Sipping away the morning

by Alison
I had the opportunity to visit the Sippy Cup Cafe in Kanata before we moved. I was planning on meeting a friend, but child illness prevented it. As I had a coupon and needed to be out in that area of town, I went anyway. And I'm really glad I did.
This is one of the nicest child-friendly cafes I've been to. The play area is enclosed, and there's a boot rack outside the entrance. This way there's no snowy mess where the kids are running around. Also, they permit food and drink in the play area. In fact, there's a little window to pick up your order without leaving your child. Even with the food, I found the area very clean and tidy.
I enjoyed a latte and a brownie. The offerings for kids were also great. The all real fruit smoothie was a nice treat, as H hadn't eaten a big breakfast. The sandwiches also looked delicious, but I didn't get a chance to try them. Maybe on my next visit.
The play area is geared towards younger kids. I'd recommend it for the under 5 crowd. There was a nice play structure, a train table, play kitchen and various other toys. It started to fill up after 10am, but we didn't feel crowded.
It was a really nice morning, I got to enjoy a delicious coffee in a warm and dry place and H had fun playing with other kids.
For adults (without kids) the coffee seating area looked very cosy. A perfect place to sit with a book or your laptop. The Sippy Cup Cafe also hosts birthday parties. This would be a very nice place to have a winter party, as you have exclusive access to the play area and can get various packages that include snacks or just run a tab for guests.
If you're in that part of town I recommend stopping in.
The Sippy Cup Cafe is located at 1104 Klondike Road in Kanata.
Alison is the mom of two wonderful kids, 6 and 2. She’s recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest but considers Ottawa home. She blogs at Ali’s Adventures 
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Kid-Friendly Restaurant Review: A Very "Sometimes" Treat

by Liisa This week our family attended the opening of Smoke's Poutinerie at 407 Dalhousie in the Byward Market. 

Up front, I must express my biases:

1)  Smoke's Poutinerie's founder, Ryan Smolkin, is a friend.

2)  I am a vegetarian and I haven't eaten poutine in about 15 years (since 4 a.m. on Saturday nights in the McGill Ghetto).

3) I try to feed my children healthful meals.

We pulled up to Smoke's Poutinerie on Sunday evening and easily found street parking out front.  We could readily identify the place by its red and black checked sign - think lumber jacket.  Right away the tone was set for a slightly kitchy Canadiana experience. 

Music was blaring and tables were filled with hungry eaters (I couldn't say "diners" because I don't think you "dine" on poutine - or maybe you do). 

We lined up and ordered a blue rasberry Calypso Lemonade to accompany a traditional veggie poutine (in the small size) and a plain order of fries for my finicky children.   We found a small table to squeeze into and the boys quickly polished off the delicious lightly seasoned handcut fries.  There was no processed potato mush here. 

Derek and I tasted the poutine.  The vegetarian poutine is made with a mushroom-based gravy.  You could really taste the mushroom flavour and I am definitely a fan.  The cheese curds tasted fresh and were melted just enough. 

The tiny 100 pound woman beside me polished off a small Nacho Veggie Poutine and proclaimed it "the best".  

The portion sizes are really generous and I imagine that a small could be shared between two children.  We will be back, and we will look forward to trying some of the more exotic varieties.   Unfortunately, for us, poutine is a very "sometimes" food, but the next time we have a craving for hand-cut fries, or those plump cheese curds we will definitely know where to go.

The Stats: (out of 5)

Food (Quality, taste, freshness): Grown-ups – 5 thumbs up; Kids – 5 thumbs up

Service (Attentiveness and kid-friendliness): 5 thumbs up from grown-ups and kids (stickers of all sizes were a huge hit with the kids)

Ambience (General appeal and energy, any interesting kid-friendly features): 3 thumbs up from grown-ups and kids; loud music and cramped quarters make this perfect for a quick snack

Cost (family of 4 with 2 children under 5): under $30 including tax

Speed (Every parents-of-small-children’s concern!):  Time from order to delivery of food 4 minutes; total time in restaurant 20 minutes.

Smoke's Poutinerie, 407 Dalhousie Street (613) 789-CURD

Liisa is mom to two boys, 4.5 year old Lil D and 2.5 year old Lil C.  You can also find her at Fit for a Kid.