In this weekly feature, Apt613 asks blog contributors and local figures about their takeout habits and highlights—to help you find new tasty treats to discover or revisit when you’re just OVER IT with making dinner. This week, some of Apt613’s regular contributors share their latest recs and weekend food plans.
Editor’s note: Under the Ontario stay-at-home order, restaurants offering takeout and delivery are permitted to operate; please follow all recommended public health and safety protocols when picking up food or accepting delivery—and tip generously if you can. Check the hours of the restaurant prior to ordering as those offering alcohol must close by 8pm.
Highlights this week
- Cozmos Souvlaki (196 Greenbank Rd)
- The Foolish Chicken (79 Holland Ave.)
- Jericho (840 Bank St.)
- Napoli (81 Richmond Rd)
- Thanjai (108 Third Ave.)
- Table Sodam (1200 Bank St.)
Lives in: The Glebe
Day job: Culture vulture
For us, the Glebe wouldn’t be the Glebe without Jericho. Not only is the Middle Eastern food delicious, but the owner, Raouf Omar, is one of the most pleasant gentlemen we’ve ever encountered in the restaurant trade. He’s quite the artist, too. But to peruse his work, which covers all the walls and the ceiling of restaurant, you’ll have to wait until in-restaurant dining is allowed. Until then, treat yourself to some yummy takeout. A few weeks ago, we ordered two of Jericho’s house specials (both under $15). My husband had the shish kebab and I had the combo. Delish! Jericho makes wonderful hummus, I love their kibbeh and falafel, and I particularly like the grape leaves stuffed with bulgur. Generous portions and good value for money—we paid $34 including tax.
It’s a truism that you can tell if an “ethnic” restaurant is good by the fact that folks from that ethnicity eat there. That’s what we’ve always found at Thanjai, the Ottawa outpost on Third Avenue of a small Montreal chain that specializes in south Indian food. When my husband picked up our Friday night dinner there before Christmas, he was the only customer whose ancestors hadn’t come from the Indian subcontinent.
Thanjai offers a mind-boggling array of dishes you may never have heard of, including dosas (ultra-thin pancakes wrapped around an array of tasty fillings) and cute little idli (fluffy steamed rice and lentil cakes). After scanning the very large menu, we finally settled on three dishes: Mysore masala dosa, lamb kothu, and curry masala vegetable chettinad. No room for their wonderful parotha, but we did order a couple of glasses of lassi—one sweet and one salt. The price was $51, and we had tasty leftovers for the next day. There are a lot of vegetarian and vegan options. Heck, there are a lot of options, period! Many dishes come in four spice levels—mild, spicy, hot, and extra hot. Even my heat-loving husband doesn’t venture beyond “spicy.” Be brave—try the “spicy” option for at least one of the dishes you order.
Lives in: Hintonburg
Day job: Freelance musician
There’s already a good selection of East Asian restaurants in my neighbourhood like Won Ton House and Siam Bistro, however last weekend we made the trek to Old Ottawa South to pick up dinner from Table Sodam. The Korean restaurant has been on my radar for a while now… but this was a first for me—and won’t be the last time I order from Sodam. We went for the Bibimbap (one beef, one vegetarian, $18 each), thinking that would be the best dish for comparison with other restaurants, and then I snuck in an order of spicy Dak Gang Jung ($20). Takeout was my treat this week, so I just went for it. Spicy foods are usually in a no-fly-zone when we order sharing dishes. Gotta say that the spicy Dak Gang Jung was enjoyed by everyone! I appreciate that Sodam packaged their takeout in compartmentalized recyclable containers, so the Bimbimbap hot/cold ingredients were left to us to mix at home, and did not deteriorate in transit from the restaurant to our dinner table.
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This weekend we’re looking at The Foolish Chicken for their Family Dinner rotisserie chicken special ($45). We’re a household of only two members… but we go for the full-chicken family dinner for the leftovers. It comes with cornbread, fresh coleslaw, BBQ sauce, and a generous helping of salad (garden or Caesar) and crispy potato wedges. Best BBQ chicken in Ottawa’s west end. Come at me in the comments if you disagree!
Alison Larabie Chase
Lives in: Nepean
Day job: Freelance writer and editor
When we want good solid old-school pizza, as we did last Friday night, we hit up Napoli in Westboro. My Dad introduced us to it early in the pandemic and it’s become a standby fave. We always order the regular-crust combination (pepperoni, mushrooms, and green peppers) and it has never disappointed us. I particularly like their sauce, the crust has great chew without being dry or burnt, and the cheese is always nicely browned. Plus, window pickup service and online ordering/payment make me feel super safe during COVID times.
Tonight it’s back to another old reliable: Cozmos Souvlaki on Greenbank, super close to home for us and eternally delicious. I will cop to being a food snob, and Cozmos’ chicken souvlaki is the most tender and flavourful one I’ve tried. It’s challenging not to dry out chicken breast, but they don’t. Their salad, spanakopita, and tzatziki also merit mentions of excellence. They also do online ordering and payment and have very safe pickup procedures. They have family platter options if you’re feeding a crowd or just don’t want to cook for the rest of the weekend.
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