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Feb 26, 2010 05:25 AM

Buying meat at Jean-Talon market

From these boards, I can find out the best places to buy veal, or confit, or bison steak. But I need to buy a few different meats for a raclette, but nothing fancy, but since I have to pick up a few things at the market, I would rather make one stop at the market, than one stop at my supermarket.

So my question, which is the best all around butcher from the market, somewhere I can pick up quality chicken breasts, porc and beef, and that won't charge me a lot more than supermarket? Is there such a thing? Am I being clear?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Boucherie du Marché, next door to Chez Louis. Capitole (west end of the south row) and Milan (a few doors west of the SAQ) are pretty good, too. And, though not technically at the market, Milano's butcher counter is a first class act.

    5 Replies
    1. re: carswell

      Porc Meilleur has very very good pork, the other "newer" stores along the eastern side of the market all offer local lamb, pork, veal (they push the fact that it is coming from smaller local farms). Plus there's Fermes de Vincent who has "organic" certification (they are not cheap though). I've had very good leg of lamb from both Vincent and Prince Noir. But pretty much all the butchers at the market serve quality meats. My only issue with Capitole is that it is evident that they freeze their chicken breasts.

      I used to be a regular at Milan up until they sold the place last year, the guys that used to work there were amazing, friendly, professional and would always take care of you. I'm not crazy about the new management, they don't seem as knowledgeable.

      Does anyone have more detail about these stores that sell the pre wrapped cuts like Porc Meilleur or Prince Noir, are their animals actually being treated any better than the mass produced stuff? Are they fed differently, raised differently. The people that work there say no hormones, no anti-biotics, etc...It definitely tastes better, that's for sure.

      1. re: ios94

        Agreed that, from a QPR standpoint, Porc Meilleur can't be beat. And Veau de Charlevoix's veal is good and fairly priced. But neither is the requested one-stop shop.

        I've also been quite happy overall with Prince Noir's offering (an organic leg purchased there last year was some of the best lamb it's been my pleasure to eat), though nearly everything thing is prepackaged, often in large quantities (they'll probably break them down if asked but it seems so wasteful). Also, I always check the colour of the juices that have seeped out of the meat; if they look oxidized (e.g. brownish, not ruby red) -- and they often do -- I give the meat a pass.

        Fermes St-Vincent is a wonderful resource but not a place for someone looking to pay not much more than at a supermarket.

        Thanks for the heads-up on Milan, where I've not shopped in quite a while.

      2. re: carswell

        Thanks, I'll try Boucherie du Marché, or maybe Milano.

        I'm also hesitant to try Milan since they changed ownership.

        1. re: sweettoothMTL

          Do check out Milano's on St. Laurent... a short hop from MJT but well worth it in terms of selection and quality. Priced pretty competitively to the major chains as well.

          Good luck!

          1. re: JohnnyGeWiz

            True Carswell, not a one stop shop it is just that in my world I consider the whole of JTM as one stop. lol

            Yes, good point about the juices, the labels of when it was packaged and best before date should not be overlooked either. I just grabbed something a few weeks ago and when I got home I realized I only had 1 day left on expiry.

      3. I went to Milano, was very happy with my purchases, even threw some italian spicy sausage in the basket. And I was positively surprised by the quality of the vegetables/fruits (altough when compared to my Loblaws, even two weeks old vegetables look fresh), I picked up everything there, and only went to the JMT market to pick up some cheese at Hamel.


        7 Replies
        1. re: sweettoothMTL

          Glad you enjoyed your Milano experience. Got myself a case of blood oranges there before the hockey game on Sunday, finished it all off with the family while biting fingernails.

          Great selection of cheeses as well, though you can't go wrong with Hamel either.

          1. re: JohnnyGeWiz

            I agree, I was impressed with their cheese selection, but I was looking for Raclette cheese, very specific.

            I'm (happily) surprised to hear blood oranges are out already, it seems early.

            1. re: sweettoothMTL

              They've been out for at least 3 weeks and they're just getting good.

              1. re: Campofiorin

                I only recently discovered that a couple of the old timers from "Boucherie Milan" (not to be confused with Milano's) are now working/partners at Zinman. It's good to know cause I used to frequent Milan but with the change in ownership at the end of 2008 and I never found out what they moved on to. With the new management at Milan I found the customer service to be on the weak side (and stopped going) especially compared to the old timers so I'm very happy to know a couple of these guys are just up the street.

                Are these Zinman chickens mass produced? All I know is that I had the guys butterfly one for me on the weekend and I threw it on the grill on indirect heat and it was amazing.

                1. re: ios94

                  I've been trying the Pont Couvert Chicken recently from Prince Noir. I noticed that the sticker which indicates the price (labeled by Prince Noir) also states "sans anti-biotiques". Then I noticed that the actual Pont Couvert packaging doesn't make any claim of "anti-biotic free".

                  I got in touch with Pont Couvert and their response was, "Nous avons déjà informé notre client Prince Noir qu’on ne devrait pas lire sur son étiquette les mots « sans antibiotique »"

                  Clearly Prince Noir is trying to pull a quick one, not cool.

                  1. re: ios94

                    Anyone have any feedback or similar issues with Prince Noir?

                    1. re: ios94

                      If anyone is interested, I confronted Prince Noir about their labeling this past weekend. BTW, when I was there on Saturday none of it said "sans antibiotiques" it now says, "nature".

                      The woman "claimed" that it was Pont Couvert that had given them the OK to state "no antibiotics" but as of December they were told that they could not make that claim anymore. She said they are looking for other chicken suppliers that produce significant volumes of poultry and don't use anti-biotics but said of course that this combination is difficult to find and that it is typically only the smaller producers who raise chickens w/o ABs.

                      At this point I can't say who was telling the truth but at least they have now removed the false statement, so I'll give Prince Noir the benefit of the doubt.