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Julie Woo's Profile

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ottawa Butcher shops?

i heart saslove's as well, and go there most often as I live close by. However, when I make the trip south on Bank, I always make a trip into the Glebe Meat Market. Family owned and operated for decades, they will get anything you want. I am roasting a piglet for Thanksgiving this year, and I would only trust them with getting it for me.

Anniversary dinner in Ottawa - help!

if you are looking for location, Moji on Clarence (cute place, good service) is an option. Murray Street (charcuterie) and Navarra (new incarnation of Black Cat) just opened but I have heard very good things despite their "newness". If you want great food + great wine list, you have to go to Wellington Gastropub. Tiny detour from the market is TOTALLY worth it. Last time I went, it was for lunch. I had the double smoked bacon risotto with leeks and corn, and a crisp, grassy sauvignon blanc. DELICIOUS. And yes, I drink at lunch.

Favorite "Friends" Food Moments? (Inspired by the Seinfeld Thread)

Phoebe's gramma's recipe was from her old friend "Nesslé Toulousse". Monica figured out that it was Nestle Tollhouse.

My fave food scene was again the stoned Jon Lovitz, when he repeats the word tartlette many times and then exclaims: "the word has lost all meaning!"

Jan 08, 2007
Julie Woo in Not About Food

real vs. fake foods

I don't know if this has been mentioned but I just saw a TV commercial for a Natrel product that they are calling a "milk beverage". The wording alone tells me it's fake.

also, wine from real "terroir" vs. some artificially "oaked" vino (yellow tail shiraz)

Jan 08, 2007
Julie Woo in General Topics

From my nation's capital to yours...

All of these suggestions are so great. We are definitely counter people so deli lunches are a must.

Do CityZen, Citronelle and Komi really impress? I see those names on this board often but wonder about hype. If you had to choose, which one would you make reservations at?

From my nation's capital to yours...

My partner and I (both from Ottawa) are planning to spend 5 days in Washington soon. As I want to spoil him for his birthday, I need recs for casual lunches, fancy dinners and great pubs for pints. We are fairly adventurous eaters and don't mind laying down some cash, if it's worth it! Any ideas?

Funny food names

Tempura is definitly Portuguese, however, I understand it to be derived from the word "temperatura" for temperature.

I like the temple story better.

Dec 20, 2006
Julie Woo in Not About Food

Fake Japanese Food

You are going to think I am weird, but I have a super obsession with fake food. It's difficult to find quality stuff in North America so your best bet is to go to Japan. That's where I got mine and I love it.
However, if a trip to Japan is unfeasible I found this site based in California:

They have sushi under "food oriental" heading. I can't vouch for them but their site is in english which is better than most sample food sites. Just so you know, sample food is expensive everywhere.
Good luck!

ps: what are you going to do with it?

Nov 29, 2006
Julie Woo in Not About Food

Early Ottawa

I didn't know zucchero had breakfast - i am definitly going to try it. In that neighbourhood, the scone witch is yummy, although I don't know how early it opens.
I like Bramasole too. good counter!

Dim Sum for beginners

I don't even drink tea with dim sum anymore. Some friends and I went for dim sum in the GTA a while back and to my shock and horror they all ordered coke. Although sceptical and not one to order soda ever, I ordered one too because they all raved about the combo. It's the BEST way to cut the grease/deep fried goodness. YUM!

Early Ottawa

The only place I go to early is Mello's on Dalhousie. The food is pretty regular diner stuff but the characters in the place make up for it. I am also a counter person so I love it there. Also, planet coffee is open fairly early and I love thir chow and great coffee to boot.

LIttle Italy Ottawa

Point taken - I had no idea. I have noticed that some of the servers have been there for a long time so the thought didn't cross my mind because the turnover seems to be low. I'll think twice about my next visit...

Cora's for Brunch

I am jealous of the great breakfast that can be found in the GTA! I can count the decent breakfast available in Ottawa on one hand.

LIttle Italy Ottawa

I am not a huge Pub Italia fan but I have friends who swear by it so maybe I am missing something. If you are on the hunt for Preston gems, I can think of two: you have to hit the Prescott (pizza swerved on cafeteria trays, and meatball sandwiches = yum!). For something a little classier, there is a place called Trattoria Caffe Italia. The decor is horifying but they make their own pasta and sauce on the premisis and it's good. They have a ridiculously extensive wine list as well.

Ottawa Pho talk..

Pho Thu Do is the best Pho in Ottawa. I just posted about it in another thread and then came across this one. Best broth in town, hands down. It's on the north side of Sommerset, just east of Booth at a cross street call Empress. The street number is 765. It's got a green sign and you climb 3 steps to get in the door. Going west on Sommerset, it's just past the crest of the hill.

Cora's for Brunch

Agreed, Googs!! I have never figured out the appeal of Cora's. There are still lines out the door to the Ottawa locations and I find myself shuddering every time I pass someone waiting in the cold to eat at that place! I am not a fan. I find the food tastes prepackaged, and for breakfast stuff, I find it expensive. There are a handful of places in Ottawa that serve outstanding breakfast. I will go out of my way to get somewhere else before ever eating at Cora's again.

Ottawa recommendations

Here are some of my picks for reasonably priced chow in the NCR:
1. Pho Thu Do on Sommerset - there is lots of pho to choose from on Chinablock but this one is the best. Lunch for 6 bucks!
2. Chez Lucien - great après work place for a pint and a fantastic burger that will only cost you 8 loonies.
3. Casa do Churasco - a Portuguese chicken place on Dalhousie, very close to the By Ward Market. Very fresh, always cheap.

I am gonna say it again, I love Whalesbone (gladstone at bank). You could absolutely get a glass of wine and some beautiful oysters within your per diem. Have fun!

White Castle Turkey Stuffing - I dare someone to make this

We don't have White Castle here! Would this recipe work with another burger? Clearly not Wendy's, McDonald's or Burger King but maybe Harvey's? I would totally take the dare if I could...

Nov 17, 2006
Julie Woo in Home Cooking

(Québec City) A Short Gastronomic Tour...

Just got back from a gastronomical whirlwind tour of Quebec City: just a few highlights for future visitors. The only disappointing food experience that we had was the very first place that we went. It was an obvious mistake – we succumb to our hungry stomachs and my SO’s penchant for pubs and stopped at the first place we saw outside our hotel. A place called D’Orsay. To me, a place that clearly survives on the one time tourist visit.
That night we had reservations at Laurie Raphael. Although I was initially put off by a mix up they made with my reservation, they got us a great table and our server was excellent. We settled in for the full ‘menu gastronomique’ with wine pairings. It was running on a junk food theme: smoked salmon ‘candy’, fennel coleslaw served in paper cups, maple cotton candy. The pièce de resistance, however, was the pogo (yes, a POGO!) filled with rare tuna. It was divine. Our server told us that the chef has a sweet tooth, and it was certainly apparent. There were 3 dessert courses! A little too much for us since we tend to prefer the savory stuff (give me a cheese plate over ice cream any day). Four hours later, we rolled out of there well fed and generally happy with the experience.
The following day we hit Le Café du Clocher Penché for brunch and had a great meal. The server recommended the staff favorite to my SO and it was great. I wished that I had ordered it! It was an English muffin topped with eggs and what was essentially chili, but truly awesome; very fresh! I had the equivalent of a croque monsieur, the hot mustard made it very yummy.
After our blowout at LR, we decide to cancel the reservations at Yuzu. The frigid and windy weather didn’t make either of us exited for raw food. Instead we hit Le Lapin Sauté. Total opposite atmosphere and food from LR, but still a good time. I wished the bunny had been a little more tender but the soup, salad and black olive tapenade made up for it. Our server was very sweet, and got a little extra tip from me for a compliment on my spoken French. Smart girl!
I have every intention of going back to Québec City soon, so any resident experts on the best places to go are asked to post. The drive from Ottawa is painless and I thought the city was great. I can reciprocate with recs from the Nation’s Capital!


Byward Market lunches

Agreed with all of distobj's suggestions...

Bottega just raised their prices slightly, but the deli sandwiches are still a steal at $5 since you could make multiple regular size sandwiches with the amount of meat they pile on. More of my faves include: the chicken tikka wrap at Shafali Bazaar (market mall), Planet Coffee for a nice variety of chow, sushi at Wasabi.

I also used to like to get soup a place called Les Soupières on Dalhousie. I just discovered that they have moved and downsized to a much more modest place on By Ward. They are now just selling soup to go out of the frozen yogurt place near the market stalls. Although I have yet to try their stuff in the new place (as bizarre as selling soup out of a frozen yogurt place sounds) I have faith that it would still be good - or at least worth a try.

I think you hit the jackpot for patties at good ones that I know of in the market. Stock up!

Blanton's in Ontario?

Thanks for the tip. I called the Windsor LCBO on Wednesday and, indeed, they had one bottle of Blanton's. However, the bottle was on hold for somebody else coming in to pick it up from the States. I was instructed to call back on Friday, and if the bottle was still there, they would ship it to my local LCBO. I just got off the phone with them, and I am disheartened to report that the bottle is gone. So the search is renewed. I think I will have to scour my friends for trips to the States, and bribe them into visiting liquor stores for me.

Nov 03, 2006
Julie Woo in Spirits

Blanton's in Ontario?

I was recently treated to the best bourbon I have ever tasted. A friend cam back from Kentucky with a bottle of Blanton's. I am now on a mission to find more of it above the border - I want all the letters on the cork!

Any ideas? Liquor in Ontario is controlled by the provincial government and they don't carry it. Short of purchasing an entire case, is there anything else I can do? Is this something that might be carried in New York state? Thanks!

Oct 26, 2006
Julie Woo in Spirits


Do we have to start a petition? Or maybe a letter writing campaign? Ottawa totally deserves its own board. I would post more if it did...

Sep 28, 2006
Julie Woo in Site Talk

Cooking by intuition?

Intuition all the way. I tried a new recipe the other night that i diligently printed out from a reputable website. However, after looking it over, I took the essence of the dish and substituted almost everything. It turned out to be unrecognizable from my printed recipe but I was far better suited to my taste.

As everyone else mentioned, measuring is required in baking. I have solved that problem by refusing to bake. Works for me!

Sep 20, 2006
Julie Woo in Home Cooking

Stella - Ottawa (Byward Market)

I had the exact opposite experience at Stella. The risotto fritters were tasteless and the pizza I had for at main (sounded good: topped with tiger shrimp and figs) was not worth the money spent. I have had better pizza and better service from ordering in. The service provided to our party of 6 that night cannot be described as anything less than a fiasco. I am certainly not returning to Stella for fear of a repeat performance.

homemade sushi just got a little more boring...

Thank you! I also love tempura in maki rolls - thats definitly on the menu. I usually fill with salmon or tuna, avocado, cucumber and red peppers. I am flirting with the idea of a crab/wasabi mayo filling but need some more ideas. HELP!

Sep 08, 2006
Julie Woo in Home Cooking

homemade sushi just got a little more boring...

I make sushi at home all the time. I have grown tired of the regular maki roll with standard fillings. Does anybody have any suggestions for new/exciting filling or interesting presentation ideas? Any help is appreciated! I have promised friends that sushi will grace the dining table this saturday!

Sep 08, 2006
Julie Woo in Home Cooking

Ottawa breakfast suggestions

Brunch at Chez is not for the faint of heart. There are only four choices on the menu: eggs benedict, eggs pacific, another eggs/hollandaise variation and the croque monsier (croissant with tomato covered in cheese and broiled). Each breakfast is served with salad and their famous french fries (or they should be famous). I think each meal runs at 7 or 8 bucks - same as the burgers - and absolutely worth it. Its a heavy morning meal (no granola and yogurt in sight) but every once in a while I can't resist. Also, one of the guys in the kitchen brings in the Sunday edition of the New York Times, so sitting at the bar with coffee, breakfast and the times has become my favorite time to be at Chez.

Driving from Toronto to Ottawa.

Also in Kingston - Don't forget about Pan Chancho's sister Chez Piggy! Pan Chancho is great for snacks if you are on the go but chez piggy is beautiful to sit down and take your time. The cookbook that they published is definitly one of my most dog-eared. I love their food!

Ottawa - dinner on a Sunday night

I have only been to par-fyum once and deliberately have not made a return trip. I ordered a chowder for a starter and the tenderloin for dinner. Neither offering was terrible but I was disappointed that both were unimaginative and boring. On the positive side, the wine list is comprehensive and they have a sommelier on staff to help you decide. I would wait until Vardy has arrived and implemented a new menu before trying par-fyum again.