So lately I have been down on myself and the process of getting old – which doesn’t really jive with the whole attempting to be a positive and thankful person (as per my “thanksgiving” post –https://fullbellieshungryminds.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/t-christmas-in-july-no-thanksgiving-in-february-yes/)
However, this weekend I was reminded of a few little things I love about my city/”hood” and thought I’d share them with you in the hopes that you might share yours in whatever ‘neck of the woods’, if you will, you currently or used to reside. I am making my way back home (Eastern Canada) this coming month and can’t help but cross my “fingies” that my old faves are still kicking. (this includes Pizza Delight on the east side of Saint John NB’s make your own garlic bread bar, Breakfast at Holly’s in Hampton NB, ANYTHING at Mama George’s home cooking restaurant in Norton, NB…the price of lunch at China Wok in Quispamsis, NB and the best french fries and gravy ever at Deluxe French Fries)…jumpstart anyone’s memory out East? feel free to share your faves with me and I’ll do my best to check them out while out there (I could especially use some recommendations for Hali, St Martin’s and Charlottetown).
Now…where was I? (sorry, but it is a Monday after all!) ahh,yes my top ten favourite things about Ottawa at the moment (and be warned they will be MOSTLY food).
10. Monthly gym memberships less than a 10 min walk from work, that cost less than 40$/ month. (Thank you Jack Purcell community center – http://www.jpra.ca/detail.php?id_cnt=6)
9. My proximity to Lansdowne Park and it’s propensity for exhibitions – aka the home and garden show, the wedding show, and the upcoming big backyard show and cottage show. No word of a lie, even though I dont have any of these things in my life (and don’t foresee having them anytime soon) the people watching opportunities, amazing products and opportunities to eat and win things in one place all make for a great way to kill a sunday afternoon.
8. Sugar Mountain…check out the website if you are unfamiliar – enough said. http://www.sugarmountain.ca/
7. The Best Burger in Ottawa, if you ask me – Chez Lucien. 137 Murray street, check it out and if you don’t like crowds but love burgers and amazing beer selections then head in for a late-ish lunch (I’ve never encountered a crowd at 2-ish). I can never pick between the burgers…so my suggestion, order a chez lucien burger and get jalapenos on the side to add yourself…you will have no complaints.
6. Clocktower nachos. Amazing salsa, no shortage of hot peppers and a great price – especially early evenings on weekdays when they are half price 😉 . Plus, what goes better with nachos than beer…and they are a microbrewery, as well as an adorable pub. Check out either the great patio (once it warms up a bit of course) in the Glebe or their location in the Market – less patio, but more entertaining people watching.
5. Brunch at Lieutenant’s Pump on Elgin street. Fantastic homefries (with rosemary) a huge portion for a tiny price, great coffee refill times, and better than all of that – it comes with a chocolate to finish off your meal 🙂
4. Poutine – now whether you’re a traditionalist who loves Elgin Street Diner, a 19 year old who spends tons of time in the market and is willing to stand in line for 4 hours at 2 am for a taste of Smoke’s on Dalhousie or a connoisseur like myself who enjoys the peppery gravy at Johnny’s Pizza in Sandy Hill – Ottawa has tons of poutine options and I have a feeling one of them will feel juuuust right for even you, Goldilocks. For anyone who loves poutine here is a little side tip – check out “Gravy Pizza” at Georgie Sorento’s on Gilmour near Elgin…I know it sounds odd but trust me, your life will never be the same…and if you aren’t willing to risk it all right away, go ahead and order your gravy on the side…I will judge you…but if you can live with yourself, that is all that matters.
3. The Manx on Elgin and Frank. A hidden and always incredibly busy pub – if youre willing to make a few attempts to get seating or simply to wait it out I promise this place is worthwhile. They have a great beer selection, amazing daily specials, fantastic wedge fries and every so often the performances of Remi Royale on sunday evenings. If you are a student or it is a long weekend I suggest you definitely do your best to experience the unique stylings of Remi…there is no way to describe it but as amazing, interactive, cover band performance art…curious? You should be.
2. This one will only be exciting if you are from out East or have been lucky enough to spend some time out there. Hooley’s may just seem like another bar with a line too long for anyone past 21 to endure…however, check it out their menu is half price on wednesdays! aaand they have garlic fingers with homemade (authentic) donair sauce. (If this means nothing to you…you mean nothing to me – jokes- …kind of)
1. My newest and perhaps most quality discovery in the centretown region is the sunday night prime rib dinner at Lieutenant’s Pump on Elgin st. (ya, I know they already made the list…but I spend a decent amount of (warranted) time there…and they have just undertaken some great reno projects) For 12.95 plus 6$(if you want dessert, a starter and coffee/tea) you can have the homecooked meal youre never going to make for yourself…prime rib, veggies, mashed potatoes and yorkshire pudding…cmon I dare you to dislike this.
** Other honourable Mentions**
– Thai Food at Talay Thai (on Bank near Catherine St) or Coriander (on Kent near Lisgar)
– Brunch at Urban Well in Sandy Hill (only available on sundays)
– The Patio at Fox and Feather on Elgin at MacLaren
– Pho at Saigon Pho at Bank and Lisgar