New Kid on the Block

January 22, 2009

Play

Play Stephen Beckta’s new wine and cheese shop on Sussex Drive is now scheduled to open on January 30th. (One month behind schedule but who’s counting?).

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The Best Poutine In Town

January 7, 2009

poutine
I have a confession to make. I don’t eat meat but I can’t stay away from poutine. Yes, I know it usually – the best ones at least – comes with beef gravy. And even if it doesn’t, then it usually has gelatin and anyone who professes to be a herbivore should probably stay away from concoctions made with grind up bones. I just can’t help it. I love poutine.

Here’s my top five faves:

1. New York Fries’ Poutine. What? Are you complaining that I’m giving a food court option? I truly love it’s deep dark beef gravy. Yum. Even better with mayonnaise and some of NYF’s california spices. Watch out though, according to calorie count the small size has 710 calories. (!) $3.95
2. The Standard’s Poutine: Real cheese curds and spicy peppery gravy are what make this poutine great. Consistency can be a problem –which for $8 a dish should be fixed.
3. Elgin Street Freehouse : The Freehouse used to offer a wonderful poutine with blue cheese, deep dark gravy and wild mushrooms. Why it escaped from the menu is beyond me and they should bring it back. Bring it back! $9.
4. Elgin Street Dinner’s Poutine: Delicious. But the fries could use a bit of help – why are they so small? And at $7.99 it’s getting a bit pricy. Try asking for a small version. At $5 a pop it’s a much better deal and you won’t fill ill from your poutine adventure.
5. Wedge’s Plus: This poutine makes the grade only because Wedge’s delivers. Not to try unless you are desperately seeking Quebec’s national dish. The wedges are good but there are no curds and the gravy is pretty weak.

What no chip wagon? You’re right, it should be there but I haven’t found one that blows me away yet. Prove me wrong.

Problem Solever

January 7, 2009

BootsEvery October the search begins.

No matter what’s in my closet – what state my current pairs are in or how much I spent on last year’s purchases – I set out to buy a new pair of winter boots.

Sometimes, I don’t quite find what I’m looking for and end up purchasing a few “almost right but not quite right” pairs before I find just what I’m looking for. (If I ever find it).
It can be a pretty costly venture. Especially, if you don’t want to wear what everyone else is wearing so you look outside the Montreal – Ottawa – Toronto limits.

My two main criteria for winter booths are style and warmth – usually, in that order. Since I don’t drive/have a parking spot/a car/a bus pass and my boots are my winter vehicle, I’ve smartly given up on boots with four inch heels. Flat boots are a winter necessity.

But Flat boots are often problematic; their soles are too thin. This causes two problems: 1) you feel the cold earth under your feet; 2) the soft soles get used up pretty quickly and your fancy leather boots are rendered useless after a few long walks.

Solution: re-soling.

It’s cheap, about $30. And not only solves problems 1 and 2 but also 3) Stops you from slipping when walking on dangerous surfaces like grids, ceramic floors (what’s up with the EQ3 entrance?) and mall entrances.

Here are a few places to try:

Capital Shoe Clinic, 203 Queen Street (corner Bank)
Bytown Shoe Repair, 341 Dalhousie St
Earth Watch Shoe Service, 427 Laurier Ave. W

What to do ‘til Winterlude?

December 27, 2008

During the warmer months Ottawa is infested with fests: Jazz Fest, Blues Fest, Fringe Fest, Tulip Fest. The cold seems to kill off both the city’s mosquito population and its revelry, at least until the aptly named Winterlude roles around in February. As a consequence, us poor Ottawans are left to entertain ourselves for most of the winter season. In order to help you out, Apartment 613 will post a number of suggestions for do-it-yourself fun until Winterlude begins or we get bored and run out of ideas.

A cup of Joe at the Wild Oat.
A cup of Joe at the Wild Oat.
Idea 1: Coffee Crawl
Grab a friend or a magazine and spend a couple of hours getting legally high by downing four or five espressos in a row, each at a different location. Better yet, bring a pen and paper and report back on your favourite spot to Apartment 613. Elgin and the Market have an excellent assortment of Coffee shops and bakeries in close proximity to each other, but my favourite route is Francesco’s, the Wild Oat, Nicastro’s, Bridgehead and Morola’s, all within three blocks of each other in the Glebe. There’s also a Starbucks, Second Cup, French Baker, and Timothy’s in the area, making the neighbourhood one of the most caffeinated place in the National Capital Region.