So I've just moved to NDG from Outremont/Mile End (awesome area, but just can't pay 850k or more for a semi-detached in Outremont). I'm getting to know the neighbourhood (I live at Monkland and Old Orchard) and its interesting mix of people (is it me or all the yuppie anglos cramming into the Tavern each night???). Anyway. I'm after suggestions of shops and restaurants someone who just moved in that area trying out (I'm close to the Villa Maria metro). Examples: good coffee? good fruit and veggie store? where to buy fish? baklavas? meat? I know, I know, I've realized I shouldn't be expecting the choice and selection you can get on the Plateau, but still, I'm looking for the not-to-be-missed of the neighbourhood.
Thanks in advance for the help!
P.S.: as an aside, can someone explain to me why there are no more baguettes at Première Moisson passed 5:30pm every day, even though the place closes at 8pm? The staff there couldn't come up with any reason that would make sense from a business standpoint...
After reading this thread, I'd like to add that Pasta Casareccia on Sherbrooke near Royal is also a good spot for Italian food. I especially like the Porcini sauce, my husband likes the Norcina sauce (truffles and sausage), while our best friend loves the gorgonzola and nut sauce. The house wine is rough, there is one opiniated waiter that makes me laugh, and I always leave with too much food behind my belt. Oh and the meat-stuffed deep-fried olives are delightful little fat bombs.
EDIT. for coffee, Wild Beans has great espresso, but his opening hours are designed for his quality of life, not customers' convenience, and he takes only cash. Nice guy though.
A lot of good suggestions have already been made so I'll just give my two cents:
-Chasse-Maree has good quality fish but you pay a serious premium for it. As other have said the CSL IGA is very good for fish because it caters to a big Jewish community which is not always very big on meat.
-Ye Olde Orchard is a great PUB and a fairly decent resto. Prices are very fair and the everything on the menu is good enough, though obviously not spectacular.
-For MTL-style greek, Villa on Prud-homme and Sherbrooke is pretty good (their fries rock)
-Both bakeries right on Monkland are very good, especially the P.M. which is quite large and always busy (=freshness)
-There's a new sushi place that opened at the bottom of Marcil at Sherbrooke which is really affordable and BYOB (granted a bit odd for a sushi bar but still)
-Akhavan is really good for Middle Eastern variety. As well, there is an Espositon nearby on Sherbrooke which has a nice selection of Italian cheese
-Rocky Montana for fruit, no question!
-Coffee and breakfast are harder....theres the quintessential NDG hangout Cosmos, which is great if you want a really badass breakfast. Avoid St. Viateur for anything but buying bagels themselves. The resto , I found, was really underwhelming and the plates were just plain boring. Bagels are great though, of course. For coffee I personally think you're better off going into Westmount Village, though I prefer Monkland 99% of the time. There's a good Italian place on Victoria just below Sherbrooke. There's also that French patisserie/cafe whose name escapes me (Red sign, second location on Laurier?)
-Anyway, good luck in your new hood! Personally I find Monkland village to be a great place to spend a day, its not as happening as the plateau but its not as pretentious either
That's the name - Pizza Pinoli - couldn't think of it at the time! thanks, kzk818.
AFAIK, Pain Dore and some Premiere Moissons receive their bread pre-made and partially cooked, and finish baking it in-house - so that could explain why they don't make more once they run out. The Sherbrooke location used to have this fancy bread oven right behind the sandwich prep area, and it's now gone (or at least well-hidden...), which unfortunately coincided with a drop in the quality of their bread, IMO.
I thought i would report back on my earlier comment regarding the quality of the baguettes at the Premiere Moisson on Monkland. Sorry for my obsession on the topic, but a good baguette is essential to my quality of life (then imagine how tough it was to live in Chicago for 5 years...)
So I actually contacted PM about the issue. First off, I have never been as impressed by customer service in my life. Someone replied to my email at 10:30pm on the same day, saying they were sending their chef boulanger to the Monkland branch the next day. Then the person responsible for customer relations contacted me and invited me to do a tour of the bakery. I can confirm that they do make their bread on the spot: at the back of the store, behind the small door is a very larger baking area, and I got to see how they make the bread and the ovens and all. It turns out that the lack of freshness was mainly coming from a turnover problem: employees behind the counter tended to leave the unsold morning baguettes in the basket, which means that's what you get by 5:30 once you come back from work. Because clients learned and decided not to buy baguettes then due to the low quality, the baker would notice that baguettes were not being sold out, so would not make more. And that would perpetuate the vicious cycle. This has been addressed and indeed, since then freshness increased significantly. Also, another problem this year is the high humidity we've been experiencing; this makes it more difficult to dose the right amount of water to add to the flour.
So that was my good action of the month for the NDG community! Once again, very very impressed by their customer service, and learned that you are sometimes better off communicating your dissatisfaction (the franchisee was saying how difficult it can be to identify such problems when customers do not let them know.)
Don't miss Gryphon d'or tearoom on Monkland between Royal & Hampton for homemade scones, raspberry jam & shortbread. They also do a wonderful afternoon tea with advance notice, and sell all kinds of baked goods and frozen scones at their bakery a few doors down. Lunch specials daily.
I also have to put in a good word for Gryphon D'or. This is one of those small places with a real personal touch, and very good homey food. I have always enjoyed their lunch specials, they are fresh and very tasty. And the baked goods are lovely. The disadvantage is that you don't have a lot of choice in the lunch specials, they usually offer 2 or 3 dishes. But if you don't need a lot of choice, their food is fairly priced and very satisfying. I wish there were more of these kind of places!
Patisserie de Nancy has decent pastries - and a nice, if small, terrasse which is a very enjoyable place to sit in the morning for breakfast and coffee. Cha Guan tea store is on Monkland near Wilson, with an excellent selection of Chinese teas. In spite of the yuppie anglos, I like the food at Taverne (then again, people who live in glass houses...) Le Maitre Boucher is a great little store, IMHO, and there's a decent Provigo on Monkland as well, for basics. There's a small pizza place on Monkland right near Girouard (a few doors over from Multimags) that's not bad either.
I know how you feel I just moved to the area myself from mile end..
For Lebanese food: Chase on Monkland is reasonably priced
5652 DE MONKLAND AVE, MONTRÉAL, QC H4A 1E4
in between Harvard & D'Oxford
A bit over priced but they have some interesting take out food is Malibu Gourmet http://www.malibugourmet.com/contact.html
Agora on Somerled: great fresh Greek food in a nice atmosphere with reasonable prices
St.Viateur bagel is good for breakfasts and salads
Greek Food: Lezvos on Decarie/Monkland (really close to Monkland Village
)Next door to Lezvos is a wonderful Persian restaurant called Quartier Perse
Breakfast/lunch dinner/ B & M on Summerled http://bmrestaurant.com/
Not sure if its still good but a few year ago Caveau Szechwan was pretty good American Szechwan.
I like the bugers at Ye old Orchard..
5849, Sherbrooke O
It's my favorite brunch in town! The menu is very large and there is always something for somebody to eat. Potatoes are COSMOS style which are delicious!! Very generous portions of eggs, Bacon/sausage/ and most importantly fruit Now I won't ever knock beauties or bagel etc... or so on.. but try getting that much fruit on your plate anywhere else???
Asean Garden is to asian food what B&M is to...well, everything else.
They both have their merits and faults. Both have huge menues, are very generous and well priced but nothing really stands out as exceptional. Alyson is right to say that everyone will find something they like and both can accomodate big groups.
For fish: Chasse-Marée on Monkland (west of Marcil)
For meat (and cheese): Le Maitre Boucher on Monkland (west of Harvard)
For breakfast: Oxford Cafe on Sherbrooke (corner of Oxford, a small place where the owner claims she makes the best pancakes)
For coffee: there's Cafe Wild Beans on Monkland (corner of Beaconsfield). I've never been there but it's seems to be a real roasting house.
Welcome to the neighbourhood.
re: Foie Gras Lover
Ixnay those fish and breakfast suggestions. Try them though, you will see why...
Best fish is at the CSL IGA - always fresh and the counter people are very knowledgeable. The fish place on Monkland will be a lot closer to you though...
Oxford is a horrible place with horible owners who scream at clients and steal the waiters' tips. The secret to their "best pancakes" is that they use cake mix in the batter so it's fluffy and sweet. - So if you ever want panckaes like they make them just use 1/2 industrial pancake mix and 1/2 industrial cake mix....
Double ditto on Oxford. She abuses the waitstaff something awful. Never ever going back there.
Rocky Montana on Sherbrooke has the best selection of fruit and veg in the 'hood, and the prices can't be beat.
In case it hasn't been mentioned, the Korean grocer as Sherbrooke and Beaconsfield is impossible to walk out of empty-handed.
Also ditto on the CSL IGA fish. Really nice guys, though maybe a bit out of your way.
Don't you dare miss Bucharest, down on Decarie just below Cote St. Luc rd. Fabulous selection of E. European goodies, and to-die-for prepared food as well.
Dad's on Sherbrooke does great homemade Indian to take out, for when you just don't feel like cooking. Not as complex as resto food, but a really good stand-by.
Bonne Bouffe, also Sherbrooke near Wilson does the best Jamaican patties and jerk chicken in the area.
Best chicken of the more conventional kind is Chalet BBQ at Sher/Addington.