One of my favourite ways to discover a place is to discover its food (this might be why I did not lose weight in Europe…). Whether I’m far from home or in my hometown, it’s a great way to connect with the surrounding people and culture. So along with over 30 other foodies last night, I was excited to Dishcrawl my way through Hintonburg, one of Ottawa’s hippest neighbourhoods.
Just as on a typical pub crawl, dishcrawlers made their way to four different local restaurants in Hintonburg and sampled what each stop had to offer. A Dishcrawl is a mysterious event– the starting location was only revealed to participants 48 hours in advance, and our lovely guide Chanelle managed to keep the rest of our stops secret as we made our way through the itinerary. At each stop we met the faces behind the eateries and learned a bit about their unique backgrounds.
We kicked things off at The Hintonburg Public House where we enjoyed local brews while our fellow dishcrawlers assembled. A cozy place with great beats, the HPH served us some of their classic pub-type food all made from scratch with local ingredients. Our first tastes of the night were fish and chips, pork loin and a pickled egg…a delicious start.Next, we headed out to munch under the stars at the TacoLot. Located in an old parking lot, this trendy taco joint has been around for just over a year. Owner Jon and his crew dished out a trio of mini Mexican bites: a burrito, a taco, and a little cup of chili topped with a brandied peach — sound good? It really was. And it was a perfect night to dine al fresco, Mother Nature was on our Dishcrawlin’ side!Our third stop was SimplyRaw Express, where their kale salad made me vow to discover how they “massaged” the leafy green into such deliciousness. Run by husband and wife duo Mark and Natasha, SimplyRaw serves all gluten-free, organic, and vegan fare, and focuses on healthy take away foods. We enjoyed three different salads that would please even the most carnivorous eaters. The colours alone on our plates had me hooked.A Dishcrawl wouldn’t be complete without dessert! Our last stop, Foolish Chicken, satisfied our collective sweet tooth. Foolish Chicken has been doing business in the ‘burg for six years and all desserts are homemade by co-owner Natalie. Our evening ended sweetly with tastes of their ultimate chocolate brownie, coconut rice pudding, and pineapple almond cheesecake. From there we parted ways, bellies full and foodie horizons expanded.The event was a great success, and plans have already been made for a round two and three! Showcasing just a slice of the culinary diversity that abounds in Hintonburg, Dishcrawl highlighted the wonderful variety in the neighbourhood. I know I’ll be back to crawl for seconds…who wants to join?