I love meeting friends for after work drinks. Who doesn’t really? But in the winter, when the sun is setting at 4pm and it’s colder than you imagine Siberia on a bad day, it can be hard to do much more than stock up at the LCBO and try to coax your friends to come visit you instead of making you go out. ** Crap my secret is out…**

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BBQ Duck Lettuce Wraps featuring lettuce and pickled radish from Acorn Creek. Veggie option available too with smoked tofu in place of the duck

To make up for it I go out more in the summer. Even in sticky, humid, heat waves like the one we are in right now… the right patio and the right combination of drinks and snacks can make that all go away.

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Confit Pork Shoulder Taco with charred pineapple and feta cheese from Clarmell Farms and that fabulous pork I was raving about the other day from Upper Canada Heritage Meat.

Le Café at the NAC easily has one of the best patios in the city. Right on the canal, and so close to all the action down town, all they are missing is a happy hour menu with some affordable tasty treats and drinks. WRONG! They have that now. It’s called 8 for 8 and until September 2, from 4-8pm every Monday – Saturday it can be yours!

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Fish n’ Chips Pogo – the potato in the potato dill batter comes from Savour Ottawa member Acorn Creek

Your choice of 8 cocktails, wines or beers for $8 each.

Or check out one of 8 tapas plates for $8 each!

In the name of being a good food blogger I tried a bit of everything. If pressed, my favourite dish of the night was the Tempura Prawn Po’Boys. But there were a few others that were very close to the top spot. I might need to go back very soon just to be 100% sure.

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Mmmmmm … Po’ Boy. The smoked chili aioli makes this dish. It might be large, but just unhinge that jaw and go to town! Oh… only snakes can do that jaw thing. If you say so…

Another thing I love about this menu, is the use of Savour Ottawa farmer’s ingredients. So now you can eat great, local food on an amazing patio to beat the heat.

Get ready to save up these moments to look back at fondly while you are huddled under blankets with woolly socks drinking mulled wine just because it is warm… and wine. What could be better??

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Veggie Poutine with chips, Le Chopin mushroom herb gravy, caramelized onions and red pepper jam and brie from Les Folies Berger Fromages

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