Archive for the ‘Ottawa’ Category

Review of Bread and Sons Bakery

Bread and Sons is a wonderful little bakery in Centretown. It’s the perfect spot to pick up some mid-morning treats, a delicious lunch or even a pizza on a Friday night. Actually, one of my favourite maternity-leave moments was right at the end of my leave when my daughter was in daycare – I met a friend for coffee and some treats at Bread and Sons. It was sunny and warm, so we sat on the small tables outside the bakery and chatted for close to two hours. We each grabbed a second coffee and additional treats as we people-watched and talked about graphic novels, school and work. Some people might complain that there is not enough seating but I actually like this feature. It means that there is a high turnover rate for their coffee and baked goods and everything is super fresh. The busy atmosphere means you need to decide quickly what you’d like to eat. Also, it forces you to get outside and enjoy the bustle of the downtown core. Another plus of this bakery – they try to source as many local ingredients as possible – they even have a map painted on their wall with their local vendors displayed! And, if you’re eating vegan they offer almond milk for your coffee which is a great perk since most places only offer soy milk.  Overall, I think it’s a great place to stop and get breakfast or lunch. Below, I’ve reviewed a few of my favourite foods from Bread and Sons.Bread and Sons Muffin and Cofee


Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
By far my favourite vegan offering at the bakery. Moist, sweet (but not too sweet) with crunchy pumpkin seeds on the top. Get there in the morning before they all sell out. Perfect for fall or anytime of the year.

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie
Delicious! These don’t look the prettiest, are little on the pricey side and chances are they will leave chocolate all over your hands as you eat them but they are well worth the mess and the price.


Pizza – All the World’s Green – Vegan
Before going dairy-free I loved all of their vegetarian pizzas – they have the right balance of cheese to toppings to crust. I never paid attention to the vegan choice assuming it was boring. Turns out this is one of the best choices for pizza regardless of whether or not you are avoiding dairy. It has kale, spinach, arugula, red onions, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted garlic, red peppers, olives and mushrooms. I know, it sounds busy but as a vegan I loved the variety on the pizza – the greens are in perfect harmony with the mushrooms and the olives. And, I adore the taste of the roasted garlic. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the pizzas are named after Tom Waits songs.

Sandwich – Avocado
A great sandwich, actually one of my favourite lunch choices. The avocado is always perfectly salted, the bread is always tasty and the sunflower seeds are a great surprise when eating the sandwich. Well worth the price.

Salad – Avocado and Roasted Tofu
This is the one lunch choice that is “just okay” in my opinion. The tofu is a little bland although perfectly pressed. The avocado shines as the star.

Overall – great place to go for breakfast or lunch.  Highly recommended.


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Kichesippi Brewery tour

This past weekend some of my friends from undergrad made the trek from Guelph and Toronto to visit us here in Ottawa.  When friends come to visit I love showing off our best local venues for food and drink.  This time we had amazing meals at both Chez Lucien and The Manx. We picked up some seasonal beers from Beau’s to enjoy and luckily for us on Friday night Chez Lucien had Kichesippi’s 1855 on tap.

1855 is easily one of my favourite local beers.  I usually don’t drink dark beer but the 1855 is more amber than dark and I find it very easy to drink and refreshing.  It pairs well with most foods because the taste is not overly complex and the after-taste is slightly bitter but pleasant.  I paired my pint with the vegetarian chilli and some sweet music from the jukebox.  A great meal, a nice beer and some good conversation with friends was the perfect way to spend the early evening waiting out the snow-storm.

Originally, when my friends first booked their trip to Ottawa we had planned to spend one day skating on the canal.  Since the weather didn’t work out in our favour we needed something to do on Saturday.  Friday we had spent some time at the National Gallery and we wanted to do something else inside that was not a museum.  As we were planning all the possibilities I happened on the Kichesippi website.  Kichesippi offers tours on Saturdays – and as an added bonus for someone who does not have a car – it is within walking/busing distance from the Wellington West area!

Our tour guide was awesome – she was super friendly and answered all my random questions about mashing, fermentation, and carbonating beer.

Cooler where they store the delicious kegs of beer

Beer is constantly brewing here – it only takes 15 days to condition/age a batch of the Natural Blonde but the demand for this brew is growing all the time.  This micro-brewery will need to get some bigger digs soon enough!

Where they add the yeast and age/condition the beer

It was really nice to hear what a strong emphasis Kichesippi places on connecting with the local community.  Local farmers feed the leftover grains to cows, local musicians cook with it, and they always seem to be available at fun music events here in the City.

One exciting thing we learned during the tour is that Kichesippi will be selling their Natural blonde pale ale in 6 packs at local LCBOs (see details here)!

(Also as a side note if you have a chance go see the clock piece at the national Gallery – it is mesmerizing!)

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Cookie exchange


Last weekend I went to a small and intimate cookie exchange hosted by my friend and fellow blogger Cara of the Polka Dot Apron.  For my contribution I made:  Snowball cookies and Vegan chocolate covered cookie dough.  I liked both but not as much as the other cookies at the exchange. While the snowball cookies were tasty I think they would have benefited from some coconut added to the mix.  And, the chocolate covered cookie dough was overly rich for my taste.  But that being said, I think I will make them again  – maybe with peanut butter cookie dough next time.   As a side note,  these recipes called for coconut oil.  I saw some at Herb and Spice the week before but refused to pay the price they were charging.  When I settled on making these cookies I changed my mind and decided to suck it up. But when I returned to Herb and Spice they were sold out!  Luckily for me, the Natural Food Pantry in Westboro had some.  Even more lucky for me it was on sale!  Long story short:  if you are looking for coconut oil, the natural food pantry is the place to go.


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Sunday musings

Today I’m going to bake this delicious looking Peanut butter banana bread from Joy the baker.

Then I am going to make one of my favourite soups with a twist – Green soup with ginger!  This is a recipe from Love Soup.  A go-to cookbook in January especially after the week we have experienced here in Ottawa. Today, it is -10 and it feels warm!   Anna Thomas explains her process for making the soup here.

Also, if you are looking for something to do tomorrow night this looks interesting. The Ottawa Public Library (Main branch) is hosting the authors of All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming. They are talking about the book and their experiences farming organically in BC.  Check out their company website and if you have time check them out at OPL.

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January looks like a great month to be a foodie in Ottawa — look at all these great events coming up:

Ottawa magazine has put together a mini food-festival called “WinterBites!”  A number of Ottawa area restaurants are offering set dinner menus for $40 or try a luch menu for $20!  Check out menus here.  Runs until the 28th of January.

Winterlude does not officially start until February but there are some food and drink related events near the end of this month.

Mill Street Pub should be opening at the end of this month.  According to their Facebook page – they just finished brewing their first batch of beer here in Ottawa!

Festibière d’hiver/Winter beerfest — Mike and I rarely cross the river into Quebec but for a festival like this I think we should make an exception.  I heard great things about the summer festival.  More information on Facebook.

Also — January is a good time to buy your tickets to the Celebrity chef cook-off in March.

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Food at the movies

When the Globe and Mail recommends a movie by saying “Foodies will love this” you know that it will go on my to watch list.  Luckily for Ottawa, the Mayfair is showing this documentary this weekend:

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Brew beering (aka brewing beer)

My friend, Dave, has been home brewing his own beer for many years now.  Earlier this month I was lucky enough to attend one of his home-brew sessions, where we made a Cascadian Dark Ale.  In truth, I mostly watched, took photos and drank his tasty home-brew.  I only know slightly more about brewing beer:

  • You start by grinding the grains (various types of barley) like coffee
  • You make a porridge/oatmeal out of the grains
  • Let that heat up for a while
  • You filter the grains out of the “stock”
  • Heat the “stock” up again (have a sing-along at this point to pass some time)
  • Add your hops
  • Cool rapidly
  • Pour into sterilized containers
  • Add yeast
  • Let sit for a long time

Please do not follow these instructions – there are plenty of more informative sources out there if you want to brew your own beer! 

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