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Foodie Friday: Ottawa, have you tried the arepas yet?

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Arepas. Photo courtesy of Gooney's Sandwich Works.Arepas. Photo courtesy of Gooney's Sandwich Works.

Arepa, a kind of corn bread made from pre-cooked corn flour, is my favourite food. Of course, I’m biased because it’s a staple in my native Colombia. It also features prominently in the cuisine in Venezuela, where the Granati family, who run Gooney’s Sandwich Works out of an office tower on Laurier, have roots. Gooney’s is the only place in town that serves anything like them. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, the versatile arepa (pronounced “ah-ray-pah”) can be eaten at every meal. Prepared flat and coated... | Continue reading article

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Intersections Vernissage today at the Atomic Rooster!

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All photos by Brant Thompson.All photos by Brant Thompson.

Today marks the vernissage of Intersections, a photography show featuring Brant Thompson, at the Atomic Rooster. A showcase of the best of hundreds of shots and his first photography show, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Brant this past weekend about what inspires him as a photographer and what led him to this point. Brant became interested in photography in his late teens and early twenties. He took the photography program at Algonquin College and, for a while, was really into it. Over the years life... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: Super service and modern feel make Giovanni’s an Italian eatery worth visiting

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Photo from Giovanni's Ristorante Facebook page.Photo from Giovanni's Ristorante Facebook page.

“Service, service, service,” is what sets Giovanni’s Ristorante apart, says general manager and tonight’s Maitre D’, Fabio Vitagliano. It’s a motto that would explain the Italian eatery’s longevity on Preston Street – it’s been here for more than 30 years – but it’s only part of the fine dining experience. And make no mistake, dinner at Giovanni’s is an experience. With the exception of pizza, I’m not one to dine out on Italian often. I find many Italian restaurants, especially those in Little Italy, either kitschy or old fashioned. Frankly,... | Continue reading article

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Bourbon Week on now until the 27th

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Photo from The Black Tomato's Twitter page.Photo from The Black Tomato's Twitter page.

Bourbon. The name immediately evokes images of Tom Waits, smokey bars and amber liquor. The smell is sharp like scotch, but has an underlying sweetness to it that warms you from the inside as you sip it. It’s that good, and more. Which is why Ottawa now has a whole week of it. Bourbon Week is on now until November 27th with local bars and haunts participating in the week long celebration of all things Bourbon. The city’s best Bourbon houses are taking part during the seven days, including Hooch,... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: Quitters by Kathleen Edwards

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All photos by Katie Shapiro.All photos by Katie Shapiro.

Katie is a lover of all things local and likes to play with her food. You can find her blogging about her explorations near and far at Kate’s Plate. Though I was initially saddened to hear that one of my favourite Ottawa-based musicians would be taking a break from the music scene, I perked up once I learned of Kathleen Edwards’ plans to open a coffee shop in Stittsville.  As a west-end suburban dweller, I was eagerly anticipating this new addition to our coffee shop selection and it didn’t disappoint.... | Continue reading article

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Weekend Roundup: What to do in Ottawa + Les suggestions @Basement819

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Photo by Juan Monroy from Flickr.Photo by Juan Monroy from Flickr.

Winter is here (yuck) and so is the weekend (yay)! For those of you who have not begun your winter hibernation just yet, there is plenty to do out-and-about in Ottawa. Keep warm this weekend with a glass of bourbon, at the first ever Ottawa Bourbon Week, which kicks off this Friday night at Two Six {Ate}. Beginning this weekend, and continuing on through next week, you can enjoy some delicious drinks paired with inventive eats at some of the best venues in the city – all in honour of... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: Where to eat locally, sustainably

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Beet field at Mariposa Farms. Photo from their website.Beet field at Mariposa Farms. Photo from their website.

I have friends who refuse to use plastic bags, others who would rather share a car with complete strangers than have one for their own convenience, those who don’t buy the user-friendly Pampers diapers but instead use cloth, and a few who dream of living off the grid and being completely self-sustainable. I took a tiny step toward decreasing my carbon footprint recently by beginning to order produce from Ottawa Organics and Natural Foods. And it’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of options available to Ottawa residents when it... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: House made syrups give Teatro Café cocktails their charm

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Photo from teatrocafe.ca. All other photos are by Tobi Cohen.Photo from teatrocafe.ca. All other photos are by Tobi Cohen.

The cocktail craze is inching westward. They’ve cropped up in the Byward Market, Centretown and Little Italy and now Teatro Café is introducing carefully crafted cocktails with house-made syrups and largely local ingredients to Wellington Village. Never heard of it? Not surprising. Teatro Café just opened in June and it’s easily missed tucked away on the ground floor of the Great Canadian Theatre Company at Wellington Street and Holland Avenue. It tends to attract an older, theatre-going crowd of teetotalers and wine sippers looking for a bite before the show.... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Foodieprints launch Ottawa Food: A Hungry Capital tonight!

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Don Chow and Jennifer Lim. Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen.Don Chow and Jennifer Lim. Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen.

Jennifer Lim and Don Chow love food and Ottawa and have written a book about it: Ottawa Food: A Hungry Capital. They are also the bloggers for my personal favourite Ottawa food blog: Foodieprints. The book is now available in stores and on Amazon.ca. The book looks at Ottawa’s food landscape as well as transformations in the last 30 years or so in Ottawa’s continuously evolving food scene. Before we get to talking about the food scene itself, I was really curious about how Jen and Don, who are a couple,... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: Great service makes the experience. So does good food.

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Photo from rosiesonbank.ca.Photo from rosiesonbank.ca.

A belated birthday lunch for a dear friend. But where? Somewhere peaceful, with an attractive and refined decor, comfortable chairs, nice lighting, and an accommodating and helpful server. Well that turned out to be Rosie’s Southern Kitchen and Raw Bar on Bank Street. The two of us arrived on a Tuesday late morning just when Rosie’s was opening for lunch. We sat in the weather-protected patio area up front, a spot of our choosing. We were the first customers there and when we sat down, the quasi-country southern music came... | Continue reading article

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