My Montreal Butchers Review
20 Roy E Montreal, QC H2W 2S6
Small store, lots of inventory. I got there about 6:10pm, no other customer in the store and the meat does not look fresh, especially the grounded ones, they are DRIED OUT. I would probably not going back.
6595, av Papineau Montreal, QC H2G 2X3
Busy store, big selection, but was not big enough to have my desired cut. Meats are looking fresh, very cheap prices.
3833, Boul. Saint-Laurent
Montreal, QC H2W 1X9
Great smoked meat selection, nice steak cuts, slow service due to the owner’s age which I would totally understand. Average price, would go back
6424, rue Clark Montreal, QC H2S 3E6
Mostly sausages, little to none fresh ones. I was looking for fresh cuts, so did not make any purchases.
5180 Saint Urbain Street Montreal, QC H2T 2W7
Small store, small selection, probably it serves its neighborhood well, but not me.
185, rue Saint-Viateur O Montreal, QC H2T 2L4
My girlfriend’s fav grocery store, we loved their air-dried sausages, mainly carry French cuts.
550, rue de l'Église Verdun, QC H4G 2M4
My fav butcher so far, great customer service, excellent selection. I asked for lamb ribs, they actually took out a whole lamb and cut it for me right away.
Most stores above are recommended on this board at some point, you are very welcome to add more butchers and I would love to check them out!
Just propping up Vito here. There is a lot the eye can't see. While the meat on display does not look like anything special, he carries a lot of stuff, granted with an Italian slant. In my experience you can ask for any cut and they will gladly prep it for you. Great quality, very knowledgeable. A real family business. And the occasional cup of free espresso for regulars.
Now I also frequent Latina, and between these two I manage to find almost everything (with the exception of game meat that I go to JTM for). Latina is more of delicatessen with prepared meals. Same thing for meat: a lot of things are already marinated. Personally not a big fan of all their sausages. Over the holidays I had a boudin blanc with truffles that was just bland. But bonus points for them aging their meat. So you want a good dry-aged steak for your BBQ, this is the place to go. Good quality, very knowledgeable, very continental French. A bit pricey though (more than Vito and he is already above average).
In the same neighbourhood I would also like to add the PA supermarche butchers. Mostly for their price/quality ratio. You can get cheap cuts, a lot of variety, offal and off cuts available, some greek specialties (their home made greek loukaniko sausages are great) and other tasty animals like rabbit, quail, cornish hen, lamb, duck, etc. . Also they have an organic/natural meat section. My misses here were stewing beef. Even after 3 hours of slow cooking, though as hell. Also an organic french steak (from Viandes Rheintal) was incredibly chewy and dry. Otherwise you can get amazing deals here on steaks (AAA rib steaks), chickens, leg of lamb etc. But service is a bit iffy, depending who you deal with.
And finally the butcher in the 5 saisons supermarket on Bernard. Yes it is pricey, but if any of the 3 above don't have something I can usually find it here.
Conclusion: if you live in Mile End, you are spoiled butcher-wise.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I go to supermarche PA du fort a lot, for its easy parking and of course the price. But I don't find their meat particularly attractive, maybe I already lost too much faith in Montreal's chain groceries. However, their vegs are always on my shopping list.
As for supermarche PA on Parc street, it's a different story. It's always hard to find a place to park and the year-long construction on Parc is also annoying. Plus, they don't carry sea food which is a big let down to me.
I sometimes shop at JTM for meat, but I don't know if 25 mins of driving is really worth the trip. One store sells local/organic meat(sorry, could not recall its name), fantastic quality, but I just could not afford the price if I buy from there regularly :(
If I really want nice French cuts, I would always buy a whole chunk at Costco and butcher it myself. Too bad Costco does not cut pork ribs in half for the customers, otherwise I would buy a ton.
I would definitely go check out 5 saisons you mentioned.
I think the seafood "section" of the PA on Parc is actually Poissonerie Antoine across the street (possibly where the "PA" comes from??). There is usually some seafood in the PA flyer and I was very confused to see that they didn't have any fresh seafood (just a small rack of smoked fish)...I don't know how they expect people to know that it's in a completely different store across the street. Or perhaps I am completely off-base.
I would not go out of my way to go to 5 saisons. Especially not if you drive (mind you, small free parking lot). It's just a back-up if all the butchers in the hood fail.
PA is not attractive in a lot of ways (especially on Parc): crammed space, too busy, ignorant personnel, often rude. However: you can't beat their prices and you can't beat their produce. Add to that super cheap delivery ($1), very flexible opening hours (9am to 10pm I think) virtually every day of the year. I'm pretty sure if I started shopping somewhere else, I would pay 20% and had to visit 3 more stores to find everything I need. It's a crazy deli/supermarket with a real personality :-)
Can you tell I work in marketing? Hehe. Lemme nuance that statement (for those not familiar with PA). It's quite messy, it's tiny, it's not structured, there are always line-ups, to many people working blocking all the aisles and most of them are clueless if you're looking for something. For you average shopping list it's nothing out of the ordinary, but they have the a lot of European import typically found in delis. Couple of examples: a great selection of cheeses (including real mozarella di buffala, 2-3 different kinds of real Greek feta cheese, handful of lait crus, etc yes - they have the fake provolone as wel sometimes they carry the real thingl), greek dried oregano, deli counter with olives, European cookies (like Bahlsen, Destrooper, LU), 10 different sea salts, etc.. Try to find these things in an Intermarche or Provigo.
The real problem is consistency: one time I was trying to find membrillo. They typically carry this. But could not find it anymore. Asked everyone, they had never heard of it and they thought I was a madman :-)
FWIW, I like popping into Fairmont specifically for the "slow" service. For me, you can buy a hunk of meat almost anywhere. Chitchatting with a good guy, not so much.
This is a helpful list, thanks. I agree with your impressions of Alim Pot. I'm not sure I'd go all the way to Verdun for lamb ribs. The lamb at Chez Vito is price-y but very good. I don't tolerate beef so I look for butchers that have good variety in other meat. I am happy to head out to Marché Adonis for inexpensive and good ground lamb, nice marinated shish taouk, or souvlaki meat if we're bbqing.
One supermarket not noted here is Les Freres Sakaris where you can always get nice cuts of turkey (even if it isn't Christmas or Thanksgiving), inexpensive chicken wings and decent slabs of pork.
Also, I'd be interested in reviews of the butchers at JTM.
I think you missed one of the best Butchers in Montreal and that is Boucherie Westmount. By far the best" quality vs price" shop in town. As good if not better quality than Boucherie Capitole at 30% cheaper. Check out his 1855 NY strip or his Red Angus Rib Steaks .Beautifully marbled and cut to perfection with no waste. He also has great Lamb and veal from Qc. I work extensively in Alberta and find Tony at Boucherie Westmount has better Alberta AAA beef than I can find in Alberta.Go figure.
Here is a preliminary overview of JTM'S butchers:
FERMES ST_VINCENT: Bio fare. $$$$$$$$$$$. But it's bio. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. 24$/kilo for Beef stew meat? Come on.
PRINCE NOIR: Large variety of alternative meats and fowl, so could be a good option if you're looking for Hare or partridge for example. Very pricey though (90$ for a turkey? Come on). And I cannot get over the fact that everything is shring wrapped in the counter already. I much prefer to view the meat in the refrigerated counter and to be served by someone.
BOUCHERIE DU MARCHÉ: French-style butcher. Price point is ok. Seems expensive for some items vs the competition (e.g. pork and poultry), but quite competitive for others (beef, bacon). Large variety. Good and friendly service.
VOLAILLES DU MARCHÉ: Lots of frozen stuff, limited exposure so cannot comment more.
Best in JTM for range of cold cuts, bacon (dont remember source) is excellent, large variety of sausages but of average quality (tendency to crumble...not enough fat? emulsion no good?)
BOUCHERIE MILAN: unknown
CAPITOLE: home-made porchetta from time to time, good italian-style sausages, good overall quality, a little pricey though, certainly more than Milano.
NORDEST: pseudo-organic beef, and some lamb. Good quality, although the lamb shoulder roast was really fatty (rolled shoulder roast, that had almost as much fat as pancetta)
PORC MEILLEUR: great pork. pricey. Quite similar to Saveurs de Charlevoix, IMHO, but specializing in pork.
SAVEURS CHARLEVOIX: Veal and Lamb. Pricey, but great quality on the lamb side. Cannot vouch for the veal.
BALKANI: good for central/eastern europe sausages.
AN-NASR: unknown, imagine it's Halal. Indulge in their merguez sandwiches in the summer time.
L'OLIVIER: unknown, imagine it's Halal
MILANO: Great service, can provide various cuts not usually on offer elsewhere, good quality, prices surprisingly low.
AL_KAHAIR (corner JT and Henri-Julien): best merguez in town, friendly service, dependable for cured olives, lemon confit and great harissa. If you're looking for veal 'amourettes', you just found your place. Good selection of Veal. They just got bigger by merging with the lebanese shish taouk place that used to be next door. Imagine it's halal.
ST-VIATEUR (Beaubien and St-Dominique): Good source for latino (south-american) cuts and sausages, good prices, good quality. Owners are of chilean descent IIRC.
MARCHÉ ORIENTAL (St-Denis, near JTM): Good place for cheap pork belly and shoulder for sausage-making.
ZINMAN: unknown, specialized in poultry and fowl as far as I know.
MONDIAL (Casgrain, opposite of JTM): unknown, imagine it's a latino-style butcher.
Generally, these are the places I will buy meat at more than once a year, in order of frequency:
Boucherie du marché, Marché oriental, Al-Kahair, Milano, NordEst
On a related notes, which of these do you think butcher from carcasses and not only repackaging cryovac packages of subprimal cuts?
I would think Milano, Boucherie du Marché, Al-Kahair
Maybe Capitole and Milan