Tag Archives: Sidedoor

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

I love tacos, but the shells (soft or hard) just make the meal so heavy and full of unwanted carbs/calories.  So since our recent visit to Sidedoor, I’ve been inspired by their beef with butter leaf lettuce wrap and house pickles, and I now substitute the traditional taco shell for Boston lettuce. I can now eat even more and not feel full (or guilty), it’s perfection.
I came across this recipe one night while browsing Pinterest (another new foodie hot-spot I’ve discovered).  The recipe is from a great site called SkinnyTaste, creator Gina Homolka provides healthy, family friendly recipes like this one:
1.3 lbs lean ground turkey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 small onion, minced
2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
3/4 cup water
4 oz can tomato sauce
8 large lettuce leaves from iceberg lettuce (I use Boston lettuce, the large leaves are perfect for wrapping, might even want to double-up)
Brown the meat in a skillet, once brown, add the seasoning, mix well.  Add the onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce.  Cover and let simmer on low for approximately 20 minutes. Wash lettuce and pat dry.  Place a spoonful of meat mixture in the middle of the a lettuce leaf and add your favourite toppings (i.e. low fat cheese, salsa, fresh cilantro, etc.).
This is one of our favourite go-to weekday meals, it’s quick and easy to make, just perfect when you’re on the go.~kM


We’re back

Okay, it’s been way too long since our last post and we’re committed to providing you with more of our food adventures moving forward.  Over the past six months or so we’ve revisited some of our favourite restaurants, uncovered some new ones, and had less than favourable experiences at others.  I won’t provide you with all the details, but will give you the low down on our visits.
Let’s get the bad out-of-the-way – one of our not so good experiences was at Farbs Kitchen & Wine Bar.  We’d consider the food and service to be mediocre, however, having done a food and wine pairing that evening, the wine was great :).
We visited Sidedoor for the first time, we tend to prefer smaller more quaint environments, but it’s sectioned off nicely and it’s got a good feel.  I was a little surprised to find out that it’s an Asian and Mexican influenced tapas restaurant, nothing would give this away (i.e. décor, theme, etc.), but it somehow seems to work. We really enjoyed the Bajan crispy fish tacos, grilled beef with butter leaf lettuce wrap and house pickles (we now make our own version at home, and love wrapping things in Boston lettuce), and of course the cinnamon sugar mini donuts.  Overall, a really enjoyable dinner, not too filling, just the right amount of food, I can understand why more restaurants are going to tapas menus.
At a Christmas dinner with friends I was pleased to discover a great new brewery while dining at Burnt Butter.  If you haven’t tried Barley Days be sure to try it next time.  Their dark ale is phenomenal and I ended up enjoying more than a few during our visit. We enjoyed a set menu this evening, our experience was good and I think we would go back to try something from their regular menu.
We rang in the new year at Hintonburg Public House with a large group of friends.  For this evening we enjoyed a family-style menu of braised beef short ribs, roasted vegetables and mash.  It was a cozy meal, perfect for sharing, warm and rich in flavours.  I could eat a bowl full of just the roasted vegetables they were so hearty.  We’re impressed by the food, although the ambience (very bright for a late night seating) need a little work.
We celebrated Winterlude at Zen Kitchen and Hidden Bench Winery.  A five-course dinner (including a papaya slaw with apple dumplings, mushroom tart, gnocchi, coconut cake, etc.) with wine pairing.  It was lovely and even educational evening (thank you to Marlize Beyers from Hidden Bench). We look forward to making brunch at Zen Kitchen soon.
We revisited Navarra and it wasn’t long before we remembered why we love this place.  The service was once again fantastic (thank you Jeffrey), and their new tapas menu (every night, not just reserved for Tuesdays) provided more options than our previous visit with new Mexican dishes.  Their tartar remains on the menu and for good reason….it’s incredible (this coming from someone who isn’t a big fan otherwise).
A great new addition new to the Ottawa restaurant scene is a great new gourmet sandwich shop called Pressed on Gladstone.  Expect to receive high quality, local ingredients in a variety of unique sandwiches, soups and salads at a reasonable price.  We really enjoyed the wild boar with apple slaw and a butternut squash soup that’s extremely hearty and tasted great.
We continue to visit one of our favourite local spots, the Pelican Grill.  When considering overall value, it’s a great visit.  We ventured to try the lobster poutine (quite a large portion for an appetizer), and although it doesn’t top our favourite go-to, the lobster bisque, it’s worth a try due to its uniqueness.
It took us way too long, but we finally made our way to Fraser Café and really enjoyed it.  The albacore tuna and pork belly appetizer was fantastic.  The service was just okay (we felt a little rushed), but the food was so good that despite this we’ll definitely pay a return visit.
So there it is, a quick update on our last six months.  Please stay tuned for more regular posts.~gL