) and his wife asked me what was going on.
"I'm making lardo right now, should be ready in a couple of weeks"
"Lardo...cured pork fat, kinda like that piece in the window, but I'm doing it Italian style, just dry-cured, not smoked."
Joe, finishing up with another customer has had an ear to the converation the whole time, says "Yeah, lardo, but I make some for a few Italians who like it smoked."
Another guy walks in and orders 500g of ground beef. Joe cuts up some meat, goes in the back and grinds it fresh - don't see that everyday...
They'll also smoke your homemade charcuterie, if you ask. I haven't gotten around to making anything that needs to be smoked, but will definitely head there if ever I do.
I ordered some sausage lining from them a couple months ago, expecting about 30 feet of it. I ended up with about 100 metres of the stuff, for about $10. It's packed in salt in the freezer, and I cut some off whenever I make sausages. I doubt I'll ever need to buy lining again.
I coincidentally saw this after reading your post, so I figured I'd share for anyone interested in Montreal butchers.
Vagabond à la Carte : http://vagabondalacarte.wordpress.com