Saturday, October 17, 2015

Jack Astor's Lansdowne: Zomato Meetup


Have you been to the redeveloped Lansdowne Park recently? Do you remember what it used to look like? My memories are a bit foggy. I vaguely remember going down for the SuperEx and going to 67's games. Gone are the empty lots. Now there are places like Whole Foods, Lindt Chocolate Shop, Winners, and Cineplex Cinemas. Among the new shiny establishments, Jack Astor's can be found by the Aberdeen Pavilion. Earlier this week, I had the privilege to be invited to the third Zomato Meetup in Ottawa.


Once we were all introduced to one another, we went on a brief tour around the restaurant. We learned that Jack Astor's has added more of a local feel at both their Lansdowne and Hunt Club location. At this specific location, they have coasters that feature local personalities, arena lights that used to light the old Civic Centre, pictures and memorabilia of Ottawa's sports history. Don't be shy to ask the staff if you're curious about the decor.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Sausage Flight From Adams Sausages

Our family loved the sausage flight at Central Bierhaus so much that we tried to replicate it at home. I went online and tried searching for a local butchery that made German-style sausages. Most places made the basic italian and honey garlic sausages, but one stood out. Adams Sausages made European sausages. I knew I found the right place when I checked out their list of sausage products. Then I checked their address: 1437 Michael Street. Where the heck is that? I did a quick search. East end. Near the OC Transpo corporate office. Eh, let's do it.

Since we were attempting a Central Bierhaus-like evening, I felt like we needed soft pretzels so I whipped up a double batch of Alton Brown's soft pretzels before heading out to pick up the sausages.

Tucked in side street full of warehouses, we pulled up on Adams Sausages. When we got out of the car, we saw two different guys with huge bags headed to their car. It was Friday before the August long weekend so I assumed they were stocking up for the cottage.


We went straight to the back of the European-style grocery store and headed for their two large deli counters. I felt like a kid in a candy shop. Look at all the selection!

We picked up a few different kinds of European sausages, a jar of sauerkraut, and a bag of rolls.


Right beside the entrance, Adams Sausages serves sandwiches and bratwursts ($3.80 + tax) ready to be eaten on the go or on their patio. How tempting is this?

We headed home and got dinner ready. The sausages were cooked the way The Food Lab suggested. The sausages were precooked in a bath of sauerkraut, mustard, and beer before being finished on the grill. This method created a juicy and crisp snap to the sausages. It's more of a forgiving way to cook the sausages. There were five different sausages, from right to left: smokies from another company we had in the fridge, polish sausage, spicy chorizo, weisswurst, and German bratwurst.


Along with the freshly made homemade soft pretzels, cold German beer, and some baked potatoes, we feasted! Everyone was happy with the selection and, in particular, the cooked sauerkraut. Lucy and I both loved the weisswurst. The texture reminded us of Vietnamese white sausage (cha lua) and the flavour was milder. The spicy chorizo was a close second.

I realized that I gravitate towards family-style meals rather than casual dining. I tend to get bored of dinner if I have a plate of steak, potatoes, gravy, side of veggies. It gets monotonous after a few bites, whereas, you can keep your palate and taste buds excited when you're out for dim sum with a large group. With this sausage flight, there were a variety of flavours, from the mild weisswurst, garlicky bratwurst, and the punchy sauerkraut. This was such a treat!


Adams Sausages
1437 Michael Street
Ottawa, ON
Adam's Sausages Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Banh Xeo: Do You Wrap or Mix


Banh xeo is a Vietnamese savoury pancake. We fill it with a meat mixture of ground pork or chicken, onions, toasted shredded coconut, soy sauce and fish sauce. Then we add blanched beansprouts before folding them over.


Since we grow our own thai basil, mint, and fish herbs, we usually eat banh xeo in the midst of a heatwave -- when the herbs grow like crazy. Now, depending on personal preferences, you either wrap the banh xeo in lettuce or chop/rip everything into a bowl and mix it up. Mom says it tastes better when you eat with your hands. I agree -- only in the summertime though. Where do you stand on your banh xeo?

Do you wrap it or mix it?


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