Wanted: suggestions for food in the Valley [Food/Vendor]

2006 Oct 28
We're in to 'going for a drive' these days, usually through the little towns in the Ottawa Valley.

So far, I've enjoyed:

'Foodsmith's' in Perth (www.foodsmiths.com/)

For a supermarket, super-nice. A few things I hadn't seen before; excellent bulk section, loads of 'natural'/health foods.

And the Ironworks Pub (www.ironworkspub.ca/) in Almonte is worth a drive. For a pub, it's got fantastic food. Good beer selection, nice quiet place by the water.

Along with a few other places; it's not all Tim Hortons out there. Any suggestions for 'hidden gems' worth a drive?

2006 Nov 2
Two recommendations that are a little way out of town:

The Brigadoon Restaurant in Oxford Mills Brigadoon - it gets some mixed reviews but I had a to-die-for bouillabaisse there many years ago.

La Ferme Rouge just East of Gatineau Ferme Rouge - it's a decent seafood buffet house with the added twist of live entertainment. Most memorable!

The other place to check out is the Hershey Factory in Smiths Falls. Actually, I'm going to add it to the database. There, I did it: Hershey Chocolate Shoppe :)

2006 Nov 7
The Goose and Gridiron in Merrickville has good food and a nice family friendly pub atmosphere. The burgers are quite good.

While you are in Merrickville, you might as well stop into Mrs. McGarrigle's Fine Foods. I always stock up on the mustards from this place. This place has a great selection of gourmet food products - also lots of British food products that are hard to find in regular grocery stores.

Also in Merrickville is the Sam Jakes Inn, which has a good restaurant. The Sunday brunch is worth the drive, however, I would recommend reservations.

Always a fun stop on a weekend drive is Scoops in Packenham - great ice cream. Though it is probably a bit late in the year now. I don't know if it is open all year. It is definitely a busy place in the summer months.

Balderson's cheese factory near Lanark (off highway 7 past Perth) is also a great stop. Again, good ice cream at very reasonable prices, a decent selection of cheese (of course), gourmet food stuffs (mustards, antipastos, crackers, vinegars, etc..). Next door is a Village Treats (I think that is the name) that sells all sorts of chocolate treats - yummy!!

If you want to go a bit further out, venture to the town of Westport. It is in between Perth and Kingston on the west end of Upper Rideau lake. There is really good pub in town (can't remember the name but there is stained glass dividers inside - it is in an old narrow building right on the lake and there is a great deck on the back.) Also a couple of ice cream places a bakery and some artsy/touristy stores - Westport is similar in flavour to Merrickville though not as many artisans.

Happy driving and eating!

2006 Nov 7
Pot au Feu in Wakefield.

Small menu of traditional French Canadian food. I've only been there twice but I was impressed both times. First time I got the pate/cheese plate and sat on their veranda overlooking the river.

Second time was a bit chilly so we sat inside and had their stew with fresh french bread.

This is a cute local-touristy area.

2006 Nov 9
Les Fougères in Chelsea...wonderful!
Then on towards Wakefield for the many little shops and bakeries...the perfect all-day outing!

2006 Nov 14
From my end of town, I have a few of our top little places:

Manotick, Manotick, Osgoode - these are -

The Black Dog, in "downtown" Manotick - owned by the woman who owns the "Red Dot" (Dot) in Osgoode, this menu is electic and the food is lovely, unique, delicious! Both the Red Dot and Black Dog have sweet potato fries to die for (and their own unique dip, each restaurant is different). The Dog has a great bar menu, and "caketails," which are a wonderful alternative to dessert. Except their desserts are too much fun not to try too!

Kelly's Landing, on the Rideau River, on River Road, Manotick. This place has been well-known for folks wanting to relax on the huge deck in spring/summer/fall and to enjoy the river, boaters, wildlife, sun, gentle breezes... oh well, after a month of rain I got carried away!

But Kelly's now is open, for the first time, in the winter too. Cozy and warm inside, the two chefs, Tony and Gord, and the assistant chefs, Shane and Kelsey, are amazing, their boxties are worth a taste (I love the seafood), they have many good specials, it can be casual and affordable or you can try a more upscale entree. A nice drive, and a great location!

And the Red Dot in Osgoode. When we first moved south our realtor suggested this restaurant, and we thought, "Who would go to a restaurant all the way in Osgoode??" (It is about 5km from our house, too!)

But we did, and we do. The place can be jammed even on a Tuesday night. People come from ALL over the area to eat there. The menu is extensive, more casual and just plain- WONDERFUL! And the desserts are amazing, their signature Sticky Toffee Cake to die for (ask for it to be served in a warm bowl, with vanilla ice cream on it and SPOONS, not forks). YUM!!

They are located in the unlikely spot of the very right-hand corner of the little shopping centre on Osgoode's Main Street, where their Independent Grocer is.

And oh, I forgot to mention, also on Osgoode's Main Street, Sweet Peas Pantry. Open from 8am (I think) to 4pm, the two women who own this serve one heck of a breakfast and an even more amazing lunch. It is a tearoom kind of place, great desserts, and it is in a two-story house that is also a little shop with really neat little items. Their salad dressing - wonderful! They sell it, too. I have been stuck on their salad of gourmet greens with fruit, nuts and cheese... but I haven't had anything there that wasn't fun!

Sweet Peas has cooking classes, too, and Kelly's Landing will be offering classes as well as tasting menus and other interesting events this winter.

So, some ideas from my part of the world!

2008 Jun 11
A great little place has opened up in Metcalfe - the Tea Biscuit Cafe & Studio. The food is all fresh, and really tasty! Really good soups, paninis and salads. Artwork on the walls and the mugs the teas are served in are all made by local artisans - cool! The tea pots are also quite fun. Go to www.teabiscuit.ca/ for the address, more details, etc. It's worth checking out. :)

2008 Jun 11
If you head back to Perth, check out the Hungry Planet (www.thehungryplanet.com/) - fresh, made to order lunches and usually locally sourced.

2008 Jun 11
The Hungry Planet is totally worth the drive also in Chelsea Soup'herb... not sure the spelling exactly but on the right hand side of the road, take the exit to Camp Fortune. It is a vegetarian restaurant.

2008 Jun 11
Café Soup'Herbe Café Soup'Herbe

2008 Jun 11
I just noticed this was revived from 2 years ago

Most have been mentioned but I'll reiterate some of my favs

Foodsmiths (Perth) Foodsmiths
-Can't say enough good things about this place. It's been around since I was a child - long before the health food craze. I remember they had this great fat-free frozen yogurt when I was young (wayyyyyyyyyyyyy before 'that' Seinfeld episode hit the airwaves!)

Fiddleheads (Perth) Fiddleheads
-Great bar and restaurant. Lots of items you wouldn't expect to find at a small town bar/grill. Chef trained at Cordon Bleu and used to work at Claire de Lune.

Hungry Planet (Perth)
-I believe the menu changes daily. Again, not something you'd expect to find in a small town.

Balderson Cheese (Perth)
-Lots of great cheese and a huge ice cream selection

Nicky D's Pizzeria (Manotick)
-Great little pizzeria

Paesano's (Manotick)
-Had lunch here not too long ago. Good value and interesting specials.

I think the pub piglet was referring to is Foley House in Westport. Nice patio.

2008 Jun 15
I have a few favourites in the Valley.
Castlegarth Restaurant in Burnstown has a fantastic regional, seasonal menu--I think they are only open for dinner.
I haven't been here since last summer but Serendipity in Merrickville is very nice--again regional foods, local produce, lots of organic (and resident bunnies and a composter out back!) Apparently the owner makes her rounds on a bicycle.
And living in West Carleton I have to make a few suggestions...
In Dunrobin, The Heart and Soul Cafe does breakfasts that rival any in the city--free trade coffee, all items available daily (except the steak & eggs--weekends only). They are only open for breakfast and lunch but they do both really well. The "benedicts" are excellent and so are the crepes, the house soup is always a good choice. The in-house-made desserts are excellent. BTW--voted best restaurant in West Carleton 2007 and a contender this year.
Carp has the Swan, The Carp Bakery--lovely family owned business--excellent freshly made donuts! (also great breads, cakes and pastries and daily lunch specials) and just down the road The Chesire Cat. I like the weekly special menu here and the live entertainment on Saturday afternoons.
A relative newcomer is LaOsteria in Constance Bay. This is a very nicely renovated restaurant with excellent pizza, pastas, a few good mains, excellent desserts. They are just waiting for the liquor licence but the food is very good to excellent, the ambience is great and everything is made fresh on site--dinner only Wed. to Sun. until summer.
That's all for now...

2008 Jun 17
The Ottawa Citizen Travel section did a great Noshing Around Navan article last year
that included the winery, brew pub, butcher shop etc.
However it didn't list everyone's hours of operation. A Saturday afternoon is probably the best day to take the tour as then the butcher, winery, brew pub and the various stores and fresh produce market stalls are all open.

2008 Jun 17
On the way to Sudbury, we made a detour to Eganville on purpose just so we could go to the Granary Schnitzel House for lunch. It was pretty great. Big portions for lunch, beer selection decent as well.

2008 Jun 17
Or... go to Wilno and experience Polish food HEAVEN at the Wilno Tavern!
I'm talking about perogies the size of a baseball! I had some on my way out of Algonquin Park after camping out & hiking for a few days... it really hit the spot...