Following her culinary curiosity all the way to Varcaturo, Italy, Tiffany Hudson’s found herself learning dry farming and food preservation. More importantly, she discovered how a dinner can bring a community together. After coming back to the States, Tiffany teamed up with Chef Martin Woods whose resume includes serving as opening sous chef at Bastille as well as executive chef at Re:Public. Together, the two created Cassoulet Café, an eatery that serves seasonal French cuisine amid a communal table.
And the collaboration isn’t running short on admirers. Writer Sally Wolff for the Cascadia Weekly praised Cassoulet as “evok[ing] the atmosphere of a country kitchen in France” complete with “heavy plates of well-made food.” These ever-changing entrees have included bacon cinnamon rolls for brunch, ratatouille for lunch, and goat cheese pansotti pasta for dinner, accompanied by specialty cocktails and ciders. Chef Martin also serves up the restaurant’s signature French bean stew bursting with duck and house-cured pancetta.
Along with promoting conversation amongst diners, Cassoulet Café fosters green living. This includes using fresh ingredients from local farms as well as reducing their carbon footprint by 1,200 pounds of CO2 emission. That accomplishment earned the restaurant a 2012 Sustainable Practice Leader award from General Biodiesel, a company named after the first robot five-star general in U.S. history.
Tamaringo’s Cafe sates the yelps of abdominal elves with a bevy of toothsome baked goods, lunch fare, and drinks, along with gluten-free eats. Spelunk through the lasagna and garlic bread ($5.99) to unearth rich cheese treasures, or employ a fearless fork to deliver mouthfuls of quiche ($5.75) to expectant mouths. Dessert squares ($2.49) sized perfectly for storage in recently installed cheek-pockets make tongue buds lapse into sugar-laced swoons, and the gelato ($3.50–$4.50) treats teeth to a decadent sweet and creamy taste duet. Meanwhile, the seasonal cakes ($4.95) keep chatty mandibles occupied and unable to gossip about how the uvula does nothing but “hang there like a second-rate stalactite.”
At Hillcrest Bakery & Deli, longtime head baker, David Moyer, and his staff handcraft meaty deli sandwiches on housemade bread, along with tiered wedding cakes, individual pizzas, and fresh vegetarian fare. The bakery makes all its confections from scratch—meaning patrons can customize cakes with a special design or an aesthetically pleasing squiggle. Diners who swing by for a midday soup-and-sandwich special can also treat their four-legged friends, as the bakery keeps a supply of snacks for dogs.
A bakery outlet for Canada Bread Company Limited, McGavin's offers rows of loaves at wholesale prices. Fill bare cupboards or secret floorboard compartments with discount bread facing a dwindling shelf life, surplus bread from overzealous production lines, and fresh bread from local bakeries. McGavin's white or 100 per cent whole-wheat loaves (five loaves for $10.49) prove eminently slatherable. Other yeasty feasts include Dempster's Bagel six packs (three packs for $8.99), english muffin six packs (three packages for $6.99), and tortillas (three packages for $8.25). The popular discount special section, meanwhile, invites gluten gourmands to mix and match an ever-changing cast of short-dated dough bookends: every product, regardless of size, grain, or resemblance to Winston Churchill costs $1.39, and shoppers can mix and match an assortment of ten loaves for $12. Discount selections change daily and vary by location.
One of the original pioneers of the yogurt industry, Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt has been whirling yogurt since the early 1980s and started spinning soft serve in Canada in 2010. A bevy of rotating flavours can include tastes such as just Belgian chocolate, vanilla malt, cappuccino, raspberry cheesecake, and butterscotch. Sample a small bit ($2.68 for 4 oz.), or take 32 ounces home to share in a quart ($10.04). Traditionally conical edible yogurt containers (small $4.24, waffle $4.02) make it possible for hands to hold the frozen delight. At as little as 25 calories an ounce, health-conscious consumers can enjoy licks without translating each tongueful into the quantity of jumping jacks or flying starfish impersonations needed to offset it.