a peek inside the fishbowl

I needed some extra fuel at lunch today so I decided to head down to Westboro Village to check out the sandwich offerings at Piggy Market. The menu looked so GOOD I was completely incapable of making a decision. It was a four-way tie between these menu items:

  • Turkey Sandwich – Olive Tapenade/Double Smoked Bacon/Tomatoes/Cheddar/Mustard Roulade/Arugula
  • Bacon Sandwich – House Made Ketchup/HP Sauce/Tomato/Spinach/Lime & Black Pepper Ricotta
  • Chicken Sandwich – Grilled Halloumi/Red Cabbage/Pomegranate/Mint/Harissa & Sesame Dressing/Bulger wheat Salad/Pickled Chillies
  • Ham Sandwich – Riopelle Cheese/Tomato/Bacon/Jalapeno Salsa/Cinnamon Bun

I hemmed and hawed and took too much time. Feeling deflated and hungry I chose the ham sandwich as a default. As soon as I placed my order I felt a pang of regret. Fer chrissakes Andrea! You came all the way down here for a HAM sandwich? You don’t even like ham that much!

I guess I didn’t read the menu properly because while I was waiting, the fellow behind the counter said something about a cinnamon bun. Er, ok. I kept quiet even though I was puzzled over this sudden development.

I chatted about cheese with Dave, the owner, grabbed my sandwich, paid up, and left. I didn’t get far. I decided to sit outside in Winston Square and enjoy the sunshine for a bit while I ate. I unwrapped my package and this is what I found inside:

April 21 #dailylunches - run, don't walk, to Piggy Market to get this "ham sandwich"

It is indeed a ham sandwich on a cinnamon bun, but to call it a mere HAM SANDWICH is doing this a very big disservice. (Dave, you need a more descriptive menu IMO).

It was an explosion of flavour. There is something about the combination of cheese and jalapeno salsa and yes, sticky cinnamon bun, that truly thrills the taste buds. And the ham! This is not the sad watery ham that is made in a factory and so heavily processed it barely resembles meat. This was something else. That slice of tomato and bacon in there? This is the stuff lunchtime legends are made out of.

Worth noting: I seriously regretted only grabbing one paper napkin and was also secretly grateful that I was eating alone, because omg, it was a challenge to eat. It was kind of a nibble around the edges/eat out of the paper/lick your fingers kind of ordeal. (But very very worth it.)

If you’re reading this and live in the area, I urge you to run down to Piggy Market as soon as you can because tomorrow may be the last day you’ll ever see this sandwich. Their lunch menu rotates every week and you never know when it’ll make a return. If ever!

18 Apr, 2016

A peek at this past weekend

By andrea tomkins in Misc. life

One of the best things about living where we live is that we can witness the joy that comes over people when the good weather finally hits. Suddenly, there are a million extra bodies populating the patios, parks, sidewalks and bike paths. Outside our door it was a neverending stream of people young and old (not to mention all the dogs!) running, walking, strolling, cycling, smiling, sniffing, laughing.

It all made me so happy I decorated myself with a radish.*


New toy for Piper


Hosin' stuff down


* … from tattly.com. ;)

16 Apr, 2016

Weekend reading: April 16 edition

By andrea tomkins in Weekend reading

15 Apr, 2016

Dailylunches #1357 – Bowl o’ Green

By andrea tomkins in Recipes and Food

I had a great lunch yesterday. In fact, I think I’ll make it again today:

April 14 #dailylunches - green bowl

It’s essentially an asparagus salad, although now that I think about it, I think it’d make a fantastic make-ahead side dish as well.

Here’s the original recipe. I followed it fairly closely but I should probably mention that I pared it down to serve one and reduced the boiling time of the asparagus by half. I like my vegetables on the crisp side! I omitted the garlic and added a handful of sugar snap peas to it as well, which was a smart move because they added a very satisfying crunch to the mix. I also sprinkled the whole thing with a bit of feta cheese at the end (is that stuff EXPENSIVE right now or what?) and toasted pecans (which, as you can probably see from the photo, were about two seconds away from being burned to a crisp).

All in all it was a very satisfying spring salad and I can’t wait to eat it again. Maybe next time I’ll top it with a few grape tomatoes as well.

I’ve been having issues with my left heel. I self-diagnosed myself with plantar fasciitis awhile back (you can read about that on WebMD if you’re keen) and it’s getting better, but it’s still not 100%. I put the brakes on the daily 10K and bought new insoles for my outdoor runners (my gym shoes are new so I figure they’re still ok). I work from home – and it’s hardwood everywhere, and my feet were aching almost constantly so I dug out an older pair of soft-soled slippers. They helped, but were getting so worn there was hardly anything left.

We were at the Bayshore SoftMoc awhile back and I spotted a display of Sketchers GoWalk slip-on shoes (take a closer look on the website here). It’s not exactly a GLAM shoe but then again, I wasn’t looking to make a fashion statement with my footwear. I was looking for a lightweight shoe – something a bit more solid than a slipper – to wear at home while my aching feet healed up. And here’s where I confess my personal bugaboo: I am secretly wary of shoes that are too light. I immediately assume that they’re made out of air and that I’m overpaying, but here I was, after a marathon shopping session at Two Mile Mall and my feet were crying for some attention. So I opted to put myself first and ignore that nagging know-it-all in the back of my mind AND JUST TRY THEM ON FER CHRISSAKES.

As soon as I did I knew I had to buy them. Soft, cushy, with the right amount of support: it was clearly meant to be.

Comfy shoes

I am very glad I took the plunge. My feet feel happy, and I think having something a bit more solid beneath my feet than socks in old slippers was a good idea in terms of expediting the healing process. Maybe I’ll need to get a pair for outdoors as well?


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  • can ho cao cap: There's definately a great deal to know about this topic. I really like all the points you have made.
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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (16) and Sarah (14). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times, and a regular contributor to MediaSmarts.ca. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


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The #dailylunches project – 1000 lunches and counting

Every day I eat lunch and take a picture. Here's the latest:

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Click the photo for details: what it is, where I ate it (if it's worth a mention!) and how to cook it (if there happens to be a recipe). You can also read more about this project right here.


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