For family reasons I have been going back and forth to Ottawa on a regular basis for the past year and a half. I absolutely love the nation’s capital, notably its restaurant scene. My discovery of Kettlemans Bagel last year and meeting the founder Craig Buckley was indeed a highlight, especially when he revealed to me that not only was he native of Montreal – but more than 30 years after establishing his first location in Ottawa, expansion was coming to our fair city.

On January 10, Kettlemans Bagel officially opened its first location in Quebec, steps from the Bell Centre on Avenue des Canadiens. A big thanks to Buckley, President Amer Wahab and Communications Manager Emma Latreille for the VIP tour. I also got to meet lead staff people Ziad Zeidov and Azahara Munoz. Open 24/7, 365 days a year, Kettlemans offers delicious sandwiches on Montreal bagels which areh and rolled, kettled, and baked in a specially-designed oven.

Buckley opened the first Kettlemans Bagel in Ottawa in 1993. Today, Kettlemans operates seven other locations in Ottawa, Toronto, and Whitby. By rolling, kettling, and baking traditional Montréal bagels, Kettlemans upholds an unwavering commitment to the traditional quality of our food, and strives to persuade every guest to come back again and again.

The kitchen staff has been boosted by 10 experienced staffers from Ottawa and Toronto the first week to help get things rolling. As you make your way through the queue line, the fridges have endless array of homemade cream cheese, banana and lemon breads, pizza bagels, knishes, latkes, smoked salmon, Chicago-style pickles and whole lot more. When you get to the counter, besides the different flavored bagels, you can choose from some delicious Danishes and sweets. There are places to sit. You will be given a pager and called when your order is ready. This place will indeed be rock and rolling before and after any large-scale Bell Centre events! And here is some fresh news I can share with you. Kettlemans plans to open a second Quebec location in 2023 in Dollard des Ormeaux!

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 Zaks For Breakfast: Last summer I experienced the iconic Zak’s Diner for the first time. Established in 1986 by John Borsten and some partners, one of whom had a son named Zak, there are four separate locations for this ’50s-themed eatery and a fifth on the way in February. Recently, while in Ottawa, I dropped by the Elgin Street spot to try their breakfast. Greeting me at the door and serving the meal was Ben Capaday, whose parents Milton and Cindy are originally from Chomedey. Milton is a retired police officer who worked for the SWAT Team.

I had my eyes on the French Toast and Eggs right from the start: two eggs over easy, a choice of bacon, ham, sausage, smoked meat, or fresh fruit and French toast made with extra thick Texas toast. I added some crispy home fries to the order, a piping hot cup of decaf coffee and some orange juice.

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