Good grocery in Verdun or Lasalle area, good prices?
I haven't had much luck with good grocery stores since moving to Verdun 3 years ago. I used to do most of my emergency fruits/veggies on Wellington, at the Asian stores near Gordon Ave, but now I'm a little further away and looking for better value.
What I'd love to find is a sort of "PA equivalent" or "Fruiterie 440 + butcher + boulangerie" type place, that isn't too far from Verdun/Lasalle. My hopes/dreams include a good meat counter, good fresh produce, and good value. Is that too much to ask :-)
I've tried the SuperC near champlain and Bishop Power (never again), the Loblaws on Newman near Carrefour Angrignon (too expensive!!), and have just been going to the IGA and Metro near de l'eglise metro which are just OK.
So, any ideas about where to shop in le sud-ouest? Good ethnic markets, good value, good meat and produce? I would really appreciate some guidance. Thanks!
I can help you with LAsalle.
Frutta Si on Shevchenko corner Jean Brillon has all you're looking for in a PA style vibe. Fruits and veggies are cheap, though must be consumed relatively soon after purchase. The meat has gotten infinitely better over the last few years, and pork abounds. The cheese and deli selection is pretty darn good as well.
Fruiterie Dollard is great as well, same as above without the butcher.
For a real butcher, La Preference on Dollard is fantastic, and the owners are great. Whatever you need they will have for you at great prices.
Let me know if you have any other questions!
I tried Sami Fruits for the first time this weekend and it was unbelievable. Aside from a huge variety of very fresh, well-priced, mostly un-styrofoadm-bundled fruits & veggies, there is a stand in the middle where they make fresh fruit juices ($2 for a big glass), fruit salads and platters. There's also a bulk nut area, and in the same mall (as someone else pointed out) there's a butcher. Down the other end of the strip mall it says Poisonnerie Sami is opening soon, too.
A few pics attached (I was so impressed I was inspired to snap a few shots). I'll definitely be back.
400 Lafleur, LaSalle (& other locations - see website)
I think Sami Fruits seriously dented the above-mentioned Fruiterie Dollard's business.
Sami's prices are very good; I hate buying vegetables elsewhere - their regular prices are similar to big chain sale prices.
Besides the stuff mentioned by kpzoo, they have trays of eggs (not a bargain) and cheap bottled water.
In the fall, they sell seasonal vegetables by the bushel (but check on the quality).
The butcher shop La Senza moves quite a bit of volume, so the meat is fresh. Prices are hit or miss and you have to know whats cheap and whats not. Their whole chickens are usually a bargain, as is their beef/pork tongues (they had whole pig heads last week for a bargain $3.50 ea). They're big on goat.
I know theres a fish monger around the corner, but they're somewhat bush league. I'd look forward to a Sami Poissonerie, though.
Frutta Si - my favorite grocery.
You can always buy whole pork shoulder or leg at the back. Sometimes (like last week) they'll be on sale for $2.18/kg (99c/lb). They have a bigger meat selection than La Senza, but again, you have to know whats cheap and whats not. I was surprised to find stewing goat pricier than stewing beef (I wanted to make traditional superbowl goat, but >$12/kg changed my mind).
They make a reasonable home-made sausage as well as some house cured products. If you need something from the butcher, just ask - they'll help if they can (you'll likely have to wait until an old Italian lady customer is finished cussing out the butcher). As davidpg says, their deli and cheese section is pretty good.
Their frozen fish section is good, but their "fresh" fish section can be sketchy (although they offer the cheapest live lobster in the city - cheaper than chinatown).
They usually have one brand or another of canned, Italian tomatoes (and /or jarred tomato sauce)on sale to stock up on. Same for 1l or 3l olive oil.
On a side note, while perusing Frutta Si's wide assortment of dried pasta, maybe give this porcini mushroom flavored tagliatelle a try. Its made by Pirro and really surprised me - tasty and mushroomy
Poissonerie Sami: I press my nose against the storefront windows everytime I pass by to see where they're at.
Difficult to tell for sure; they keep a tarp hanging so you can't see much. But you can see the ceiling is complete with lighting and decor. Theres a bank of freezers along a wall, and from the light, looks stocked.
One guy outside asked "can I help you?"
"Just wanna know when they're opening."
"Ah, yeah, I can tell by the sign saying 'opening soon' - thanks."
Hopefully in a week or so....
Made it out to Sami Poisonnerie - worth the wait. Massive but welcoming space - separate counters for whole fish, filets/steaks, shellfish. Big tanks with live lobster. Section for takeout food including spicy fish burgers and seafood eggrolls, along with a dozen nice-looking salads including fattouche and "Armenian salad." A section with tables and chairs for eating in. Large swath of freezers for frozen shrimp and other stuff. Huge piles of lemons and limes, along with salad fixings, in case you don't feel like venturing into Sami Fruit. Great prices.
The tilapia I got was delicious, also picked up salmon filets, and a package of their homemade smoked salmon.
My one complaint is it took a while to get served, even though there were lots of staff scurrying everywhere. Had to wait for the single guy at the filet/shellfish counter to finish serving someone else.
The grocery situation in Verdun is not ideal, but it's getting better. I love many of the suggestions above, and here are other ideas:
Not a big store, but Pomme Verte on wellington is not bad. Aubut is good for big format dry supplies (they also have some fruit and veggies). The IGA on Bannantyne used to be pretty bad, but it is slowly improving. For meat, Vinadal is pretty good. The good ethnic markets (asian and Middle eastern) are on one block on Wellington, but there is also an asian grocery store on Verdun ave. In the summer, Terra Terre sells fresh fruit and veggies at the Verdun Metro station and at the library.
And, Marche Atwater is very very close. The prices are crazy, but they have everything.
these ones you name I am familiar with, so I'll leave a few comments.
Pomme Verte is very pretty, has small-quantity packages of nice quality dry goods, but I found prices there to be high. I always do my fruit/veggie shopping at Marche Frais Wellington, on the "asian store corner" of Wellington (the one with the green sign). Less pretty, generally better prices, I find.
IGA on Bannantyne is a bit better than IGA on Wellington but still, for produce prices, both are disappointing - pricey and limited. Meat at IGA Wellington is a sad affair, but in a pinch, you know, after work, you're late, hungry, ah whatever this'll do...
Although, recently at IGA Wellington they offered 5 lb bags of veg (onions, potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips) at $1 apiece. The best deal they've ever offered in living memory :-) so I stocked up. But that's unusual, I have found.
Viandal I only went into once... I found that I could do better on price and comparable quality at PA downtown so I stuck with that. But I have ready on Chowhound some good things about Viandal. What I was looking for was a sort of good quality all-in-one like Frutta Si seems to be...
The asians on Verdun Ave are ok... in a pinch. Sketchy meat, ok for emergency fruit/veggie stock up. I lived literally on that corner with Marche C&C for 3 years, and ran in there at least once a week. When I wasn't careful, I have occasionally come away with moldy bread so you need to check carefully before you buy. Sadly, these don't "tick all my boxes" for reliable good quality and value.
Except I am quite attached to Marche Frais Wellington... I'll probably keep going there, on the way home from work, for fresh herbs, 79 cent/lb apples, fresh cucumbers, stuff like that. I just like the place.
One more to name: Branche d'Olivier, the middle eastern dry-goods shop on Wellington, with lots of things in bulk. It's a very nice shop too! But again, it's more shop-hopping, and I was looking for that elusive, good-value-quality, all-in-one grocery paradise...
Thanks all for all your great replies! It's been super helpful. Can't wait to try them out.
I don't have a car, so I gave up on one stop shopping a long time ago. I get lots of meatfrom Adonis and freeze it everytime I visit my friend who lives close by. The rest of the time, I buy at Vinadall, marche atwater or somewhere else outside Verdun. For fruit and veggies, I have no problem in the summer since I get stuff from Terra Ter (the public market) or from one of the other public markets ( I have lots of free time in the summer). Nowadays, I get the CSA basket from Lufa, and supplement a bit from the grocery stores (go to store buy only what looks good). I buy some meat from the IGA on Bannantyne or the IGA at Alexis Nihon but that's usually for things that will be cooked for a long time. Dry goods I get whereever is on my way home. I donot buy anything that needs to be refrigerated from Metro. I can honestly say that the milk I bought from that store has been off at least 30% of the time. A couple of times, it was curdled and thick. Gross. So, I buy nothing from there that comes from a fridge. I do get things like rice and pasta or veggies that are not all wrapped up.
Thanks for the tip about Marche Frais Wellington. I will try them soon. I agree that Pomme Verte is sometimes pricy. Their stock sometimes looks sad. I did not notice the root vegetable sale at IGA. They do that every now and then. But let me tell you, the potatoes I got in my CSA are so good, they would make anyone weep. Everyone has priorities. I don't mind green house tomatos, but I cannot eat a flavorless grocery store potato. I had small cut carrots in my fridge that I used for cooking since my children refused to eat them after the CSA carrots arrived.
The asian stores (on Wellington and 5th) are good or dry goods, condiments, and random fruit (pomegranates! Coconut!) . I agree that the meat looks sketchy.I have never bought bread there. If I go to Wellington, I get the bread from Wawel, If I go to Verdun, I get the bread from Meme Tartine .
Branche d'olivier is great. The old man is very helpful. Let me rephrase that. I ask the old man for help and he gives me excellent answers but I always baffle him by my inablilty to tell the difference between things like green and brown lentils.
I do shop hop a lot. I take communauto and do a run for dry goods every now and then. I stock up on things at Adonis and at the IGA next to my IL's in Trois Rivieres every time I am there. (They have an amazing IGA in Trois-Rivieres). The rest of the time, I stop by one or two shops on my way back home and buy just the things that are good at that shop. I am not the type of person who will make menus in advance and stick to these. I buy what looks good and cook around it adjusting recipes by using whatever is in my fridge.