Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.
Another heat wave has officially started, which often means moving the cooking action from kitchen to backyard. Al fresco dining, what could be easier? Slap some burgers on the grill, toss some veggies together for a side, and presto! Summer eating made easy.
Ah, but if you’re a true foodie — or a hostess who likes to enjoy the party — the barbecue can be a tricky affair. How to orchestrate the offerings when everyone pops by at a different time? Where to shop for local ingredients without taking a day off work to visit the various markets and off-the-beaten-path boutiques that sell such goodies?
The answer to both questions: The Red Apron. From awesome salads (refreshing soba noodle, potato salad with blue cheese and shitake mushrooms, among others) to the best bread (Art-is-in, True Loaf, Rideau), plus an amazing selection of interesting cheeses from Ontario and Quebec, they make barbecue planning an event in itself.
As for the main course, bison burgers and chicken burgers, made in-house, as well as chicken and tofu kebabs, are always in stock. And new for this summer: The Nut Burg, fresh out of Wakefield, is poised to change the face of vegetarian grilling.
Finish it off with the wild flavours and creamy goodness of Pascale’s Ice Cream.
We might complain about the heat now, but grill season in Ottawa is short — too short to sweat it out chopping ingredients while your guests enjoy the backyard.
The Look: Friendly and fresh. A new local product at every turn.
Perfect for: People who love good food, but don’t always want to spend hours in the kitchen.
USP: They also do to-your-door dinners; find out more, and see the current menu, here.
The Red Apron, 613-695-0417, 564 Gladstone Ave., www.redapron.ca
Get the scoop on over 435 local stores in the 2011/2012 Ottawa Magazine Shopping Guide. Access the Guide online or get your copy at Britton’s magazine store and other newsstand locations.