The Crack’d Pot set up shop downtown at the corner of Sydenham and Ordnance almost a year ago, providing a beautiful array of locally grown and raised products, including cheese and charcuterie as well as delicious take away items made fresh each day. The shop is unassuming, located in a lovely, little limestone building across from Providence Manor. Inside, there is exposed brick and stone and a rather minimal set up. There is a cheese and cured meat counter at the cash as soon as you enter and, as you take it in, you then see the fridge filled with fresh take out items made this morning. Yesterday’s take home items were Peanut Chicken, Grown Up Mac and Cheese and Mushroom and Lentil Pot Pies.
Next to the fridge is a well-stocked freezer filled with more take out items that didn’t sell the day before. There you can also find cuts of meat from places like Seed to Sausage. Beyond the freezer we find shelves with maple syrup from Tamworth and Niagara, Bueno Bean Coffee from right here in Kingston and jams and spreads from Ottawa. There are also two large dispensers containing gooey, sweet, aged balsamic. In the very corner of the room, local art hangs on the walls.
I knew from the moment I walked in that I was going to have a hard time deciding what to purchase. Because I knew I wanted to eat right away, I stuck to the fridge of items made fresh today. I got myself some Black Bean Salad with Peppers, Corn, Lime and Cilantro; Couscous Salad with Cranberries, Raisins and Sunflower Seeds; Peanut Chicken with Red Pepper and Carrot, and a hunk of Celtic Blue Cheese. The chicken was a stirfry in a mild but flavourful peanut sauce and was enough food without adding any rice or other carb. I managed to find room for a taste of the couscous as well and was pleasantly surprised at how the flavours blended together. The fruit and spinach worked together beautifully. The raisins were plump and juicy and added just the right amount of sweet to offset the dry, slightly bitter flavour of the spinach. I’m saving my bean salsa for our fajita dinner tonight and the blue cheese will be lovely tomorrow with some wine before venturing out to Blues Fest. (I admit it though, I did sneak a taste of the cheese and it was nutty and full bodied, but also fairly mild for a blue cheese. I will definitely try it again.)
Although their website states that “The Crack’d Pot is a store for cooks, by cooks” they offer tons for the non-cook as well. Their menu changes on a daily basis but you can always count on there being something fresh and ready to be eaten in their fridge. Everyday they offer The Nooner: a lunch special that’s fast, cheap and ready to go, from sandwiches to soups and salads. Yesterday’s Nooners were Smoked Ham with Dijonnaise, Tomato and Lettuce or Roast Chicken Breast with Basil Mayo, Tomato and Lettuce. The features are updated on their site daily, allowing you to plan ahead.
The Crack’d Pot also offers catering for events of all sorts, offering up locally sourced and homemade treats from finger foods to Cheese and Charcuterie Boards and platters of their Nooner sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. Their focus is to create traditional dishes with a local twist and they seem to be doing this quite well.
All in all, my visit to The Crack’d Pot was lovely. I had a nice chat with owner Linda Forbrigger, enjoyed taking in some local art and had fun choosing which dishes I wanted to bring home. My total after purchasing three small containers of food and a good sized piece of cheese was just over $20, which I thought was exceptional. The upside to not being able to decide what to get? I get to go back soon! And I will.