Tag Archives: Ottawa Markets

Ayoub’s (or all is good again in Sandy Hill)

Almost 5 years ago we moved to Ottawa. I came about 8 weeks ahead of my good man to find housing and get us settled.

After a brief search and viewing only 3 apartments, I quickly chose a great space in Sandy Hill. I moved myself in with the kitchen table and a futon that posed as a bed until my furniture arrived 2 weeks later.

Within walking distance to my downtown office, the Byward Market and Rideau Centre, I thought I was in the perfect place. I came to discover so many more wonderful things about living here, including great neighbours, a pub we fell in love with, and Ayoub’s.

Ayoub’s seemed to be the heart and soul of the neighbourhood. A busy family market that sold fresh fruits and vegetables along with organic product, a deli counter and items made in their little catering kitchen at the back of the store. The best hummus, zatar and tabouleh to be found but what stole my heart, and sold me the instant I saw it was my absolute favourite yogurt (yes it was that simple)!

The first time I visited Ayoub’s I ended up with about $60 worth of groceries and much to my dismay realized I left my wallet at home. The first thing they did was try to send me away with my groceries and my promise to return and pay. I was stunned, could not believe they were saying that to me, they didn’t even know me. I had lived in the neighbourhood for less than a week. I took the groceries, went home and returned to pay right away. I have been a devoted Ayoub’s fan ever since.

One morning in our second year here, I was walking to catch the bus and saw plumes of smoke coming from Somerset East. When I reached the corner my heart literally sank, Ayoub’s was on fire and it looked really bad. It was bad. Our lovely neighbourhood was heart-broken and a wonderful family was devastated and had lost their business. I can’t imagine what the last 3 year’s has been like for them.

Let’s fast track. 3 long years later and with much anticipation the southwest corner of Somerset East and Blackburn is alive and thriving once again. Ayoub’s is now open (a little celebration last Sunday was just what we all needed) and all is good again in Sandy Hill. Welcome back good people, it’s wonderful to see your beautiful smiling faces once again. xoxo

Tastes Like Summer Tomato Salad

I picked up a wonderful mix of tomatoes on my usual Wednesday morning trek to the Byward Market. I like to get there early, enjoy a cafe au lait and apricot brioche at Le Moulin de Provence. It gives me an opportunity to speak to the vendors and see whats available before they get too busy. Usually by 8:30 I have made my purchases and already heading home to write for the rest of the morning (this particular morning I was also lucky enough to enjoy a cup with Don of FoodiePrints).

I love the Heirloom Tomato Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella from the Earth to Table cookbook. With this recipe in mind I made a similar version for dinner last night and it was lovely. Each tomato was like a mouthful of sun, the definition of summer. I used feta and fresh basil I picked from my garden. It really was divine.

2 pounds of assorted tomatoes cut into wedges
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves (rosemary is good with it too)
feta cheese (as much as desired cut into chunks)
1/4 cup of good olive oil (more or less as desired)
sprinkle of sea salt
sprinkle of black pepper

Toss and enjoy. Serves 3-4

Main Farmer’s Market

We frequent the Main Farmer’s Market Saturday mornings. We love the idea of locally grown food and locally made product. It is a community run market, (which we really like) that we have watched grow.

The market’s goal is to expand the market-share of sustainably produced food and products, this includes local, organic and fairly traded food, plants and artisanal goods. They believe there are environmental, social and economic benefits to purchasing local food.

Initiated as a Sustainable Living Ottawa East pilot project in 2007 the market has become a pillar in the Old Ottawa East Community.

Saturdays, 9am – 2pm
May 8th – October 30th
On the grounds of Saint Paul University,
223 Main Street, Ottawa

To entice you to join us I have chosen for the rest of this post, not to use words: