This winter let’s remember to treat ourselves often to life’s small pleasures and to support our local businesses.
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610 Rideau St.
This month our family checked out some of the Indochinese dishes on Madhuban’s menu. Vegetable noodles were hot and delicious. Chili paneer was a very enjoyable pairing of chunks of mild cheese with a warming spicy sauce. Exercise caution when choosing your spice level; this is one restaurant where “mild” is not for wimps.
417 Rideau St.
You can now order food for delivery directly from RamaKrishna, which we found to be a super-speedy and worthwhile service on one recent, very cold night. Ordering direct through their website also gets you a 10% discount. The paneer tikka masala (with an onion and tomato sauce), the navratan korma (vegetables and cheese in a sweet and creamy sauce) and the multi-layered butter naan were especially delicious, and the portions allowed for lunch the next day.
322 Somerset St. E.
It’s a tough time to be opening a restaurant, but Dainty Kitchen is finding an audience for its interesting selection of grilled meats, vegetables, and noodle dishes to go. Chongqing noodles come in a large bowl with an attractive garnish of vegetables, coriander, and boiled egg, along with a container of savoury broth to pour over when you’ve got them home. Meat skewers come in a generous bouquet of four long sticks of grilled and tasty chicken, lamb, or more exotic choices. The restaurant has a winning way with cabbage (tenderly braised in a spicy sauce) and lotus root (crispy chips).
304 Wilbrod St.
The menu at this cheery takeout place is pretty eclectic. There’s Lebanese influence in the fattoush salad and hummus; the crepes are a little French, a little Bulgarian; the sandwiches and wraps (Philadelphia; chicken club) are pure North American. Don’t be put off by this unusual mix; the chef knows what he’s doing. The chicken avocado sandwich is excellent, full of meaty chunks of chicken, a zingy chili sauce and little shoestring potato crisps for crunch. The Palachinki crepe is delightfully chewy, just sweet enough and garnished with a beautiful assortment of fruit. A Sprint Snacks lunch should be just the thing to cheer you up on a grey winter day.
317 Wilbrod St.
As if steaming hot coffee and chewy ginger cookies weren’t enough to draw you in, the Goat is now offering doughnuts from Maverick’s. You’ll find a couple of platters of fresh choices each day. The vegan doughnuts are a little more slender and moist than their traditional cousins, and are very tasty. We liked the orange- and-chocolate-glazed one very much. The ‘standard’ doughnuts have a pleasantly crisp exterior and come with many appealing toppings. A chocolate-caramel one studded with walnuts was a hit with us.
Safi Fine Foods
296 Somerset St. E.
Building permits and COVID-related construction rules are delaying the day when Somerset can welcome the new and improved Safi. It’s good to see the scaffolding down, though, and in a few more months the neighbourhood should be able to celebrate the return of groceries and samosas along with the spring.