Food & DrinkLiving

Food notes

Summer has wound down. It’s time to dig out our soup recipes and think about making some apple crisp, but let’s also seize every opportunity that comes along to sit on a sunny patio one more time. Please share your favourite Sandy Hill food experiences with

Cafe Tehran,
470 Rideau St.

It’s lovely to walk by this new restaurant in the evening and to glimpse families and groups of friends enjoying a Persian-style meal together. Cafe Tehran seems to have attracted a solid fan base in just a few months of being open. Their food is tasty and simple, with meat kebabs as the focal point of most main courses, accompanied by beautifully cooked saf-fron-seasoned rice and fresh, crisp salads. They’ve perfected the art of keeping their meat moist inside while giving it a succulent grilled finish, whether it’s chicken marinated with saffron, lamb or seasoned ground beef. Vegetarians in your group will enjoy the two very substantial eggplant-based appetizers. We liked kashk-bademjoon, a slurry of pureed eggplant topped with fried onions, walnuts and a creamy yogurt-based sauce. It was tangy and creamy at the same time, and made a delicious dip for pita bread.

Kashk-bademjoon from Cafe Tehran


103 Mann Ave.

Purely Dates started out with a very limited (though admittedly delicious) range of merchandise, reflected in its name, but it has gradually evolved into a vibrant little store offering Algerian groceries of all sorts, plus classic French pastries brought in from Montreal. A case of eclairs, millefeuilles and gateau citron share space with shelves of couscous, halwa and olive oil. On weekends the shop is beginning to offer sandwiches and savoury breads, and a fancy coffee machine should soon be hooked-up and ready to provide cappuccinos to go with your cake. Keep an eye on Chelia’s Facebook page and drop by, especially late in the week, to keep tabs on the evolution of this lively emporium.


Pie Central Bakery,
305 Rideau St.

It’s fun to spend a few minutes at Pie Central waiting for your flatbread to be ready. There’s a delicious yeasty smell in the air, and through the opening of the dome-shaped oven you can watch the revolving platform where raw dough with the savory toppings of your choice is transformed into a lightly singed, chewy and inexpensive treat in just a couple of minutes. We really enjoyed our chicken “boat,” a long, oval crust with finely chopped, marinated chicken, green olives, plenty of ripe, sliced tomatoes and slices of halloumi cheese that browned a little around their edges in the oven and squeaked in a satisfying way as we bit into them.

Pie Central Bakery’s Chicken Boat


Pizza Studio,
218A Laurier Ave. East 

The new pizza place that’s taken over the former premises of Betty Brite is part of a small chain with outlets in five other Ontario cities, plus Kelowna. They have a build-your-own concept with interesting options, including whole grain or cauliflower crusts; garlic Alfredo or basil pesto sauces for those weary of tomato; and flavoured drizzles of all sorts to top the finished product. We enjoyed the thin, chewy and flavourful rosemary herb crust that came with the Truffled Mushroom pizza, and the truffle-roasted mushrooms on top were plentiful and very mushroom-y.

Truffled mushroom pizza from Pizza Studio