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May 22, 2011 07:02 AM

Memorial Day Weekend Montreal

Hello All,

My wife, daughter and I are spending the long weekend in Montreal, traveling from Boston. We have spent a decent amount of time already in the city and will be focusing on some of our favorites.

Here is our itinerary:

Saturday lunch: La Brioche (Montpelier, VT on the way)

Saturday Dinner: Au Pied de Cochon

Sunday Breakfast/Brunch: Jean Talon Market. What are some must eat's in the market while exploring?

Sunday Lunch: Schwartz's

Sunday Dinner: Le Comptoir

Monday Breakfast: St-Viateur Bagels for the ride home

- Please let me know if there are any glaring misses from above. Also this will be our first time traveling to Montreal with our infant daughter (she is 6 months old). Are there any of the above that would not be suitable considering she is there? We typically have not dined at "kid friendly" establishments in Boston and from our travels with her so far, she basically behaves herself wherever we go.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. make sure that APDC knows you have a baby so you'll have somewhere to put her!

    1. As long as you get in "early", both Au Pied de Cochon and "Le Comptoir" will be fine with the baby; both places get more crowded as the evening move along.

      Jean-Talon Market :
      For prepared food, there are a few sandwich places, Arab and East-European, for fries, there is a small outlet of "Frites Alors" (I like them), for ice-cream/gelato/sorbet, there is "Havre Aux Glaces", for meat, there is a seller on the south east-corner that sells bison burgers (I think) and other small bytes like that; for sea-food, there is a place on the north-east corner that sells fried calamari, there is also a "crepe" stand and a small vietnamese counter.

      You can also buy veggies and fruits and bread and cheeses and charcuterie and make a piknic out of it, but unfortunately, there is not much place to site down and eat around the market.


      Jean-Talon Market
      7075 Avenue Casgrain, Montreal, QC H2S, CA

      9 Replies
      1. re: Maximilien

        Thank you for the round up. I have made reservations at both APDC and "Le Comptoir" for 6:00pm and mentioned our daughter, so I figure that would be early enough.

        Is there a park near-by the market that we could bring our "goods" and picnic? From Google maps there appears to be one near by, but street view doesnt give me much of an idea how suitable it would be for a picnic/

        1. re: Matt H

          I was at Le comptoir at around 20h and it was not as noisy and lively as on a Saturday, you will be fine there at 18h. (there was a 6-ish kid there also)

          Yes, I always forget about Parc Jarry (I rarely go north of the Market); the park is quite big and nice and will be good for a picnic.

          1. re: Maximilien

            Similar inquiry. My girlfriend and I are visiting this weekend, from NYC; we are 28-29 years old, and it'll be our first time in your fair city. We are hoping to sample a taste of Montreal at unique/signature restaurants that typify the city and its flavors and culture. And we don't want anything too formal or stuffy - we are looking for great food and drink in a lively and "cool" atmosphere and scene.

            Based on my perusal of this board and other sources, I have dinner reservations at Joe Beef, Les 400 Coups, Club Chasse et Peche, Quartier General, Le Filet, and Au Pied de Cochon. Because we only have 3 nights, however, I have to narrow this list to 3. Any thoughts? Anything I'm missing? Any other suggestions? (More specifically, I'm concerned that CCEP is too formal, and that APC is too touristy/cliche - am I wrong or should we skip these?)

            Thanks very much.

            Joe Beef
            2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

              1. re: J1836

                Thanks. Nobody else has any thoughts or advice?

                1. re: dfsean

                  If you go at Quartier General, don't forget it's a BYOW restaurant.
                  CCP and Le Filet are owned by the same people, both are amazing, but Le Filet is a tad cheaper.
                  Joe Beef and APDC might be a bit similar, on the heavy side of things, so maybe skip one of them?

                  1. re: mystikdrey

                    you might enjoy grazing at the cultural feast in old montreal but only if weather turns out to be sunny as is outdoors beside archeology museum. No entrance fee you pay for samples of food from different communities, such as stash polish resto has a kiosk with some of their specialities. Its fun as outside near waterfront but if rains then not worth it. Parking not nearby as they close the streets around the museum + some streets have been closed for summer to open up for pedestrians, so might have to park on streets in behind. Not gourmet food but one of the rare opportunities in Montreal to buy meals from kiosks on street

                2. re: dfsean

                  I would categorized,

                  Restaurants everybody is talking about now in Mtl - lighter and innovative cuisine using local ingredients: Les 400 Coups and Filet - both are very very good but I would go for 400 Coups (desserts give the edge – world class)

                  Hearty “revival” loud bistro: Joe Beef and APDC - Would could for APDC more unique to mtl as it brings more of Quebecois elements (vs more general North American for Joe Beef) and better ROI

                  Finally, quartier General is a bring your own wine and deliver classic and well executed cuisine good bang for buck – but it wont knock your socks of for sure…

                  In a nutshell, if you have three evening and want to get an understanding of what's happening in MTL:
                  Le Filet
                  Les 400 Coups

                  Hope it helps and enjoy

                  Joe Beef
                  2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

          2. Thank you very much everyone for the advice leading up to our trip. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly in your beautiful city as always. We had our itinerary planned out reservations and all but ended up not being able to take advantage of any of them. Here is what we did eat though%3

            Les Cavistes: As mentioned before we had a Saturday reservation at APDC but due to extenuating circumstances were not able to make our reservation time and ended up walking into Les Cavistes on a whim.

            We decided to share the Charcuteries and Lamb (3 ways?) platter between the two of us. The Charcuteries platter was excellent with the Merguez being the standout. The Lamb platter had its hits and misses. The Chops were overcooked, but the sausage was excellent. Kind of meat overload and in hindsight should have maybe only ordered one of the two. The service was excellent and the suggested wine's by the glass were spot on.

            Suite 88: After dinner we walked down to Suite 88 for something sweet afterwards. What an incredible Chocolatier. We grabbed a few of the Artisanal Truffles with an espresso. The Praline and Caramel were both excellent. On our way out we purchased a box of assorted chocolates for the weekend.

            La Banquise: Later on that night I woke up hungry, so hopped in the car and headed to La Banquise for take out. Ordered the Poutine Mart (Smoked Sausages, Bacon and Mushrooms) This would have been perfect without the undercooked "hot dogs" on top and admittedly I envisioned something completely different when ordering Smoked Sausages. With that being said the other parts were perfect. Great Cheese Curds and Fries and for a 2:30am food run I could have done alot worse.

            Jean-Talon Market: Our original plan was to pick up some goods and picnic at Parc Jarry, but the weather did not co-operate. Either way we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the Market.

            Started off with a Cafe Au Lait from the coffee shop in front and a churro from the bakery. Both were excellent, great way to start the morning. Followed up by visiting the fruit vendors for peaches, bakery for a baguette, Cheese at Qui Lait Cru and Charcuterie at (Les Cochons tout ronds??) The name has slipped me.

            I wanted to mention Qui Lait Cru specifically though. I noticed a few negative reviews on the service but my experience was the complete opposite. I walked in asking about the 3 Cheeses for $18 deal advertised in the front in my extremely broken and rough french. The gentleman behind the counter allowed me to stumble through uninterrupted and asked me if I preferred English (which I obviously did) He helped me select 2 local Quebec cheeses (The promotion is only for imported cheese as a side note) and could not have been any nicer and more helpful, taking the time to explain and allow me to sample before purchasing. I also did not find the prices to be outrageous but rather very reasonable and most importantly the cheeses were delicious.

            We ended up having our "picnic" in our hotel room for lunch. Between all the goodies mentioned above, wine from the SAQ and a couple bites of left over chocolate I couldn't think of a better meal.

            Brasserie T: On Sunday night we ended up at Brasserie T for a quick dinner after having to cancel our reservation at Le Comptoir. No appetizers because we were still a little stuffed from the large lunch and snacking afterwards. Both my wife and I ordered the Steak Frites and they were excellent. Steak was cooked perfectly medium rare and the Frites crispy and salty as they should be. Very nice service again and room.

            Schwartz's: This is a must stop for us every visit to Montreal. No need to go into detail, but as good as ever, still the champion of Smoked Meat in my opinion no one comes close. Also purchased some to go in the package for eating later on in the week at home. It doesnt quite live up to the actual experience of eating it in the shop, but it does heat up well and still beats pretty much any contender out there.

            St. Viateur Bagels: On our way home we stopped off for a dozen to bring home for some people back in Boston. Excellent Bagels, split between Sesame and Plain, The Plain being my favorite. Toasted some at home and topped them with the Smoked Meat from Schwartz's which was pretty much about as bad ass of a sandwich as you could ever have.

            One last omission! Le Jardin Nelson in Old Montreal. We were wondering around Old Montreal on the Monday soaking up the great weather and stopped off for a late breakfast. The Crepes were solid, but the surroundings are what will draw me back. What a gorgeous patio setting, about as nice as I have experienced anywhere.

            Thank you again Montreal, cant wait to return.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Matt H

              Great report, thanks. Bagel + smoked meat sandwich, indeed = badass. ;-)