1616 Ste-Catherine Street West (corner of Guy)
|This place, at Guy and St. Catherine downtown, isn't really a farmers' market, but it's apparently modelled after Boston Market and does have one produce place. It's mainly a three-story mall with an assortment of shopsyou'll find Gourmet Hot and Spicy Chinese take-out (with a wall full of Chinese sauces and assorted foodstuffs), a fish place, with some of the freshest-looking undersea offerings I've seen here, an over-priced butcher's, a cheese place, a fresh-pasta place, a bread and pastry place, a Scoops bulk-food place, an Ice-cream place, and several restaurants upstairs. The vegetable shop is large and well-stocked. It's a good place to stop by if you're downtown and want to shop for dinner before going home.
Place Faubourg update, May 2001
A reader wrote in a couple of weeks ago: "Just in case you haven't been to the Faubourg in the last couple of weeks, the Benix store has reopened on the ground floor, at the east entrance. You could update your 'Miscellaneous' section with this info."
Intrigued, I paid the Faubourg a visit yesterday. I was sorely disappointed. In its heyday a couple of years ago, the place was crammed with bustling humanity and gave off the air of a prosperous urban marketplace. No more.
To be fair, the place is still under construction (and has been for over a year.) But, in mid-afternoon on a Friday, it was as quiet as the morgue.
Benix, the kitchen-gadget place, has indeed moved downstairs, but now it's smaller, carries less items, and is more expensive, with one wall now devoted to frippery like candles. The Soupière, across the street, must be rubbing their hands together with glee.
One bright light was a new (possibly reborn) poissonnerie (see photo)the fish actually looked fresh, but there was no one to buy it. That's scary! Let's hope business picks up.
There's a deli-style joint now on the first floor, but the worker was sitting behind the counter reading the newspaper.
The second floor is a wastelandthere are only about three stores open. On the sidewalk outside on the first floor, there's the large entrance to a Body-Shop-style place. Just what Montreal needs more of.
Theres a fairly large food court on the third floor, with a selection from Thai to Pizza to sandwiches. Im not much of a food-court fan but this place is supposed to have above-average fare.
A security guard became agitated at my picture snapping: "Management will have my head!" I can see why. Let's hope they get themselves together and make the Faubourg as good as it has always had the capability to be and not just another faded tourist walkabouthopefully in less than another year. - Nicholas Robinson