My Ottawa Food Experiences
I have been counting the days until I could return to one of my favorite cities in the world. Although it is a bit chilly and signs of autumn are everywhere, it is my first time being here during this season. All of my past visits were during winter and mostly centered on Winterlude.
Ottawa for me is a special city, it is steeped with history, its pedestrian friendly, and I am happy to say has an amazing food vibe to it. Over the next few days I will be writing and posting pictures about some of the food experiences I will be encountering while visiting this amazing city.
I had the opportunity to take a stroll last night to just “explore” what restaurants were in my vicinity of my downtown hotel that had walk in service on a Tuesday night. There certainly was a vast assortment of small drop in resto’s , Asian, Jamaican, of course Canadian (plenty of poutine) and then somewhat of an odd discovery, Texas Grill, let’s just say I had to try me some of that.
Lone Star Texas Grill
128 George Street
Ok firstly, I usually do not write about too many corporate restaurants as most have what I like to call “cookie cutter recipes” which I guess is ok for the most part, but they tend to be boring and lack the character compared to a restaurant that has a person who is passionate about what they are plating and serving to their guests. Having said that, after travelling from the “Rock” and a long day, I was looking for something substantial, matched with an experience. As my friends and I look inside, we liked they activity we then looked at the menu that was posted in the window, we knew it was worth a try on our first night.
We were greeted enthusiastically as we entered and were promptly shown to our booth. All the servers we dressed in jeans, cowboy/girl hats etc., it certainly matched the décor of the restaurant/grill. The smiling server was quick to welcome us and take our drink order. While deciding on our choice of food the server came back with salsa and nacho chips to tame our bellies (which was a fantastic idea). We were in no real hurry as it was nice to soak in the ambiance of the room, and catch up with old friends .The server was very attention to our table and kept refreshing the salsa and chips, I almost did not have room for dinner (almost!).
I decided to try their wings for starters which for me was a good choice as they were large, had a nice crisp and the heat, although hot was well balanced and did not over power the chicken. During the next (of many) visits from the server she asked if they wings were hot enough I did mention that I was expecting a little more heat, she asked if I wanted to try some jalapeño relish , ok this young server was in my good books. The relish was a perfect addition as they were not raw so they major heat edge was taken off and offered another layer of flavor to my starter.
If I had known the size of portion the wings were, and that my dinning friends would not try they because of the heat, I probably would of not of ordered the “Big Rig”!! According to their website: “The “Big Rig” Tijuana Burrito is a 12-inch flour tortilla filled with Mexi-beef, Mexican rice, refried beans and Con Queso. Topped with our own Ranchero sauce and Jack & Cheddar cheese, served with guacamole, sour cream and Pico de Gallo”.
There were a lot of flavours on this plate, some very powerful like the cumin, but for the most part they were all balanced and were very tasty. This plate could have easily been a “share” especially with the salsa and chips, wings and a beverage. I am happy to say that I did take some to my room for later! Once again, the server was kind enough to bring a container, she even placed my food in it for me. The Lone Star Texas Grill bags to take our food away with was also a nice touch.
Service sets the tone for a nice eating experience, the setting, music, the smell of the food, the anticipation and of course eating the food makes for a wonderful evening, but a smiling, energetic and attentive server crowns the experience. The staff at Lone Star Texas Grill accomplished this, well done!
• Nice atmosphere (welcoming vibe)
• Fast, friendly and attentive service
• Food was flavorful and affordable
• No real low point, maybe the cumin in the Big Rig was a little strong for my taste but overall was wonderful.
I would recommend this to anyone who would like to grab a beer, have some amazing wings, Tex-Mex food (there is certainly more on the menu than that) and enjoy the surroundings and of course the service.