Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Public Service Announcement Restaurant Food Safety

A good resource, Restaurant Food and Safety updates can be tweeted directly to you by following    a Twitter account that reports on Ottawa area restaurants found to have Health and Food Safety Deficiencies identified by the Ottawa Health and Food Inspections. 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Brunch in the Village

To be honest I visited the Village Cafe on Richmond Rd a few years ago for lunch and let's just say have not been back since. Today was proof positive that whatever bugs they had have clearly been ironed out. We were promptly seated for brunch in a busy, clean and lively environment. Considering how busy it was service was exceptional and polite. I had the eggs Benny and my partner the frittata. We also shared a goat cheese salad. The quality and freshness were very high and although a lot of food we did a good job of cleaning up. Cafe au laits are good here but a bit pricey. The chef did share his lime honey glaze recipe that covered a wonderfully fresh fruit salad. All in all it wont be as long of a wait before I return for the dinner menu. A neighbourhood treat in the village.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Secret Tip

The secrets to perfect Kraft Dinner, don't over cook the noodles and eat while hot.

Thursday, 24 November 2011


I am really excited to be introduced to the offerings of Kinki and Mambo restaurants in the beautiful Byward Market in Ottawa...........stay tuned.

Che Bello Sandwicha, DiRienzo

Ok, fact is I grew up in Hamilton.  Hamilton is not exactly know for it's fine cuisine but the Italian presence makes for some pretty good traditional food.  There was a place we all frequented growing up called Rotella's Deli.  Seniora Rotella made us her version of a sandwich with fresh deli meat, home made bread, home sauce and spicey cheese and peppers.  All in all the best sandwich in the Hammer.
Now living in Ottawa I strayed to this "joint" called DiRienzo's today.  It's essentially a make shift deli, in a house extension just off the hip Preston strip in a residential neighborhood. It's crowded, old, smells of bread, the line up stretches outside to the street and is run with modern assembly line perfection.  In a nutshell, my kinda place.  I ordered the #12 with all the fixing's.  Roast beef, spicy provolone, lettuce, tomato, eggplant, mustard on a fresh ciabata style bun, $5.  This sandwich took me back to Mrs. Rotella's and the sandwich that set a pretty high standard.  If you haven't been I'll make you an offer you can't refuse and guarantee you Ottawa's best sandwich.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Best Butcher's Guide Ottawa
I love going to the butcher, for me this is like window shopping.  To stand and admire all of the wonderful products waiting for me to take them home and make something magical for my family and friends is almost romantic.  Saslove's on Wellington is my Mecca.  Last week I ordered bison tongue, which is now quietly pickling getting ready to be thinly sliced and sauteed.  A technique I picked up by chatting with the staff of the Murray Street Diner (Also a favorite)  
Check out Saslove's either on Wellington or in the Market.

Beaujolais Nouveau 2011

Beaujolais Nouveau, that juvenile November visitor is here. Try the food-friendly 2011 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. I have had a chance to try many of the current years batch and this one is one of the better ones as well as Veneto , Cantina Di Negrar as well as a good Canadian selection"The Fool" a Gamay Nouveau, VQA Niagara River.  All under $14 so stock up.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Glen's Chip Truck, So Truckin' good.

Ok here's the deal, I judge a chip truck on just that, it's chips, period.  After standing in line for my order I went out on a limb and requested the poutine.  My special request's were crispy well done fries, gravy and some cheese on the bottom (because that's the direction I'm going) as well as on top.
Delivered exactly as I wanted.  Fries were crispy, gravy which is homemade I was told was smokin' hot and flavorful, cheese curds (St. Alberts) were the real deal and not plastic like cheaper versions used by other vendors.  Delicious. 
Prices around Ottawa are pretty consistent but the quality varies.  Glen's was voted this summer as one of the top 5 in Ottawa for chip wagons.  I have had 3 of the others and I put this one above both others.  Great way to warm the tummy on a cool Ottawa afternoon. 
Located: Richmond Rd at Island Park.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Also coming this week

Glen's Chip truck:

Richmond rd. at Island Park.

Coming next week

Review of:

Wellington Gastro Pub

1325 Wellington Street West
Ottawa, ON K1Y 3B6

Capital Food Reviews: Sunday Dinner success

Capital Food Reviews: Sunday Dinner success: So I tweaked the recipe a bit.  The bacala, about 1 lb. I cooked with 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper until al...

Sunday Dinner success

So I tweaked the recipe a bit.  The bacala, about 1 lb. I cooked with 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper until all of the moisture was out.  Then I added the 1/4 cup of dried kalamata olives and the lemon zest of one lemon.  Took it off the burner and let cool.  Put the 3 packages of spinach in the same pan and also cooked out the water while adding fresh nutmeg, salt, pepper and chili peppers to taste.  Once cooled I mixed the spinach with the bacala and olives and added 1/2 cup of parmigiano reggiano, added juice from one small lemon and one beaten egg.  Mix all together and put equal amounts in blind baked pie shells.  topped with a mixture of breadcrumb, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Baked until breadcrumb's were toasted.

I had an extra pie crust so through together a quick quiche, Smoked salmon diced, 1/4 cup of diced white onion. 1/4 cup of chopped mushrooms, teaspoon of oregano, 3 eggs beaten , 1/4 cup  heavy cream, 1/2 cup parmigiano. Mix fill shell and bake until firm at 350.

Capital Food Reviews: What's for Sunday dinner?

Capital Food Reviews: What's for Sunday dinner?: Tonight staying in and making a Torta di Bacala, nice Sunday night comfort food.  Salt Cod is already reconstituted, spinach is thawing, (A ...

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Ben Ben Good Good

Ben Ben Cantonese Rest. on Somerset in Ottawa's China town is better than many on the strip. I tend to belive that if the clients are Asian it should be decent. Hard to get really good Asian food unless your in one of the big 3 Can. cities but this one is good. Friendly fast hot and reasonable$. Good value. 3 out of 5.


I've heard so much about this "hidden gem", how whimsical it is, great food, cool beats etc but after one visit I couldn't DIS-agree more. First impression, it's dated and needs a good cleaning. Fabric swinging from ceiling is like a teenagers bedroom, chalk board menus are not convenient (Come on, is it so hard to print on a piece of paper or hang one behind the bar?). I have no problem at all spending money on good food however, portions are embarrassingly small, charcuterie is sliced paper thin, house made hummus excessively garlicky, spiced almonds mushy (could have been served warm as an improvement), house pate over salty and all were way too pricey for portion sizes. Wine menu was a bit heavy on the Cab's, the food doesn't pair with their offerings. Service was average and I am being polite. I had good company with me for the inaugural visit but @ $150 for 3 glasses of red, a martini + above mentioned food "samplers" not entrees is too much. Nope won't return and wouldn't recommend it.