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Favorite butcher at Atwater

Let me try this: What's your favorite butcher at Atwater and why; that is, what do you buy from them?


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  1. I've been buying from La Tour for home and restaurant use. Special requests on trimming, cuts and other things are always cheerfully met, provided you don't ask for something difficult in the middle of a Saturday rush. I like the overall quality of the meat!

    4 Replies
    1. re: bigfellow

      I left out my answer to second part of the question: Bavettes.

      1. re: bigfellow

        I had never heard the term "bavette", until coming to Montreal. What's the appeal? Isn't it just skirt, flank, flap or minute steak? An inexpensive, tough, piece of meat. Bavette sounds fancier! In the West it's on every family restaurant menu and lives up to the tough and cheap reputation!

        1. re: eatwell

          If you know how to cook it then it does become a little piece of heaven. It is called Bavette because that is French and it is a French cut of meat. Most of the people here in Montreal are French. So I don't know about fancy sounding.

          1. re: bigfellow

            my husband gets a bavette from the organic butcher and grills it with asian marinade and it is the most amazing and tender piece of meat. mmm. I also get the organic ground beef always because i have a rather sensitive palate to the taste of meat and i find that sometimes non-organic ground beef tastes a bit off to me as most butchers will sometimes grind whatever they want to get rid of into it. But now that i am thinking about it, i realize that i have never tried ground beef from les tours,. i guess i will try that next.

    2. I like the french guy with the red buret (forgot name of store). He is very good and all the butchers at his shop are really helpful. When you ask them to recommend a cut as they hand it to you they are giving you ideas about how to cook it. I love it when the butcher is worried that i might 'ruin' his meat by cooking it at the wrong temp or without proper seasoning. (i am told i look 10 years younger than my age, so, i see why they would worry about me ruining their meat). I do have a very sensitive palate when it comes to meat freshness and this store has never yet sold me anything that i have remotely felt as being subpar. This is quite a feat.

      1. forgot to answer the second part of the question, buy whatever they recommend, and my favorite: lamb tenderloin, cooked by their recipe. mmmmmmm. y

        2 Replies
        1. re: hala

          The "French guy with the red beret" is one of the owners of Boucherie des Tours recommended by bigfellow above. I like them as well but will also use Adelard Belanger and Claude & Henri.

          1. re: eat2much

            The "French guy with the red beret" is Yves. And he just published a cookbook with recipes for all sorts of meats - it should be out now, its' originial publication was apparently delayed.
            Off the top of my head, I love their lamb, bavette, onglet, escalopes de veau, sanglier (when they have it in the fall)...

        2. I primarily use Claude & Henri but will go to Tours and Adélard Belanger as they don't completely overlap on offerings. Same reasons: quality of meats, variety.

          1 Reply
          1. re: wattacetti

            I guess I left out the second part as well. Foie gras (Claude & Henri only), duck, geese, quail, turkey wings, chicken carcasses, standing rib, striploin, pork belly.

          2. Back when I was a carnivore, I liked SOS Boucher. Nice French lady ran the place (haven't been in a couple of years, so I don't know anymore). Her place is at the north-east end of 'butcher row' upstairs.

            I liked her chicken balottines and her forcemeat-stuffed debonned whole quails. The quails made for delicious and easy suppers that would really impress guests.

            1. Fermes St-Vincent for rabbit, pork and veal, but only when I'm feeling flush. Bélanger for duck confit (though Fromagerie du marché Atwater has better, if more expensive and not as good as the old regime's, confit from La Griondine) and whatever looks good. Boucherie des Tours for just about everything else.

              3 Replies
              1. re: carswell

                Boucherie des Tours is always my first stop for meats. As mentioned above their quality is good and they are always friendly and very knowledgeable. If they don't have what I want I'll try the others. However, for high quality, organic, turkey breast it's Fermes St-Vincent. As carswell mentioned, not cheap ($82 for a large full breast which I divide up and freeze) but top quality. Also a good place for Duck eggs whenever you feel the desire for such.

                1. re: carswell

                  I know that the fromagerie has a few different confits, thought that they carried Girondine's but maybe I'm confused. Which 'old regime' do you mean?

                  1. re: Brucemtl

                    As far as I can tell, La Girondine changed hands a few years back. The original owners (the Bardos if I recall correctly) were French, from the Bordeaux region, whence the business's name. The current owners appear to be Québécois (Sylvie Campbell and
                    François Desautels).

                2. Thanks, all! I have been, slowly, trying many as per suggestions. We visited M Red Beret yesterday -- what a nice fellow, although it sounds as if there may be more than one who don the garb. He gave my little puppy a sausage which was terribly nice; we're not actually too used to freebies (not big-enough spenders!) so I bought some quail, which I've never cooked. As noted they gave out a recipe but it was not understandable to me, a uni-anglo-phone, and it even defeated my translation software. So I just winged it (so to speak) and was thrilled. When the package was opened it was clear that was very, very fresh meat.

                  Lots of fun. I've heard disparaging things about Atwater, but I really, really enjoy perusing the place. And it's interesting to hear how many people have so many different, favorites.