We rated the prepared food at Montreal grocery stores

Whether we wanted to or not, we’ve all eaten plates from the prepared food section at the local grocery store. These are the best and worst of the bunch.

Adonis Montreal grocery stores)
Adonis — the possible king of them all (We rated the prepared food at Montreal grocery stores)

Talk all you will about the demerits of prepared grocery store food, but sometimes we’re lazy and it’s what we need. Still, there’s nothing worse than bad prepared food, which is why we reviewed the spectrum of goods — from fried chicken to salads — in some of Montreal’s major supermarkets.

Metro Montreal grocery stores
Metro (Montreal grocery stores)

Metro (3575 Parc)
I used to fuck with Metro’s prepared food counter hardbody. As a McGill undergrad, I lived in a tiny Prince Arthur 1.5 and ate massive portions of chicken wings, potato salad and fries. This was pretty much the only food I ever brought home. These days, Metro offers way more, including Italian sausages, pogos and a bunch of other shit I’d never touch. Like soup. The chicken is still there, though, and a walk around the counter revealed low-grade salad options, as well as the most vile pre-packaged pasta and stuffed potatoes I’ve ever seen. But hey, if you live in La Cité and can get here without going outside, I still envy you. (Lucas Wisenthal)

Loblaws Montreal grocery stores
Loblaws (Montreal grocery stores)

Loblaws (375 Jean-Talon W.)
As prepared food counters go, Loblaws is pretty unremarkable — rotisserie chicken, chicken wings, chicken fingers and, of course, their potato pals, available in wedge and fry form. But this location does offer sweet potato fries, so that’s cool. The salads are also tasty, if a little heavy on the mayo. The broccoli salad in particular is awesome, but thanks to the heaps of dressing on it, it’s not exactly a healthy choice. But yeah, you’ll find everything from bean, tabbouleh and tomato salads to ribs, salmon and meatballs. And it’s all better than average. Which means the prices are higher. (Kayla Marie Hillier)

Provigo Montreal grocery stores
Provigo (Montreal grocery stores)

Provigo (50 Mont-Royal W.)
Okay, so I’m biased. I’m at this Provigo all the time, and though my wife won’t let me buy the tray of 12 cupcakes anymore, she occasionally consents to a meal of chicken strips and fries. These are obviously your best option. But still, there’s a lengthy salad bar, something that, as an abiding fan of all things fried, I had disregarded until this week. And that’s probably a good thing. The curry chicken looked like coleslaw, while the list of ingredients on it, like other foods, was long and faintly unsettling. Still, this place definitely draws lunchtime crowds in search of something at least vaguely healthier than the surrounding restaurants. (LW)

IGA Montreal grocery stores
IGA Provigo (Montreal grocery stores)

IGA (900 Beaubien E.)
Generally speaking, I’d rather gouge out and eat my own eyeball than ingest grocery store pre-fab — I mean, there’s an entire building full of better food right there — but I’m a soldier for journalism or whatever, so here goes. I hit up the IGA Barcelo, which had a surprising range of foods — paninis galore and the ubiquitous BBQ chicken-in-a-box,of course, but also single-serving pasta dishes and a prettyepic baked goods counter. I tried a mini-sandwich and Southern-style fried chicken, and brought home a small roasted bird. Nothing was offensively bad, but overall I’d have to say it all tasted like pre-fab food from a grocery store. (Emily Raine)

Adonis — the possible king of them all (Montreal grocery stores)

Adonis (2173 Ste-Catherine W.)
When it comes to prepared food, the celebrated Mediterranean grocery chain Adonis, which recently set up shop at Ste-Catherine and Atwater, is at the top of the proverbial heap. The store offers chicken of the grilled and BBQ varieties, in addition to shish taouk-style fowl, obviously available in sandwich form, with potatoes rivaling what you would find at Boustan or wherever else. Adonis’s vast array of sides — the usual Middle Eastern suspects, like rice, stuffed grape leaves, fattouch salad and so on — are also good, and its paella is unfuckwithable. Unfortunately, eating any of these items — which you can do at a table near the entrance — means waiting in line, so take a number, bro. (LW) ■

For more coverage of the Montreal food and restaurant scene, see our Food & Drink section.

To read the latest issue of Cult MTL, click here.

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