Cool Little Coffee Shop on Elgin. The Ministry of Coffee, Ottawa

Nutella Latte and Flat White

The Ministry of Coffee is a great little place to hang out, chill and enjoy good coffee. The staff is incredibly friendly and they've got a decent menu of coffee, drinks and food. This is a great place to get comfy and slow down, while the quick paced traffic on Elgin buzzes by.

The Ministry of Coffee specializes in coffee but they also offer other drinks, baked goods and sandwiches. On the day I was there, they had a pork tenderloin sandwich and beet & herb goat cheese sandwich on the menu, which sounded delicious.

I decided to be adventurous and try the Nutella latte. What I loved was that the Nutella was very subtle...not overly sweet and syrupy. Their flat white was also good but slightly acidic for my taste. I don't think it was how they made the coffee, but more the coffee itself. It was obvious these guys know their stuff, which is hard to find in Ottawa

Their 'sex sells' sign got a few good chuckles from passer-bys. Smart way to get someone's attention :)

The Ministry of Coffee, Ottawa

The Ministry of Coffee, Ottawa

The Ministry of Coffee
279 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 613-255-3410

The Ministry of Coffee on Urbanspoon

Awesome Spring Rolls at Pho'licious, Ottawa

Pholicious, Ottawa

I find it is hard to write about pho houses - they are either good, average or bad. Every place pretty much offers the same dishes and unless you spend the time to analyze the most minute details, it's really hard to comment on how good a pho dish is without repeating yourself. Yes, there are times when a restaurant does something phenomenally or offers something that others don't, but that doesn't happen often.

Pholicious Spring Roll and VermicelliB20 - Grilled Homemade Pork Meatball and Pho'licious Special Spring Rolls Vermicelli

The most recent place that I went to that was noteworthy is Pho'licious in Ottawa. They have decent pho but what I love is their Pho'licious special spring rolls: crispy spring rolls wrapped in rice paper and stuffed with shrimp, crabmeat, pork, egg, transparent noodle and bean sprouts. I love the texture of the deep fried rice paper, which is crispy on the outside and slightly gelatinous when you chew it. Although it doesn't say on the menu, you can ask them to substitute regular spring rolls in any dish with their Pho'licious special spring rolls.

Their homemade pork meatballs aren't bad but nothing like how my mom makes them. I'm used to the meatballs being more meatier with a ton more garlic.

They also offer banh mi sandwiches for $3, which is marked for take-out only.

The decor of the place kind of made me chuckle. It's like one of the owner's kids decided to step in and help with the design, which resulted in a boudoir nightclub feel filled with tacky Asian restaurant furniture. At least they tried.

Pholicious, Ottawa

300 Booth Street
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Telephone: 613-680-5230

Pho'licious on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Green Tropical Smoothie

Green Tropical Smoothie

This recipe is posted for my darling sis who has been bugging me non-stop for my Green Tropical Smoothie recipe. When she came to visit recently, I made this for us every morning since this smoothie is now part of my daily morning routine. When I want less sugar, I will omit the mango and only use 1/2 a lime instead of a whole one.

I've listed coconut as optional because I sometimes buy a muesli with coconut in it. When that's the case, I don't bother adding extra coconut. Enjoy! This tastes really good and is good for you!

Green Tropical Smoothie
- 1 cup of fresh pineapple chunks
- 1 ripe frozen banana
- 2 or more large handfuls of kale or spinach
- 1 ripe yellow mango, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup of plain yogurt or almond milk
- 1/2 cup of muesli
- 1 small lime, juice
- 1-2 Tbsp flax oil
- 1/2 cup of water (optional)
- 1 Tbsp desiccated coconut (optional)
- sweetener of choice (optional)

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour shake into a cup and enjoy.