Plan ahead for Mother's Day with these specials from local restaurants: Andrew Coppolino
Lots of special boxes and meals available but people have to order ahead
'In the "before times," Mother's Day at restaurants and other food operations was one of the business's top revenue drivers — more than sending flowers or dropping by with a box of chocolates.
Canadian families — nearly 40 percent of them — took mom out for brunch, lunch or dinner on the weekend.
This year, with a stay-at-home order in place that even includes closed restaurant patios, Mother's Day will look quite a bit different.
While it is not possible to include all the special events for mom at area restaurants, here are a few suggestions as the Mother's Day weekend approaches. Be warned: Quantities may be limited and time sensitive for pre-ordering, so please check early with individual venues.
Collaboration between food businesses is an over-arching theme this year during the pandemic.
Celebrating a decade in business, Relish Cooking Studio has partnered with Kitchener "speakeasy" Sugar Run Cocktail Bar in celebrating mom with a take-out dinner for four. The main course is saltimbocca, a variation of a Roman dish of prosciutto-wrapped meat which means, literally, "leap in the mouth" because of its robust flavours. You can add Sugar Run rum cocktail called "There There."
Charcuterie boards have been popular pandemic platters for tight social bubbles. White Rabbit is riffing on that with a chilled seafood board. Chef Andrew Beckford is curing the salmon in-house.
"We're getting seafood from our friends at T & J Seafoods and we will be adding a bottle of Prosecco as an option," Beckford said.
Cambridge Mill has four take-home boxes including a seafood box with oysters and a vegetarian brunch box.
The Neighbourhood Group has its fingers crossed for some decent weekend weather — or simply for some weather-hardened souls. The Wooly Pub in Guelph has a picnic box of cured trout, chicken wings and a sweet. It comes with a picnic blanket and some flowers.
The collaboration includes a trio of beverage pairings from Wellington Brewery, West Avenue Cider House and Willibald for some seltzer, a new beverage growing in popularity. Queens of Craft will supply tasting notes, and $25 from each picnic sold will go to Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis.
Hit up a food truck
For another outdoor Mother's Day family event, head to Huron Natural Area on Trillium Drive in south Kitchener: there, Fo'Cheezy food truck has teamed up with Beavertails.
"We're running from 11 a.m. to about 5 p.m. on Sunday," according to Fo'Cheezy's Sandor Dosman. "It will be a great treat for mom. Hike a trail, and have a grilled cheese sandwich and a beavertail for dessert."
The savoury treat is basically a "charcuterie-board sandwich," said Dosman. "It's Brie, prosciutto and fig chutney."
Food trucks generally are in a slight squeeze between the "yes" to curbside pickup and the "no" to events, per se, so check with KW Food Trucks for updated information.
From 614 Coronation Boulevard in Cambridge, the Café du Monde mobile will serve fried chicken and waffles with condiments from local producers Phlippens and Bajan Tyga, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 9. There will be a plant-based crepe too.
"We will also be accepting pre-orders for Mother's Day brunch beginning this weekend, according to Nadia Dragusanu of Café du Monde.
As well, Berlin 95 food truck will be at Christ Lutheran Church, 445 Anndale Road, Waterloo, on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Head to Together We're Bitter brewing (TWB) for "Bee Kind" gift packs and beer selections.
"The Passado food truck will be at our spot for takeaway," according to Aleksandra Szaflarska of TWB. "If you want to treat your mom to some Brazilian food and local beer, we're the place to go."
Sarah Renner of Little Tree Cafe says she will be selling Mother's Day ginger molasses, brown-butter chocolate chip and spiced oatmeal-raisin cookies from her Little Tree Wandering Cafe mobile unit at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School on Saginaw Parkway in Cambridge. The date is May 8, from 2 p.m to 4 p.m. Proceeds go to Lisaard and Innisfree "Hike for Hospice" on June 6.
You could have your own food truck (or family van) for mom — sort of. There's a Mother's Day roast beef dinner "drive-thru" via the New Hamburg Legion on Sunday between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Also for Wilmot Township moms and families, check out the "Wilmot-To-Go" box created by Nook Coffeehouse and Marketplace: it's packed with several offerings from local businesses, including Angie's Kitchen, Baden Coffee, Melina's Grill, Jake and Humphreys Bistro, and more. Visit Nook Cafe Market on Facebook for more information.
Waterloo's Culinary Studio is preparing a virtual cooking class on the Saturday before Mother's Day.
"We're doing one of our virtual cooking classes, Zooming in on the Saturday so you can make the meal ahead. It starts with cheeses and baguette, a marinated and roasted flattened chicken, a make-ahead toasted almond and apple salad with a fresh-herb yogurt sauce," said Kirstie Herbstreit of Culinary Studio.
The dessert, adds Herbstreit, is also designed for convenience and to avoid much of the last-minute work and mess.
"It's some home-made buttermilk sticky cinnamon buns to bake off fresh on Sunday morning."
Swine and Vine is using Mother's Day to launch a new program that is designed to help the environment, according to chef Denis Hernandez.
"We're doing a box of three desserts, little bites, and it includes a bottle of sparkling wine and a Bees' Knees candle," said Hernandez. "It includes almond crust cheesecake and white-chocolate dipped spritz cookie. But we're also bringing back our salted caramel brownie with rum caramel."
As for the collaboration, it focuses on packaging waste, said Hernandez.
"We're partnering with Ekko containers. This will help with recycling because we do a ton of boxing. Desserts are going to go out in their re-usable containers," Hernandez said.
After all, Mother's Day includes Mother Earth.