Food Shopping crawl in Montreal--Please tell me if I'm missing anything!
Coming to MTL for the weekend (again!), and I'll be spending Monday gathering goodies to take home (to Boston). Here's my list (sorry for any misspellings):
Patisserie Gascogne (Pain au chocolat and croissant)
St. Viateur Bagel (8 dozen)
Fairmount Bagel (4 dozen)
Cheskies (bubka and rugelach)
Masa Tortilleria (kilo of fresh corn tortillas)
Union Cafe for coffee and teas
Jean Talon Market (maple syrup, fromagerie Hamel, Premiere Moissin, Havres aux Glaces)
Fromentier (great breads)
Schwartz's (smoked meat, of course!)
Willing to travel for great foodie treats. I've checked out Cocoa Locale, and didn't think it was worth the trouble. Love great chocotiers, forget the name of the one on St. Viateur.
Where else should I go?
Something non-food, but certainly related: you might want to stroll along St-Denis and check out a fancy, high-end kitchen wares place: Arthur Quentin. http://www.arthurquentin.com/
Also on the Plateau area, on Rachel near St-Laurent, Mycoboutique, the mushroom store. Everything 'shroomy you can imagine, including mushroom ice cream: www.mycoboutique.ca
No one mentioned le Marche des Saveurs du Quebec in the Jean-Talon Market, http://www.lemarchedessaveurs.com/fr/
They stock much that is not easily available elsewhere.
No cheese shops appear on the original list. Soft raw milk cheeses (both French and Quebecois) cannot be obtained in the US. If less than 60 days old they are contraband at the border, but in contrast to citrus and certain other fruits and vegetables (basically non-Canadian) they do not get much attention from customs officials.
While Canadian beef, pork, poultry and fish is legal, Canadian game, lamb, and goat is not -- at least according to the last time I checked.
Another item unavailable at least in Boston, is kouign-amann, a Breton butter and carmelized sugar pastry. The only shop that makes it is
Au Kouign Amann, aka Au Phare Breton, 322 Mont Royal Est, west of St. Denis
Be careful though. Toward the end of the afternoon, they tend to run out.
a bit north of Jean Talon market is baklava at Pattisserie Villeray. So much better/fresher than retail.
I second fromentier breads. It is on my weekend food shopping walk every weekend.
If you are buying a lot of food, buy containers at Mona's restaurant supplies on Parc avenue (north of ave Mt Royal). If they have any IPL 60382 stock up. they perfectly large size containers and also make great breadboxes.
Rice cooker in chinatown? We keep buying them for our mtl visitors and they seem to love them when they get home.
long time lurker here, still getting used to this posting thing. and I must admit as an aside things aren't as friendly as I had hoped.
Personally I'd suggest Maya Tortilleria (I've never heard of Masa, unless that was a typo) and about 1kg more than you think you can eat in a couple of days, so that you have leftovers to make chips.
And my personal choice for bubka and rugelach is New Homemade, not Cheskie's. If you have the time you should check them out. Although they aren't the easiest to get to.
Then for some places you might not have tried/considered:
Biscuiterie Oscar, I'm not certain that I would elevate them to some stratospheric level for their offerings - however upon entering the door you are completely and thoroughly entering into a bygone era.
Pâtisserie Goplana, if Polish baked goods make you happy, you will be ecstatic here.
Pâtisserie Bela Vista, absolutely, completely and thoroughly the best Natas (and a choice of them as well) that you can find on this side of the Atlantic.
I, for one, am glad you've come out of lurking! You mention a bunch of places above that I've never heard of before, and now I'm intrigued.
Homemade looks very intriguing - and they actually have a not-bad site - http://www.homemadekosherbakery.com/ I love the sound of the "Cinnamon Butterfly"!
Please keep posting. :-)
The chocolatier on St Viateur might be Genevieve de Grandbois, one of my favorites,
the website shows it as open on mondays, it's very close to St V bagels.
"and I must admit as an aside things aren't as friendly as I had hoped. "
I think you might get that impression because this board really stays on topic ,
and is business like, which I personally appreciate. I frequent other boards that let the members veer off topic so the threads are not always pertinent, despite their title. You might have a look at the "Not About Food' forum, it can be very entertaining and is more interactive.
I agree with souschef, this is a friendly board. Plenty of banter and poking fun, which I always thought interesting. In general, I find the Montreal board has more tolerance to people's opinions. If people agree, it turns to discussion rather than simple attacks (again I say "in general", 'cause you do see it occasionally...)
Sometimes I feel the moderators more annoying than contributors, but I digress...
Back to topic at hand, winedude,
There are many good suggestions here already. Note that quite a few of them are on St. Laurent. With that said, I'd suggest a stroll along St. Laurent from Prince Arthur to about Mont-Royal. Its about 8 blocks or so, some of it slightly up hill. But if the weather is nice, you can better appreciate ducking into various shops, restos, charcuteries, bars etc:
Au Pain Dore (bakery), Slovenia (european charcuterie), Nino (housewaras and brickabrack), Bar Biftec (cheap bear), Second Cup (coffee), Spanish Library (as mentioned, but more foodstuffs than books), Miami (cheap beer and drinks dive), Charcuterie Hongroise (self explanatory), Vielle Europe (as mentioned), Jano (not half bad Portuguese resto), La Cabanne (cheap beer, drinks, and good food), Schwartz', Cocorico (chicken, meats on a bun, ribs, potatoes - yeah I we're getting quite full by now), Champs sports bar, Cinema L'Amour (OK, not a foodie attraction, but an urban curiosity in today's landscape), Mainstreet (cheap beer and drinks dive bar. I guess you see a theme developing?), Patati Patata (almost an institution for fries and burgers (and Moosehead beer on tap!)), Sabor Latino (AKA Andes, latino grocer with very tasty offerings as well).
This list is only a few highlights, as others may mention more. There are also a couple of stretches of 1-2 blocks with not much going on. Also a different vibe whether you're there in the afternoon, early evening, or later at night.
Thanks for the helpful suggestions, please keep them coming! I also appreciate the heads-up that stores will be closed on Mondays, as I hadn't considered that (normally do this run on Sundays).
I was thinking of Maya Tortillas, that was a typo.
Also, one of the few neighborhoods I rarely frequent is Westmount. Is there a good area to visit/stroll for foodies?
In general, it's not so good. There is a Patisserie Gascogne as well as Miyamoto Japanese Grocery on Victoria which some complain is over priced. Cavallaro has a decent selection of various things Italian and some people rave over their Challah. Other than these, it's pretty sad actually in the core of Westmount. If you head over more towards Alexis Nihon / Greene Avenue then there are other choices, but nothing stellar except maybe Kaizen Sushi at 4075 Ste. Catherine Street West.
Librairie Espagnole - that would be "Spanish Bookshop", not library, in English, but I've never seen or heard the name in English - only in French or Spanish, even among anglophones.
The porn cinema L'Amour is an old Burlesque theatre. I hope that one day it will be restored as a venue for live entertainment, as porn films move off onto the net.
Don't forget the messy, ultracheap Segall's grocery just south of Duluth. The produce is lacklustre (better produce at the grocery between Marie-Anne and Mt-Royal) but they have many interesting items, including organics. A friend who lives near there calls it the "United Nations of rudeness", but it is definitely worth a visit, if possible when it is not too busy.
You do like dives, porker? The thought of Bar Bifteck makes me vaguely ill. I prefer la Cabane. Le Divan orange is a nice "alternative" café-bar with food.
There are several Portuguese grilled chicken places nearby.
La Caban is the best resto in MTL. Consistant, excellent specials, cheap, best fries in the city, makes it hard to eat elsewhere. And, Seagll's is the best marche anywhere, where else could you buy the best olive you ever had out of a big trash bin! It's just hard to get in and out of the door there.
Hi Eater Bob!
I prefer the tortillas at Popocatépetl, which is not far east of Maya, on Bélanger - southern end of Jean-Talon market, and a bit east of Christophe-Colomb
Restaurant Popocatépetl 1224, Rue Belanger, Montreal, QC H2S 1H8 514-270-3434
It might be nice if everyone could include addresses or at least general location, especially for lesser-known places.
And promise to be friendly!
As for Oscar, they're all independantly managed. I much prefer the one on Ontario rahter than the one on St-Hubert. Just my two cents. And if you go to the Ontario location, don't leave without buying Pains des anges. Looks like a macarons but it's made of two marshmallow puffs dusted with coconut with a soft molasses cookie in betweet. Tastes like childhood, I'm tellin' ya.
You don't have coffee, maple syrups, cheeses, bread (pain chocolats, ...) ice cream/sorbets, ... in Boston ?
- Gourmet Laurier: for very "french" products (candies, preserves and other fun things)
- Canard Libéré: for all things duck.
- Fromagerie Yannick : for better cheeses than Hamel (but a bit more expensive)
- Maybe some portugese products on and near St-Laurent ?
- Tea : There's a "Kusmi" tea shop on st-denis, it might interrest you.
- Coffee : maybe go to a smaller store ? Gamba or Myriade or Neve ?
- Cochon tout rond (@ Marché Jean Talon) for all (most) pig things.
What a list!
> I've checked out Cocoa Locale, and didn't think it was worth the trouble.
It's well worth the trouble (IMO) but not open on Mondays.
Just a heads-up re: Schwartz's - you may have trouble bringing Canadian beef across the US border, so you may not want to risk an entire brisket.
At Jean-Talon Market, be sure to hit up the Marché des Saveurs at the southeast corner - tons of made-in-Quebec goodies including microbrewery beer, ice wine, teas, jams, and a zillion maple products. http://www.lemarchedessaveurs.com/
If you like Middle Eastern foods, then you might want to make a stop at the new Adonis in Ville St-Laurent - it's really quite something. Akhavan is also amazing - incredibly fresh nuts, olives, cheeses, etc.
It's no problem at all bringing Schwartz's brisket to the US - I just did it a few months ago,(I specifically stated that I had some - they've loosened the meat restrictions considerably). If you go by on weekends, the take out shop is open, and they vacuum pack the meat for you.
For teas, check out Camellia Sinensis (small location at JTM, bigger one just off St Denis north of de Maisonneuve) - best selection I've found in North America.
Mamie Clafoutis' pain au chocolat and croissants are better than Gascogne's IMHO (and cost less, too). Fous Desserts' are also good, but they're not open Sundays.
yes- youmust go to vieille europe onst laurent above pine..its afrench-style grocery store it is absolutely insane 300 types of cheese , 100meats and like 50 home roasted coffees . inexpensive too
might as wellgoto librarie espagnole while you are there.. i reallylike the prociutto unsliced bone-out better than their serrano and my last one was only 5.50
Just one caveat about La Vieille Europe. Yes, it's a nice place full of interesting stuff, but most everything there is either about to, or has past its expiry date. And prices aren't that good, either. So be careful what you buy there.
In the chi-chi gourmet department, I much prefer Gourmet Laurier or Le Fou Vrac . Although, I wouldn't be caught dead buying anything there. I'm much too cheap... errrr... thrifty to pay top dollar for things I could easily find elsewhere with a bit of searching.