Kitchener-Waterloo

Beat the heatwave with these cool treats and eats

Don't feel like spending a lot of time in a hot kitchen standing over the stove? Here are a few select cool meal, snack and beverage ideas from local restaurants. 

Salads, ice cream and cold soup mean there's no need to turn on the oven

Waterloo region is home to many ice cream shops, including Sweet Jesus in University Plaza, which offers cones, cakes, floats and shakes and take-home kits.    (SweetJesus/Instagram)

Don't feel like spending a lot of time in a hot kitchen standing over the stove?

Here are a few select cool meal, snack and beverage ideas from local restaurants. 

Carnival treats 

How do cotton candy and Middle Eastern food come together? When it's kishk al-omaraa at Naranj Middle Eastern Cuisine on the Boardwalk. The rich Syrian dessert combines cotton candy, rose water and pistachios.  
 
In beverage form, the "D Special" at Nanaz Kitchen is refreshing lemon-lime soda, grenadine and ice topped with cotton candy and Maraschino cherry.  
 
Not to be outdone, Sweet Jesus in University Plaza has a "Krusty the Cone," riffing on the Simpson's television series clown: soft-serve vanilla with cotton candy, cotton candy sauce and rainbow sprinkles. 

We all scream for… 

There are several ice cream venues to check out, including Sweet Jesus for cones, cakes, floats and shakes and take-home kits.   
 
There are dozens of flavours at Ice Cream 2, along with funnel cakes, apple fritters and deep-fried chocolate. 
 
The popular ice cream-maker, Four All, has recently re-opened their new "scoop shop" located in Uptown Waterloo. Four core flavours are supplemented with many rotating flavours, including honey-chamomile and mango-ginger sorbet. There's also vegan raspberry-lemon gelato. 
 
Sorbet is a cousin of ice cream but without milk. Usually a frozen juice or puree, which may be called an ice, granita or sherbert, the semi-solid treat is essentially frozen fruit flavour.  
 
Ambrosia Corner Bakery has a new strawberry-peach sorbet joining their line-up of a half-dozen or so ice creams.   

At Café Pyrus and their Outpost store, there's vegan gelato to be found: flavours include Nutella and mint chocolate chip.  

Public Kitchen and Bar features a few ice cream-based shakes and floats for cool sipping, as well as a rhubarb-cream pie parfait. 

Muya Restaurant offers an Ethiopian vegetarian platter with a base of injera. (Andrew Coppolino)

Cold soup isn't nuts 

The odd restaurant menu might include a variation on gazpacho, the cold and uncooked Andalusian tomato and pepper soup.

But making a cold soup at home is quick and easy. With a bit of bread grilled on the barbecue, soups can be a refreshing and light meal. Consider blending up three or four ingredients — peas, cream, mint, some veg broth and chives for garnish — strain and chill. 
 
Avocado soup with cilantro and jalapeno out of the fridge can be delicious. A soup made with peaches and honey can be chilled and garnished with crème fraiche or goat cheese. 
 
A basic technique with cold soups is adding a bit of fat and a kick of flavour via some spices. 

Sushi, bun, poke and injera 

A few dishes that are cool and satisfying are sushi and Thai noodle salad, the former from Ken Sushi House and Taste of Seoul. The latter a bun cha gio from Pho Tran.
 
Or order and build your own poke bowl at Poke Box Waterloo: there are vegetarian options and you can also get your bowl in "burrito" form.

For take-out, put together an Ethiopian vegetarian platter with a base of injera at Muya or East African Café. Use the cool pancake-like injera bread to scoop a series of side dishes like cabbage and potatoes and chickpea-flour dumplings. Veg platter will feed two people for under $15. 

Four classic salads 

Salads can make excellent light and cool meals.

JLB: Janet Lynn's Bistro serves a tuna Nicoise, a classic Provencal dish with tomatoes, potatoes, black olives and hard-boiled egg.  
 
Another classic is the Cobb salad. Kentucky Bourbon and Barbecue prepares it with chicken, bacon egg, corn and romaine.  

Check out the Cape Town Caesar salad with romaine, radicchio and white anchovies from the newly re-opened Red House.  
 
Middle Eastern restaurants often serve filling salads including the fattoush: mixed greens, vegetables, (perhaps pomegranate) and fried pita chips. You can find versions at Arabesque and Shawerma Plus

Chock-a-block of shops for cold coffee 

We have many coffee shops in the region, both chains and indies. It's a hot drink, but cold brew is a good alternative, so you can get your caffeine fix without the 90-degrees of brewing heat. 
 
Cold brew is a long process of preparation in which the coffee essentially "steeps" into a flavourful and refreshing cold drink. 
 
There's an extra charge, so to speak, when coffee shops pair up with local brewers who inject a shot of nitrogen into the coffee producing a creamy, rich texture. 

Smile Tiger has cold brew coffee and even coffee cocktails. (Andrew Coppolino)

 
DVLB even has a cold brew coffee in a "stubbie" bottle, while sister restaurant, Smile Tiger, has a cold-brew-to-go "growler." They also serve coffee cocktails, such as the Kahlua cold brew (in-store only). 
 
In Cambridge, Monigram whips up a cold brew called "The Cure" and bottles it with old-school apothecary labelling. It might be the cure when the heat hits. 
 
Matter of Taste in Kitchener and Waterloo sell cold brew concentrate for home cold brewing.

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