Ottawa food adventures

I don’t tend to eat out much in Ottawa despite my interest in food and the city. Being on a student budget makes it difficult to run a food blog when it comes to food someone else has cooked!

Aside from the delicious samples I tasted on the C’est Bon tasting tour, I have visited 7 places to eat: Nando’s, Presotea, Sash Gelato Cafe, Jay’s Pizza and Poutine, Mu Goong Hwa Garden, Heart & Crown, and Lieutenant’s Pump. I’ve already reviewed Mu Goong Hwa in my first post and the previous two places mentioned were solely for drinks (which are hella expensive here.)

Jay’s Pizza and Poutine offers pizza for $2 per slice, ($2.25 for slices with meat) they’re open late and offer delivery. It’s nestled on the block between 3 Brothers Pizza and Poutine and Shawarma Palace on Rideau, which makes me genuinely wonder how this mom & pop shop could stay afloat. But now I can reason why: the crust is crisp, the cheese they use is St. Albert’s, and the owners are incredibly friendly people. I ate my pizza before I could take a photo of it, but they handed me this nice take out menu which will have to do.

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The bubble tea scene in Ottawa has nothing on Vancouver. A medium-sized bubble tea without tapioca pearls at Presotea Ottawa costs an average of $5.50 each, and they’re often made with powder-flavouring rather than fresh fruit. There’s only a small handful of bubble tea shops in the city and so far, I am unimpressed. However, this hang-out spot was surprisingly populated and the tea itself was not bad.

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The gelato scene, however, is a worthy contender of Vancouver’s. I’ve only been to two gelato cafes so far, but there seems to be an abundance of places to get your fix. Sash Gelato is definitely a trendy place to try some creative flavours.

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Finally, there was Nando’s flame-grilled chicken. Though there are Nando’s(es) in Vancouver, my first time actually sitting down to eat there was here in Ottawa. The ordering system is a little odd, but the food is tasty and the atmosphere is very relaxed (if only I hadn’t snapchat story’d the photo for it, I’d show you.) What I really need to try next time though is the $3.99 bottomless frozen yogurt!

November 12th, 2016

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My first week in Ottawa

I moved to Ottawa, ON from Vancouver, BC exactly one week ago.

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This is my new bedroom.

I’ve been blessed with a great start so far. Everyone I’ve met here has been welcoming and friendly; including my new landlords, new managers, new instructors and new housemates.

My new home is stunningly multicultural. On my floor alone, my housemates and I represent Taiwan, Brazil, America, Korea, Ecuador, and Canada. We’re all attending the same school this October.

The days have gone by like this:

On Tuesday Sept 27th, I arrived at the Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport. My lovely new landlord picked me up and drove me to my new apartment (talk about welcoming!)

After unpacking my two checked luggages, I headed to the 24hr Loblaws nearby to stock my shelf of the fridge.

I’ve never had to grocery shop for myself before. Not a bad start?

On Wednesday Sept 28th, I woke up early to catch the sunshine. This is day was my first and only day off this week, so I wanted to soak up as much of it as possible. Two of my housemates and I took the bus downtown to Rideau Centre to pick up my very own Presto Card.

Supposedly this place is perpetually under construction. This is true.

We also stopped at a cookware store, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Dollarama, and my new favourite Italian market, La Bottega.

This place is like Banana Grove’s hot older brother.

I picked up all sorts of odds and ends that I couldn’t pack when I got here. We decided to walk back home, and I got a feel for the route to school and the surrounding area.

The next day was Thursday Sept 29th, my first day of work at a bed and breakfast! I’m not sure why but I was expecting to work in some sort of inn. In reality, this is heritage building is basically house from the 1960’s.

The owners are two awesome people. They rent out the rooms of their house to strangers and make a great business out of it. I help prepare and serve breakfast on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It’s fruit prep, brewing coffee and tea, serving breakfasts and assisting the head chef in whatever he needs a hand with. It’s fun working there because I like the owners so much; they remind me of my big sister Jessica and her boyfriend Dan.

Since it was a Thursday, I was determined to check out the Canadian War Museum. The museum is free every Thursday and all my housemates were home, so I invited them to join me. It was one of my housemates’ first day in Canada so I think it was great that she came.

We stopped at a Korean barbecue restaurant called MuGoongHwa for dinner. The food was really good in my opinion, but the service wasn’t great. I then learned from my other housemate that the service all over the city is, apparently, absolutely awful everywhere.

I was caught a rough cold soon after this night out so I didn’t do too much more than rest for a few days. Anyway.

Orientation day was on Monday, Oct 3rd. We learned about the school, school rules, how the classes work and what to expect. We also received some wicked cool jackets.

We had some really cool octopus-and-sausage hors d’œuvres.

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Today is Tuesday Oct 4th, which officially marks one of 36 weeks I have here in Ottawa.

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This is my beautiful walk to school through Strathcona Park!

I’m still sick, but if there’s any good time to be sick, it’s when I’m not cooking in a kitchen. Thankfully that’s not till Thursday!

Tuesday October 4th, 2016