Marché Jean-Talon & Chez Tousignant
As Marny mentioned in the previous post, we've finally found the time to venture out and do some things in Montreal. The weather is nice (and still a bit warm), so we decided to take advantage of it and head down to Marché Jean-Talon. It's an open air market with fruit and vegetable vendors as well as a prepared food hall with all kinds of great things to eat. We visited the market as tourists last year, but we couldn't really buy anything since we weren't making dinner in the hotel. Now that we live here, we were prepared to buy things like locals.
We hadn't had lunch before arriving, so we tried a place near the market that I'd read about a couple days ago. It's called Chez Tousignant, and from what I read, it was created with an old school diner vibe. The menu was basic: burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, poutine (of course), shakes, and a few simple sides. I got the cheeseburger and fries, while Marny opted for the "Tousignant" hot dog (house sauce, cheese, bacon, pickle). The burger was great, and it reminded me of the Shake Shack burger quite a bit. Crispy edges, minimal toppings, and a soft bun. Considering we came from a city with a lot of great burgers, I'm glad we found our first good one in Montreal.
On to the market! Once you're inside, you're greeted with an overwhelming amount of fresh produce. It's everywhere you look. There's nothing too exotic, but it's all beautifully presented. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers...it's all there. The prices can run a bit high, but there are great deals if you look around long enough. Oh, and there is plenty of the ubiquitous maple syrup. It's definitely a thing here, and we got the feeling that a lot of the syrup products are geared towards tourists. That being said, we tasted some maple butter a couple days ago that I know we'll be buying soon. I enjoy maple syrup as much as anyone else, so I look forward to trying some Quebecois syrup. We didn't buy any, but we did get some fruit. Maybe that's because we had just stuffed our faces with burgers and hot dogs.
We also went inside an excellent fromagerie that had some amazing looking cheeses. It was hard not to buy one of everything, but we managed to leave without going crazy. We've had to learn how to calculate kilos vs ounces/pounds, but thankfully, there's an app for that. Just so you know, a kilo is around 2 lbs. The market also has plenty of restaurants/coffee shops/pastry shops/etc. around its perimeter, so you could spend a lot of time eating your way around the place if desired. Which we do, so I know we'll be back soon.