After an electrical fire last January completely demolished Carp’s beloved traditional pub The Cheshire Cat, owner Dustin Therrien, who also operates Alice’s Village Café in the centre of town, vowed to rebuild.
While undertaking the summer construction project, he has given himself a sweet distraction: opening Carp Custom Creamery, a casual spot for soft-serve ice cream, gourmet hotdogs, and popcorn.
Presiding over three businesses leaves little time for dining out, but he says he gravitates to mom-and-pop shops. Here are some of his favourites:
Great for groceries
I love Foodsmiths in Perth and Nicastro’s on Merivale.
My guilty pleasure
Honestly, it’s the carrot cake at Alice’s [Alice’s Village Café]. I love that it is soaked with caramel and topped with rich icing. I also love the coconut.
My breakfast spot
We go to Constance Lake Lodge in Dunrobin for Belgian waffles. The setting is beautiful, and the kitsch on the wall is cool.
My go-to pubs are The Glen [in Stittsville] and The Old Mill at Ashton.
Top 3 in Ottawa
The Wellington Gastropub, Kungfu Bistro, and Sukhothai in Bells Corners.
Favourite food truck
Wes’ Chips in Arnprior for a straight-up large fry with salt and vinegar halfway.
Best beer sponge
I like having pizza at Pub Italia, partly because of the great beer selection.
Ice cream fix
We go to the little shop by the falls in Almonte and take the kids for a walk by the water. I order cookie dough or cheesecake — anything with large, gooey inclusions.
This story appeared in the Summer 2013 “101 Tastes” issue of Ottawa Magazine. Click here to order online.