Category Archives: Food & Drink

Meet the family behind the new An Restaurant

(Photo: Taking a break from last minute preparations is Chef/Owner Cuong Tran (center) flanked by Ann Lu (left) and wife Kim Lu  (right.) Photo by Barry Gray.)

The long-awaited “An” restaurant on the east side of Carp Road near Hazeldean is set to open on Wednesday, February 25, and the family who owns it brings a wealth of restaurant experience to the venture.

Cuong Tran tells that his parents own a restaurant in the city of Dalat in Vietnam.  Tran’s wife Kim Lu’s family has had operated five restaurants in Canada since 2005, including two in Ottawa (Thi Fusion and Pho Mi Bo Ga), Saigon Delights in Carleton Place, and Pho Fusion in Newmarket, Ontario and Vernon, British Columbia.

Cuong’s mother-in-law Ann Lu will be the head chef. She has over 20 years experience in the restaurant business, mostly with the restaurants listed above.

Tran says they chose to open in Stittsville because of family.  They have three young kids (a girl and two boys).

“We have learned that Stittsville is a fast growing community, and best for family,” he says.  They currently live in Barrhaven but are planning a move to Stittsville soon.

“The idea is to bring service to the local community, since our city is getting bigger and bigger. People won’t have to travel far to get what they want,” he says.

“Our menu will feature Vietnamese famous beef noodles which are called Phở, and a variety of other Vietnamese noodle soups, DIY wrap & roll with meats and seafood on the grill, Thai stir fried dishes, and soup.  And a sushi bar as well.”

The licensed restaurant will be open Sundays-Wednesdays from 11:00am to 8:00pm, and Thursday-Saturday from 11:00am-9:0pm.

An restaurant on Carp Road
(Photo by Glen Gower.)


PHOTOS: Traditional letterpress printing with Gaia Java’s Paul Jay

EDITOR’S NOTE: Paul Jay practices the centuries-old craft of letterpress printing in the basement of his Stittsville home. Jay is one of the co-owners of Gaia Java, and spends time every month using traditional hand presses and lead type to print the coasters, bean bags and pastry bags for the coffee shop. Photographer Barry Gray visited Jay earlier this month to capture the process.

Photographs by Barry Gray with text by Paul Jay. Continue reading


Jason Spezza stops in at Pesto’s Deli during his return to Ottawa

Jason Spezza was a lunchtime regular at Pesto’s Deli when he played for the Ottawa Senators. He returned to his old stomping grounds after the Dallas Stars practiced at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday.

Pesto’s is located at the corner of Hazeldean and Castlefrank in Kanata.


Ivan’s kabobs have been a Stittsville favourite since 1987

(Above: Ivan Saric, owner of Ivan’s Meat and Deli. Photo by Barry Gray.)


  • Ivan Saric’s parents were from what’s now Croatia, and opened a deli in Stittsville in 1987.
  • Croatia’s food history is greatly influenced by German, Hungarian, and Italian cuisine.
  • Most meat products sold are raised locally and free of antibiotics or hormones.

Continue reading


JAZZ TO JAVA: How two guys named Paul ended up opening a coffee shop in Stittsville

(Above: Owners Paul Melsness (left) and Paul Jay in front of the coffee roaster at Gaia Java. All photos on this page by Barry Gray.)


  • The two owners, both named Paul, met as singers in a vocal jazz group
  • They’ve developed an environmentally friendly system for roasting coffee beans that uses 25% of the energy of a typical system
  • Tips and donations from customers have helped raise over $7,500 for an aid project in Uganda

Continue reading


Cheers! NeXT restaurant adds bring-your-own-wine service

Above: Chef Michael Blackie in action at NeXT. Photo courtesy of NeXT restaurant

Starting this month you can bring your own bottle of wine to NeXT restaurant from Mondays to Wednesdays.

“It’s an incentive to get people out to NeXT. Monday thrrough Wednesdays are softer than Thursday through Fridays. It‘s a marketing investment to get people who know my craft to come on a odd night,” says owner and chef Michael Blackie. Continue reading


Stittsville’s craft brewery celebrates one year in our community this Saturday

(Above: Kathy and John vanDyk, owners of Covered Bridge Brewing)

Covered Bridge Brewing on Iber Road is celebrating their first anniversary this Saturday with an open house from 12:00pm-4pm.

Covered Bridge first anniversary "ONE" beerThey’re releasing a one-year anniversary beer called “ONE”,  a bourbon barrel aged version of our sweet stout.

They’ll also set up tasting stations featuring samples from a variety of Stittsville and Kanata businesses:

  • Beer and some Serious Cheese
  • Beer and Jojo Coco chocolates
  • Beer and Double-Double cupcakes (courtesy of Wiches Cauldron)
  • Beer and Double-Double chocolate cake and coffee from Gaia Java
  • Wiches Cauldron is making us some chili samples too

Customers are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or cash donation for the Stittsville Food Bank.  Anyone who brings in a donation will have their name entered into a draw for some brewery swag.

There’s also a raffle with prizes including:
  • Paddle + 4 glasses
  • Gift certificates from Covered Bridge and Wiches Cauldron
  • Chocolate from JoJo CoCo
  • Coffee from Gaia Java
  • Brew Donkey prize pack (shirt, coaster, glass and discount code for two tour tickets.)

Happy birthday Covered Bridge


Toronto Star: “Kathleen Edwards calls it quits, opens Quitters Coffee”

Kathleen Edwards, the owner of Quitters on Stittsville Main, is featured in the Toronto Star today.

It’s a chilly mid-November afternoon, and the floor-to-ceiling windows facing out onto the downtrodden historic main street of this small-town-turned-exurb are frosted over with condensation. Inside, though, warmth all around: Small groups cluster under the glow of Edison bulbs, seated on vintage-shop furniture. Edwards is cheery and upbeat, serving top-notch espresso and home-made cookies and muffins, which she’s taken to baking herself.

…Quitters, which opened in September, isn’t so much an ending as a beginning. Edwards needed to push reset, and out here, just a short stretch from where she grew up, she’s done that much. After years of living gig to gig in tour buses and vans, Edwards walks five blocks to the café every morning to bake muffins and get ready for the day.

…One day, she happened on an old, unremarkable box of a building on Stittsville’s main street, with ratty blinds pulled down and moldy insulation tumbling out of the ceiling. “And I could see it. I knew it would be great,” she says. Signing a lease, she gamely hoisted a sledgehammer herself and started ripping apart the old to make way for the new.

… Edwards knew she had to do something different. She circled back home and looked around. Subdivisions and strip malls, commuters and anonymity. For the first time in ages, she had time to think. And what her mind settled on was building something solid, in a community of which she could be part.

… “I’m an excellent barista,” she laughs. “I had to realize: Fame is not acceptance, it doesn’t validate you as a person. It means nothing. You know what means something? Having people from the neighbourhood come in, getting to know them, seeing their families, and hearing them say ‘thank you for giving us a place to go.’ That’s . . . awesome.”

Read the article here…


Stittsville resident is Kickstarting a microbrewery in Pakenham

Stittsville’s Hien Hoang (pictured above) is one of the organizers behind a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a new microbrewery in Pakenham. We asked Hoang to tell us about the project.

Cartwright Springs Brewery is a micro brewery opening in Pakenham ON early 2015. The business was the brain child of Andre Rieux who has been home brewing for over 15 years. Rieux had recently bought a 77 acre property in Pakenham, where he discovered a natural spring. He decided to make beer with it and believes his beer has never tasted better.

Rieux had worked in the high tech industry for almost twenty years before being laid off just last year. Armed with a severance package and newly found spring water, he decided to partner up long time friends Eduardo Guerra and myself. We all share a passion for craft beer, and want to start a brewery.

We have laboured with our friends and family and construction of our brewery building is complete; our permits are filed and the brewery equipment is due to arrive soon.  Getting to this stage has required a lot of capital expense, and we’ve poured our life savings into this passion and dream.

>But due to unforeseen permit and licensing costs, we are short on funds required to make our retail space and tasting room into the comfortable and inviting space we envision for hosting our customers. So we decided to turn towards crowd funding via Kickstarter with the hopes of raising $12,000 to be able to create a space that will reflect our beer, our craft and our community.

Cartwright Springs Brewery will be the first every brewery to open in Mississippi Mills. Our dream is to launch a community-minded micro brewery, using 100% natural spring water collected from our property, to brew the most amazing beer.  And we want to share our fantastic product with everyone!

You can learn more about the project here…


Sweet idea! Kanata councillor plans community sugar bush

Here’s an idea that we hope sticks: Kanata South councillor Allan Hubley is working to launch a community sugar bush near Bridlewood, according to the OttawaCommunityNews.

There’s a protected parkland area in Monahan Landing (off Hope Side Road) with 150 sugar maples that could be tapped for fresh maple syrup. The project would be funded through a combination of residential development charges and fundraising. It could open in 2016 or sooner, depending on how much money is raised.

The sugar bush would be the second urban maple syrup facility in Ottawa.   The other one is in Vanier at Richelieu Park.

You can read the full article here…


Quitters a mix of star power and good coffee

Since opening on Thanksgiving weekend, Quitters has quickly become Stittsville’s biggest tourist attraction, thanks to a celebrity owner (Kathleen Edwards) combined with good coffee and a warm, inviting atmosphere. Here’s a guest post from Katie Shapiro from Kanata. It originally appeared on Apartment 613 and is republished here with her permission.

(By the way, Quitters will be closed from Monday to Wednesday this week due to renovations. They’re replacing those foggy windows at the front.) Continue reading


New work from Katherine Jeans on display at NeXT

Work from Ottawa painter Katherine Jeans is up on the walls at NeXT restaurant.

Jeans says: “I am pleased to present my new collection of art Road Trip – BIG SKIES as part of the new menu launch at NEXT. There are 5 pieces, each are 36″x36″ and are inspired by various road trips. Thank you Michael and Jillian Blackie for showing my work at your restaurant.”

Katherine Jeans art at NeXT


Harvey & Vern’s brings a local flavour to soda

Over the weekend I met up with Paul Meek (pictured above, photo by Barry Gray) the owner of Ottawa-based Harvey & Vern’s soda and Kichesippi Beer.  Both companies are manufactured on Campbell Avenue (near Carling and 417), and Meek lives with his family in Granite Ridge. Here are some highlights from our conversation. Continue reading


Three great food-related activities in the next few weeks

Here are some upcoming interesting food events in our area:

Last two weekends for the Kanata Farmers Market at the  Van Leuwen Mall (Hazeldean Road).  October 18 and 25 are last chance to take advantage of the this small but popular local outdoor market.

Cook for the Cure (breast cancer fundraiser). 7:00-9:00pm Tuesday, October 21.  Sample plates, music, entertainment, 50/50 draw at the Royale Kanata Retirement Home RSVP to Jennifer 613-592-6426 or email by Friday, October 17.  Cost only $25.

13th Annual West Ottawa Food and Wine Show. November 13 5:30-9:00pm at the Brookstreet Hotel.  Sample plates from over a dozen local chefs and local and international breweries and wineries  tickets $60-$75 613-592-8343.

For more events check out our Events Calendar.

Gord McCormick is a Stittsville-based broker of record with Oasis Realty Brokerage and a senior member of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.