Tag Archives: ottawa

Food Finds: Trip to Ogdensburg

10 Sep

I made another pilgrimage to the USA over the weekend. A friend and I made the short jaunt down the 416 to Ogdensburg which is just on the other side of Prescott, ON. If you haven’t made it down yet, the savings in groceries, gas and online shopping shipping costs is well worth the drive. Plus, every time I’m down I find a few foodie things to share.

Getting Lunch in the ‘Burg
On a random message board I had seen a recommendation for a Chinese food restaurant called A1 Buffet King which is located in strip mall on Canton Street. I had seen it on my last trip but didn’t look too closely because I needed to save room for the bacon sundae from Burger King. Given that fast food is basically the only option around, even a ‘so so’ Chinese buffet sounded better, especially since the random message board guy had declared it ‘a great deal’. Wow, was he ever right!

On a Saturday just after noon, there were only a handful of tables full but everything on the buffet was hot and fresh. We soon found out why – they also do a brisk business in take out as well.

A-1 has the usual suspects – General Tso’s (nice balance of sweet and hot), chicken balls with sweet & sour sauce (fresh not frozen) and stir fried veggies – as well as some different stuff like chicken in a Thai peanut sauce. The shrimp in butter sauce was beautiful – big juicy shrimp and perfectly cooked. They also had the staple of American Chinese buffets – ‘biscuit donuts’ – basically Pillsbury biscuit dough deep fried and coated in butter and white sugar. They sound terrible but wow they’re good. And to top it all off – they had a soft serve ice cream machine. With sprinkles!

When your bill for two people looks like this at the end, especially when you’re so full you’re considering a nap in the car after, you really can’t go wrong. Yep, it’s $6.99 per person for lunch, Monday-Saturday. I defy you to find anything like that in Ottawa.

Is a Pepsi By Any Other Name, Just as Sweet?
Price Chopper had Pepsi products on sale 4 cases of 12 for $10 so I stocked up. I took a risk and tried a case of a new Pepsi iteration – Pepsi Next. Intended to be a happy middle ground between full-sugar regular Pepsi and Diet Pepsi, it has a blend of corn syrup and faux sweeteners and clocks in at half the calories of a can of ‘high test’ Pepsi.

What did it taste like? Well, it tasted like half a regular Pepsi and half of a diet Pepsi in a single can. For those that are trying to cut calories but just can’t stomach diet pop it’s a decent option. Unfortunately, it still had a hint of that gross chemical aftertaste you get with calorie free pop. Nice try Pepsi, but you haven’t found the holy grail here.

Are You Friggin’ Kidding Me?
If you think that Canadian dollar stores have some odd things in the food aisles, check out what we found at the Dollar Tree. Yes, that’s off-brand Hamburger Helper endorsed by ‘comedian’ Larry The Cable Guy. I had to buy it for its novelty alone because I don’t think I could ever bring myself to actually consume it. Sorry Larry, I don’t ‘gotta try it’.

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Oh SuzyQ, Baby I love you…

13 Jul

In the last few years with foodie culture getting more mainstream, a series of food ‘trends’ have erupted. There was cupcakes, and bacon, and salted caramel but more recently, the cool kid on the block has been doughnuts. So cool in fact, that the Globe and Mail wrote about the popularity of gourmet doughnut stores popping up across the country, including one in Ottawa. 🙂

SuzyQ doughnuts is on Wellington West in Hintonburg in the shack that used to house Hintonburger. Opened by a Canada Post mail carrier after her stall at a local famer’s market couldn’t keep up with demand, they’ve got a pretty good thing going.

With a yeast-based doughnut dough that manages to be substantial but light and fluffy at the same time, SuzyQ’s real magic is in the imaginative toppings that echo some of the other trends in food like the maple bacon and the salted caramel ones that I sampled today.

The maple bacon doughnut wasn’t as maple-ey as it could have been in my opinion, with the glaze just mostly sweet but the bacon was cooked and cut perfectly so that it became almost like crunchy bacon sprinkles. The salted caramel had a gooey and buttery caramel coating with a light touch of saltyness that really worked well.

I was a bit disappointed that they were out of the other flavour I had wanted to try, Blue Fruit Loop (yes, with the cereal). It’s just a good excuse to make a return trip! Check out SuzyQ’s website at suzyq.ca.

Who knew Ottawa had a food truck scene?

17 Jun

Call me surprised too. I thought all Ottawa had to offer was chip trucks… Nothing like the awesome rolling purveyors of tastyness that you always see on the Food Network or that you see in other (perhaps more progressive) cities like Calgary (shout out to Perogy Boys).

But there is hope! A new generation of foodies are jumping on the food truck bandwagon and as luck would have it, a very tasty one frequents the neighborhood I work in: The Merry Dairy – a frozen custard truck!

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Yes, it even has ‘ice cream’ truck music. And WiFi – score! (Courtesy of The Merry Dairy.)

The Merry Dairy is the brainchild of Marlene Haley. For those of you who’ve never had frozen custard, it’s a little firmer than Dairy Queen soft serve but much, much creamier and smoother thanks to the addition of eggs. Marlene keeps it simple – just vanilla and chocolate for now, with chocolate, strawberry or caramel sauce and chocolate or rainbow sprinkles. It doesn’t need anything more.

Find out where Marlene will show up next on The Merry Derry website.

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This is getting a bit melty but still so tasty. What can I say, it’s been HOT here!

(For a full list of local trucks, check out this great list from Kathy Eats).