Friday, 20 July 2007

D'arcy McGee's

Where: D'arcy McGee's, 44 Sparks Street, Ottawa
When: Tuesday, July 3rd 2007
What: Two piece fish & chips, $12+tax

For my birthday meal (the 4th of July), Rémi and I went to Darcy McGee's on Sparks Street in Ottawa. This pub was recommended by an old school friend who lives there. Named after the Canadian journalist and father of confederation who was assassinated in 1868, D'arcy McGee's pub features an extensive food and drink menu. From the "Irish Favourites" menu we both ordered Finnegan's Fry, which is described as "two pieces of lightly battered haddock, served with vegetable slaw, Dungloe sauce and fries seasoned with sea salt" (Rémi substituted his fries for poutine, of course).

D'Arcy McGee's

After our first fish and chips experience in Ottawa, I was worried the second place would be a bust too. I was pleasantly surprised at the fish and chips here though. In fact, we both felt the fish here was excellent. A nice light and crispy batter that was not greasy at all. The fries were very crisp as well, and hand cut. The portions were definitely a good size. I'm not sure if Dungloe sauce is the same as tartar sauce, but it was delicious either way. Also delicious was the vegetable slaw, a nice alternative to coleslaw, which I find usually mushy and bland.

Vintage whiskey advertisements.

Finnegan's Fry.

Chocolate Volcano
Chocolate volcano - my birthday dessert.

For dessert we "shared" a chocolate volcano. The waiter brought it to our table and I said "Uh...I didn't order dessert!" but it was my birthday surprise! I turned the big two-eight on July 4th and this was Rémi's gift to me. I managed to have room enough to eat most of this all on my own and it was delicious. Warm chocolate cake with chocolate sauce on the inside, and served with vanilla ice cream. Best birthday dessert ever!

Personally I felt the service was good, but Rémi did remark that we waited a long time between our drink order and food order. The waiter also took a long time to bring the dessert. From where we sat I couldn't tell how busy it was, but considering it was Ottawa a few days after Canada Day, it was probably fairly busy. I didn't think the guy was friendly enough either, but honestly, I was so tired and hungry from a full day, I don't think I cared much!

Overall I thought this was a great place to eat. Their whole menu looked interesting and appetizing, so if fish and chips is not your thing, I'm sure you can find something you'd like! I recommend it to anyone visiting or living in Ottawa. Great fish & chips, lots of beer to chose from, awesome dessert, and an interesting story to learn about D'arcy McGee.

I give D'arcy McGee's 4.5 little fishies out of 5.


Other news: I had all four wisdom teeth out a week ago, and had my first solid type food today (french fries). I can't stop thinking about fish and chips! Hopefully soon I'll feel well enough to go out and review some more local fish & chips.

Monday, 9 July 2007

The Aulde Dubliner

Where: The Aulde Dubliner, 62 William Street, Ottawa
When: Sunday, July 1st 2007 (Canada Day!)
What: One piece fish & chips, $14+tax

On a recent trip to our nation's capital for Canada day, I visited some local pubs to try out the fish and chips on the mainland. My first stop was The Aulde Dubliner on William Street. My friend Rémi and I got a table for two overlooking the streets below, full of people enjoying the festivities.

Aulde DublinerIMG_4790

The pub had a special Canada Day menu and you could only order off this menu. There were a variety of domestic and imported beers to chose from as well. We each got the fish and chips and a beer (Stella for him, Smithwick's for me, which I forgot I don't like). There was a band playing covers of Canadian tunes, and the service was fairly fast. However, the service was not friendly. Our server was very quick with us and didn't take the time to explain the limited menu first. She also didn't seem to be concerned that Rémi wasn't given any tartar sauce. Rémi was turned off by the limited menu (he likes to substitute poutine for fries when he can). I was turned off by the price for only one piece of fish and wondered if they jacked up the price for Canada Day (their regular menu shows 2 pieces for $13, so looks like I was right).

Aulde Dubliner Pub

When the fish and chips arrived they were practically dripping with grease. You can't tell from the photo, since this was taken just after they arrived, but things got mushy and messy fast. The fish, though quite a large piece, was tough in some places, and the fries were cold and not crispy. The tartar sauce didn't taste fresh or homemade. We were at least provided with two kinds of vinegar, both malt and white, along with ketchup, but other than that, there really wasn't anything special about this place.

We both found our server to be not at all pleasant, the food overpriced and greasey. Plus the server charged me the full total of the meal on my credit card, and not half like she was supposed to (my friend payed for half with his debit card, I didn't discover the error until I got back to Halifax). I'm still trying to get the credit card issue resolved, but regardless, I wasn't planning to give this place a good review anyway.

Rémi and I give The Aulde Dubliner 2 little fishies out of 5 ("Only because they had a band" - Rémi).