Category Archives: Food & Drink

HIGH FIVE: The Keg raises more than $9,000 for Sens Foundation

(Press release & photo via Sens Foundation / The Keg)

The Keg’s new location at the corner of Huntmar Dr. and Hazeldean Rd. opened late last month, and they’re already having an impact in our community.

Supporting local charities has always been an important characteristic of Keg culture. Thus, following a longstanding Keg tradition, new staff prepared for opening day by fundraising for a local charity through The Keg Spirit Foundation. Guests were invited to enjoy a special menu the weekend prior to the official opening in exchange for a $10 donation to benefit the Ottawa Senators Foundation. The event raised a total of $9,242.

“Our impact in the community is a result of our strong partnerships with local business. We’re proud and fortunate to be selected as the charity of choice for the opening of The Keg Steakhouse + Bar in Stittsville,” said Danielle Robinson, President and CEO, Ottawa Senators Foundation. “Thanks to The Keg, their staff and customers, thousands of deserving children and youth in our community will have an opportunity to play and get involved in social activity, education, teamwork and leadership. The impact of The Keg’s contribution will allow the next generation of children in our community to become leaders and to reach their full potential.”

Kyle Braden, General Manager of The Kanata/Stittsville Keg echoed this sentiment stating, “We are a restaurant team that prides ourselves on mentoring youth, both personally and professionally. As a company, through The Keg Spirit Foundation, we recognize charities that do great work in our communities. We are particularly excited that the funds raised at our opening will support the Sens Sports & Leadership League; Ottawa’s only no-fee, year-round competitive athletic league. With the program’s focus on the mentoring of youth, it fits perfectly with our mandate”.

The Keg Spirit Foundation was established in 2001 to commemorate The Keg’s 30th anniversary and the charitable giving led by David Aisenstat, President and CEO of The Keg Steakhouse + Bar. To date, it has raised and donated over $9 million to over 300 charities across North America. The recipients of these funds range from large, national charities such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and WE, to neighborhood organizations, which mentor young people in equally important ways.

Visit to learn more about The Keg Spirit Foundation or visit to learn more about the Ottawa
Senators Foundation.

(Our “High Five” feature showcases people doing great things in our community. Send your stories & photos to


HIGH FIVE: Over 14,000 items collected for the food bank

A big community high five goes out to everyone who was involved in this year’s Fill the Bus event for the food bank

Here’s a note from Stittsville Food Bank chair Theresa Qadri:

“What an amazing team we have! Caring, charitable and always looking after one another. You all came together to get one of our largest food drives, OC Transpo Fill the Bus, to the food bank. Well over 14,000 items of food collected and over $2400.00 collected. You make me so proud and honoured to know you all. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart to donors, volunteers, Brown’s Your Independent Grocers, OC Transpo (Carlos & Family and Harry), and our Board.”

Organizers also send out a thank you to all the volunteers, including the Pathfinders and their organizer Leila, for help at the event.

City-wide, the 33rd Annual OC Transpo/Loblaw Christmas Food Drive was a success. A record-breaking total of 139,322 food and non-perishable items and $38,176 in cash and food vouchers were delivered to local food banks. These donations will be used to restock the shelves for the upcoming holiday season.

The Fill the Bus event at Brown's, in support of the Stittsville Food Bank

(Our “High Five” feature showcases volunteers doing great things in our community. Send your stories & photos to


RECIPE: Wiches Cauldron’s Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Like many people in Stittsville, I’ve been craving the Wiches Cauldron’s soup ever since the food truck shut down for the season last fall. Owners Monique Haugen and Craig Beaudry are taking a break from the food truck business for now – Craig is in the kitchen at Central Bierhaus in Kanata and Monique is at Quitters – but they were kind enough to share one of their favourite recipes. We cooked this up on Saturday and it’s delicious. If only we had some cardboard take-out bowls to make it just like the food truck! You can find more recipes on their Instagram: @wichescauldron. -GG.)
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Tickets on sale Tuesday for Secret Eats Tour

(Press release via City of Ottawa)

Ottawa 2017, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, is pleased to announce a new Agri 150 experience. Tickets for the Secret Eats Stittsville Tour will go on sale at noon on Tuesday, November 7.

Secret Eats Tour – Stittsville
Sunday, November 26
12:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. (Plenty of time to get back home to watch the Grey Cup!)

Bilingual – French whisperer

Tour shuttle will depart from Goulbourn Recreation Complex, 1500 Shea Rd.

Guests are invited to snack their way through the Stittsville Ward!

This Secret Eats tour will take participants to four stops where they will eat, visit, and learn about the people and places that contributed to the history and character of Stittsville. Shad Qadri, the Councillor for the area, will welcome the group at the last stop.

Visitors will tour each destination on this Secret Eats adventure and sample some of the delectable local treats that await in Stittsville.

As a special component to this final Agri 150 event, beer pairings will be provided by Beau’s Brewing Company as part of the experience.

Tickets for the Secret Eats Stittsville Tour are $40 (plus tax and service charges). A tour ticket enables free use of any OC Transpo bus route, to and from Goulbourn Recreation Complex. Tickets are to be shown to the bus operator when boarding. Free service is available from three hours before the tour until three hours after the tour.

Presented in collaboration with Just Food, Savour Ottawa and Beau’s Brewing Company, the Official Beer Partner of Ottawa 2017.

 To purchase tickets, visit

Agri 150 is an Ottawa 2017 program stewarded by Just Food to boost rural tourism during the celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday in the nation’s capital and for years to come. Unique events take place over the course of the year to allow people to discover Ottawa’s rural communities in all four seasons, and enhance their knowledge and appreciation of rural resources, while enjoying rejuvenating adventures.


COFFEE BREAK: Quitters temporarily closed from November 2-10

(PHOTO: Saturday night trivia at Quitters, October 2017. Photo by Glen Gower.)

Kathleen Edwards from Quitters asked us to help spread the word about a temporary closure coming up from November 2-10.

“We’re fixing up a few things that need some fixing up before the Christmas season – and given how busy we’ve been I’m hoping to get the word out in advance,” she says.

The coffee shop will reopen on Saturday, November 11 at 8am.


Jack Ketch chef returns to his Stittsville roots

(PHOTO: Kevin Conway and Alli Pearce, co-owners of The Jack Ketch on Stitttsville Main. Photo by Barry Gray.)

It’s been a long time coming, but Kevin Conway and Alli Pearce are finally set to open The Jack Ketch restaurant on Stittsville Main Street.

They’ll work out the kinks with two friends-and-family nights on Thursday and Friday, and then open to the general public on Saturday night, October 21.

The restaurant is in an old building formerly occupied by Brown Bear Daycare.  Conway and Pearce have turned it into a 30-seat restaurant that they describe as a “contemporary rustic cosy nook kind of place”.  The menu is contemporary, including some French Canadian-inspired dishes and a lot of locally-sourced ingredients.  Continue reading


NeXT makes TripAdvisor’s list of Canada’s top 10 restaurants

Stittsville’s NeXT restaurant has cracked TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice list of the top ten restaurants in Canada.  Here’s an edited interview with owner and chef Michael Blackie on what the recognition means for his business.

“They [TripAdvisor] publishes the list annually and they choose top 10 in the country, and it’s based on some kind of algorithm to make that list. It’s mostly Quebec centric. There’s one from Whistler, you have us, and pretty much everyone else is Montreal and Quebec City. In the last five years Beckta has always gotten that title. Continue reading


FOOD: The Jack Ketch set to open Saturday, October 21

Great to see that the long-awaited The Jack Ketch restaurant on Stittsville Main Street (next to the municipal parking lot) is finally set to open on Saturday, October 21.

Co-owners Allison Pearce and Kevin Conway made the announcement on their Facebook page on Friday evening, and says they’ll be taking reservations for opening night via email.  It’s a cozy spot with 26 seats available for dinner. (They’re also planning some private dinners for family and friends later this week to get ready.)

Allison and Kevin gave me a tour inside back in September. They’ve completely transformed the space (it was previously a daycare) and have lots of plans for future expansion, including a patio out back.  (The opening is a bit later than originally planned thanks to some construction-related surprises, but I’ll save those stories for later.)

I talked to Conway last February about what they have planned:

“A contemporary rustic cosy nook kind of place where people can come and relax,” he said. “Something different for Stittsville – a little bit higher-end.”

The menu will include some French Canadian-inspired dishes and a lot of locally-sourced ingredients. Conway grew up in Stittsville and has worked at a number of restaurants in Toronto and Ottawa.

“I’ve been working for a lot of great chefs, and this opportunity came up to come back home. I’ve been trying to open something in Stittsville for years and years now. ”

Put some art up!!

A post shared by Jack (@jackketchfood) on

Date a #chef #restaurantlife #openingsoon, trout, lentils, mussels. #yummy

A post shared by alli pearce (@allifpearce) on

Final logo. Credit goes to @greatblue73. Can't thank you enough

A post shared by Jack (@jackketchfood) on



Local nutritionist & mom shares ideas for healthier breakfasts

(Thanks to Stittsville-based holistic nutritionist Melanie Reid for contributing this guest post to

I’m a mom of four, wife and nutrition coach on a mission to improve the health of children and families through proper nutrition. I’m also a long time resident of Kanata and Stittsville and love meeting families who want to make health changes in their lives. Continue reading


REVIEW: Danby’s breakfast is worth the road trip to Richmond

If you know where the Richmond Bakery used to be, you know where Danby’s Roadhouse is now. There is a Danby’s in Munster too (Danby’s Bar and Grill) but for this trip we went to the Richmond location, at 6127 Perth Street.

Not our first visit, it seemed unusually quiet when we entered around 11:15am. The restaurant/bar area at the back is darker and offers booths but tends to be noisier, so we headed for a table by a window in the bright restaurant part at the front, where there was one lone diner. However, that didn’t last long as other people began to arrive. Families, couples, and friends. The quiet restaurant soon became filled with animated voices and every plate that went by looked delicious. Our own meals were no exception.

Three of us each chose a different breakfast from the specials on the board and the extensive two sided menu which includes a children’s section. This offers smaller meals at smaller prices, for those 9 and under.

The pancake lover chose strawberry and chocolate pancakes (pictured above), one of the two breakfast specials. A previous breakfast special had been banana and chocolate pancakes, with the banana cooked in the batter. However, today’s plate came with three chocolate chip pancakes heaped with fresh strawberries and a generous dollop of whipped cream. The pancakes were described by my friend as “chocolate chips with pancake”. No shortage of chocolate chips here and the strawberries were so good he shared them to prove his point. This enticing plate was priced at $10.

Danby’s traditional two egg breakfast comes with a choice of bacon, sausage or ham plus your choice of two sides, from a list of nine options. Home fries and a pancake were selected on this occasion, costing a mere $7. Today was a first time at Danby’s for this friend, and she was impressed.

Danby's traditional two egg breakfast. Photo by Janice Blain.
Traditional two egg breakfast. Photo by Janice Blain.

For an extra $1 each, one or both of your side choices could be from the eleven upgraded sides offered, or you could even indulge in breakfast poutine for an extra $3. Maple syrup is one of the upgraded sides, should you want that for your pancake instead of the corn syrup on the table. I had to count again, but yes, 21 side options available at different price points.

I chose the three egg veggie omelette, loaded with mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes, plus sides of mushrooms and fresh fruit. Fresh sautéed mushrooms and real fresh fruit! I am always disappointed when a menu offers mushrooms which turn out to be canned. And more so, when fresh fruit is not fresh fruit but a mix of fresh fruit and fruit from a jar or can. Or worse, no real fresh fruit at all. At $9, this meal didn’t disappoint on any level.

Danby's three egg veggie omelette. Photo by Janice Blain.
The three egg veggie omelette. Photo by Janice Blain.

Coffee or tea is included with all breakfasts making this restaurant, in my opinion, unbeatable for choice and value for money. Three excellent breakfasts, quality food, with coffee for under $30!

The servers were very attentive and pleasant, while the kitchen staff proved their efficiency by delivering a wide range of food in good time.

Clean bathrooms and attractive decor round out the package causing Danby’s Roadhouse to become one of my favourite weekend brunch stops.

Breakfast is served on Fridays and Saturdays from 8-11 and on Sundays from 8-12, after which the menu changes and lunch is served.


Friday market at The Barn showcases local food vendors

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of articles from volunteer contributor Janice Blain.  Born and raised in England, Janice is a retired early childhood educator who now calls Stittsville home.  She’ll be sharing her photos of local people and places in our community.)

The Stittsville Market at The Barn in Village Square Park is a new addition to the Stittsville scene, and with the postponement of the Ottawa Farmers’ Market, this is a timely and hopefully viable community project.

Last week I was so taken with the produce being offered that I didn’t even notice the barn itself.  I took the time to look around after speaking to Sue Bird, the owner and dynamo behind the market that is being held there each Friday from 4-7pm.

Sue’s plan is to continue the market throughout the summer and hopefully into the fall, adding vendors or rotating vendors as time passes. (The latest news is that Bower Farm (organic vegetables) will be there this Friday, and a local honey producer will be at The Barn on August 4.) Currently there are three regular vendors, Chris, Haico and Katie.

Continue reading


Rainy weather and park fees spoil plans for Stittsville farmers’ market

(file photo)

Despite having strong community support, the Ottawa Farmers’ Market (OFM) couldn’t muster enough vendor support for a market in Stittsville this year to make economic sense.

But the president of the OFM said that they will try again next year.

“We are still open to looking at this as a future possibility,” Greer Knox told on Wednesday. “We’re all disappointed.” Continue reading


PHOTOS: Opening day for Market at the Barn

Friday evening was opening day for Market at the Barn, a mini farmers’ market at the old barn next to Village Square Park.  Barn owner Suzanne Bird plans to hold the event every Friday this summer from 4pm to 7pm.  All photos by Barry Gray.

(We may get an update this week on the Ottawa Farmers’ Market plans for a weekly market at Village Square Park. Stay tuned.)

Market at the Barn, Friday June 30. Photo by Barry Gray. Continue reading


Familiar face, unique experience at Red Gables on Carp Road

Margarita Chen (pictured above) still doesn’t know exactly what made her buy a 60-year-old house on Carp Road and open a café, but one day she knew she had to do it.

“It was an uncontrollable urge to buy it,” she told on the rear deck of the fixed-up house, just a few days before opening on Fathers’ Day Sunday. “It was meant to be.” Continue reading


La Cucina moves from Kanata to Stittsville next month

La Cucina moving from Kanata to Stittsville in June

La Cucina restaurant is moving from Kanata to Stittsville in June.  They’re currently located at Castlefrank and Hazeldean, and they’ll be moving to the former Fresco Bistro location in front of the Lowe’s.

The restaurant was established in 2008 and serves a mix of modern and traditional Italian dishes.  Did you know: “la Cucina” is Italian for “the Kitchen”.



Deadline for Jo-Jo’s community garden plots is April 20

The deadline to apply for a garden plot at the new Jo-Jo’s Community Garden is Thursday, April 20. You can access an application form here.

Four different sizes are available with a range of fees for the season:

  • 5’x5′ $25
  • 5’x10′ $35
  • 10’x10′ $45
  • 10×20′ $60

For more information about the garden, check out our article from March: Jo-Jo’s Pizza provides land for new community garden.


LINKED: NeXT chef teams up with visiting colleagues for ‘performance’ dinners

(via Ottawa Citizen)

Ottawa chef Michael Blackie is again indulging his flair for showmanship and love of collaboration.

At his Stittsville restaurant, NeXT, he’ll stage eight events this year that will each feature two out-of-town chefs joining him in the kitchen to prepare elaborate dinners, and each dinner will be preceded by cooking demonstrations from each chef.

The first “three chefs/one dinner” event of this year is to be held Wednesday, April 12. Seven more dinners will be held in 2017, monthly on a Wednesday, except in December.

“We’ve got chefs of all different styles coming,” Blackie says. “The basic premise is get them together and expose Ottawa to chefs that most people might never get to meet or see or taste.”

You can read the full article here…


EXTINGUISHED: Muraca On Fire food truck closes

(Frank Muraca and his two boys, Giovanni (left) and Dante (right) at the Muraca On Fire food truck in the Rona parking lot on Hazeldean Road. Photo Barry Gray.)

Posted this week on Muraca’s Facebook page:

“The Muraca family would like to inform everyone that we will not be serving our food this year. We definitley are going to miss all our customers, we truly enjoyed the experience of serving so many people. My greatest satisfaction was seeing the boys operating the business on their own and the pleasure we had watching people enjoy our food. As some of you know, we will be shifting our efforts towards the food trailer fabrication. Thanks to everyone.”

Frank Muraca owns the food truck, and the name is inspired by his full time profession as a firefighter.  We profiled Muraca and his sons back in July 2017 on…