Are you considering Sunday Brunch in Canada's capital? You might wish make an RSVP with Mariposa Farms in Plantagenet, Ontario which is just east of Ottawa.
Why not try something a little different this Sunday? That’s what I thought, when I decided to check out Mariposa Farms. I first heard about Mariposa Farms after having taken a hands-on cooking class with Chef Anna March at the Urban Element that is around Westboro on Parkdale Avenue. After taking her class, I definitely wanted to check out Mariposa Farms on a Sunday. Chef Anna happens to be one of Ottawa’s top chefs. So, my expectations were high. I decided a couple weeks after hearing about it, that this was the time to have Sunday Brunch.
Having made a reservation a few days before, on the Sunday that I began my excursion to Mariposa Farms, I became additionally thankful for a bright sunny day in our Ottawa winter.
Going to Mariposa you will be treated to a very scenic drive partially along the Ottawa River, that is east of Orleans, and toward Plantagenet. Mariposa Farms is 45 minutes from downtown Ottawa. I was directed by Suzanne Lavoie to watch out for their sign on the left side, just after passing a green coloured bridge. Getting perfect directions like that, was definitely a treat.
Madame Lavoie is a co-manager of Mariposa Farms.
On going to Mariposa Farms, after you get out of your car, you may be further pleasantly greeted by a seemingly very domesticated horse. Alternatively, you may also be greeted by a very intelligent Bouvier des Flandres herding dog, as you walk toward the place of dining.
The wood that was used to build the Sunday Brunch dining area was from an old barn. However, as you walk closer, it will become apparent that this is no simple “barn conversion job”. Ian Walker inspired an amazing job to convert a barn into a “chalet on a farm“.
The dining area which Mr. Walker inspired is beautiful. It is chic and modern, while also maintaining the essential rustic vibe of a barn on a farm.
Mr. Walker originally bought this land when he was 19 years old. He did all the carpentry work himself, and did an amazing job. I started to then look forward to there being as much attention to detail in quality in the food that I was about to have, as I was seeing evident in the architectural design of the dining area.
I would later learn that Mr. Walker and Madame Lavoie are both Agriculture College alumni who have also served on the faculty as instructors and researchers. Both Madame Lavoie and Mr. Walker share a conviction in the importance of supporting local farming.
When I entered the dinner area, I noticed a great display of some artisan products that you can buy at Mariposa Farms. I was then immediately greeted with great attentiveness which was also consistent with the overall great energy between staff and “Sunday brunchers”. I have found that happy/attentively servers often means great food, because of the pride that servers and managers have for the quality of the food. There was definitely a great buzz in the room, that was also very relaxing.
The dining area is very spacious with a rustic charm. You can also see the farm through large windows on three sides of the dinner area which also is right next to the open concept kitchen with Chef Anna showing great energy in the coordination of the kitchen.
You might be surprised that there is also new menu at Mariposa Farms. Madame Lavoie presented me their menu on sample dishes already plated. You might have seen this style of menu presentation the last time you watched Chef Gordon Ramsay on one of his shows.
I opted for the Waldorf Salad as an appetizer, followed by a pulled pork sandwich and a cinnamon bun. Chef Anna likes to keep her menu fresh and seasonal. So, be prepared for a surprise. Brunch was served on a customized piece of wood. I found this to be symbolic of the creative approach that Mr. Walker, Madame Lavoie and Chef Anna bring to Mariposa Farms in general, and which was carried over into the food.
I was first treated by Mr. Walker to one of Chef Anna’s amazing freshly baked slices of whole wheat bread with butter. The friendly server also included a paté with saged cinnamon as an alternative to the butter.
Following my bread treat, and I do consider myself a lover of both the smell and taste of freshly baked bread, I was even more looking forward to my appetizer.
My Waldorf Salad was both healthy and delicious. It included walnuts, celery, blue cheese, pickled eggs, and some granola with roasted garlic. The server was also quite generous.
Following that, I received the pulled pork sandwich which included a freshly baked bun, baked beans, cabbage slaw and goat cheese.
For dessert I had a simply fabulous cinnamon bun that was also conscientiously prepared and made by Chef Anna. Her cinnamon buns included cranberries, with a delicious caramel sauce. Her cinnamon bun are a great treat in comparison to the not-so-great cinnamon buns of the supermarkets and cafés in Ottawa, and which often have an atrocious amount of non-healthy preservatives, “artificial flavours” and other questionable ingredients.
Mr. Walker indicates that Mariposa Farms is built on a ‘local food’ philosophy, which values local independent farming, and values the health of the patrons who have food there -- No need to worry about Genetically Modified (GMO) food. Big Businesses pursue GMO experiments so that their shareholders can obtain their sought commercial profits at the expense of human health. That is why it is so important to protect and support independent farm enterprises whose owners are contentious about food, and the community that they passionately seek to serve.
Mariposa Farms also supplies locally and sustainably raised pork and meat to Ottawa areas restaurants and other businesses.
You can also order pork and meat directly from Mariposa Farms, if you also are seeking to eat locally and environmentally-conscious. You can even buy art from local artists that are proudly displayed at Mariposa Farms.
Chef Anna’s freshly prepared and baked cinnamon buns were so delicious, I ordered 14 to go, along with a freshly cranberry challah bread. This was the only bread that I have ever tasted, which was even better the second day I tried it. The varying delicate flavours of the delicious challah “settled”, becoming even more tasty, without being crowded by preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients.
I have been a long-time supporter of the Farmer’s Market at Lansdowne Park in the Summer and Falls Months. I have also been a fan of the Sunday Brunches at the Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa. Like the Market at Lansdowne, you can buy meat raised free of hormones, and chemical products. Mariposa Farms combines my passions for quality food, conscientiously prepared with generous portions that are also healthy. Going to Mariposa was like taking a vacation in the Ottawa area, without needing to fly or take the train. A Sunday Brunch at Mariposa Farms invigorated me for the rest of my Sunday. Take a trip to Mariposa to also make your Sunday as invigorated.
Place: Mariposa Farms
Address: 6468 County Rd. 17,
Sunday Brunch: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm - Table d’hôte is $38/person
Store Hours: 9 am to 4 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Web site:Mariposa Farms