The lacklustre city of Saint-Jerome (pop. 70,000) sits 45 minutes north of Montreal. The city developed around a shoe factory and has arguably been absorbed into Montreal’s suburban sprawl in the last few decades, so it feels like a charmless post-industrial town surrounded by power centres. Why the hell would you stop here? To be fair, there’s a charming central plaza with a massive cathedral and a few small cultural institutions
And a strange Catholic/Communist sculpture in the middle of the square.
But that’s not the real reason for stopping. The real reason is Chez Johnny, an old-school shack-à-patates that has been drawing in customers from all over the northern burbs for decades.