I was looking for a project and I think I've found it. I am going to find and eat all the foods and drinks listed in the September 2009 issue of Ottawa Magazine. The article is "101 Must-Try-Before-You-Die Tastes". I'm a pretty picky eater, but I will try everything on the list.
What I am looking forward to mostly is the discovery of new places and the way the list will "force" me to go to places that have been on my must-visit list for a long time, but I am too lazy-assed to get there.
It will be my own Julie/Julia project, as there is no way I have the stamina, or really, the will to cook my way through MtAoFC (or any other cookbook). After almost finishing the novel, and laughing wildly out loud in some parts, I have no desire to cook or eat much of what was described. It would be great to have a copy of the book (birthday wishlist) to read as I think it would be fascinating, and perhaps I'll try a few of the recipes, but definitely nowhere near all of them.
Here's the list:
1. Beau's Lug Tread Beer - wierd name, although I am sure it will make sense when either I have seen the bottle, or tasted it. Kind of sounds like truck tires right now.
2. Pascale's Ice Cream - yum! This may be one of my favourites on the list.
3. Bryson Farm's Baby Salad Greens - I have had these before. In Ottawa, who hasn't?
4. Memories Triple Berry Pie - cafe is OK, not much going for the decor, but the food is generally OK and the prices are good.
5. Lamb Tourtiere from Les Fougeres - love the restaurant, only visited the food shop a couple of times, but looking forward to going back for tourtiere now that Fall is on it's way.
6. Great Aunt Gerty's Tomato Chilli Sauce - name sounds a bit dinky, but perhaps it will be good with the tourtiere? I'm not really one to go for the dinky name....
7. The Red Sea Coffee Beans - not entirely sure why this made it onto the list as the introduction to the article says the only parameters are that it had to be made in Ottawa, unique to Ottawa, (oh) or hard to find elsewhere...hmm...there's the catch. The Red Sea is not so close to us.
8. Milk from Cochrane's Dairy - tried it, it's good, but I think I like the bottle more than the milk. It would be good to see a double cream or something.
9. Thyme & Again's Cranberry Peach Jam - Thyme & Again, an Ottawa landmark in itself. What don't they do well?
10. Piggy Market Peameal Bacon - I smell breakfast.
11. Art-Is-In 12 Grain 7 Fennel Seed Dynamite Baguette - hmmm...I may have this one covered, as I just bought one and wolfed down half of it in the car on the way home.
12. Kefir - Russian yoghurt, can't be that bad.
13. Red Apron's Peanut Butter and Banana Handcrafted Gourmet Granola - too wordy for me, but I'll try it. Peanut Butter is generally not my favourite flavour, but I do like granola...maybe on top of my kefir.
14. Free Range Eggs - the title makes it feel like a cop-out, but I will try them from the farm they suggest, Beking Poultry.
15. Spicy Fennel Sausages - to finish up the last days of summer bbq'ing. Is fennel the new flavour?
16. Whalesbone Brown Bag Lunch - let's hope there is one that doesn't contain fish. But if not, I will at least take one bite, and it better be good.
17. Tower-O-Rings from the Works - done and done. An onion ring, bleah.
18. Chicken Tikka Wrap from Shafali - Indian in a sandwich is the new fad.
19.Restaurant Barbe's Roast Pork Sandwich - not dissing the Barbe, as I haven't been there yet, but the photo is not too appealing. Square white sandwich bread does not do it for me anymore, unless it's for a grilled cheese made with Kraft singles. Surely a sandwich from Dirienzo's should make it first.
20. Meatball Sandwich at Parma Ravioli - this looks good. My husband would appreciate it. It actually looks like a man-wich, it's so big.
21. Knish from Saslov's.
22. Sweet Potato & Connamon Bread from True Food Ecostore - I can't say I have heard of this, but I am looking forward to having a look.
23. Glengyle Garlic's feta garlic spread - from Ottawa Farmers Market. I better get my skates on as I am sure this bountiful market comes to an end shortly, and lots of things on this list are available there.
24. Rustic Hand Formed Miniature Pies - again Ottawa Farmers Market (OFM).
25. Heritage Tomatoes - from Ferme Orient at OFM.
26. Christophe's Organic Mushrooms - Le Corprin Farm at OFM. A question, are they grown in organic manure? from organic animals? Just to ponder....
27. Asian Fruit Salad - Not having tried or seen it, not sure what to think. From Saigon Meats & Vegetables. Interesting.
28. Paczki - took me a long time to type, the letters don't make sense to my English-only mind. But doughnuts of any kind are welcome in my belly.
29. Lobos - apples, woo hoo. It better be a good apple to have made it onto the must-try list. From Cannamore Orchards. Maybe I will go and pick my own in the Fall.
30. Raspberry Mini-Cheesecakes from Second Avenue Sweets. Yum, and yum. Do they make them only when the raspberries are fresh?
31. Scones from the Scone Witch - Heather Matthews has done well here. Her original Scone Witch is on Albert, but rumour has it she's opening a second location on Crichton in New Edinburgh. Easier access for me, as I hate trying to find parking downtown.
32. Lover's Leap Ceylon Tea - from Tea & Ginseng on Bank.
33. Queen Elizabeth Cake - this surprises me that I find this cake everywhere. It's just a wierd thing to see in a lot of places. Specifically, I should try it from Bread & Roses on Beechwood. I think I can get Cochrane's milk there too.
34. Shortbread La Gaillarder from Pastina in Wakefield. Does Wakefield really constitute "Ottawa". I don't think so. I don't even know if Wakefield constitutes the National Capital Region.
35. Dried Lavender from ADC Fines Herbes in the Byward Market. I haven't really used lavender in cooking, so it will be fun.
36. Baklava from the Middle East Bakery on Somerset - will it be the best I have ever had? Who knows.
37. Black Irish Plain Porter - I had to read the blurb to know it was beer.
38. Sterling's Porthouse Steak - love this restaurant, so an excuse to re-visit is wonderful. I think I was tipsy/bordering on drunk the last time I was there and I was invited to look in the kitchen, but honestly, I can't remember a thing. I don't even know if my steak was good. That's a bad thing. Fingers crossed I didn't say anything that will embarass me at a future date.
39. Burfi from Desh - not too sure, doesn't sound too good from the title. Oh, but on further reading, it's described as Indian fudge with rosewater. Things are looking up.
40. Tiramisu from Nicastro - this had better be orgasmic, because I make a kick-ass tiramisu.
41. Island Flava's Caribbean Hot Sauce - not sold by itself, I have to order a goat roti. I'm beginning to have some doubts about my list.
42. Shrimp Rice Noodles from Wa Kiu Foods on Somerset.
43. Rabbit from Luciano Foods.
44. Aubrey's Merguez Sausage - this I can do.
45. Ground Pork from Saigon - it doesn't say why is it different from the ground pork I might normally buy elsewhere? Hopefully there's a good story behind it.
46. Organic Frisee from Ferme Orient at OFM.
47. Serrano Ham from Misto - instead of the serrano ham, they should have put canoli on the list. The canoli sold here is brought in from Montreal only on the weekends. Call ahead to reserve. I can eat six of those canoli in one sitting, that's how good they are. One morning I waited more than half an hour for the delivery, If you are not there early enough, or don't place an order, chances are you won't get any.
48.Glengarry Fine Cheese from Nicastro. I like cheese.
49. Lemon & Salt Pistachios from Shiraz on Preston. I like pistachios, I am especially liking the salt & pepper pistachios from Costco at the moment. They are my healty snack alternative.
50. True Loaf's Decadent Bun - OK, I tried to find this bakery when it first opened. I read about it in the Ottawa Citizen, drove back and forth along Gladstone until the residents thought I was a stalker. Couldn't find it. About a week later, I went back with my husband to try and find it, and in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday, it was already closed. This frustrates me to no end. But, because I am doing the list I will hunt for it one more time.
Half way there.
51. Berg en Dal Honey - oh, from the Piggy Market.
52. Zaatar from Aladdin Convenience on Carling.
53. Rosélianne Rosé Cider - made on Montreal's North Shore, available from Marché Vieux-Hull on Laval. Alcohol is an easy one for me.
54. Cocoa Camino's Dark Chocolate Bar with Orange - bring it on!
55. The Table's Chocolate Cheesecake - yum! Are we in the chocolate section???
56. Florentines from Le Moulin de Provence in the Market. Apparently this is what US President Obama should have bought.
57. Giant Handmade Peanut Butter Cups from Truffle Treasures on Richmond - my husband will love me even more!
58. Stubbe's Caramelized Hazelnuts - yummo!
59. Banoffee Pie from Allium - ooh, I have had this, and it's good. I really like this restaurant. Although, they could improve their air conditioning capabilities, I almost melted away over the course of dinner. Even the wine couldn't dull my senses that night.
60. Pure Cranberry Juice from La Trappe a Fromage - hmm...unsweetened. I'll be a brave girl that day. Let me think about what I can do with unsweetened cranberry juice. I am sure it's good for you though. Bottoms up!
61. Cambodian Satay Hot Sauce from Phnom Penh Noodle House.
62. Coconut Lagoon's Travancore-style Fish Curry - not sure what Travancore is, but looking forward to finding out.
63. Poivre Long from Ottawa Bagel Shop and Deli.
64. Argan Oil from Byward Fruit Market - apparently it is liquid gold.
65. El Meson's Castelo Dourado - I have never been to this restaurant, and was just the other day, asking someone if the restaurant was still there. Now I have a reason to go.
66. Clover Coffee at Bridgehead - coffee...mmm.....maybe tomorrow morning.
67. Fraser Cafe's Homemade Doughnuts - more doughnuts in my belly. I do like the use of the old-fashioned and traditional spelling of doughnut, as opposed to the horrible North-Americanised version of donut.
68. Kouign Aman - a Breton pastry only available Saturdays at Cyclelogik...does that sound right? Pastries available at a bicycle store?
69. Braised Veal Sweetbreads from La Table in Papineauville - this must be a stretch, and surely because it is WAY out of the guidelines, I can give this one a miss.
70. Strawberry Pie from Bella Vista - sounds good, as long as it is not a jellied pie filling.
71. Mariposa Duck -again, who in Ottawa hasn't had Mariposa Duck? It's everywhere.
72. Mohammara Sauce from Coin du Chiche on Eddy.
73. Bison from Pykeview Meadows - available at OFM.
74. Canadian High Tea at Zoe's - I still haven't tried this. We tried to get in for Mothers' Day, but we left it too late. It was booked out on both the Saturday and Sunday - book early! I want the one that comes with the champagne.
75. Sufganiyot - jelly doughnuts from Rideau Bakery..yum, yum, yum.
76. Edamame from Oz Cafe - not one of the foods that I have become crazy about, and just recently I read a story about how too much soy is a bad thing.
77. Pickled Turnip from the Garlic King - something from here had to make it on the list. Can you believe that guy?
78. Soul Food from Jean Alberts in Hallville - where? Google maps to the rescue.
79. Ottawa River Sturgeon from Chelsea Smokehouse.
80. Amber Garden Perogies - who doesn't love carb-on-carb action?
81. Rice Pudding from Boushey's Fruit Market.
82. Bison Egg Rolls from La Trappe a Fromage in Gatineau.
83. Absinthe Steak Frites - Great restaurant, but I wish they didn't move from their old location. I understand they needed more space, but they old space was just so funky and comfortable. The new space is too slick and open for me. I still love the food.
84. Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes from Stoneface Dolly's - I've been here a few times too, but never for breakfast. Oh, I lie, once I tried to get in for breakfast/brunch, but was told it would be a 45 minute wait outside in December. Not happening.
85. Jellies from Les Delices de Laura available at La Trappe a Fromage - if I am not mistaken, these could be the jellies that have the beautiful flower petals floating throughout. They look gorgeous, although I have never tried them before.
86. Salmon Sausages from the Red Apron - interesting, and probably healthy.
87. Tapioca Pudding with Pineapple and Coconut Milk from Fuschian on Somerset - I am personally not a huge fan of tapioca, but it has been about 20 years since I've had it.
88. Grass-Fed Beef from Brylee Farm available online at www.marcheoutaouais.com
89. Cinnamon Twists from Rideau Bakery - what about the rye bread? or does everyone know about it already?
90. Acorn Creek Farms Melons available at OFM.
91. Beef Randang from Chahaya Malaysia - I have heard good things about this restaurant.
92. Cupcakes from the Ottawa Cupcakery - seems good things come in small packages :)
93. Mekong's Nu Han Dumplings - another favourite place to eat in Ottawa. I am positive I have had these dumplings, but let's take another opportunity to go back for more.
94. Pumpkin Fudge Pie from Penny's Fudge Factory in Fitzroy Harbour - good, something to disguise the pumpkin flavour.
95. Laksa Soup from Singapore - thank god I can get this dish here. If done well, it's wonderful.
96. Cheese from Jacobsons on Beechwood - lots of good things going on in there.
97. Hot smoked Salmon from Pelican Fishery on Bank.
98. Elgin Street Diners Chocolate Banana Milkshake - is it really better than any other?
99. House of Goergie's Legendary Pizza with Gravy on Gilmour - sounds too good to be true.
100. Lebanese Cucumbers -are you kidding me? this made it onto the list.
101. The Beavertail - this made it, and poutine didn't?
There's a couple of cop-outs and things I don't think should have made it -especially those not found in OTTAWA!
Anyway, cheers to the list, the beginning of a long, but fun project. I'm off to the LCBO to pick up my beer for tonight!