imageOn a blustery late November Saturday we went for a walk heading east. This, after an evening in Westboro at the Clocktower Pub, but more on that later.

The first change we noticed was the paper on the windows at the former site of Santorini’s Greek restaurant. I took the pic on the right so I would remember the name that’s printed in small letters along the paper. It was something to do with a raw food bar. Will this mean competition for the Table vegetarian restaurant or Sushi Umi?

Next up we noticed a new sign above Bija. Very stylish. I haven’t been in for a while, so I’ll have to make a point of stopping in there soon.

Emulsify, which now occupies the former site of Booster Juice, was also open. They had literally just opened that morning with a test week before the grand opening next Saturday. And while initially I thought the concept of selling oil and vinegar was a bit odd, the woman was very helpful in explaining the concept. She and her partner had seen the concept in Florida and thought it would work here. Little did they know that someone else would open a similar concept store in the Glebe. The oil and vinegar sits in vats on the shelves and you can sample the different flavours and ages before buying a 750ml bottle. They also offer a sample pack of six smaller bottles that you can mix and match. NosyNeighbour tried a few samples for me. I was chewing gum and knew that the flavours would be out of whack. Who knew that balsamic vinegar could be as thick as molasses? I think we’ll be back, especially given NosyNeighbour’s prowess with baking bread. Would love to try some freshly baked bread dipped in an oil and vinegar mixture.

imageNext door, we noticed that the maternity clothing shop by the Bridgehead now has an Allegro sign on it. Had Allegro moved from its location by The Wood? Nope. Apparently they added a second location in October. The new location beside Emulsify houses the new fashions and the former location by The Wood carries “retro” as in slightly used.

My original destination was Rexall. I needed to buy a new face wash because the one I’d reacted to the one I’d just bought. But NosyNeighbour wanted to go deep into Hintonburg and convinced me to go to GT. As we walked towards Parkdale, I noticed that the “retirement sale” at Furniture Habitat was over. Is it me, or does it seem not as full these days. Maybe he’ll retire. Maybe he’s waiting for a developer to offer him a retirement package.

We were both relieved to get out of the cold by the time we arrived at GT. I scoured through the discount clothing and managed to find a top for $7.  Then NosyNeighbour suggested we continue to Dollarama. To be convinced, I needed to have a stop at Suzy Q. This walk was getting better and better!

The woman ahead of us was ordering a dozen donuts. And she took the last maple bacon! Imagine that? I’m standing behind her saying that I want maple bacon. We settled for a sweet potato with a marshmallow topping, cut in half for sharing. Tasty, but not as good as the maple bacon one I’d been hunkering for.

Then off to Dollarama, where we filled another bag with some pretty good deals, including reflective sticks for the front yard by the sidewalk so that the crazy drunk bobcat driver won’t take away half of our lawn!

The walk back was cold, and the wind picked up our shopping bags grabbing them as if to steal them away. Winter feels like it’s just around the corner now.

To warm ourselves up we decided to drop in to the craft show at the Hintonburg Community Centre. I bought even more stuff, which is so not like me. But that’s what NosyNeighbour gets when he takes me for a longer walk than I’d planned. I bought some really cute crocheted snowflakes and some chocolate honey. The number of local artisans impressed me. We picked up a few business cards and I’ll give them some plugs now:

  • Richard’s Hintonburg Kitchen is opening February 2013 in the old Emerald Bakery (yup, hadn’t noticed that it was closed until we walked past it later that day). Ottawa Magazine has an article about Richard, who used to be a chef at Juniper’s. The concept will be similar to Thyme and Again, focusing mostly on catering but some takeout as well.
  • Petite Treats ( had a table set up with some amazing mini cupcakes. I spoke to Sarah, the owner, about my beer cupcakes with bacon icing. We both agreed that Suzy Q should make some bite-sized versions of the high-calorie donuts. Her business is currently operated out of her home but she’ll be looking for space in the hood as it expands.
  • We also tasted koko chocolates, made my Jen Winter, a chocolatier (that sounds like a fun job title!). Her chocolates are available at The Candy Store in Westboro. You can also order ahead and pick them up at the store.
  • One local chocolate company had sold out of its handcrafted candied nut chocolates. The guys were doing an experiment and selling only at craft fairs. They’d sold out by the time we got there and had just a few samples left. Very tasty.

And yes, I did manage to stop at Rexall on the way back to pick up some face wash.