Posted in Restaurants

Review: The Kilt and Castle – Yellowknife, NWT

5019 49th St., Yellowknife – Facebook

Kilt and Castle 1

Date of Visit: October, 2015


I first saw this place in September of this year and I was surprised I had not noticed it before until I learned that it had just opened a month earlier. I didn’t get to stop by on that particular trip to Yellowknife but, on my next, I was able to visit twice and had both a good meal a very nice time… Continue reading “Review: The Kilt and Castle – Yellowknife, NWT”

Posted in Notable Nosh

Notable Nosh: Irish Porter Cheese

Irish Porter Cheese 1

When I first saw this product at our local co-op, I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it. After reading the label, and seeing that it was a cheese made with beer, I just had to give it a try…

The label on the plastic clear package reads ‘Original Irish Porter Cheese’ and the ‘Irish’ in the name is not merely a fanciful marketing ploy as the product is made by the Cahill’s Farm cheese manufactory in County Limerick, Ireland. Being marketed in Canada, however, everything else on the package is printed in French as well as English and interestingly enough, although the English ingredient list includes ‘Porter‘, the French actually specifies that ‘Guiness’ is used. Guiness and other stouts or porters are something of an acquired taste, but I am quite fond of them and was interested to see how it would work in a cheese product.

The aroma of the freshly opened package was rather unremarkable – a cheese smell, obviously – but there was no particular sharpness or unusual notes. The taste, as best as I can describe it, is more like a fairly ordinary cheddar than anything else I could think of. It is moderately sharp, and there is a slight pungency at the outset but, again, there is nothing especially remarkable. In a blind tasting, I would say it would be difficult to guess at the presence of the stout but, once you know it is there, it is possible to detect a faint, slightly sweet, burnt taste that characterizes the beverage. It is alright, I suppose, but not likely to accrue any sort of cult following, I wouldn’t think.

My wife and I tried it alone, and then on rice crackers with a dab of redcurrant jelly (which was quite nice), and also skewered on toothpicks with sliced radish and a pickled cocktail onion. The rest, I think, will likely be used on the burgers I have planned for this evening’s supper and, that being the end of the little block I bought,  I don’t imagine I will feel any special urge to buy it again. Still, it was worth the try…

Posted in Restaurants

Review: Peter Devine’s Irish Pub

73 Clarence St, Ottawa – (613) 562-0674 – Website

Peter Devine 1

Date of Visit: July 11, 2013

For lunch on this particular occasion, I had sat myself on the patio of a nearby Vietnamese restaurant but, after perusing a singularly uninspiring menu, and finding the outdoor dining far too hot, I wandered up the street to this place where the patio was nicely shaded and not too busy. I didn’t know it right away, but Peter Devine’s is actually part of the same establishment as the Heart and Crown situated right next door, although, as my waiter informed me, their menus are somewhat different… Continue reading “Review: Peter Devine’s Irish Pub”

Posted in Restaurants

Review: Heart and Crown Irish Pub

67 Clarence St., Ottawa – (613) 562-0674 – Website

Heart and Crown 1

Date of Visit: December 5, 2012 

The Heart and Crown is one of a group of twelve associated pubs, one of which is the Auld Dubliner Pub, reviewed by myself earlier this year. I seem to recall stopping by the place with my wife some years ago for a drink, but this is the first time I have ever visited for a bite to eat. The menu is typical pub fare, including burgers and a shepherd’s pie, but they also feature a Guinness beef stew and a ‘Chicken Curry with Chips’, which, interestingly, they describe as an ‘Irish Standard’. I rather wish, after sampling their steak, that I had chosen the curry instead… Continue reading “Review: Heart and Crown Irish Pub”

Posted in Recipes

Recipe: Champ

 Now, this really isn’t a recipe I expect any of my readers to rush right out and try but some of you, especially those of Irish descent, may find it interesting. ‘Champ’ is a rustic dish native to Northern Island that consists of little more than mashed potatoes mixed with green onions (scallions) and then served with lots of butter and salt. It’s the sort of concoction that would go very nicely as a side dish with a roast and other veggies, but its roots lie very much in the poorer corners of Ulster and many families would have made a whole meal of it. Nowadays, of course, it is eaten more for its appeal as a comfort food and it is a treat that I enjoy it very much. My wife, perhaps because she lacks any Irish blood, is not really keen on mashed potatoes in any form, but since she is away out of the country as I write this, I have whipped up a batch to enjoy alone… Continue reading “Recipe: Champ”