Thursday, February 10, 2011

Carefor Chocolate Brunch & Competition Mar 19 for a good cause in Ottawa!

I just heard of this brunch and chocolate dessert competition that is in a few weeks.
It is being held at the Centurion conference and event center on Colonade Rd in what was formerly Nepean.
(In case anyone does not have a vehicle, the bus #3 passes by Colonade Rd.)
Here are some more details about the event and info on where you can purchase tickets.
I think one of the best parts of the event is that you will be allowed to have a take home box for the chocolate desserts you do not finish!!!!

7th Annual Carefor Chocolate Brunch & Competition

On Saturday, March 19th, 2011, 400 guests will meet for the sweetest fundraiser of the year at the Centurion Conference and Event Center - 170 Colonnade Rd South in Ottawa!
Starting at 10 a.m., guests will be treated to a delectable brunch, live music, a silent auction with items donated by local businesses, and finally the opportunity to vote on the establishment that makes Ottawa/Gatineau's BEST chocolate dessert. Take home containers will be available to ensure everyone gets the most out of the chocolate competition!

The event sold out the past 2 years so be sure to pick up your tickets early. Call us at 613-749-7557 x2180 to purchase your tickets NOW!

Tickets for adults are $75 with a $25 tax receipt provided.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Piccolo Grande visit to Mackay my visit in December. Thumbs down!

Usually I enjoy going to Piccolo Grande in the Byward Market during the warmer months and always make it a after dinner (or anytime) treat.
When I saw a deal on a local website for a half price lunch and gelato that seemed like a good opportunity to try a new location.
Here are the details of my visit. I don't have too much else to add to the description as I have not been back to this location.
This was previously posted by myself on another website and is being added to my blog to give a heads up to people who enjoy gelato.
Last week I went to Piccolo Grande at 411 Mackay st.
I had gotten a coupon deal from the website
For $12 you got a soup, sandwich, coffee and cup of gelato.
-thought that was an ok deal and had never been to that location, so bought one of the coupons for lunch.
You could buy unlimited coupons, but figuring how it is not so close by to me and I usually buy gelato at a nearby store (5 minutes from my place), I only thankfully bought one of these "deals".

Usually I like to support local stores and if service is somewhat bad one day I might give the store another chance.
But my visit that time, too many things were annoying and doubt I will be going back to that area for ice cream.
The soup they had 2 choices today-roasted red pepper and the other one lentil soup.
Service was kind of slow as there is only 1 lady working there and I think she is the owner.
There was 2 people eating lunch there already and the lady finished serving them before even taking my order.
She could have gotten me my coffee while I waited 5 minutes (not a huge deal though).
Then as I am waiting for my food some other customer comes in and the lady working there makes the food for that person instead of my food-that I did find annoying as I was there first (but my being not rude,did not say anything about this).

So finally I get my food. Had ordered the tandoori chicken wrap, roasted pepper soup,coffee and cup of gelato.
The wrap was made with a tortilla and had tandoori chicken breast,tomato,lettuce and a kind of curry mayo.
There was not tons of chicken on the sandwich-but the quality of the meat was good. Lettuce and tomato were fresh and I could hear the lady chopping the lettuce for my sandwich.
Soup was good and had lots of little bits of carrot in it,some corn kernels and a good red pepper taste-was not spicy.
Coffee-I was under the impression that it was any coffee on the menu and not premade drip coffee.
I did ask for a cappuccino and the lady there she just told me all they were making today was drip coffee.
Kind of felt ripped off on that-it is prob not more than .50 for a cappuccino in cost to make.
Now finally I get to my gelato-got a pistachio and vanilla cup.
The ice cream was no longer in the display freezer-but was in the storage freezer as I was told they would be putting out chocolates for holiday sales.

So after waiting for the gelato to defrost so it could be scooped I had my dessert.
The pistachio ice cream was a bit gummy and seemed like it had been there a while. The vanilla was fine.
I do not think I will be getting pistachio ice cream from Picolo Grande-I like the place on Bank st I go to a lot more (as it has actual nuts in the ice cream).

Overall I can say my lunch was alright.
But before I forget, there were a few other things that annoyed me.
The lady had a bit of a cough and she also did not wash her hands in between serving customers and handling cash and making other items.
Then I also asked about the price of the Leonidas? chocolates that were in the display as they did look good. She tells me $1.50, another person came into the store and she tells that person that is was $1.
That's not really cool!

Ok went back to look at my offer online (I've bought so many from coupons or auctions,hard to keeptrack).
But my deal was from Koopon.
Also forgot to add that I do not think it is a value of $24.
Normally soup is $5 and a sandwich is $5 or $5.50- but there is a special of soup and sandwich for $8.95
Coffee is around $1.50 and ice cream around $4.50 (was not a big cup).

I'm still very disappointed with my meal at Piccolo Grande.
Lousy service, the owner of that location really seems to cheap out on everything.
But not washing hands at all and seeing the woman lick her fingers when she put the ice cream containers back??
I didn't put that in my earlier review,but really just yuck!
Also that my pistachio ice cream seemed like it was old and was kind of gummy.
Then the refusing to make me any coffee except what was already there-premade coffee in a thermal server.
Sorry to make this long, but this was from my post and follow up post on another site.
Also forgot to add that as the woman was making my food she was hacking and coughing too.
Hopefully she did not cough too much on my food?

The only good things of my visit were that on the way back I stopped at Epicuria and bought some cheese scones and macarons (macarons were not made right..were too crunchy,not gonna complain for a .70 item. would get those again if they have them as they were tasty).
And that I also finally saw where Da Bombe bakery is and went to buy a peanut butter mousse dessert (and their lunch menu looked good too).

*Just wondering has anyone else visited this store?
I also find it a bit odd that even though Piccolo Grande is known for gelato, they will have none on display?
I could understand if their freezer broke or was being cleaned (happened at the place I go to this summer).
I'll also add the soup was good at Piccolo Grande Mackay st, but not enough to make me go back there.

Also, did contact the website that sold me the deal and they told me that the woman is running the store by herself and her son is away-still not a good excuse for lousy service like the day I was there.
Was also hoping to get a partial refund or credit and nothing was offered,which is not that good either.
My last thought on this is why the heck would a GELATO SHOP that is known for ice cream and supposedly sold hundreds of these deals recently NOT have any ice cream on display.
Especially if their offer now is gelato and a chocolate piece for $6???

If anyone goes to this store I'm curious if they actually have any ice cream out now.