By MAGGIE M, Editor, the wedge.LIVE
Visiting the ByWard is akin to crossing the rubicon, from “urban” to “hipster” in only a few steps. It’s a village bursting with experiences especially of the food kind. You pass by the majestic Chateau Laurier and–Boom!–a world of fun opens up. In the ByWard, sounds shift every twenty feet, new scents issue from every doorway, artifacts pop on your visual periscope, the show of life is “on”.
It’s Ottawa’s parallel of the “Village” in NYC; but, more genteel as “Ottawans” are utterly polite, and sweet as Beaver Tails. It’s also cultural fusion not cultural district. This quickie review is about cultural though, of the far-far-away kind.
We’ll take you across the wedge, from one river to the other, Ottawa to St. Lawrence.
Vietnam: Pho By Night, Byward, Ottawa
Pho By Night (feature photo) on the Eastern edge of the Byward, Dalhousie Street, is a sweet eatery. Clean, Vietnamese all-the-way–colourful decor, friendly service–and the food appears fast. It takes forever to choose when you are having a new experience. This day I wanted Pho to re-energize, camera in tow sapping my energy. Phos are the rage, still. Pho At Night did not disappoint. The food was delicious, ample and hearty. And it is so perfect for couples with lots of two-seaters.
Korean: Alirang Restaurant, Downtown Ottawa
Farther East from the ByWard you will find authentic Korean cuisine populated with mostly Korean guests. The Alirang Restaurant on Nelson Street buzzes with life. The background chatter is Korean. The decor is Korean. The place was packed. Feels like you have traveled to the edges of Seoul without the long flight. Food was delicious and authentic–so the Koreans around us testified.
The Alirang brings you lots of little dishes to taste, temptations. And Korean tea is served in a glass. Your table is covered in plastic for good reason. There are so many changes of food scene. Joyful splats.
My family liked my dishes more than their own–sharing is so much fun, if they leave you a little.
Thai : Nahkon Thai, Brockville
This gorgeous, well-appointed restaurant with the sound of waterfalls is located in the heart of Brockville, King Street. The most delicious chicken lemongrass soup is still on my mind. Can you say Pavlovian drooling response?
We ordered a little bit of everything and pushed each other to taste our own dishes. It’s funny how we do that when food is a unique experience. We ordered Pad Thai, vegetable rolls, mango salad, soups, rice wraps and required take-home containers. (We don’t have a dog.) The ambience was relaxing–a whole other frequency. We were served like Kings.
So if the apple of your eye wants a different, worldly fare, these might deliver results you want to see on their faces. And a little smooch to follow.