Summer freshPublished on June 11, 2020

  • LOLLO Salads & Coffee
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • The Chopped Leaf

  • RAW Pulp and Grind

  • Mad Radish

Looking for wholesome take-out options?

LOLLO Salads & Coffee

Named for a type of fancy lettuce developed in Italy, LOLLO Salads & Coffee opened almost two years ago in the ByWard Market. Owners Larissa Beznaczuk-Smyrnew, Pat Nicastro, Rocco Nicastro Jr. and Clay Cardillo are all seasoned professionals in the Ottawa food industry, eager to leverage their love of healthy eating.

Like many other businesses, upon reopening after several months’ closure, the team refreshed the business concept and now offers takeout coffee and gourmet salads, healthy grocery snacks plus fresh fruit and vegetables. LOLLO has also become a wine shop with a rotating selection emphasizing local wines, to support the wineries of Prince Edward County and Niagara.

Always a centrepiece of their menu, the salad lineup has re-started with their most popular, the Italian Cobb (greens, arugula, chicken, gorgonzola, avocado, egg, pancetta, tomato, LOLLO dressing). Additional top-sellers include the Sardegna Superfood (greens, roasted broccoli, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, avocado, cabbage, cucumber, mint, beets, parsley, local fruit, tahini dressing) and the Avocado Caesar (baby kale, crispy chickpeas, farro, walnuts, capers, avocado, lemon, cashew Caesar dressing).

As a fun way to kick off summer, LOLLO has just launched picnic packages, perfect for beautiful summer evenings in your backyard, on the dock or in the park. Crowd-pleasing catering services will also resume, with individually packaged items showcasing the freshest of flavours.

The Chopped Leaf

The first Ottawa location of The Chopped Leaf opened just over a year ago at the Train Yards; this BC-based chain now has over 100 stores across North America. Their “feel good after you eat” food experience offers delicious meals-on-the-go with vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, keto and other options. The menu includes salads, wraps, bowls, sandwiches, quesadillas, salad rolls, soup and layered salads in cups.

Operated by franchise partner Joanne Carisse, the most popular dishes include: bowl number 1 (chicken, warm brown basmati rice, romaine, black-bean corn salsa, avocado, cheddar, cilantro, crushed pita chips, sour cream and salsa), the Caesar wrap (chicken, romaine, real bacon bits, parmesan, croutons and creamy Caesar dressing); and bowl number 2 (chicken, warm brown basmati rice, spinach, roasted pecans, chickpeas, sun-dried cranberries, carrots, cucumbers and goddess dressing). New dishes are on the horizon, incorporating superfoods and integrating more plant-based proteins.

The Chopped Leaf can deliver the perfect spread to feed a hungry bunch of any size with a catering menu that includes a plethora of salads, wraps, bowls and more, made fresh to order.

RAW Pulp and Grind

The almost five-year-old RAW Pulp + Grind café offers not only healthy, plant-based cuisine, but also a friendly, energetic vibe. Cold-pressed juices are complemented by an impressive line-up of healthy fare, including smoothies and acai bowls (their salads, sandwiches, toasts, soups and raw wraps are currently on hold). The “grind” part of the name refers to coffee, tea tonics, and “superfood” lattes. Owners Melissa Shabinsky, Jordan O’Leary and Geoff Vivian share a passion for healthy living that is genuinely reflected in their business.

Having undergone a pre-pandemic consolidation of their operation to focus on their original Preston Street location, they’ve improved production efficiency, allowing the company to satisfy an increased appetite for their juice cleanses. Takeout sales have also been strong for their acai bowls, smoothies, vegan desserts and a full juice assortment. Shots of pure ginger are in hot demand thanks to their nutritional benefits as an antioxidant, anti-inflammation and anti-viral powerhouse. Recently, the shop also started offering vegan donuts from a great local bakery, Maverick’s Donut Company. The team at Raw Pulp + Grind is eager to welcome guests to their Little Italy patio and looking forward to expanding their menu with new smoothies and acai bowls. 

For catering, RAW can put together small, medium or large orders of individual portions for a healthy and delicious meal or snack offering.

Mad Radish

Launched in Ottawa in July 2017, Mad Radish was co-founded by Ottawa native David Segal (of David’s Teas) and Stephanie Howarth. The company now has three locations in Ottawa and four in Toronto, serving up warm bowls, salads, soups, smoothies, sandwiches, house-baked bread and beverages made fresh daily. Currently in Ottawa, only the 859 Bank Street location is open.

Best sellers include the Fired Up Chicken bowl (spicy braised chicken, brown rice, roasted sweet potato, roasted broccoli, spicy pickled beans and crunchy corn nuts); Bibimbowl (a Korean-inspired bowl with cilantro-lime tofu, smoked mushrooms and sweet-soy marinated cucumbers, finished with carrot-ginger dressing and a spicy gochujang sauce); and Butter Cauliflower Curry bowl (a lighter take on butter chicken, featuring tender cauliflower and potatoes, brown rice, mixed greens and crunchy lentils with a rich, curried tomato-coconut sauce).

Inventive new dishes are launched seasonally; a new Asian-inspired warm noodle dish will be available soon with tasty modifications to other menu items happening on a regular basis as well. Mad Radish catering trays and sandwich platters are guaranteed crowd-pleasers with house-made brownies and awesome focaccia add ons. All packaging is 100% plant-based and compostable.

Paula Roy

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