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Dec 17, 2009 10:12 PM

Advice on navigating NDG-Westmount butchers for lamb

Hi all. My family traditionally eats lamb shoulder chops at the holidays and I need to acquire a sizeable number of these tiny yet exorbitant treasures. I'm more than a little overwhelmed by the butchers around here and sure could use some help. I don't ordinarily buy meat so I don't quite know what to look for from a butcher shop in general and don't have a stock of experience to draw from at any one place. The butchers at Atwater all look so amazing and I have come to realize they seem to have a speciality, say, wrapped up prepared thingeymabobs (as I mentioned, I don't eat meat much), or sausage, etc.

Does one of these establishments specialize in lamb or do they all pretty much have lamb available and/or can get it? Is one of these places more economical? Is one blessed with especially good quality lamb?

I am also close to Le Maitre Bucher in Monkland if that happens to be a viable alternative. It's more convenient for me and when I priced some meats recently I was surprised to discover they were actually cheaper at LMB than Atwater. OTOH, for this special meal if Atwater is better I'd rather get the best even if more pricey.

Also, a question about lamb chops. I was told once there are three kinds and I can't quite remember what I was quoted. But I was looking at some posters at one of those butchers and they seemed to have far more than that available. I'm looking for the ones with a tiny little "Eye" of meat close to the bone. Does that identify the cut at all?

Last, if someone wishes to recommend a butcher in another location entirely that's extraordinarily good, I am not at all wedded to these two locations. I just sort of figured likely these were pretty top-notch, but please enlighten me if there's someplace of better value or quality. I do need to stay pretty close to NDG for logistic reasons, though.

Thanks, all.

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  1. here is a page with lamb chop cuts. You are probably looking for rib chops.

    I would go with Maitre Boucher if I were you. I have never been disappointed with any meat I have bought there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: C70

      Thanks ... I was afraid I was spelling Maitre Boucher wrong!

      So you don't think Atwater is significantly better enough to warrant the trip from the neighborhood... good thought about Akhavan. They certainly go through enough lamb there; my goodness!

      1. re: aliris

        I like the lamb at boucer de Tours at Atwater Market.

    2. Seems like Akhavan on Sherbrooke is in your backyard
      although I can't vouch for the quality of lamb. I would guess its pretty good based on the volume of people I always see at the counter.

      2 Replies
      1. re: porker

        I can't vouch for Akhavan's lamb either (beyond having bought chops once or twice and finding them good), but I was always impressed with the quality of their other meats. And their prices tend to be much more reasonable than elsewhere, especially just about anyone at Atwater.

        1. re: porker


          I am very very picky about lamb - and I have to say that I find the lamb at Akhvan top notch - always fresh and very tasty. I used to only buy lamb at Claude et Henri at the Atwater market - but it's much more expensive there, and in a blind taste test, I could not tell the difference between the two. Honest injun.

        2. Boucherie Westmount on Sherbrooke St W has fantastic Kamouraska Lamb.

          1. Thanks everyone. I'm hearing that Atwater isn't essential to get to. I'll visit Akhavan and ask if they have the rib chops. I appreciate your thoughts.

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