Over on the Serious Eats blog from New York (http://www.seriouseats.com/required_e...) Ed Levine is lamenting the decline of small, family-run artisinal butcher shops, sausage makers, bread makers (etc.) along with the simultaneous rise of goddam cupcake bakeries.
I like cupcakes, but enough already.
Ditto Levine. Reading his blog post, and the New York Times articles he links too, it occured to me to wonder how we're doing here in Montreal. Obviously, we have cupcakes, with new cupcake places opening pretty regularly, but how's our artisinal stuff?
Meats? What have we got? La Maison du Roti was excellent until it burned down. (Any word on its re-opening?) We have the William J. Walters sausages chain, but I'm not sure where I stand on that... (It seems like the sausages all have the same texture, and I suspect there is more to being "artisinal" that just mixing different ingredients into tube steaks.) I hear Chez Vito on St. Urbain is an excellent butcher but I've never been there. Does it stand out because they are artisinal, or just because they're the only butcher in Mile-End?
What about breads? Aside from the chains (Pain Dore, Premiere Moisson, etc.) who is making good artisinal breads in Montreal?
What else is there in Montreal that is "artisinal?" (For my purposes, "artisinal" means "the production of food items with care, attention to detail, in small hand-made batches, with respect for traditional recipes and/or innovative ideas." Franchises need not apply. I'm only interested in owner/operator places where the people make food according to their own skill and recipes, not according to a corporate guidebook.)
Please weigh in! I want to make a list!