.Panda Watch Recommendations.

Hey you,

I am so glad you want to visit me in Ottawa. Good to hear from you. Unfortunately, I am out of town and it is a bummer that we miss each other. I will be missing in action for a while because my friend and I are sneaking away for a bit to travel and purchase a house in Morocco since we think it is a great investment. We will rent it out later on and get security to protect it when we are not in Morocco obviously. Also, while we are there, we write a book together. It is all planned out. The title is “Faster than the Speed of Love”. We are super stoked about it.  Do you like it? We will discuss all the details when we meet soon.

In any case, I know you are only around for a couple of weeks but here are the restaurants you should definitely check out while in town. For breakfast, you have to try French Insanity. They usually open by 8 am but if you are not in line by  5.30 am, forget it. On their menu is one slice of french toast only wrapped in wax paper. You are only allowed to purchase one and they usually run out by   8.10 am. They don’t serve cinnamon, butter or anything else with it. They also hate maple syrup. Sorry, I know, you are in Canada but their french toast is so good that it does not need maple syrup. Trust me! They do offer ketchup though and for whatever reason three cinnamon-raisin bagels and a large French Vanilla Latte for $6. Go figure.

For lunch, I would recommend Antonio’s. Not the original Antonio’s since the Italian mob burned down the entire building when China Town wanted to invade and take over Little Italy. It is still the best Italian food in town though. I go there, like 5 times a week for lunch. Okay, technically it is not in the city. It is actually a little stand at the main concourse of the minor-league hockey team here in Ottawa; close to the stadium. You also have to take the train to get there and purchase a ticket to see a Senator’s game, but hey, this should not deter you. You will love it. Everything on the menu is awesome. Try the triple layer cake. It is ridic. Overall, the food is to die for. FYI: Watch out for any open trunks on cars close to the river.

If you don’t like Italian food, try Holy Shit Basil. Their food is all vegetarian but you will think it is gluten/dairy free paleo autoimmune diet food. The awesome thing is that they grow all their food right in the restaurant, so you get the real table-to-table experience. Another highlight is that this restaurant is right next to the used-book store that is never open but they have a great selection. Another option for supper: I would recommend the amazingly authentic pho restaurant PHO-Me-NOW. However, you cannot get in there without a Vietnamese passport. It is kind of difficult to track those down but it is so worth it. Let me know if you need help with this and I introduce you to “my guy”. With him, it is no problem if you cannot get your paperwork in order on time. Trust me. They also change your kid’s passport overnight.

Another alternative for supper is “Le Bukowski’s aka The Buck Typewriter“. It is another new French restaurant that opened recently by a guy who is going through a divorce and threatens his wife via emails. Word on the street is that he opened this restaurant even though he got kicked off “Top French Onion Soups where Onions Simmer in Red Wine” because one of his recipes killed a judge and someone else made a way better onion soup. It is a little pricey but in the long run, every course will change your life. Some of them in ways you will never expect. It is all so worth it. The baguette they serve made me realize that I am not really afraid of anything anymore and that I am strong. I mean, wow, right? Try the Absinthe or Ricard they served with or before the appetizer.

Otherwise, Spinners is a great fun diner (diner/dinner). Heads up: the service is a little slow and do not try to get the black bubble gum from the bubble gum machine to eat there for free. You will waste too much money.  The original staff from the sixties is mostly still there. They only added some desperate students who need money. When a server or cook dies, they do not replace them so the kitchen gets pretty backlogged. Enjoy looking at the pictures all around the restaurant while you desperately wait for your food though. You cannot purchase the artwork. If you want the full Spinners-experience order the “Hungry Man”. They put sawdust in it, which Bob, the owner insists is some kind of old tradition. It tastes horrible at first and you think it is the worst breakfast you ever had. The second bite is better though and then you will end up loving it. Also, do not mention that you are from France. Mr. Bob doesn’t like immigrants and has some “opinions”.

Ready for dessert? How come no matter how full you are, there is always room for dessert? Okay, so there is this great place you have to check out. It is called INSecure. It is Japanese I believe. It is close to the hotel where you are staying. Just one block down the road actually. They have this amazing ice cream with savory toppings such as gravy, paprika or balsamic vinegar. The sweet/salty craze is all over town these days since it is so hot.  If you like it, maybe we can go together one day. Let me know what you end up doing while you are in town. And have fun.

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