buttermilk chicken finds a new home at Art Is In Bakery
by Jon Lomow
Welcome to the second edition of “Better Know a Sandwich.” This week we journey to the civic void that is the intersection of Little Italy, Hintonburg and LeBreton Flats in the Somerset Ward, aka Ward 14 — the Fightin’ 14th!
Art Is In Bakery was started in 2006 by husband and wife Kevin Mathieson and Stephanie Monnin in the basement of the Ottawa Bagel Shop building in Westboro. Since that time, the bread has exploded in popularity and is now available in restaurants and shops all over town. You’re likely familiar with Mathieson and Monnin’s work.
A few months ago Art Is In moved form its well-trafficked street (Wellington) in a destination location (Westboro) to one of Ottawa’s most confusing buildings — the former City Centre across from LeBreton Flats. Even more interesting is the decision to close a wholesale-only shop in a retail part of town to open a very retail-focused shop in an industrial area. On paper, this sounds a bit backwards — but there is genius behind it.
Art Is In grew a huge fan base delivering delicious bread to the mouths of Ottawa through third party locations strewn about town. Now that Ottawa knows and loves Art Is In, the bakery was free to set up a retail locations in new digs with lots of space and cheap rent — thanks to its less retail-friendly location. With the rep that’s been built, establishing a line-up for delicious treats on a Tuesday afternoon seems effortless.
Not the least of these delicious treats are the sandwiches. It’s hard to go wrong. They are made with fresh and wonderful ingredients and, obviously, amazing bread.
The emerging classic, although only backed by months of data, seems to be the buttermilk brined chicken Caesar. The reason for its success, I think, is it unabashedly combines childhood delights: 1) buttermilk; 2) Caesar salad (with bacon!); and, 3) cheese bread with all the crusty bits on the outside.
The sandwich stats:
Dietary orientation: carnivore, buttervore
Bread: Art Is In’s buttery, moist and crusty cheddar baguette — this sandwich gets the dynamite cheddar, chive and jalapeno treatment.
Condiments: Caesar-esque spread
Fillings: house-made buttermilk brined chicken, arugula, hard cheese (parmesan, I think), tomatoes and crispy bacon
Served: gently pressed until slightly toasted
The chicken is moist with buttermilkiness, the ample Caesar dressing fills every nook of the sandwich and the bread is so buttery it’s moist all on its own. This sandwich oozes its great flavours all while maintaining a toasty crisp exterior: a texture and flavour combo that will have you making the City Centre your new home.
Have a great sandwich Ottawa should better know? Email me at email@example.com.
Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet uses video projection design to send its dancers down the rabbit hole.
Local photographer Joy Kardish preserves, and reveals, all-but-forgotten spaces.
The 2011 visual and media arts laureates speak for themselves at the National Gallery group exhibition.
The renowned Japanese percussion ensemble, celebrating its 30th year, comes to the NAC March 7.