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Montreal Area Ethnic Markets?


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Although I live in NY, Montreal (about a 45 minute drive) is my closest real shopping opportunity. I'm looking for the good ethnic markets in the area. I've found Chinatown, but that's about it so far. I've heard rumors of culinary delights galore, including an Italian market that also sells guns. :blink: I've also found the Atwater and a few small shops up on Laurier (although these aren't so much ethnic). Are there any Indian, Japanese, Middle Eastern, or other markets I shouldn't miss?

I'm fairly new to this area and the main thing I miss is all the ethnic food in Southern California. Well, that and the non-arctic weather, but that's for another board...

I'm hoping to defrost enough in the next few weeks to head up for a stocking up trip. Thanks for your help!

Julie Layne

"...a good little eater."

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Although I live in NY, Montreal (about a 45 minute drive) is my closest real shopping opportunity. I'm looking for the good ethnic markets in the area.

I've found Chinatown, but that's about it so far. I've heard rumors of culinary delights galore, including an Italian market that also sells guns. :blink:

hi chickenlady--

--Chinatown, as you say, is wonderful (st-laurent below rene levesque, de la gauchetiere)

--in La Cite (Parc and Milton) there's an amazing Korean/Japanese store

--at Sherbrooke and Victoria (westmount), another amazing Korean/Japanese store

--and at Decarie and Sherbrooke (across from the KFC and down), yet *another* amazing Korean/Japanese store :laugh:

--around the Plamondon metro (kind of cote-des-neiges) there's a lot of Caribbean/West Indian stores

--at the Cote Vertu metro, there's a wonderful Vietnamese/pan-Asian store called Epicerie Pacifique

--the Italian store you mention is probably Dante, near the Jean-Talon market (search archives)

--amazing dried goods, spices, chocolates (bulk Callebaut), etc., at Anatol, again st-laurent near Jean Talon market

--if you have the courage to go to Cavendish Mall :biggrin: , there's a few stores in there that have great Kosher food

hope this helps!

gus

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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You might want to check out Barry Lazar's Taste of Montreal, a book that purports to list (I haven't got it) sources for ethnic food in Montreal. It's cheap enough. The webpage says it's not yet published but it is.

For Indian, there are places on Jean Talon west of Ave. du Parc that would fit the bill. Although I think this is where a Pakistani sweets seller was shot the other day. :shock: There are also Middle Eastern places, halal butchers in this neighbourhood.

There's a good Thai grocery supply at the corner of Jean Talon and St. Denis called Thai something or something Thai (!) :biggrin: Across the street, a Vietnamese place.

The place in La Cité that gus_tatory mentions also has some Chinese and Thai stuff.

Atwater Market has Les Douceurs du Marché for ethnic goodies as well.

Good thread!

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Quincaillerie Dante (Dante Hardware) at the corner of St-Dominique and Dante, a couple of blocks southwest of the Jean-Talon Market, is the store for homicidal foodies, but they sell cooking supplies, not grub. A few blocks to the east, just across from the big church, is the city's best Italian pastry shop (I can never remember the name).

The north side of the aforementioned market has several stores frequented by Southeast Asians; there is also an interesting store specializing in Thai and other SE Asian products on the corner of Jean-Talon and St-Denis. The south side of the market has Capitol, an Italian butcher. Another Italian butcher is on the corner of Mozart and Casgrain, a half block south of Capitol. A couple of blocks west on St-Laurent is the Italian supermarket Milano. Several blocks east on Jean-Talon, near the Fabre metro station, is the Baia des fromages, a great shop for Italian cheeses; they also sell decent cold cuts, sausages and pasta.

Marché Latina on St-Viateur a bit east of the bagel factory has a good selection of Italian foodstuffs, including some high-end olive and other oils. On the corner of St-Viateur and Park, think Greek: Le Petit Milos with packaged goods and lots of pricey take-out dishes. A half a block north on Park are a couple of green grocers that stock a fair selection of Indian and Asian spices and packaged goods.

The closest thing Montreal has to a pan-Asian one-stop shop like you see in California is Kim Phat. There are several branches in the greater Montreal area; the mother store is on Goyer just east of Côte-des-Neiges (Plaza CDN). There are also a few green grocers specializing in foods — including some very odd vegetables — from the Indian subcontinent on CDN to the north and south of Goyer. And there's a small Algerian shop on Lacombe just east of CDN and a Morrocan one just around the corner and south a block on Gatineau.

Shopping for Latin American ingredients has never been the same since Marché Latino closed. There's still a store or two in the general area — St-Laurent south of Mont-Royal — but the pickings are pretty slim. On the west side of St-Laurent a few doors north of Fairmount is the Maya tortilla factory. They may not be the best tortillas you've ever eaten, but they're infinitely better than anything else I've found in Montreal.

Last but not least, Marché Adonis (2001 Sauve W.), the place for everything Arab/Middle Eastern.

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You might want to check out Barry Lazar's Taste of Montreal, a book that purports to list (I haven't got it) sources for ethnic food in Montreal. It's cheap enough. The webpage says it's not yet published but it is.

Actually, when I asked about this at Nicolas Hoare a while ago, they said it was out of print. Is this a reprint? I think it'd need to be updated. Lazar's Flavourguy book recently hit the shelves, but it's not the same thing by a long shot.

Edited by carswell (log)
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Excellent! I knew there were lots of places to be found. Keep them coming!

I checked Amazon for Taste of Montreal book and they don't have it. I guess I'll have to check into some bookstores while I'm up there. Sounds like it would be useful.

Dante sounds like the right name for the Italian store. Do they have cooking classes? Some friends of mine took a pasta making class, so I assumed it was a food-stuffs store.

Thanks again! I'm making my list. I'll have to drag out my maps and plot my strategy. Now where was that thread about smuggling foodstuffs across the border...? :biggrin:

Julie Layne

"...a good little eater."

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Dante sounds like the right name for the Italian store.  Do they have cooking classes?  Some friends of mine took a pasta making class, so I assumed it was a food-stuffs store.

The store owners also give cooking courses in a converted apartment nextdoor. The operation is called Mezza Luna. I don't have the brochure handy and at last report they hadn't launched their website. The phone number I have is 514 272-5299. If that doesn't work, ask at the store: 514 271-2057.

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Weird, I saw the Barry Lazar book in stores around Xmas and the Chapters website says it was published in April 2003. I think it is the Flavourguy book though, as Carswell says, not the older and as far as I know out of print Guide to Ethnic Montreal.

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Good thread!

this _is_ a good thread. and thanks carswell for your informative post. :smile:

chickenlady: even if you just walk st-laurent from sherbrooke to mont royal, you will encounter about 5 Eastern-European charcuterie places, Nino (spice and kitchen supplies), a Spanish food store just above Roy (Librairie Espagnole?), La Vielle Europe (cheese, pate, coffee, chocolate, etc.), Schwarz's and The Main (smoked meat), CoCo Rico (bbq portuguese chicken and egg flans), frenco Vrac (bulk spices, health food).

in other words, don't fret. Montreal's got you covered for ethnic grocers/foods. :laugh:

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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Weird, I saw the Barry Lazar book in stores around Xmas and the Chapters website says it was published in April 2003. I think it is the Flavourguy book though, as Carswell says, not the older and as far as I know out of print Guide to Ethnic Montreal.

You're right, Andrew. I was under the impression that the new book had the word "Flavourguy" in the title. I was thinking of The Guide to Ethnic Montreal, which I kick myself for not picking up when it was in print. By the way, although I haven't done an entry-by-entry comparison, I'd be surprised if there wasn't some overlap between Taste of Montreal and the collected Flavourguy columns on www.montrealfood.com.

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I checked Amazon for Taste of Montreal book and they don't have it.  I guess I'll have to check into some bookstores while I'm up there.  Sounds like it would be useful.

On Boxing Day, Taste of Montreal was one of the impulse buy books stacked on the check-out counter of Nicholas Hoare booksellers in the basement of Ogilvy (1307 Ste-Catherine West, corner of de la Montagne, 514 499-2005). They also have a store at 1366 Greene in Westmount (514 933-4201).

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Weird, I saw the Barry Lazar book in stores around Xmas and the Chapters website says it was published in April 2003. I think it is the Flavourguy book though, as Carswell says, not the older and as far as I know out of print Guide to Ethnic Montreal.

You're right, Andrew. I was under the impression that the new book had the word "Flavourguy" in the title. I was thinking of The Guide to Ethnic Montreal, which I kick myself for not picking up when it was in print. By the way, although I haven't done an entry-by-entry comparison, I'd be surprised if there wasn't some overlap between Taste of Montreal and the collected Flavourguy columns on www.montrealfood.com.

Taste of Montreal, for the most part is a compilation of his Flavourguy columns(they originally appeared in the Montreal Gazette). The entries are updated when warranted. Jeffrey Steingarten does the same thing with his last two books(compilation of his previous Vogue food columns). And the last 3 Montreal Gazette fine dining critics have also done it(although in Lesley Chesterman's Flavourville books, the fine dining reviews are reorganized).

-Steve

Edited by SteveW (log)
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This is the church where the statue of Dante and his bronze books were stolen and returned 25 years later ? This is why they took the returned material and housed it in the middle of the park... I like this park. Great spot for a picninc on lunch break.

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And 10 steps further down on Dante (on the next corner) is VERY GOOD and cosy heigbourhood Italian Restaurant - Cafe Dante. Check opening times though, daytime I think it's run as Cafe - Sunday closed.

Not to speak if you back up a block on Dante to Pizzeria Napolitana (H'm is that the name?)....anyway...huge selection of thin crust "real" pizzas. Best in Montreal? Bring your own wine.

And just to add to what carswell and others said about Cuincaillerie Dante: Unbelievable selection of QUALITY kitchen gear. Floor to ceiling, and not an isle wider then 18 inches. French, German and Italian made stuff. And of course, you can also get a 12 gauge pump action Winchester. Happiness is a hot skillet and a warm gun!

and

and

and

Ah... little Italy. If it wasn't for North Beach I'd STARVE being away from you. Even if it's only for two weeks a month.

/gth

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Yep, North Beach.

I do the Sunday flights, 671 from Montreal , returning every two weeks on 672.

We're some lucky bastards, eh? Bay Area and Montreal.

That's a union made in foodie heaven!

I assume you're tuned into Jean Talon market? Beats anything we got in SF. By far!

/gth

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On Boulevard des Sources between Blvd. Pierrefonds (I think) and Roger-Pilon out in Dollard, there used to be a cluster of several Indian and East Asian food stores. One of them made very good dim sum. It was located on the eastern side of Sources very close to Roger-Pilon. There were two or three Indian places on various sides of Sources.

I haven't been there in two or three years so I don't know if they are still in business now.

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--if you have the courage to go to Cavendish Mall :biggrin: , there's a few stores in there that have great Kosher food

The kosher butcher in the Shmall, aka Cavendish Mall, corner of Kildare & Cavendish in Cote St Luc, has some of the best merguez I have had in North America, much better than the Dartagnan commonly available in the US.

They are frozen, but still very tasty -- a good spicy bite and quite a bit cheaper than the NY product. Unfortunately the last few times I have crossed into the States (most recently in November) the customs officals were meat witch hunting crazy so unless the SF-Montreal crew has some new info -- post Washington State mad cow disease -- it may not be worth trying to bringing in meat. When I flew into Boston from London they confiscated my cryovaced English smoked venison.

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I like Punjab in Lasalle. Small family-run Indian market and butcher. Very friendly and helpful, especially if you're curious about the huge variety of lentils, etc. -- just ask them and they'll help you choose and explain differences. I buy all my dried lentils and many grains, spices and specialty items there. Good prices too.

Punjab Foods

9000 Bd Newman, Lasalle

(514) 366-0560

Paul

--------

http://www.PaulsFinest.com

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