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Here’s a few suggestions if you’d like to dine out this weekend.
Please check with individual venues for hours of opening and dish availability — and enjoy!
Cape Town Caesar, Redhouse Uptown
Chef Dan McCowan always brings some of his background and his travels to the Redhouse menu. The Caesar contains a bit of bite from the classic little-fish ingredient: Romaine, radicchio, warm house-smoked bacon, cucumber, cherry tomato, white anchovies, soft-boiled egg, focaccia croutons, Grana Padano cheese and garlic anchovy dressing.
“When I was living in Cape Town, South Africa, years ago, everywhere you ordered Caesar salads they came with veggies like a garden salad,” McCowan says. “Cucumber, tomato, radish, even avocado. And often hard boiled eggs, chopped or quartered. The Redhouse version is a variation of how they do them there.”
Thai Street-Style Fried Rice, Choun Kitchen
A small kitchen in a restaurant tucked along the side of a building on the main drag in Hespeler, Choun Kitchen relies on home-style and family recipes for some of its inspiration. The fried rice is the Jasmine variety and eggs, carrots, onions, bok choy and seasoning sauce. You can add a protein for a few extra bucks ($10).
Bún Chả Giò, Pho Tran
It’s like a cool salad, crisp and refreshing. Available at all Viet-Thai restaurants, a spring vermicelli bowl, like that served at Kitchener’s Pho Tran is a spring roll on vermicelli noodle with lettuce, cucumber, mung bean sprouts, carrot and mint leaves It’s garnised with chopped peanuts; your job is to pour in the heady fish sauce and enjoy.
Cajun Red Bean Burger, Jane Bond Cafe
From one of the area’s longest-standing vegetarian restaurants — with great beers, live music and vibe — Anya Steffler’s “burger” is a popular and delicious one: red bean and rice for the patty is topped with spinach, tomato, pickles and red onion. Creamy Cajun sauce rounds the flavours out and brings them together. Served with a choice of side.
For more on the Red Bean burger, check out this Waterloo Region Record story, “Plant-based eating before it was trendy” (and a video by Mat McCarthy).