Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hintonburger and SuzyQ

I would like to buy a hamburger.
I would like to buy a ambuger.

I would like to buy a hamburger.
Eyould like to buy a am-berger.

I would like to buy a hamburger.
I would like to buy a damnbuger.


I would like to buy a hamburger.
I would like to buy de hambeduh!

I would like to buy a hamburger.
I would like to buy umburger!

I would like to buy a hamburger.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

German Town Deli: Sandwiches and Chili

I can't even count how many times that I've passed the German Town Deli on the bus. It was time for a visit.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Kim's Restaurant Revisited

I've tried to suppress my rice noodle cravings, but a combination of being sick and the cold weather made me break. I needed something to boost my energy. I was thinking stir-fried rice noodles. The one with sauce. It has been quite a while since visiting them.

Out of all the Chinese restaurants in Ottawa that I've been to, only Kim's Restaurant makes the stir-fried rice noodles with enough smokiness. I've only experienced only one so-so rendition of the noodles here once out of the 10ish times I've eaten in. We've done takeout twice and the food didn't taste good at all. Speaking of not tasting good; Grandpa ended up trying this place with my parents sometime earlier this year. Or was it last year? The point is, he wanted to see what the hype was after I repeatedly told him that that dish was great. Let's just say that they left the restaurant unimpressed. I wasn't there, but he said that the noodles were terrible because they were black. Dad agreed and said that it was way too smoky. I got a bit defensive when I heard the news. What? Their noodles are great! How was it too black?

Determined to prove them wrong Wanting to confirm that the restaurant still made a solid plate of rice noodles with chicken, we headed out to dinner.






We pick and chose the three dish meal which included soup, rice, and dessert. There was a tepid bowl of black eyed beans, chicken feet, and pork soup to start. Other than that, we had the fish fillet with black bean sauce, shrimp with eggplant, braised beef brisket, beef with asparagus, and rice noodles with chicken (replaced the bean sprouts with choi sum).. I really enjoyed the fish fillet. I know they use a cheap fish like basa but the fact that they didn't drown it in the sauce made it better because it kept the fillets crispy. There was plenty of sauce for rice too. As for the braised beef brisket, we were all deeply disappointed in three things. Firstly, there wasn't enough flavour infused into the beef. Secondly, the dish was watery and didn't have the thicker gravy sauce. We really enjoy the New Hong Shing's version of the braised beef brisket (the one in the pot). Lastly, the daikon tasted sour so we asked the owner. She took away the dish and let us choose another dish to replace it. The beef and asparagus was the dish that we chose. It was very salty, but when eaten with plenty of rice or rice noodles, it was fine. Of course, I wasn't surprised when the rice noodles arrived with a delicate aroma of wok hei. There wasn't enough of the sauce sadly. Since there were dishes like the black bean fish fillet and the salty beef with asparagus, it all worked out.

As we're enjoying dinner, I had to ask the question: How do the noodles taste? My parents' answer: good.



To cap off the night, we were given some warm silken tofu for dessert. Apparently my parents had the silken tofu last time they dined with Grandpa. This was new to me. Mom didn't say the exact words, but essentially said that this was the best silken tofu dessert it Ottawa. The dessert was silky and fragile, and when drizzled with the simple syrup, that was lightly imbued with ginger, the warm dessert was like a warm fuzzy hug.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Seafood Banquet at O Mei

Mom had a hankering for seafood. We were in the Richmond Hill and Markham area all weekend so there were lots of options. She flip flopped between a Chinese buffet to a Chinese restaurant. I was pushing for something a bit more special, so once she settled on the latter, I did a few searches and found a candidate. We couldn't get a reservation for a decent time, so we went for the second option instead.

There were a few restaurants that served lobsters a few different ways. The place we chose, O Mei, just happened to be very close to where we were staying. O Mei's specialty breaking down a giant lobster of your choosing and cooking them into four different ways: steamed, stir-fried, deep-fried, and added into fried rice -- all with one lobster. Fancy, eh? Our family is used to the ginger and onion sauce. We actually make it at home. This was taking it to the next level. It was just what I was looking for.

We arrived a bit early for our reservation and were seated promptly to the rear corner of the store. The menus were all in Chinese. Luckily two people knew how to read it. Our server arrived and began talking really quickly in Cantonese. When we responded in Mandarin, he quickly stopped and immediately rambled on in Mandarin. When we asked questions, he replied so quickly, I started to think he was being timed. Jimmy ordered and the waiter disappeared with the menus but returned shortly after with a huge lobster.

"This is 8 and a quarter pounds", he said showing the live lobster. Upon first glance, the huge lobster looked closer to 10lbs. Mom thought it was too big as well, so we asked for a smaller one. The other lobster arrived. It looked much closer to 8lb but it was apparently 7.5lb. "We'll take it." We thought we were ready for what was to come. We didn't know exactly what or how many dishes we ordered. In hindsight, I'm not sure why we didn't just ask one of the waiters to be sure. With this uncertainty in mind, we sat in our chairs and O Mei began the ride.

A lazy susan-sized plate of steamed lobster claws with garlic and bean thread noodles arrived. It was lightly seasoned and tame compared to how we normally prepare lobster. The noodles were great with the lobster.

Next up, stir-fried lobster with Maggi. This was new to all of us and was a favourite. It was more on the sweeter side, which was a pleasant surprise. We were all so impressed with this rendition, we wished there was double the amount on the plate. Andrew took the head and picked it clean after failed attempts by Dad, Jimmy, and myself. There wasn't any of the guts aka tomalley (had to google that) though. The kitchen saved that for the last lobster dish.

The waiter came to change our plates, which were already filled with empty lobster shells before the third dish arrived. The lobster was deep-fried and topped with chopped bits chilli, onions, noodle bits and lots of fried garlic.  This was reminiscent of the salt and pepper pork chops at the New Hong Shing. Mom couldn't believe they used so much garlic in this.

And the finale: Chinese fried rice with the tomalley. Why not? At this point, we all began to slow down a bit. Andrew was hilariously just getting started. While everyone else kept trying the dishes as they arrived, he kept his own steady pace. That was the end of our 7.5lb lobster. To sum it up, the fried rice and steamed dish were alright. It was all about that Maggi seasoned lobster.

I began to sip some more tea in anticipation for the desserts. We all were.

But then this happened..

Friday, August 22, 2014

Can't Get Enough Dumplings

I just can't stay away from this beautiful restaurant. Just look at it. We've written about this at least five times dating back to 2009 (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th). I try my best to visit the Northern Dumpling Kitchen when I'm visiting Toronto and the Greater Area of Toronto (GTA). I used to try to visit House of Gourmet for my noodles but I haven't been there in over two years (!). During this trip back in May, I wanted to bring VN and have her try soup dumplings for the first time.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Brunch at Pacific Mall, ChaTime

On the Friday of my trip to Toronto, JT (our cousin) and I went to Pacific Mall (aka P-Mall) for lunch.  JT was really hungry so we snaked through the top floor in search of something to eat. It was a tough decision. On one hand, JT wanted noodles with soup but also something stir-fried. I wanted almost everything! There were so many options and so little stomach space. We split up and decided to meet back up at a table by Beard Papa's.

JT returned with Singaporean curry noodles. It was slightly spicy with a hint of smokiness from the wok. JT inhaled the first half and then hit a wall. I can't remember what the restaurant is called, but it's from the place on the right side of the noodle-pulling place. You know, that place.

Since we both like beef cheung fun, I got an order for us to share from Good Taste Garden, a place in the same area as Beard Papa's. We both found the noodles were underdone and the filling was lacking in both the taste and quantity. I do remember that their cheung fun was solid a few years back.

Despite knowing that shrimp wonton noodle soup would be better if we go elsewhere in the Markham area, I gave it a try. The shrimp wontons were juicy and plump, however, they didn't have that sweet freshness taste.

We were beyond full and had to bring the Singaporean noodles back home. We waddled back down through the mall and visited a few candy shops. I was hoping to find the elusive green tea KitKat that I've heard so much about. There are green tea Pocky in Ottawa but not the KitKat bars, I suspect it's because the KitKat bars are a Japanese product. Through the interwebs, I found out that they usually do carry the sweet treats in the mall.

I spy, with my little eyes... Yaaaa! There it iiiiiis!

We left P-Mall with a few goods and headed to Chatime nearby to decide what else to do with our day. At this point, our little tummies were still full but we fought on. I'm not sure if I ever talked about Chatime, but their milk tea is freaking remarkable! I'm was elated when I heard that they were expanding around the GTA. And now apparently they have one at P-Mall? What the what?

Large pearl milk tea with less ice and pudding pour moi. I actually only wanted pearls. The pudding was accidental. The convo between me and the guy, who manned the cash, went something like this:

Me: "Hi, can we get a regular taro milk tea with pearls?"
Him: "Regular milk tea with pearls."
Me: "Can we also get a large pearl milk tea, but can you put in less ice?"
Him: "Huh? Pu*indiscernible audio* less ice?"
Me: Uh... *smile and nod*
Him: "Okay. No problem."

Yeah, so I failed. "Can you put in less ice?" Gah! "Less ice" would've been fine. Lesson learned. It's actually a similar lesson to the "mo' sauce" thing. Anyway, we grabbed our drinks and sat at one of the empty tables. For a few minutes, we just stared at the drinks while cooling off in the AC. I didn't mentioned it before, but that day was hot and sunny!

The pudding was like a softer version of grass jelly. It was odd. I don't think I'd get it again. The milk tea on the other hand, I wanted to order another one after I finished it. Greed. Pure greed. But the way I saw it was that Ottawa bubble tea places pale in comparison to this amazing worldwide bubble tea giant. JT didn't enjoy her taro milk tea because they blended up taro which resulted in a grainy texture. She preferred the powdered taro version.

Here's one of the treasures that we left P-Mall with. Aw yeah!

We headed back to JT's place for the night and ended up watching stuff like Kings of Pastry on Netflix. Man, is Netflix ever addictive!


Good Taste Garden on Urbanspoon

Chatime on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cinnamon Scones

After an early routine ultrasound at the Civic Hospital, I needed breakfast or at least a snack. I wandered over to the cafeteria and was immediately drawn to the cookies, muffins, and scones. Unsure of what to get, I grabbed a cup of coffee first and then returned. Staring at all the options for a bit, I picked the cinnamon scone because it stood out. Remembering the scones I had in Toronto, I excitedly paid for my breakfast and tried to find a clean table that was well lit -- for the photos, of course.

I took a bite and began to chew. Not too dry, not too sweet. Woah! I bit into something sweet and slightly crunchy. Cinnamon bark? No, it's soft and sweet. And that's when I realized that there were cinnamon sugar pearls in it. I thought I had picked up a cinnamon raisin scone. This was so much better than that!

On my way home, I tried to remember if I ever made a tasty scone. There was this one time when I attempted to make buttery biscuits. They ended up turning into scones because of over mixing. Other than that, I couldn't recall making scones.

Then one rainy day, I woke up with the urge to eat cinnamon scones again. With a few quick searches, I realized that I actually had to buy the cinnamon sugar pearls. I'm sure I could've made something like it, but it would probably take too long. Instead, I thought about using Skor toffee pieces to make *drumroll* cinnamon toffee scones. Doooone!

I found a recipe, added more cinnamon into the dough, replaced the cinnamon sugar pearls with toffee bits. I made both regular-sized scones and mini-scones. When these were in the oven, the house was filled with the perfume of cinnamon and sugar.

Boom. They turned out d-e-ricious! I'll definitely be making more scones from now on.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Street Food Ottawa Adventures: Streat Gourmet and Bap by Raon Kitchen

Ottawa's food truck/stand scene is still young and blossoming. There were 17 food trucks and cart permits that were given out by the city last year. Unfortunately, I've personally only tried a few of them. I've checked out the Street Food App before and seen the options out there, I just need to start planning some outings. I'm hoping to give more of them a try and thought that it would be great if I create a new label for the series. We'll call it the Street Food Adventures in Ottawa (or SFAOtt for short). There will also be a new "street food" label too. I invite you all to use the SFAOtt hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.

Where do I begin? Andrew, our youngest brother, and I planned to go downtown to meet up with Lucy for lunch. Richard was invited by declined to complete our sibling quartet. We arrived early to ensure that we'd have a choice of everything available at the food trucks and stands. We got their a little too early and got hungry, so we tucked into the Olly Fresco's Market inside L'Esplanade for a little appetizer.

Holy! It took every ounce of self discipline not to splurge and buy and eat everything in sight. There were pierogies with sautéed onions and bacon in their buffet pans, a few kinds of soups, lots of sandwiches, and sweets. Everything looked so good. I walked around and took it all in -- the sights I mean. I'll be returning for lunch in the future. Walking around that beautiful place while hungry was a bad mistake. In the end, Andrew and I shared a pastrami sandwich on a toasted sesame seed bagel.

There were a few spots that were burned, but other than that, it was a great snack. It made us feel less antsy. I picked up a few desserts for later too. There's a date square, a red berries square (I say it's raspberry, someone else said it was strawberry rhubarb, so we'll just generalize and call it red berries), and a piece of carrot cake.

After our snack, I went to get some cash on Sparks Street, while Andrew went to pick up some dolla drinks at McD. I had planned to grab some lobster mac and cheese from the Ad Mare food truck, but by the time I returned from the bank, they were sold out. My fault. Andrew and I met back up at the Streat Gourmet food truck on O'Connor and Albert.

Based on what I've read and seen first hand, Streat Gourmet's menu changes daily. The chef, Ben Baird, is constantly tweaking and experimenting to cater to more people. I admire him for that. It takes guts but he clearly knows what he's doing. Despite not having a regular dish on the menu, he's always keeping it interesting. Some of the main offerings in the past have included things like peameal bacon sandwiches, tacos, tandoori salmon burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and soups. Dessert options he's offered has been things like butterscotch pudding with bananas, graham crumbs, Streat cinnamon buns, cookies, donuts, and rhubarb upside down cake with whipped cream. Lots of variety.

When we arrived, they had the roast beef with potato roesti, horseradish gravy, with a salad of spinach and carrot ribbons. Andrew wanted to grab something else, so we continued to walk.

We met up with Lucy at the Bap by Raon Kitchen stand on Bank Street (between Albert and Slater). As their name suggests, they serve a Korean mixed rice (could be a mix with other grains too) dish called bibimbap.

For the protein choices, they offer tofu, beef bulgogi, spicy pork or spicy chicken. You choose to have all the toppings like egg, veggies and kimchi, or you can adjust it to your taste by telling them to leave stuff out.

Once they finish making your bibimbap, you can personalize your bowl furthermore by adding some toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil, soy sauce, and gochujang (aka Korean red pepper paste or Korean spicy sauce, as it says on the label). I'm not sure if other people like having to dress their meals themselves, but we love it because then we can adjust it to our taste.

If you aren't familiar with seasoning your bibimbap, I recommend using only a few drops of sesame oil, a few swirls of the gochujang, and a few shakes of sesame seeds. Soy sauce isn't necessary, in my opinion.

There was a bit of a line but it was moving steadily. Lucy went with the tofu bibimbap, while Andrew took the beef bulgogi route. We took our lunches and retreated indoors to a nearby food court to enjoy.

My lunch from the Streat Gourmet food truck was still warm when we began to eat. The tender slices of roast beef sat on top of the potato roesti, which was a potato pancake, was quite enjoyable. As a gravy snob who loves gravy made with pan drippings and fond (the sticky caramelized stuff left on a tray after baking), I was disappointed with the gravy. I couldn't taste the horseradish at all. The gravy, which was packed in a small cup, also had a slight sweetness. I kept going back to it throughout the lunch because I tried to like it. In the end, I left the rest of the gravy alone. The final element of the lunch was the spinach and carrot ribbon salad. The salad was crunchy and the simple vinaigrette cut through the heavy flavours really well. Despite the gravy letdown, lunch was great. Other than the gravy, I finished everything -- before Lucy and Andrew even finished eating -- which is unheard of! (I'm the slowest eater of the family.)

Andrew dressed his bibimbap with all the toppings. Once he mixed everything and tucked into his lunch, he mentioned that he would've loved to add less soy sauce and more gochujang if he could redo it. Lucy used everything but the soy sauce and happily devoured her bowl of bibimbap, with the help of the Streat salad.

It's only the second season for a lot of the food trucks/stands, so they're still working out the kinks. Even if there are bumps along the way, I'll try to support them. You should too. Go Ottawa!


Olly Fresco's (Located inside L'Esplanade Laurier Building)
181 Bank Street

Ottawa Streat Gourmet on Urbanspoon

Bap By Raon Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pho Tien Thanh: The Soup

There are some great perks to living downtown and being able to walk to some lovely dining options is certainly one of them. VN and KN both live just outside of Toronto's core around the Ossington neighbourhood. Yup -- that's the same place as Libretto (aka the best Neapolitan pizza I've had), but that's not what I want to talk about now. I want to talk about this small shop, Pho Tien Thanh, which is just down the street from Libretto.

VN and I walked to the pho restaurant and smelled their lovely broth about five feet away from their door. Once we took a step inside, the fragrant smell of BBQ'd pork (thit nuong) filled our nostrils. At that point, I knew we were in for a tasty dinner. The smell just invoked all the good memories of having Mom's BBQ pork. Our winter this year was very long, to say the least, and it seems like it was years ago since I had her marinated pork. We luckily got there just as the dinner rush was finishing up and so we were seated immediately in the restaurant.

I couldn't decide if I wanted to deviate from ordering pho or actually change it up and try the bún with the thit nuong. Either way, I knew it was going to be tasty. In the end, I stuck to my guns and went with the small rare beef, beef balls and well-done beef pho. Once my bowl arrived, I took a sip of the soup. The aromatics were there without being overpowering. It had none of that strong cinnamon taste like most of the pho in Ottawa's Chinatown. The soup wasn't overly sweet either. Most of the beef was actually still uncooked, which is a huge bonus! You could order some rare beef on a plate and then add it into your soup yourself for $2. I think it's unnecessary in this case though. Only the thin slices that was touching the hot soup had cooked. When I separated the slices, they cooked gently in the soup. I was thrilled that the beef was actually rare by the time it arrived.

This was the bun thit nuong cha gio that VN had ordered. We both liked how their cha gio was made with rice paper. It's the legit stuff. (For those who don't know, VN is Vietnamese. Like I said. Legit stuff.)

We washed it down with some cooling beverages. A refreshing coconut water with young coconut meat for VN and an iced Vietnamese coffee for myself. In our excitement to order, we accidently ordered the coconut water instead of the coconut slush had originally wanted.

The Asian Pear told me that if I wanted to have the best pho, I'd have to choose between two different pho establishments in Toronto: one with the slippery fresh noodles or one with an outstanding broth. Pho Tien Thanh is the latter. I wonder how their other dishes taste. The cash-only restaurant is open for business from 11am to 10pm everyday, so you have no excuses not to try out this place. I know I'll be returning in the future.

Pho Tien Thanh on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 23, 2014

Edamame Bruschetta


While going back through my Instagram wall, I noticed that I had forgotten to write about this beauty. Back before Christmas, Vanna found a recipe for edamame bruschetta that she wanted to try out for her Xmas party. The recipe that we skimmed through was Honest Vanilla's rendition. Since we didn't closely follow the recipe, I recommend that you head over there to see the accurate measurements.

Here's the gist of the ingredients we used: frozen shelled edamame (that happened to be on sale -- bonus!), a whole whack of mint leaves, some garlic cloves, olive oil, chili flakes, salt, and black pepper. To make it fancy, we added so me oven-roasted cherry tomatoes and some charred green onions.

We started off by getting the edamame boiled. While that was doing it's thing, chopped mint was added to some chili flakes, olive oil, and minced garlic.

We also popped in some cherry tomatoes that were tossed in olive oil, and a bit of salt and black pepper. I also threw in a few cloves of garlic to make things interesting. Once the edamame was soft enough, we blended it until it had some texture and then seasoned it lightly with S&P. The final touch was charring some green onions in a bit of olive oil.

I'll be the first admit: me and vegetables don't get along very well. Despite our relationship, I loved these bruschetta! First off, you get the charred green onion character and then the sweetness of the tomatoes jumps in. Then the not-entirely-smooth edamame mix joins the party with the mint, followed by a hint of garlic and then the french bread. It was harmonious. This edamame bruschetta will definitely be making more appearances in the future. And whether you blend the edamame into a smoother mix or leave it with a bit of texture, I'm sure you'll enjoy this appetizer for lunch or even dinner. Hell, you could even turn this into a breakfast sandwich with some eggs!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Picnic Lunch at Trinity Bellwoods Park



Today was a much-needed sunny and warm day. Although I was in Toronto for the past week, I had to get out and do something earlier today. I needed to keep busy.

Lunch was found at Clafouti Patisserie et Café. We: DG, VN, and myself, picked up some things at Clafouti and crossed the street to the busy Trinity Bellwoods Park. I really enjoyed the atmosphere there. The sakura trees still had some flowers, birds were singing away, dogs were having a blast, and people were just relaxing at the park -- it was a great atmosphere.

We found a spot in the park and ate lunch. I went with the Lana Del Rey panini. It was really exciting. There were so many flavours that complimented one another with every bite; the creaminess of the garlic lemon aioli, the burst of fried onion flavour, thinly sliced pork, and sweet bun. It was so good that I wanted another one after I devoured it. VN had a nice pulled pork panini (sans the cheese). DG had a surprisingly tasty grilled veg croissantwhich. The only complaint was that we didn't want the sandwiches to finish.

We also picked up a butter croissant and almond croissant from Clafouti. We liked that the croissants were sturdier and flakier than Le Moulin de Provence's rendition.

DG said that we had to get macarons from Nadège Patisserie since we were in the area. That was perfectly fine with me.

Side notes: We heard so many comments like, "these macaroons look amazing,"and "they have the best macaroons here!" Please. They're called macarons. Macaroons are the coconut things.

Also, why is it that everyone seems to know how to make macarons? The trend bugs me. Partially cause I can't make them.


These are my trio: mint chocolate chip (in the red), pistachio, and matcha macaron. I enjoyed the latter two. DG and VN both went with the salted caramel. Wise choices. I'll be getting the salted caramel next time. We happily soaked in the warm sun before I had to catch the train back home. Thanks for the lunch date ladies! It really meant a lot to me.

Clafouti on Urbanspoon

Nadege Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Sfiha: Another Spin on Meat Pie

These were the finished product of my version of the Lebanese meat pies. We didn't have all of the ingredients in some of the recipes I found -- shocking, I know -- and so I just relied on the smell and the taste of the meat topping. This was the first time I made it, so I was a little worried about the final product.

Before I mixed the meat, I whipped up a double-batch of a yeast dough recipe I found. It almost had a 1:1 ratio of water to oil. The dough was wrapped up and allowed to rise. Then I focused my attention to the meat.

These were some of the ingredients in there: ground beef, ketchup, salt, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, and diced tomatoes. Legit, I know.

Once the dough was allowed to rise after a few hours, the dough was divided into portions, rolled out, and topped with the meat mixture. We don't have a pizza stone or anything, so I turned one of our oven pans upside down and used that as a cook top in the oven. We didn't have a pizza peel either, so I looked around the house and just used a long piece of cardboard from our Mama Instant Noodles. The cardboard was then wrapped with tin foil. Although it looked funny, it worked.

They didn't take longer than 10 minutes each. Once out of the oven, they were allowed to cool before being devoured. We probably ate half of what we made. The sfiha actually tasted similar to the real stuff at the Aladdin Bakery. The dough turned out like a crispy crumb crust, which reminded me of Joe's Pizza's aromatic crumbly dough. They were so addictive!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rice Pea: Ottawa's Hidden Gem

This family restaurant pumps out food that's so addictive. To be more specific, I'm in love with two things on the menu right now.

How many places in Ottawa makes lamb skewers like these? Seasoned with some cumin, cayenne, salt, and a few other things, these babies reminded me of the lamb skewers in Shanghai. You get three skewers per order. If you haven't had this before, I recommend that you eat it while it's still really hot from the grill.

The noodles can be found under the noodle section. N02. It's such a satisfying bowl of their house-made noodles. Not many restaurants make their own noodles. I can only think of Hung Sum right now. At Hung Sum, their rice noodles are thicker and softer, whereas, the long noodles made at Rice Pea are thin and chewy. The bowl is seasoned with vinegary and underneath all the noodles is chopped garlic. If you love garlic, you'll love this dish. If you don't, stay away because you'll hate the chunks of garlic. We've tried a few other dishes on their menu that were alright. Those two dishes are the stars though.

Mom wasn't impressed by how homely the cuisine was. She would rather go to a buffet. I, on the other hand, have tried to visit this place often. I love this place. It's sneakily tucked away near the animal hospital, so be sure to give this place a try if you haven't already. You'll be able to have a taste of northern Chinese cuisine without having to leave Ottawa.

Rice Pea on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

McD's Olympic Fan Pack

While some people love to go to McDonald's all the time, I'd rather go have some pho or pizza instead. I do enjoy getting McNuggets when we do go after their breakfast service.


Anyway, one of the current promotions is the Olympic Fan Pack containing 20 nuggets, two medium fries, two medium drinks, two fountain drinks, two cookies, and two collector pins for $13.99. Pretty sweet, especially when you get fresh nuggets and fries. The nuggets were barely warm but the fries were fresh.

Back in the days when they served pizzas, I was that crybaby that only wanted their crappy pizza -- even if it meant that we'd have to wait for them to fire up the ovens. Pathetic, I know. I then went through a McChicken phase and then got hooked on Big Macs following the mad cow situation many, many moons ago. Now when I eat a Big Mac, my body is hit harder than other junk foods. And that's why I stick with their nuggets.

The previous night, Richard and I went to see a Sens game where the Sens scored a goal in the last minute of play. That meant that we could go to redeem a free Big Mac sandwich with our ticket stubs. So in addition to the Fan Pack, Andrew and I also got two free Big Macs. I didn't touch mine when we there.

I did enjoy a few nuggets with honey though. Fries and honey don't work well together. I'll stick with fries and sweet & sour sauce or ketchup.

With crisp edges, gooey melted chocolate chips, and a chewy center, these warm chocolate chip cookies were surprisingly good. But when I think about how much money McD probably spends on R&D, it makes sense.

Full Disclosure:
I wasn't paid, reimbursed or asked to write about McDonald's. These views are my own.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Appreciation Lunch

Since our company was swamped leading up to Christmas and following the holidays, we didn't have any parties or lunches until quite late. The management organized a lunch for us earlier this month. Most of it was purchased from Costco.


There were plates of cold cuts, cheese, sandwiches, veggie platters, crackers, bread, fruits, drinks, and cake.

One of our assistant managers even made a mean vegetarian tortilla soup.

V and I ended up making ourselves simple prosciutto sandwiches. The apples made a great palate cleaner. But as I'm writing about this now, it reminds me of a prosciutto, goat cheese, pesto, apple panini I had years ago in Toronto. Ah that was one mighty fine sandwich.

Strawberry shortcake and chocolate layered cakes for dessert.

Anyway, most of us were exhausted both physically and mentally from the crazy holiday crowds. The appreciation lunch came at the perfect time.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Visiting the 3 Brewers


Full disclosure:
I don't enjoy alcohol. I rarely drink for that reason. Watered down juice is my beverage of choice. That or water. I can't tell if beer tastes good or if wine tastes good. I just don't drink enough and I'm perfectly fine with that.

When JL suggested that we should either go to 3 Brewers or Mill Street I wanted to try both actually, but I wanted to try the 3 Brewers more. Mainly because they had liege waffles on their menu. Okay, that was the only reason.

We met at the Kanata location right after I finished work. It was a long week and a long day. I didn't have a big appetite. We agreed to order and share some things, like the 2lbs of honey BBQ wings. They were great wings! The sauce wasn't overly sweet, the wings were still crisp and juicy inside. We were all really fans of them.


We also shared the star platter which had potato skins, mozzarella sticks, and spicy onion scoops. The spicy onion scoops were the star. Think of spicy onion rings. That's essentially what they tasted like.

We chased all of the salt and grease down with some cold beer. IPA for myself, blonde for JL, and the white beer for CA.

After all of the savoury things were polished off, we looked at the dessert section of the menu and discussed. We got the coffee and dessert combo which included a slice of cheesecake (CA opted for the strawberry drizzle), cup of coffee, and chocolate mouse (underneath that whipped cream).

And I couldn't have left without having their liege waffles. It was a sweet end to a fun night. I'd definitely return to the 3 Brewers. Have you been there yet?


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