Posts tagged sandwich
Posts tagged sandwich
Oh, how I love Saturday mornings.
Another Flying Banzini conquest: the meatloaf sandwich
As I have mentioned before, I’m slowly making my way through the Flying Banzini’s sandwich menu bite by delicious bite. It has been one tasty adventure after another so far!
When the Flying Banzini changed their menu a few months ago, I was excited about the new soft bun sandwich options, mostly the meatloaf sandwich. Meatloaf on a sandwich! It made my mouth water with delight just thinking about it. So when I finally sat down to sink my teeth into this hearty sandwich, I could barely contain my enthusiasm. A giant (and I mean GIANT) slice of Chef Nico’s meatloaf comes piled upon one of one of the Flying Banzini’s in-house made soft buns, with your choice of toppings (I chose the chipotle ketchup at the recommendation of my server and added fresh greens and sliced tomato). This sandwich was perfect - it was a monster of a lunch size-wise (let’s just say that I didn’t need to eat dinner that night) and worth every bite and penny. Chef Nico’s meatloaf is tender, not too salty and oh-so-meaty. The chipotle ketchup added a delightful but not too spicy kick. Overall, this has been my favourite Flying Banzini sandwich so far!
Another lunch at the Flying Banzini (trying their online ordering system)
I was a bit short on time during the lunch hour one recent day, so I decided to put their take-out/online ordering system to the test. It is a pretty detailed system that asks you to spell out exactly what you want right down to specific sandwich toppings and condiments. I placed my order, and, at my designated pick-up time, I arrived at the restaurant. It was a success! My order was ready to go, I simply had to pay and collect my yummy sandwich. I’ll definitely use their system again in the future when I need to get in and out quickly!
I am currently making my way through the Flying Banzini’s soft bun sandwich menu, so on that day, I went for the porchetta. Described on their menu as “marinated pork loin stuffed with Luciano’s sweet Italian sausage, fennel seeds, sweet chilies, sage and sea salt, wrapped in bacon and slow roasted,” this sandwich was incredible. So many amazing flavours in each and every bite! I added fresh tomato and spinach as toppings as well as Major Craig’s mango chutney as my choice of sauce. This is one beast of a sandwich, so come with an appetite! I think the porchetta has been my favourite of the Flying Banzini’s soft bun sandwiches so far, but I’ve still got a few to go before I make any final decisions! haha
Grand opening of Panera Bread in Ottawa!
The husband and I visited Panera Bread last night for it’s grand opening in Ottawa. This is the very first location in our city, so we were very excited to see how it compared to the U.S. locations that we have visited over the years.
When we arrived, the line up was almost out the door! But the restaurant itself seemed less busy; most of the tables were unoccupied. I think most people were taking their food to go.
Our wait wasn’t too long, and we didn’t mind since we were just so happy to not have to drive over 2 hours to our nearest location. The husband ordered his tried and true favourite Panera meal, the bacon turkey bravo sandwich with the mac and cheese for his side. I opted to try two items that I have never tried, the Napa almond chicken salad sandwich and one of their brand new salads, the Mediterranean shrimp couscous salad. Both were delightful! The salad was incredibly fresh, with a mixture of spinach and romaine, and topped with lemon balsamic dressing, Panera’s “signature couscous blend,” sundried tomatoes, feta, olives and shrimp. I would order both again in a hearbeat!
We talked with a few of the employees both while waiting in line and while dining, and they explained that Panera is taking a new approach in their restaurants in terms of how the food is delivered. If you’re familiar with Panera’s current operating standard, you will know that, as the customer, you place your order at the cash, and you’re given a buzzer that advises you when you’re food is ready for pick up at the pick up counter. Panera’s new model (which they told us that they would soon be rolling out in their U.S. and all other restaurants) is that, after the customer orders, they are still given a buzzer and can go and sit down at a table (if dining in), and the food will be delivered by an employee right to your table. We were told that Panera feels this is what the customer wants and it will provide a more enjoyable experience. It also allows them to make a few subtle changes to the way they serve their food, such as serving the sandwiches on real porcelain/ceramic plates instead of the lightweight melamine plates.
We were pleased with the service: our food came very quickly and there was no confusion or mix-ups with our order. We are both looking forward to enjoying everything Panera has to offer, now close to home!
Lunch at Art-is-in Bakery
The husband and I were lucky enough to get out a little early from work on New Year’s Eve this year, so we took advantage of the rare occasion of having our car at work to go to Art-is-in Bakery for lunch.
I was determined to try something new (how many times can one eat their amazing clam chowder? Many times, it seems), so I ordered the pulled pork sandwich, which was a new lunch item (well, new to me since the last time I had been there). Served on a bun instead of Art-is-in’s bread, this sandwich was piled high with tender and juicy pulled pork, fresh slaw, arugula and a spicy jalapeno cream cheese. It was pretty spicy for a spice wimp like me, but it was so tasty I couldn’t stop eating it. It was very different than any other of Art-is-in’s sandwiches that I’ve tried, but it was a welcome and delicious change.
The husband went all out and ordered the pulled pork mac and cheese, This rich concoction is a mixture of pulled pork, cheesy pasta, buttery croissant croutons, caramelized onions and tomato pesto. It is a perfect example of Art-is-in’s excellence at decadence!
We were too full to even contemplate dessert, so we had to stare longingly and wave goodbye to Art-is-in’s delightful selection of baked goodies..but there is always next time.
Lunch at the Flying Banzini, round 3
I’m really late sharing this lunch with you - a friend and I went to the Flying Banzini (FB) for lunch quite a few weeks ago, and I am just getting around to sharing it with you now. As well, since this lunch, the restaurant has revamped their menu, so the sandwich that I had is no longer available in its exact form. However, since I love the FB so much, I thought I’d share it with you anyway!
So far, I’ve tried a couple different panini sandwiches at the FB (see here and here) but I had not yet tried one of their soft bun sandwiches. When I went, there were two soft bun options available: roast beef (beef outside round) and porchetta. I chose the roast beef, which was described as “rubbed with rosemary, sea salt, Bytown Beanery coffee grounds, and horseradish. Served with your choice of horseradish rosemary cream sauce or honey dijon mustard” all on a soft bun. I enjoyed this sandwich very much. It was a bit heavy on the horseradish which I find can be overwhelming, but that is more my personal preference than a fault of the meat. I knew what I was getting myself into! The beef was expertly cooked and the bun was incredibly fresh and soft. I added a side of broccoli soup to my sandwich which was also very well executed.
My friend had the Wasting Away Again pizza, which comes topped with fresh basil and bocconcini and parmesan cheeses (it is basically similar to a margherita pizza). She loves it! She has had this same pizza both times she has been to the FB. This pizza is still available on the newly revamped menu.
Now that the FB has a few new soft bun options in addition to roast beef and porchetta (roast chicken, meatloaf and crispy pork belly), I can’t wait to go back and try another.
Lunch at the Flying Banzini (round 2)
I was excited to return for a second lunch at the Flying Banzini recently; my first experience was fantastic (see here) and I couldn’t wait to try another of their delicious sandwich creations.
After being warmly greeted by the owner, Dave Scharf (he is so incredibly friendly and helpful!) I placed my order. This time, I opted for the Swing Swing Swing panini, which contains smoked salmon, spinach, red onions, capers and dill cream cheese all on a rosemary focaccia bun. I have an obsession with smoked salmon, so my hopes were high for this panini. It delivered! The classic pairing of smoked salmon, red onion, cream cheese and capers is artfully and skilfully brought together in this panini; there was the perfect amount of each ingredient on this sandwich.
Of course you don’t leave the Flying Banzini without also having one of their delightful mini cheesecakes! This time, I had the pumpkin cheesecake, which came topped with marshmallows - wow! The texture of this cream cheese was incredible: soft, silky and smooth. I managed to scarf it down before I had the chance to take a photo so you’ll just have to use your imagination about what this little gem looked like!
Once again, I’ll be back to the Flying Banzini, hopefully sooner rather than later this time! My next quest is to try one of their soft roll sandwiches…my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Lunch at Ad Mare (round 2)
Look at that beauty!! I couldn’t tell you the last time that I had a lobster roll; I think it has been years. My first experience at Ad Mare (see here) was so great that I knew I had to return to try one of their signature offerings, their lobster roll.
I was so impressed by the amount and quality of lobster in the sandwich: it was piled high! The dressing on the lobster was light with a strong lemon flavour. Overall, a wonderful experience! I also got to try their maple vinaigrette salad dressing, which was delightful. There are still a few more menu items that I would like to try at Ad Mare, so I will be back!
Weeknight dinner: roasted pork sandwiches
Happy Friday, friends! And Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. How will you be celebrating this holiday long weekend? I am so thankful for everything that I am so lucky to have in my life: my husband, my wonderful family, my amazing friends, my job..the list could go on and on. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday however you celebrate.
I was never a fan of leftovers when I was growing up. I don’t know why exactly; I think it may have had to do with the types of foods that we were eating as leftovers but I’m not totally sure. I just remember being very picky about leftovers, and I’m sure my mother would agree!
My stance on leftovers has changed somewhat over the past few years since I’ve learned to appreciate that some foods are actually better once they have had a day or two to rest. I still think that not all foods make good leftovers, but I’ve learned to repurpose most things.
After making that huge roasted pork loin a few days ago (see here), we had lots of leftover meat so I thought what better way to repurpose it than to make sandwiches? So we sliced up some of the meat as thinly as we could, and I fried some yellow bell pepper and onions. We piled it all on a couple of buns and topped with some provolone cheese, and then put it in the oven to make it all gooey and melty. We served it with my classic home made oven fries (sweet potato for me and regular russet potato for the husband), and boom! Delicious sandwiches from our leftover roast!
Lunch at Freshii
I noticed Freshii a while back when I drove past it in a blur trying to focus on the lanes of traffic and cars around me while driving into the downtown core. I didn’t think much of it until my sister mentioned the name, saying that it was a great spot for a quick, healthy lunch.
During my sister’s recent visit, we took advantage of my day off and went to Freshii for lunch so that I could see what it was all about. There are two locations in Ottawa, one on the University of Ottawa campus and one on Sparks Street. We had parked on the university campus so my sister could attend a meeting so we ate at that location.
The interior is bright, and Freshii’s colour theme is quite apparent: white, bright emerald green and black. There are menu boards displaying the myraid of options for their wraps, salads, burritos, soups and bowls. I decided to stick with their menu boards for my first time, but they have another option: design your own _____ (wrap, salad, burrito, bowl or soup). They provide little clipboards with pre-made forms that list all of the available ingredient options and prices for each choice. Wow! You could literally go in and order something completely different every day of the week. You might think that this is no different than say, Subway, but Freshii has even more toppings such as chopped beets, artichoke hearts, corn, edamame, green apple, chickpeas, celery, cabbage…and the list goes on! Definitely not your average toppings.
So as I was saying, I decided to go with one of their menu board items, and I chose the Fiesta burrito, which is basically a heated wrap that comes stuffed with brown rice, cajun chicken, avocado, corn, black beans, diced tomato, cilantro, salsa and low-fat ranch dressing. It was fantastic! A huge burrito that left me full for the rest of the day. I did feel the price was a tad steep at $7.99 plus tax, but it was a really big portion and the ingredients were all of excellent quality.
I can’t wait to go back to try more of their menu board items (or even create my own). I’m going to try to take the husband as I know he’ll love it, even though I know he’ll be totally overwhelmed by the choices! Have you been to a Freshii? Any tips? What is your favourite menu item?
Lunch at the Flying Banzini
As you can perhaps guess, I get excited when a new restaurant opens in Ottawa. Especially one that is close to my workplace, which affords me the delight of being able to wander out on my lunch hour to experience new and delicious eats.
When I first saw and read about the Flying Banzini, it was a little bittersweet because it was opening in the former space that belonged to Collected Works, a fantastic independent book store that had to close its doors. Alas, I had high hopes: even the name had me intrigued!
I had been following the owner’s blog during the first couple of weeks of the business being open, and it was interesting. Of course there are ups and downs when opening a new restaurant, and the owner, Dave Scharf, blogged about every one of those ups and downs. I really liked his honesty in those blog posts - I thought he was pretty brave for being so open about the ups and downs of his new restaurant.
I am a big sucker for a good sandwich, so I was excited to sink my teeth into one of the Flying Banzini’s fine offerings. I decided on one of their paninis, which was cutely named “Late in the Evening” and cost $8.95 Served on focaccia, this panini comes with pulled roast chicken, double-smoked bacon, sliced granny smith apple, spinach, tomato, Quebec brie and lemon chive mayo. What a fantastic sandwich! The portion size was huge, and the flavours complemented each other incredible. I loved the mish mash of textures from the creaminess of the brie to the crunchy apple. I also added a side salad to my sandwich for an extra $1.95; it was fresh, ample and the in-house made lemon, honey and thyme dressing was fantastic.
But if the amazing sandwich and salad weren’t enough, feast your eyes on probably the most delightful aspect of their menu: the mini cheesecakes! When ordering my lunch, I also wanted to get a couple of cheesecakes to take back to the office with me. The cashier, while handing me two of the adorable coins you see in my photo above, advised me that, when I was done my lunch, I could return to the counter and hand in my coins for my two cheesecakes. Cute! I opted for the chocolate espresso (the one with the coffee bean on top) while a curious coworker for whom I promised a cheesecake had chosen the sea salt caramel chocolate cheesecake. My chocolate espresso cheesecake was incredibly rich and dense, and full of coffee flavour. I loved every last bite! My coworker also loved hers but thought that the chocolate base overwhelmed the salted caramel a little bit.
Overall, I can’t wait to go back to the Flying Banzini. What a fabulous restaurant!
#DiRienzo #sandwich day! Their cannoli are the best!
Lunch at Double D’s Bar-B-Q
My fine followers please let me start off by assuring you that I do indeed cook food for myself at home! It may not seem like it lately by the abundance of my eating out posts, but I haven’t had time to experiment in the kitchen lately so we’ve been cooking our good old tried and true dinners. Nothing exciting so not really worth sharing! But I promise I will have some new recipes soon!
Finding Double D’s Bar-B-Q was one of those lucky timing kind of things, as in, I was checking Twitter on my phone at the right place at the right time!! I discovered the new spot via a tweet, and the rest is delicious history!
Double D’s menu is limited; there are basically only a few options which you can either have individually or together as a combo. We decided to share the Piggy Plate, which, for $10, gets you a generously portioned pulled pork sandwich, two sides (we chose the baked beans and the mac and cheese - the third option was coleslaw) and two big hunks of corn bread. Everything is homemade (well, except the bun for the sandwich) and completely delicious! The pork was incredibly tender from their long smoking/cooking process and seasoned very well. Both of the sides were fantastic but I think if I had to choose my favourite it would be the baked beans (I’m a sucker for sweet baked beans!) And having homemade cornbread is a real treat for me, so you can imagine my delight at sinking my teeth into a big chunk of moist, sweet (yet savoury) cornbread!
We were also introduced to something completely new to the two of us (including my pop connoisseur husband), which was Cheerwine. The proprietors of Double D’s (who were very sweet and out to please) described it to us as the flavours of cream soda and Dr. Pepper mixed together. The husband loves Dr. Pepper (but not so much cream soda) and was feeling daring enough to give it a try, so we did. It is over-the-top sweet with a cherry-spice aroma. Definitely interesting and we were glad to have tried it.
We both can’t wait to return to Double D’s - we asked them how late into the fall they planned on staying open, and their answer was that they hoped to stay open all winter! Stay tuned.
Lunch at Lunch, the food truck!
Already established as a food shop in downtown Ottawa, Lunch decided to jump on the food truck bandwagon (haha) this summer.
I haven’t had the chance to visit one of their shops, but a few friends have been there and have raved about it.
I was happy to have the chance to get downtown one lunch hour to visit the Lunch truck, which is parked on Albert Street between Lyon and Kent. I was in luck that day: their feature sandwich was a Philly cheese hoagie, which is one of my favourites.
Rich tender beef, Le Coprin king eryngii mushrooms, peppers, caramelized onions and a big slice of gouda cheese came nestled on a Rideau bakery roll and topped with a creamy sauce with a hint of spice (a spicy mayo, perhaps?). Wow! This was a fantastic sandwich. The beef was incredibly tender, and the veggies were cooked beautifully. The presentation was also amazing: just look at that perfectly laid piece of lettuce bracing the bun for all the delicious juices! The price of the sandwich was $6.95, which I thought totally fair for the quantity and the quality of the ingredients. The service was also great - friendly, quick and attentive - and, if I remember correctly, the truck even has Interac capabilities if you forgot to bring cash!
I hope to get back to the Lunch truck soon, and if I can’t before winter sets in, I plan on visiting their shop to see what kind of delicious sandwiches are in store for my taste buds.
Dinner at The 3 Brewers (Les 3 Brasseurs)
While hosting some friends one weekend this past summer, the husband and I thought it would be a good opportunity to try the brand new 3 Brewers location in Kanata. We had been watching it over the past six months or so as it had slowly and carefully been built and had decided to try it once it had opened.
This was the first time for all of us at a 3 Brewers restaurant, which is well-known across Quebec and has had a location in the downtown core of Ottawa for a while now. The restaurant itself is gorgeous: the inside is a big open space with two levels and a giant bar at the far end. Since the concept of this restaurant is a microbrewery, you can see the brewing equipment/apparatus through the glass enclosure in which it is encased.
We chose a table on the main floor of the restaurant, and were promptly greeted by our server. Since this is supposedly the place you go to have a beer, I tried one of their summer beer flavours, the blueberry chocolate beer. Our friend had the sampler, which allows you to taste their five main beers: a white, a blond, an IPA, an amber and a brown. Right away I will admit that I actually don’t really like beer at all, but I was having one of those “when in Rome” moments so I went ahead with it. I guess my expectations were too high (and my palette too immature) but my ‘blueberry chocolate’ beer tasted just like…beer. Oh well. Our friend liked the sampler a lot!
For my dinner, I opted for their seafood open-faced sandwich, which was smoked salmon, shrimp, onions, capers and their homemade spread (avocado, cream cheese, olive oil and lemon) all served on top of a piece of country bread and a garden salad for my side. This meal was…interesting. All of the toppings were fresh and the salad was good, but the whole thing overall was just pretty average. The bread was seemingly just a basic piece of brown sandwich bread and it all seemed just kind of thrown together. So maybe my fault for choosing a weird menu item but I left feeling a bit let down.
The husband on the other hand ordered the roast beef sandwich, and he thought it was delicious! So, to each his own.
I’m not sure I’d return any time soon to The 3 Brewers for a meal, but I may in the future.