Allium – Grand Re-openning (July 19, 2007)

Grand Re-opening Renovations New Tables Place Setting Five months ago, the Allium restaurant was closed for 12 weeks due to a fire. The restaurant above it, Les Grillades, suffered a devastating grease fire that spread downstairs, causing fire, water, and smoke damage to the entire building. Les Grillades is still out of commission. Allium, however, used the downtime to perform some renovations and re-opened July 19, 2007. The renovations added booth seating to the back of the restaurant, next to a now publicly visible wine rack. They also removed the booth seating on the right... | Continue reading article

Marché Vieux Hull

For those of us working on the Québec side of the Ottawa river, during the summer, there is a weekly outdoor artisan market to visit. In 2007, the market convened Thursdays at noon and large groups of public servants could be seen walking amongst its stalls, looking for something for lunch. Enough public servants attended, that I still am not sure what street the market is held on. Whenever I went, I simply followed the crowds. That said, here are pictures from one of my visits: The market is actually well advertised. Oddly none of... | Continue reading article

The Great Lebanese Meat Pie (Lahem bi Ajeen) Freezer Experiment

Alladin Bakery Eat for a Dollar Gas-Fired Oven Meat-Only Meat With Cheese Two weeks ago, my better half and I found the west-end location of Alladin bakery in Ottawa, 1801 Carling Avenue. It happened to be within busing distance of our condo in the Wellington Village. This west-end location is far more conveniently located than Alladin’s other location on St. Laurent Road (1020), which is in the east-end of Ottawa. At Alladin, we purchased a dozen meat-only meat pies and two meat with cheese meat pies. The baker was happy to oblige, but advised us... | Continue reading article

The Wierd Things People Eat Around the Corner

Pickled Snake Head Fish Several months ago (July 26, 2007), published a blog entry entitled “The Wierd Things People Eat Around the World.” The blog entry includes such unique and regional edibles as “Pickled Snakehead Fish” and “Pizza Wraps.” Since Ottawa is the capital of a country that celebrates its multiculturalism, I decided to take pictures of what “weird things” Canadians eat. What I found is that North American mega-marts are replete with foods that can be deemed somewhat odd. Frozen Mashed Potatoes (found at Loeb). Just like Mom Used to Make! Bubble Gum... | Continue reading article

Sampling the current state of McDonald’s fare – updated

McDonald’s Menu When it comes to American fast food, the much loved McDonald’s tends to be the most identifiable. In fact, food from the “Golden Arches” is so recognizable that a Standford University study of North American pre-schoolers demonstrated that foods wrapped in McDonald’s packaging tend to be more well received than otherwise. North American children actually preferred foods they thought came from McDonald’s, even if the foods were not from the traditional McDonald’s menu. This demonstrates that McDonald’s mass marketing has succeeded in permeating North American culture with the McDonald’s branding. Since I grew... | Continue reading article

Successful Cevapcici – Pass the Ajvar!

After two unsuccessful attempts making cevapcici, I decided to try again. This time, I substituted baking soda for mineral water and used a food processor. This modification to the recipe and mechanical means to combine the meat together, produced cevapcici with the proper texture: moist and chewy. Previous failed attempts saw me mixing groud meat with club soda and hand-chopping the meat with a pair of clevers. Both methods produced crumbly cevapcici. Successful Cevapcici This time around, I used my new Rachael Ray food processor to further breakdown ground meat and incorporate the baking soda.... | Continue reading article

Shrimp Siu-Mai from the Yen Fung Ding Dumpling Shoppe

In the kitchen, one act of cooking typically precipitates one act of eating and one act of cleaning. Be it entertaining guests at a dinner party or preparing a Wednesday-night dinner, some dishes provide very high return on investment. Others do not. That is, some foods are more difficult to make than others. An entire industry of convenience foods was spawned to ensure that this investment of time and energy is minimized. An example of such foods include the myriad of frozen dinners that are now available in the frozen food aisle of the mega-mart.... | Continue reading article

Tandoor-Baked Naan from Shafali Bazaar in the Byward Market

Naan is an Indian round flat bread that is typically too elaborate to make at home. This is especially true if you want authentic yeast leavened Naan because it is supposed to be cooked in a vertical clay oven, called a tandoor. According to wikipedia, tandoor ovens and the tandoori cuisine they gave rise to originated in Punjab regions of Northern Indian and Pakistan. They are traditionally fired with wood and reach temperatures of 480°C (900°F). To maintain these cooking temperatures, tandoor ovens are often left lit for long periods of time. Just try explaining... | Continue reading article