Guelph: A gourmet round-up for Valentine’s Day

Photography by Heather Loney

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. I do however believe in surprising the people you love.  So, in the spirit of totally shocking surprises, I have decided to do something really out-there on February 14.  It’s kind of sexy, perhaps even a little dangerous, and my fiancé will never expect it: I am going to cook.  To make this experience less intimidating, I decided to shop for food the same way I shop for clothing—forego the one-stop-shopping mall or grocery store, and hit up small, independent boutiques, gourmet bakeries, cheese shops and markets.  It may take a little longer, but I figure if this is the one meal in 2009 that I’m cooking, I can put a little extra effort into it.

To find all the ingredients for my Valentine’s meal, I have narrowed my list down to four places that will inspire even the least likely gastronome.  Market Fresh Meat & Produce (10 Paisley St., 519-823-8046), always bustling with the downtown regulars, sells local produce, meats and cheeses, fresh baked goods and imported fare that you won’t find in a chain grocery store.
Ouderkirk & Taylor (3 Wyndham St. N., 519-827-9378) is my number one choice for fresh baked bread and fine Canadian cheese. This little bakery and cheese shop adds just another European touch to the downtown landscape.

Angelino’s Fresh Choice Market (16 Stevenson St. S., 519-822-1634) is a full-service Italian market—the perfect place to pick up some after-dinner espresso.  And finally, With the Grain (294 Woolwich St., 519-827-0008), a popular lunch haunt that is worth waiting in line for, offers a range of fresh baked breads and desserts.

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