…on the day that I was in Ottowa trying pho for the first time. The SBF found Asian food in Canada.
Regrettably, I lack photographic evidence of what I ate, but I was more than relieved to relinquish my cell phone. Besides, without access to hotel wifi and no international plan, it was little more than an expensive alarm clock.
What I love about the Ottowa layover is that nearly everything is accessible by foot. There are promenades, shops, and lots of restaurants. Upon first visiting Ottowa, one of the first things I noticed was that it has a lot of Asian restaurants. Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Japanese and Chinese are the main ones that can be found in downtown Ottowa. It was interesting because it’s the last place one would think to find Asian food.
Okay, Canada is the last place that I would think of to find Asian food. It probably shouldn’t surprise me because whenever I work flights to and from there, the passengers are a reflection of the food you find. Honestly, that could be true of any place if you pay close attention to who is around you.
As I walked around trying to figure out where to settle and eat (which was mostly dictated by my wallet), a place called iPho is where I chose. The O in the name was a bowl of pho with chopsticks coming out of it. I’ve never had pho before, and today seemed like the day to try something new.
It was a rough day in the sky office. The trash can fell out of its cart and spilled contents on me and the floor. No one was hurt except for me & my pride. The trash can didn’t hurt me, though; the ice tray was the culprit. I got one nick on my right hand, and the other on my right foot. The foot was red enough that I could see it without glasses. Ironically, though, the left foot ended up hurting more than the right. I may need to see a doctor.
After all of that, solitude was much needed, and this seemed to be the place to get that. It was quiet; so quiet that I and the young lady cleaning glasses were the only two there. When she saw me, I sat myself and ordered a curried tofu vermicelli with vegetables. The cool of the air on my skin from the open door calmed my senses, and peace was flooding my brain. Part of that surely came from knowing that food was coming.
Assuming that this would be akin to a Vietnamese version of ramen, it was a surprise to see just a big bowl of noodles with the aforementioned ingredients. Even more surprising was the fact that my order was ready in around 5 minutes.
Vermicelli rice noodles were the base with long slices of tofu, some carrot, a green that looked like bok choy, and cauliflower. All of this was tinged yellow by the curry. Overall, it was filling, and the texture of the tofu was delightful; it had a rough tongue-feel which you would think should be crunchy, but it was soft when chewed. There were condiments on the table, and I chose some sambal oelek to spice it up. It paired well with the flavors of this dish.
While I ended up spending more than I would’ve preferred, I at least enjoyed what I ate as well as the quiet that went with my dinner.
On those days when I have a good layover, I should really have a camera. I’ll work on that. If anything, I would’ve loved to show you the bunny. It was small, brown, and very cute. I haven’t seen one in a while; I’m glad it hopped across the walkway and into the grass so I could see. Then it hopped down the hill and out of sight.