cuiscenes does Ottawa II
The Ministry of Coffee
The one thing we've had a little bit of trouble finding in Ottawa is a good cup of coffee but we think the search is finally over. The Ministry of Coffee is a little café on Elgin and Somerset and we had a feeling it would be good just walking into the shop.
Left to right: Sweet & Salty Dulce de Leche Pretzel Blondie ($2.75), Cappuccino ($3.50)
We weren't disappointed. During our first visit, we ordered a Cappuccino ($3.50) and the Sweet & Salty Dulce de Leche Pretzel Blondie ($2.75). The espresso was on point and the pastry was everything its description promised it would be. This review wouldn't feel right if we didn't mention the Doughnut Waffle ($3.15) that we discovered during our next visit. It seemed like just a regular waffle but upon closer inspection, we noticed that it was covered in a melted butter brown sugar glaze and upon first bite, we realized that wasn't the only surprise – there are bacon bits inside too. Be still our beating hearts.
Armed with its chill atmosphere, killer espresso drinks, and heart-stopping snacks, this ministry definitely set the standard for coffee shops everywhere.
You'll find The Moonroom in Little Italy, a small, intimate tapas restaurant/bar that provides a nice little escape from reality, have a bite or two, and enjoy a drink. The place is very cottage-y (a running theme we've noticed in a lot of Ottawa restaurants but hey, no complaints), playing a quite charming playlist of 60s rock music (according to our music major friend so trusting her word on that).
We ordered the featured cocktail, The Bee's Knees ($13), which consists of orange bitters, honey and lemon juice, orange juice, and 2 oz. of gin, a rather boozy drink that went down surprisingly easily.
Morbier Reserve, France ($7)
To snack, we ended up going a little crazy and ordering the Artisanal Board ($15), Jalapeño Honey Popcorn ($6), Beef Tartare ($14), and the French Morbier Reserve ($7).
Everything was amazing (hence why kept ordering) but the Morbier Reserve cheese stole our hearts paired with its beet and apple chutney and spiced pecans. Honourable mention goes to the artisanal board though – genoa salami, roasted garlic, old cheddar, chutney, grainy and hot dijon mustard sauce, and apple zucchini (enough said).
The food adds up quickly but we still want to try everything on the "moonu". It's definitely the place to hit up if you're with good friends and want some equally good food and drink.
A small trailer-esque shop parked in Hintonburg, SuzyQ is devoted to the art of doughnut-making, using local ingredients to create a plethora of eccentric and delicious goodies that you can't resist trying.
Clockwise from bottom-left: Peppered Pineapple, Maple Bacon, Mango Lassi, Cookies n' Cream ($2 each)
Prices are decently set at $2 each, $10 for a half dozen, or $20 for a dozen. With a few flavours fresh out of the oven, we decided to try the Peppered Pineapple, Maple Bacon, Mango Lassi, and Cookies n' Cream. While they were delicious, the hype and amazing flavour names left more to be desired when we finally took our first bites. At $2 each though, we can't really complain.
Also situated in Hintonburg, is the superbly-named Hintonburger, a classic diner complete with vintage, red leather booths, tiled walls, and take-out window. Picnic tables can also be found outside for an authentic summer experience.
Left to right: Small Fries ($3), Hintonburger ($10), Chocolate Milkshake ($3.25)
This time around, we ordered their signature Hintonburger ($10) and Small Fries ($3) with a small Chocolate Milkshake ($3.25). The burger is a 6 oz. bacon cheeseburger with the diner's signature BBQ sauce, it doesn't look like much but it's enough to satisfy even the most ravished of people. You'd be hard-pressed to finish an entire combo in one sitting.
Hintonburger is excellent if you're looking for some classic diner food but it's probably not safe to frequent the restaurant if only for the sake of your waistline and your wallet.
Bread By Us
Bread By Us is an artisan bakery and espresso bar, outputting small batches of their organic sourdough breads all throughout the day – they even tweet whenever a new batch comes out so you know when to drop by for the freshest bread.
Local Capicola, Roasted Garlic, Mayo, Swiss, and Greens Sandwich ($8)
Upon the server's suggestion we ordered their Local Capicola, Roasted Garlic, Mayo, Swiss, and Greens ($8) sandwich along with the French Toast Espresso ($3.15). The sandwich was definitely one of the better paninis we've had but although it's a bakery, the espresso stood out more than the sandwich. The drink had a layer of maple syrup, espresso, maple cream, and cinnamon sprinkles – you could taste the Canadian in it.
Their bread alone is reason enough to visit but it doesn't hurt that they also have a damn good espresso bar with delectable pastries to boot.