If you’re vegan, lactose intolerant or allergic to eggs, you know how much of a struggle it can be to find a decent brunch place that accommodates your dietary needs. Brunch tends to be synonymous with pastries and egg dishes – pretty much a wasteland for people like us.
On a recent trip to Ottawa, a friend introduced me to Café My House, a vegan restaurant that prides itself on using local, seasonal and fair-trade ingredients. It was like I had died and gone to heaven.
Located in the Wellington West area of Ottawa, Café My House has the atmosphere of a trendy coffee shop. It even boasts a patio that feels like eating in a backyard garden – a nice escape from the bustle of the city streets.
To start, I ordered a cacao latte. I was expecting a warm beverage, but it turned out to be more of a smoothie. Consisting of almond milk, cacao, bananas, and raw honey, I got my daily dose of superfoods while drinking something that tasted like dessert.
My friend kept it simple and opted for the fair-trade coffee. Being something of a coffee connoisseur, her standards were high – and trust me, this cup did not disappoint.
Food-wise, I opted for a Chipotle BLT. This awe-inspiring waffle creation consisted of coconut bacon, cashew brie, chipotle ketchup and kale, all sandwiched between two gluten-free waffles.
It was hard to believe that no eggs or dairy were involved. The waffles were spongy, moist, and complemented perfectly by the flavourful, creamy cashew brie. The coconut bacon was prepared by marinating coconut flakes in soy or tamari sauce, mimicking the crunchiness and saltiness of regular pork bacon.
My friend went for the Kale Caesar and was extremely pleased. Given that Caesar salads are usually death traps (egg whites in the dressing, parmesan cheese on top), pulling off a tasty vegan alternative isn’t an easy feat. Café My House cleverly pulls it off with a cashew-based dressing, walnut “cheese” and coconut bacon bits.
Because egg-less brunch options don’t come around too often, I decided to go wild and order dessert. The daily special was vanilla strawberry shortcake, and it was everything I hoped it would be. The cake was rich and moist, the strawberries were local and organic, and the vanilla sauce and strawberry “cream” were sweet without being overly syrupy.
If you’re looking for allergy and vegan-friendly brunch options in Ottawa or just want to support a local, sustainable restaurant, do not pass up Café My House. It is well worth the visit.