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16th Annual Chicken and Ribfest Competition (circa 2007)

Another Chicken and Ribfest competition has come and gone, with dozens of Ottawa residents congregating downtown and consuming an enormous amount of real barbecue. The Sparks Street website has yet to post the winners, but last year’s winner for Barbecue Chicken, Crabby’s, ranks highly in my book. I was less than impressed by Bad Wolf, which placed second to Crabby’s. I don’t think any of 2006′s winners for Barbecue Ribs, save for Billy Bones BBQ, showed up this year. The following is a list of competitors from the nice people at ottawastart.com. Between O’Connor &... | Continue reading article

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A Hot Dog Posting

When considerring candidates for a national dish of the United States, a natural choice would be the ubiquitous hot dog. Consisting essentially of a sausage, a bun, and various condiments, the hot dog neverless has developed regional specificities around North America and fanatic followings. They are punctuated by the characteristic New York, Chicago, and even Los Angeles hot dogs. New York dogs come with a papaya drink. Chicago dogs are served with tomatoes. Los Angeles dogs come in natural casings that produce a characteristic snap when bitten into. Hot Dog by Electrocution Hot Dog Powered... | Continue reading article


Best Chicken Shawarma in Town is at Shawarma Palace

Shawarma Palace Recently, a friend of mine messaged me to inform me that the shawarma establishment next to his building was shutting down. Apparently, the land owner thinks it more profitable to force the businesses to close up shop, knock the buildings down, and put up a condo high-rise. Since my friend lives within several paces of my favourite shawarma restaurant in Ottawa, Shawarma Palace, I asked if this was the unfortunate establishment that was going to close. Thinking that I had not read what he wrote, he pointed out, rather indignantly, that all the... | Continue reading article


Lebanese Meat Pies (Lahem bi Ajeen) from the Alladin Bakery

Lahem bi Ajeen Meat with Cheese A friend of mine introduced me to a Lebanese fast food, called Lahem Bi Ajeen (or Lahm bi’ajeen), earlier this year. Lahem Bi Ajeen are essentially open-face meat pies. They are made with a yeast leavened bread dough and topped with a spiced ground lamb mixture. It can be likened to a pizza, but the crust is much thinner and these meat pies are usually served folded in two. Condiments include cheese, lemon juice, and/or a hot sauce. According to several reputable source, there are two really good places... | Continue reading article

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Wild Bento Boxes

Typical Bento Box Wild Bento Box Having watched my share of Japanese anime in my youth, I’ve gatherred two things about Japanese culture. Firstly, the Japanes are obsessed with all things cute. Secondly, no matter if you have magical powers or super human ninja skills, like everyone else, lunch comes in a bento box. What is a bento? Bento is a single portion cold lunch that is served in compartmentalized containers. Each compartment is traditionally dedicated to rice, meat, fish, sausage, or egg, and various side dishes. The side dishes can include pickles, preserves, raw... | Continue reading article

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“Peru celebrates tasty guinea pigs” (June 25, 2006)

Biggest Guinea Pig According to an article from yahoo.com, a rather rotund guinea pig, weighing in at 3 kg (approx. 8 lbs of flesh, fat, and fur), turned out to be the largest shown during a festival in Lima, Peru. The festival, which occurred last weekend (June 23-24, 2007), celebrates guinea pigs, but with a twist. There are contests for the largest, best dressed, and tastiest. Apparently, Peruvians in the Andes highlands see guinea pigs as a culinary delicacies. The image comes from the associated press. Called “cuy”, guinea pigs were not only displayed, but... | Continue reading article


Leftovers Pizza

Favourite Comfort Food Leftovers Pizza According to a poll from the FoodTv.com website, out of 31 204 respondents, approximately 26.5% (8 282) considered pizza to be their favourite comfort food. While my comfort foods are more Asian-oriented, I crave a slice every so often just like everyone else. So what happens when you’re craving pizza and you’ve only leftovers? Answer: Pickup a cooked 9″ pizza crust from the megamart, shred some cheese, slice, dice, and make a leftover pizza. With a couple cans of tomato paste in the pantry, almost-scratch pizza is just about ready-made.... | Continue reading article


Bosnian Cevapcici from Skela

Bosnian Cevapcici A colleague recently arranged a lunch that featured ethnic foods from the Balkans: e.g. Yugoslavia, Bosnia, and Serbia. The lunch featured kebabs of spiced minced meat called cevapcici (ćevapčići). When I was invited to participate in the lunch, I immediately looked for recipes, reviews, and accounts from travelers to the Balkans. According to various sources, including Wikipedia, etymologically speaking, the word, cevapcici comes from the Turkish word for kebab. Cevapcici also varies regionally. Macedonian cevapcici contains pork. Serbian and Bosnian cevapcici is made entirely of red meat: lamb and beef (sometimes veal). The... | Continue reading article