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?
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
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.
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.