Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hometown Memories: Old-Style Pizza

You know how we always say “the greatest thing since sliced bread” as a means of praising some great invention or accomplishment. Well, we shouldn’t. We should be saying “the greatest thing since pizza” instead. Every latest and greatest invention or development should be compared to pizza. Because the world became a better place when it came along.

In the neighbourhood I grew up in, there was the small, family-run ‘Miss Jean Talon’ restaurant (Mademoiselle Jean Talon in French) that made the most ridiculously good pizza you could ever hope for. And you know what? It’s still there.


This well-known eatery has been around for a long time. It started as a Chinese restaurant in 1957, and was bought by a team of Greeks in 1959 that started making and delivering the tastiest pizza around. Forget those big chain pizza joints. Their pizza doesn’t compare to those small mom and pop shops that were a dime a dozen back in my day with their jukeboxes and old-fashioned dining booths. There aren’t too many of them left these days (they’ve been crushed by the bigger places) but Miss Jean Talon has stood the test of time.


The restaurant has changed ownership since I was a child, and is now run by a woman together with her son. It continues to serve a variety of foods, and has been upgraded to include an ice cream parlour. The interior décor has also been modified, although it’s not exactly a fine dining setting. But Miss Jean Talon’s charm lies in the casual setting, the simple food, the friendly staff, and of course, the mouth-watering pizza.


When we were in Montreal this past Saturday, we went there to have lunch with my family. To have pizza, to be precise. And from the first to last bite of this greatest invention, I was reminded, once again, of all that’s right with this world.

If you ever find yourself in Montreal, drop in to this decades-old establishment, and treat yourself to old-style pizza. You’ll be happy you did.


(The restaurant's website can be found here.)

30 comments:

  1. ah ..,. my kind of place! I would LOVE to go to Montreal one of these days ... doubt I'll ever make it. Love seeing it through your blog. and I agree... nothing like good Pizza ...

    'morning, Martha ;)

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    1. I really like these laid back places, too. No fancy shmancy stuff; just good food. I'm glad you enjoy these posts, Carolyn. It gives people an idea of the world I grew up in. I enjoy when fellow bloggers post about similar things.

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  2. You are SO right, Martha! Independent pizza places are the absolute best! Too bad they're on the endangered list these days.

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    1. They certainly are endangered. It's too bad, because these places make the best pizza.

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  3. Mmmmm.....I love me a good slice of pizza. Yes, a much better invention than sliced bread. :)

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  4. Oh my how yummy! :). I love pizza, and it really is one of the best creations in.the universe!

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    1. The best. If I can only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be pizza.

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  5. I love pizza and i am heading right to Montreal ... LOL
    It's great that the restaurant is still around ... a long time to be in business, wonderful !

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    1. Are you there yet, Margie? LOL... Yes, it's great that this place is still around. So many others have come and gone.

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  6. Where I grew up, Port Chester, NY - a tiny, quaint village bording on Greenwhich, CT has a great family owned pizza joint. So great, in fact, that my peeps come form IL, MD, and NC just to eat there. My brothers and sisters grew up with and were good friends of the family. They serve the most superb pan and brick-oven cooked pizza. I will pit them against any pizza place in the world - that's how great their pizza is. Great post. Cheers!!

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    1. Pan and brick-oven cooked pizza...mmm...sounds so good. There are some family owned restaurants that make the best things.

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  7. Jean-talon is a street, if \I remember correctly there is this little Japanese restaurant in around the area you're showing where they make the best sushi ever...In fact you can watch them make it and when it,s ready you go get comfortable in your very own space and place footsies I mean eat sushi lol Love this post

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    1. I wonder where that is, Lorraine? I've never noticed it, but Jean Talon is a very big street, and it could be anywhere. Plus, I moved away a while back, so I don't know what's around there anymore. I should ask my brother since he's still in the neighbourhood.

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    2. it must have been on Catherine Street, isn't that very everything is? yesterday I had a sudden craving to leave everything behind and go back to my birthplace, Montreal,crash in with some cousins or aunts but a lot of them have left Montreal, are in Europe but I'm pretty sure there are quite a few left, after all we were the only family that moved away way back when ...oh boy

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    3. It's possible it was there. Saint Catherine Street is in downtown Montreal, and is filled with businesses. It is a huge street!

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  8. Do you also speak French? Three languages is impressive!

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    1. My French is quite poor. Sounds silly since I lived in a province that mainly speaks French. But that's the way it is. My two girls and my husband speak French fluently. And my daughters are, in fact, trilingual. They speak English, French and Greek.

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  9. what a great feature! The pizza sounds delicious!

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  10. You're lucky. thee are very few Mom and Pop shops left. they were the best because they made stuff from scratch and used their own recipes.

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    1. They really were the best. It's too bad all the big chain restaurants shut them down.

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  11. pizza is my favorite food. It's hard to see the smaller pizza places these days. Though one local one has my favorite pizza

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    1. It's my favourite food, too! But the big chains aren't that good. I prefer the small mom and pop shops. There just aren't that many around anymore.

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  12. Replies
    1. No so lucky now since I don't live in that city anymore. But when we visit in Montreal, we quite often have pizza.

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  13. I love this post. Nothing like a good eatery.

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    1. You bet! My favourites are the ones that you can really kick back and relax. Not snobby places for me!

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  14. One food I really miss from Montreal is souvlaki and pita, all dressed, with garlicky tzatziki dripping out of it. And the fact that you could have it delivered from the little resto on the corner. People in RI have no idea. Really.

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    1. Hahaha...yes, they really have no idea! We have all of that here, thank goodness :) You should make it yourself, if you don't already. Very easy, and much healthier.

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