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Phil_CulhaneOttawaSince December 9, 20102 Reviews
Average Rating
5 (4.9)
  • Food5 (5)
  • Service4.5 (4.5)
  • Value5 (5)
  • Ambiance5 (5)


Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 Reviews Found
Baker Street Cafe385 Richmond Road, Ottawa
Easily the best breakfast in Ottawa
Submitted Friday, January 14, 2011 - 11:14am [Dine in]

Treat yourself. This is easily, very easily, the best location for breakfast (or lunch) in Westboro - if not in all of Ottawa.

Food - fresh made, wholesome, filling, you get a range of tastes on your plate and everything actually has taste. You may walk in for lunch and be offered some incredible, fresh, scratch-made honey fritters - free - if that's what the chef felt like doing that day.

I've yet to have every breakfast on the menu, or every lunch, but I'm halfway thru the first and about a third thru the second - and there's nothing that isn't exceptional.

Service is also exceptional - there are usually 4-5 staff in a restaurant that serves about 60(ish) - and you are always welcomed, and well cared for. Throughout each meal, dining alone or with a friend (or several), the staff have always been amenable and offered just the right touch.

Value - you will pay more for your breakfast here. There is no $2.99 special, But value doesn't mean cheap. Value means that you look at the food on your plate, and then a bit later you think about the food you ate, and you think, damn, that was a fine meal - and well worth every penny. You'd have to be exceptionally hard-hearted to NOT think that about your meal here at Baker Street. The aforementioned fresh fruit, the carafe of coffee they give you (you order coffee, you get your own carafe - I love that!), the variety of tastes, the freshness of the food - it's exceptional value.

Ambiance - formerly a pub, Baker Street has been slowly acquiring its own flavour over the months and a couple years...it's been fascinating to watch it all happen. But there's a stereo with a turntable! in the lounge area; lots of musically themed posters on the wall - a light, but a definite, touch. I love it. I love the casualness of it.

They also sell fresh bread, colossal fresh muffins, and cinnamon rolls. For complete decadence, have them toast your cinnamon roll. They slice it in three horizontally, toast it in the oven, and I have to think they add extra honey and cinnamon before they bring your plate to the table. Skip lunch if you have this option.

Baker Street hides behind a very bland exterior, but once inside, you may never want to leave. I'd be hard pressed to think of another restaurant I'd prefer to go to for breakfast or lunch anywhere in Ottawa.

Note: They don't do supper!

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Garrick's Head Pub, The1140 Government Street, Victoria
When was the last time you left a $10 tip on a $12.50 meal?
Submitted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 10:06pm [Dine in]

After a week of dining at all the touristy places, this Pub was such a breath of fresh air. Although not really - they had a real, honest to god wood fire going in the fireplace and you could smell the wood burning. And I guess that's the point of this place - it's authentic, it's real. It's not like the other four restaurants I ate at this week. They were all cutesie, tourist BS joints, with cutesie tourist meals. I walked in and the server asked if I wanted a menu - and offered that the special was a burger and a local beer for $12.50, taxes in. I skipped the menu and was not left wanting. The burger was huge - huge - and appropriately cooked. A large portion of fries, a large salad with no skimping on the ingredients and a pint of local lager. For $12.50, for god's sake! Taxes in!

You know, the way this site rates places, I'd give Garrick's Head a "solid" rating across the board - because that's the best rating I think a pub could have. Honest, straight-forward, solid. But that would be 3/5, and you'd go to one of the poncey tourist dives instead. If you must, go to the rest of them - but save a night for Garrick's Head. There's no pretense here, and it's well worth the while.

Food: Having eaten here all of once, it was decent, clean, nutritious, generous portions - no fault at all. They did the burger, salad and fries perfectly.

Service: She didn't fuss over me, but the server too was what I'd call solid: Do you want to look at the menu, or do you want what I'm recommending you have? I appreciated that. She - and the Pub - deserved the tip.

Value: All week, I've paid $6.50 a pint for local beer. $7.50 by the time taxes were in. So $12.50, taxes in, for all of the above? I'm not sure how they do it and break even. Exceptional value. Incredible value.

Ambiance: Delightfully, refreshingly, NOT touristy. Real. Appropriate. It's a pub. Not a dressed-up-North-American-version-of-what-an-English-pub-might-be-if-it-were-on-television, but a pub. No pretense, real food.

Garrick's looks to seat around 40. The crowd was mixed while I was there, about half full - 20-somethings, perhaps the college crowd, a couple artistic types, three middle aged guys with beers...just a decent place to hang out.

A note to the traveller: Garrick's is not easy to find. They do not have a storefront on Government St, although that's their address. Coming in off Government, you go through a building lobby and wonder if you took the wrong turn - I took two tries to find it. Don't go without the address, and pay close attention. There's only one sign hanging on Government Street. But it was dark, windy and raining when I went out - so that didn't help.

If you're visiting, and you're tired of the tourist stuff, treat yourself to one real meal in downtown Victoria. Go to Garrick's.


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