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See also: Tennessy Willems
Small privately-owned corner store in the heart of Hintonburg. There is a small restaurant inside as the sign "Helen's Cuisine" suggests. Excellent home-cooked meals. Lebanese ethnicity with lots of Lebanese and Canadian dishes.

Melrose Grocery
Foods from Melrose Grocery

2011 Jul 10
Today I ran into Helen and Bud at the Metro, and we both recognized each other right away. Bud even remembered my son's name and asked how he was doing. Was so great to bump into them - I asked how retirement was treating them and they said they were enjoying it very much, though did miss all the people.

2009 Dec 3
There was a great article on the closing of Melrose Groceteria / Helen's Cafe in the December-January issue of Ottawa Magazine.

And I understand there was a Farewell Party on November 27th at the Elmdale... did anyone go?

2009 Nov 27
I just went in for my last visit - it has been a while since my son stopped going to Judo next door. Helen and Buddy were as friendly as ever, and the food was spectacular as always. They said that Monday is their last day. Poor Helen is running herself ragged with all the last-minute orders from people who want their last catered event with her delicious food. She is definitely going out with a bang!

Speaking of Judo, they were showing me some of the letters of congratulations they had gotten, and there was one in particular that they were proud of, and for good reason - it was in a House of Commons hard-cover binder from Justin Trudeau, who also used to practice Judo next door, as did his father and former Prime Minister Pierre. Seems they also enjoyed Helen's food after a good workout.

Congratulations Helen and Buddy - we'll miss you!

2009 Oct 14
What sad news! I love their cheese fatayas for a takeout lunch. Note to self: must visit and try their stuffed pork chops for one last time. You'll be missed!

2009 Oct 6
I was at Melrose today and enjoyed a lovely chicken shawarma! Helen and Buddy are officially retiring. There is a party in their honour on November 27th at the Elmdale Tavern. Apparently, the location will be transformed [by new owners] into a wood-burning pizza oven restaurant.

2008 Jul 20
We had a party on Saturday, which is also the day for my weekly visit to see Helen with my son, and enjoy some of her fantastic food! When I was there it struck me that instead of going to one of the big chains to get some finger foods for the party like I normally do, I should support the local mom and pop operation.

I picked up an assortment of various things - tabouleh, pink pickled turnips, and some other salads, mini fataya (Lebanese pizza), baklava, and some other sweets. Everything was absolutely fantastic and got rave reviews by our friends. Best of all, I found the price I paid for it all to be extremely reasonable.

Though if you want a large amount of any particular item for catered parties, it's probably best to order ahead. For excellent, out-of-the-ordinary finger food I especially recommend the mini fataya.

2008 May 12
They should celebrate by giving ME the recipe for thier hummus and baba ganouj - best ever! I miss it so much!

2008 May 11
Congratulations to Helen and Buddy - today they celebrate 40 years as the owners and proprietors of Melrose Grocery!

2008 May 7
Echoing comments in the "Hintonburg" thread, every neighbourhood (and next door tavern) would benefit from a corner store like Melrose Grocery: warm service & tasty food w/ lots of veggie options at a great price.

2007 Sep 25
I've started eating snacky things here the last few weeks - like single meatballs and other simple fingers foods on up to pizza, and have really been enjoying the overall eating experience! It's nice to sit down with my young son after judo class next door and treat him to something.


2008 Jul 26
Today I asked Helen the difference between Mankoushe and Fataya and she and her husband said that Mankoushe has just herbs and spices on top and Fataya is more "hearty" - implied was more like a pizza. There was no mention of folding anything. And they both pointed to a Mankoushe which basically looked the same except it had only herbs and spice. They said it was like a Zatar (just to complicate things further). When I google "Zatar" I got one explanation that said all 3 names are interchangeable.

2008 Jul 21
Listed as "Fataya" on the menu.


2008 Apr 5
I get one every Saturday after my son's Judo class next door. Today I had the pleasure to have one fresh out of the deep fryer and my-oh-my it was spectacular!

2008 Jul 20
Helen's fataya is extremely yummy - nice crisp crust with lots of toppings. There are several different kinds - all of which I enjoy. She also makes mini fataya as finger food for catered events, but you should order those ahead.