Friday, 16 May 2014

Toast Bags for Sale!

When people hear about this blog, many of them ask how we manage to bring our kids (2 and 3 year olds) to restaurants every week, and actually enjoy ourselves. The answer is: preparation! We usually bring little busy bags with us that are made up of open-ended activities. These games can be played with individually or together, and we use them to spend quality time with our kids, but also to distract them while we have a conversation. Now you can too!

We'll be selling these busy bags soon in person or etsy for $5 (plus shipping if applicable) and they will include 3 activities to keep your littles happy and busy. If you would like to be part of our test group, leave us a comment with your email, and we will be in touch soon!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Heart and Crown (Preston Street)

This morning we chose to eat in Little Italy before visiting the Tulip festival. We found paring near Heart and Soul, which happened to have lots of patio seating available, so the decision was easy!

We were seated at the back of the patio is a nice sunny spot shielded from the wind. What a gorgeous day for a patio breakfast! I asked the hostess for a high chair and she ran to get one, but was sadly never seen again. So our little Toast boy sat in a regular chair. It didn't take long for him to climb down to explore, and as he did, I noticed that there was broken glass everywhere on the ground! We had to make sure to hold him so that he wouldn't climb down again and get cut.

Service was friendly but slow. I was mother's day, though, so it was expected. They did bring out Toast Boy's food first, so we could tell they were trying to accommodate our hungry critters. We ordered the Irish breakfast, Toast Man had the benedict, Toast Girl had Chocolate Chip Pancakes, and Toast Boy had the Irish Muffin. The kids coloured the kids menus while we waited.

Toast Man enjoyed the benedict, and we both liked the marble toast option. The homefries weren't great, the the sauteed onion and mushrooms that were included in the Irish breakfast helped to flavour them when I mixed them in. The kids breakfast came with Tater tots, which were not a hit. The kids ate all of my eggs, and I couldn't help compare the taste of the sausages to bologna. Toast Girl's chocolate chip pancakes didn't have chocolate chips in them, but were, instead covered in a ton of icing sugar. Im not sure if there was a blizzard in the kitchen, or if they were trying to hide the lack of chocolate chips, but as a parent, I was less than impressed. The orange juice was seriously watered down. I think a glass of water with a slice of orange, would give the same taste.

Overall, I was less than impressed. They didn't seem prepared for the occasion, and I would chose many other restaurants over this one, in the future.

Family Friendliness 
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  Heart & Crown on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Grazie (Bell's Corners)

Every now and then we come by a new place that I get super excited to share with everyone. Im very excited about this one. For the past few weeks we have been exploring the breakfast options in Bell's Corners, and noticing how many new signs advertised weekend brunch. One of these places was Grazie, which set up a billboard advertising it by the street. It went in the same strip mall that the Kid Kaf was, but on the other end. When we walked it, it was much more casual of an atmosphere than we expected. Italian names seem to evoke images of fancy table cloths and bring back images of our tots running around while the patrons eyed us uneasily.. Not here. It's casual, friendly, and welcoming. Perfect for families, friends, or anyone who just want to go out for a great breakfast. The restaurant has 3 high chairs and 3 booster seats, but the booths are the perfect hight that the kids didn't need either. They had a tv showing the news, and one other couple who was out for breakfast. I noted right away that the tables could be repositioned to accommodate any size of group, and I will certainly be picking it for breakfast meet-ups for the future. The staff was incredibly friendly and welcoming.

We were even more impressed by the menu. They accommodate everyone, it seems! They had many gluten-free options: pancakes, toasts, cereals, pizza, and entire meals! They offered custom smoothies, and milk options like almond, soy, etc. and they had heart-friendly options including a meal called "The Heart Institute" that consisted of egg whites, fruit, pumpernickel bread, and I believe turkey. They had all of our favourites as well: benedicts, 2 egg breakfasts, pancakes, omelettes, waffles, the works. Not only this, but the prices were incredibly affordable; starting at $4.50 for a complete breakfast WITH coffee.

Toast Man decided on a 2 egg breakfast, I had a benedict, and the kids split the chocolate chip banana pancakes. The food was ready impressively quickly in less than 10 minutes. The first bites were enough to get us hooked. The home-fries were wonderfully seasoned, the fruit was fresh, and the hollandaise sauce was delicious and the pancakes were some of the best we've tried.

We all polished off our generously portioned meals, and my mouth is still watering a few hours later as I write this. I think we have a new favourite and I can't wait to go back.

I love the atmosphere here: bright, open, and welcoming

Eggs Benedict

Pancakes with bananas and chocolate chips

Classic Plus. All this for $5.75 WITH coffee!

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Grazie on Urbanspoon

Friday, 9 May 2014

Our Top Picks For Mother's Day Brunch

Mothers day brunch has been a long running tradition in our family. As far back as I can remember, these precious Sundays have been spent on a patio in the Byward market. There so many great places in Ottawa to share a meal and a laugh with the most important women in your life. Here are some of our favourites:

Stella Osteria

We spent one mothers day walking around down-town trying to find a restaurant that would take walk-ins, had high-chairs, and a patio, and we stumbled upon this gem. They have a gorgeous rooftop patio/lounge and the food was awesome! We ended up returning the next year again, and it was every bit as awesome.
This year they are serving Mother's Day Brunch from 9am-4pm. Visit their website here and see their menu.

Heart and Soul(Dunrobin)

Nothing says mother's day like eating heart shaped pancakes in an old farmhouse in the woods. This little place is going to be packed, so call right now if you are hoping to get in. The food is excellent, the atmosphere is perfect, and they know a thing or two about catering to kids. Your mom will be very impressed with this choice! Check out our review for more info

Next (Stittsville)

Im hoping that the service here has improved since our review on it last year, because this would make a wonderful spot for brunch. The food is incredible and you get your own personal buffet brought to your table on a big board. The novelty of this unique way of serving and the delicious assortment of items, makes this one of our picks. Check out our review here.


Classy, delicious, and surprisingly kid friendly! They're brunch is delicious, and the place is quiet enough to catch up with your loved ones.  Check out our review here

Baker Street Cafe

If you aren't afraid to wait in line for a while, this place is worth a little wait. We haven't been since before Toast Under The Table was created, so no review yet, but I wont forget the portobello mushroom benedict that I tasted there a few years back. You may want to bring a booster seat with you, since they will definitely be in high demand on Sunday, but they are quite child friendly, once you get seated. Check out their Urbanspoon page for more info.

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms out there!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Fitz Classic Grill

While we near completion of the Bell's Corner's area, today we dined at Fitz Classic Grill, which is attached to the Best Western Hotel. The entrance isn't the most welcoming, but once inside, we were surprised by the elegant decor, booming business, and friendly staff. We seated ourselves at a booth, and were welcomed by a very nice waiter with a great smile! The menus included a kids section, standard meat and eggs meals, benedicts, omelettes, and many options. Toast Man ordered the 2 egg breakfast, I had the benedict, Toast Girl had Mickey Mouse pancakes, and Toast Boy had a scrambled egg and bacon meal. The restaurant was very busy, and it did take about 15 minutes for our food to arrive Our waiter was great about keeping our coffees replenished, and the restaurant was loud enough that we didn't need to take the kids out when they became a little fussy.

The food tasted great. The homefries are cooked with onion and various spices and seasonings, and were delicious! The benedict was awesome, and the mickey mouse pancakes were adorable with little smarties forming a happy face on it. Toast Girl was thrilled. The bread tasted like a bakery bread, rather than the average store bought type. The eggs were cooked well, and everything was brought out hot and well displayed. 

We will definitely eat there again. Im sad that we drove right passed it so many times, and never noticed it. Our total bill was around $30 for all 4 meals. The 2 egg breakfast is $6 and INCLUDES bottomless coffee!

Fitz's Classic Grill on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 3 May 2014

All Seasons Restaurant and Bar

A trip to the museum of Science and Tech this morning, lent the opportunity to try out a new restaurant. Urbanspoon directed us to All Seasons Restaurant and Bar, on Cyrville Road. We drove right past it, before we turned on the GPS that led us back the other way. We walked in and were asked to ourselves wherever we would like. We chose a seat next to another family with a small child. It didn't take long to realise that everyone in the restaurant was known by first name by the waitress. The other family in there even recognised that we were "newbies" and welcomed us with menu suggestions: Ask for the homefries to be extra crispy and add onions. So, of course, we did! And they were pretty darn good! They also recommended the beans, but we unfortunately didn't try them out.

The restaurant seems to be a ma and pop establishment. The menu included variations of breakfast meats, eggs, pancakes, and french toast. They had some specials written on a white board that sounded interesting too. There was no kids menu, so the kids split the house special: Pancake, eggs, bacon, sausage, homefries, ham, toast. A lot of food, but they ate nearly all of it! I had the 2 egg breakfast and Toast man had another house special. 

The food came quickly, and the portions were very generous. It was a great greasy spoon breakfast. the bacon had the perfect crisp to it, the homefries weren't greasy, and tasted great, (especially extra crispy with onions!)  

There isn't any children's menu, colouring sheets, or change tables in the washroom, but they did have a booster seat, and friendly service and welcoming patrons.

Family Friendliness 
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Food Quality/Taste 

All Seasons Restaurant and Tavern‎ on Urbanspoon