This winter it’s more important than ever to support our local businesses and to find everyday pleasures wherever we can.
Please share stories of your favourite Sandy Hill food experiences.
65 Templeton St.
A large, chewy flatbread called pan forms the supple and delicious backbone of this restaurant/coffee shop’s short menu. We really enjoyed it in the “Protein Bake,” which comes with a bowl of foul, the classic Middle Eastern fava bean stew. Pan is also served beaver tail-style, with a variety of sweet and savoury toppings such as cream cheese, cinnamon and jam.
322 Somerset St. East
The new restaurant that’s taking over the former home of Safi Fine Foods (see right) has just opened, with an interesting array of Asian specialties. Lovers of noodles, bibimbap and barbecue are already enjoying the diverse offerings.
You might not have been thinking of picking up a bottle of Chardonnay from the Columbia Valley when you stepped into Happy Goat for a latte to go, but thanks to a new arrangement between the coffee shop and the Ottawa wine merchants Buyers + Cellars (who also operate a new tasting room on Somerset West), this is now an option. A rack of a dozen or so different wines from many lands, mostly priced at $30-$40 and not available at the LCBO, offers pleasant browsing as you’re waiting for the espresso machine to finish foaming the milk for your coffee.
610 Rideau St.
Sandy Hill continues to be lucky in its Indian restaurants. Taking the place of Mukut at the east end of Rideau Street, Madhuban has an extensive and interesting menu, including some Indo-Chinese dishes and lots of options for vegetarians. We have fallen in love with the Kadai Paneer, the Begun ka Bharta (eggplant) and the Bhindi Masala (okra). Exercise caution when choosing your spice level; this is one restaurant where “Mild” is not for wimps. You’ll get 10% off your takeout order if you pick it up yourself.
275 Laurier Ave. East
This convenience store is becoming quite the quick lunch mecca. Along with its freshly made savoury flatbreads and its prepared meals from local suppliers of Indian and Lebanese foods, Food Frenz now carries doughnuts, delivered daily from Cafe Dough co. in Gatineau. These are dense, cakey doughnuts with colorful and novel frostings. Take a white chocolate and lemon zest home to share with a loved one over a cup of tea and the world will feel a little brighter.
Safi Fine Foods
296 Somerset St. East.
Watch this space! There’s nothing in there yet, but the elegant script on the windows of the new shop (they’ve even posted their hours) promises that there will soon be good things coming from the new premises of Somerset’s much-missed grocery store.
Working Title Kitchen and Cafe,
10 Blackburn Ave.
(enter through the red doors, Laurier near Chapel)
November gave us some bonus days to enjoy Working Title’s beautiful patio. Now that the cold weather is here, don’t forget that their bakery/cafe offers bread, croissants and coffee daily from 8:00 to noon, and that there are 6 well-spaced tables ready for your lunching or dining pleasure, Tuesday-Sunday from noon onward. Working Title is also a promising source of stocking stuffers for the gourmand on your list.