A typical weekend topic of discussion for most people, is brunch. You catch up with old friends over a two-hour brunch, you stagger into a greasy spoon restaurant wearing little-to-no make-up and starving for brunch, you complain if the establishment of choice is no longer serving the magical mid-morning plate. It really is the meeting grounds of the young adult; the time of day and place where you pour over details of the night before, pick the brains of one of your six fellow diners, and put a calming kind of comfort in your belly that sets you for the rest of your afternoon and evening – when you rally together and do it all again.
I’m not the biggest breakfast food gal – but the other nuts, and their passion for the wonders that a standard eggs and bacon kind-of-meal can work, have led me to look forward to those typical menu items. However, there is something to be said about trying something different at any meal, as our in-house foodie Kate Lalumiere can attest to. So, today when visiting with my Mom who’s been in Ottawa for the weekend, she asked for just that. Something fairly economical, but not necessarily the average plate of hum-drum food that’s both rushed and familiar. We both were in the mood for a little pizzazz on our palette.
We ended up taking a lovely downtown stroll to one of my favourite weekday indulgences – the Scone Witch, located at Lyon and Albert in the heart of Ottawa’s business district. Amidst towering offices and condominiums, this little brick house sticks out like an adorably sore thumb – so much so that upon first discovery, my friend and I scampered right by because we saw the word “witch” and weren’t in the mood for any mid-week hexes. This tiny establishment, which is open seven days a week and recently added a new location to Beechwood Avenue in New Edinburgh, really does look like Grandma’s front steps. Although wary of entering any place alluding to hocus pocus, you’ll immediately feel at home when you notice the chic bistro-style seating, brightly-lit atmosphere, and trendy staff who have tunes like Stars’ Five Ghosts album flowing from the speakers. It’s next to impossible to feel like you’re just in any old kitchen when you first bite into the most savoury scones in the National Capital region.
The menu is diverse and progressive in its scone creations, but also standard and suitable for any customer who wants their straight-forward biscuit and jam. This converted house offers scones of every type – cheddar, regular, vanilla cream, herb and onion, oatmeal, feta and more. Scone sandwiches, scone meals, and scone desserts might make your decision tricky – but being perched at the cozy tables, sipping on freshly brewed java and watching the fresh trays of bread as they’re pulled from the oven should reassure you that you’ve come to the right place.
The breakfast scones can include jam and thick devon cream with fruit and greens, as well as staples like creamy scrambled eggs, bacon and unique cheeses. The lunchtime scone combinations – a handful of flavourful oddities like tuna and tomato with black olive paste, BLT with pesto mayonnaise, cream cheese and cucumber with cranberry-mango chutney – offer mixed greens or homemade soup on the side. These delightful creations that rise daily in the extensive back bakery come out warm, fluffy and anything but the bland biscuits you might associate with. In fact, the eclectic sandwiches and treats shine a whole new light on the English delicacy. So, if you’re looking to peel around the corner from your office or venture downtown for a weekend bite – you’ll without a doubt find any of the Scone Witch choices easy on the wallet (clocking in at maximum ten dollars) and, in a nutshell, extremely memorable for the taste buds.
Bon appetit, little witches!
What they had on the wonderful music menu: “Dead Hearts” by Stars