August

Wow, I can’t believe that August is already over.. does that mean summer is over, too? August is probably my favourite month. And it might have a little something to do with friends, food, ice cream, and a birthday.

I did a lot of touristy things in August because we had some friends visiting.

I also watched some killer fireworks. Like, so good. Maybe not the best I’ve ever seen (Disney is up there), but this fireworks festival kills it every year.

I celebrated my 24th birthday with food, naturally.

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I showed off some new Simply Steph Ko cards at the Ottawa Makers Market. I’m now preparing for the Etsy show, which will be the biggest show I’ve done. Eep! Wish me luck.

And I ate a lot of ice cream. I think I might have a problem. Just kidding, there’s no such thing as too much ice cream (says the public health kid.. shh). Everything in moderation, right?

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I also said goodbye to my work friends, who finished their summer work terms. Au revoir, lunch buddies!

And now I’m off to enjoy September!

xo,

stephkoanie

P.S. Some posts from August:

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Sweet Jesus

I was very very excited about Sweet Jesus coming to Ottawa. In case you haven’t guessed, I like ice cream, a lot. And Sweet Jesus has been taking over Instagram with all of their crazy pimped out ice cream cones that look just oh so good!

They opened in the Byward Market area mid-August, but every time I walked by, the line was out the door and onto the street, so I decided to wait out the craze a little.

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We finally returned on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and figured the line wouldn’t be as long.. and it wasn’t! Hoorah! Talk about patience..

Something that Jethro and I didn’t figure out until we were already inside the shop (and a line started forming behind us), is that the flavours are not up on the wall as you might have expected. They are listed on a menu that you need to grab before getting inside. We didn’t do this, so we held up the line a little bit. We somewhat hastily chose the “Sweet Baby Jesus” in a cone, because we figured that must be a signature flavour. It had caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and nuts. Tasted a bit like a Drumstick, if you ask me.

After trying it, I was a little underwhelmed. The ice cream was good, and the toppings were good. But it’s just not for me. I’m glad I went, but I don’t know if I will be back.

Sweet Jesus | 97 Clarence Street, Ottawa
http://www.sweetjesus4life.com/

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Piccolo Grande

With a super colourful interior space, and bright selection of gelato.. the best word I can think of to describe Piccolo Grande is vibrant.

I had heard great things about Piccolo Grande, and have walked past it many times in the Market, but had never stopped in to try the gelato. So when my friends and I were on our way home from our church’s picnic, we decided that gelato was the perfect thing after a day of fun on the beach and in the sun.

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I didn’t count, but there had to be more than 30 different flavour selections of sorbet and gelato. I settled on two flavours in the smallest size (piccolino). Their sizes are deceptive, because they fill the cups and cones up AND THEN SOME.

I got Maple Sugar and another flavour I can’t remember the name of, but tastes like Ferrero Rocher (YUM). I love love loved them, and they paired well together. I have learned that you can’t just choose two flavours you like.. you need to think about how they go together. Too many times I’ve had something rich and sweet with something tart and refreshing, and they taste great separate, but not together.

I definitely loved the gelato, and the portion size at Piccolo Grande. So I will definitely be back!

I haven’t been to the Bank Street location, but I’ve heard from some friends that the Byward Market location is better. And I can attest to the fact that the Market location is absolutely great!

Piccolo Grande | 55 Murray Street, Ottawa

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Sansotei Ramen

Sansotei, a ramen shop from Toronto, opened its doors to Ottawa diners in June 2016. My dad went in the first couple of weeks it opened and couldn’t stop raving about it. After all, ramen is his favourite comfort food. I waited until the craze died down a little, and visited at the end of July.

Jethro and I arrived at 11am on a Saturday to a mostly empty restaurant. But in the next 10 minutes, it quickly filled up.

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I got the Tonkotsu ramen with thick noodles (pictured below), and Jethro got the Tonkotsu Black ramen with thin noodles.

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The broth was rich, the egg was runny (in a good way), the pork was melt-in-your-mouth good, and the noodles were oh-so-fresh. Basically, it was delicious. I don’t usually drink the broth in my noodle soups, but I almost emptied my bowl. Unhealthy, but delicious :D

Great for lunch, or for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Ramen isn’t just a poor college student’s food. Ramen at Sansotei is full of flavour that you just want to soak your taste buds in. I can’t wait to visit again.

Sansotei Ramen | 153 Bank Street, Ottawa
http://www.sansotei.com/

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Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen

I first met Liz of Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen in 2015 at Urban Craft, where I was volunteering. As I started selling greeting cards at shows as Simply Steph Ko, I continued to bump into Liz at other shows in the city, and we got to chat about our dreams of growing our respective businesses.

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She shared that she was dreaming of and working toward opening a standalone ice cream shop in the city. And less than a year later, here we are! Their new storefront on Bank Street opened its doors in July with a wildly successful soft launch. I can’t wait for their official grand opening! I’m sure they will be a fixture in the community.

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All of her flavours are unique. Most you can’t find anywhere else in Ottawa, some you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

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At one of last year’s markets, I tried one of the ice cream truffles everyone had been talking about. I cannot remember what flavour it was, though I do remember that she kept them frozen using liquid nitrogen. Here it is thawing in the hot summer heat.

Using as-local-as-possible ingredients, Liz strongly believes in supporting other local businesses. Since they have only just opened the Bank Street shop recently, they have had to adjust their workflow and scale up, finding suppliers that can support this small batch ice creamery. The challenges of small business entrepreneurship are very real, and I can’t wait to see how Liz manages it all. So far, with incredible grace and professionalism.

Jethro and I visited the shop 3 times in July. On our first visit, we tried a couple of the flavours and settled on the Hong Kong Milk Tea (always a favourite), and the Froot Loops Cereal Milk (so good!).

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On our second visit, we had the lime leaf + fresh mint, and raspberry frozen yogourt. They were perfect refreshment for a hot day, although Jethro didn’t like the sour raspberry flavour (I loved it).

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I just noticed.. Jethro’s holding my purse in this picture, hehe!

On our third visit, we stuck to our favourites (froot loops and mint). But I also tried the rum and cake batter, which I loved! Jethro not as much. The flavours are rotating, and I’m sure I’ll be back, many many times.

Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen | 477 Bank Street, Ottawa
http://www.mooshuicecream.com