Sunday, March 18, 2012

Springtime brunch at the Empire Grill....

Great weather this weekend March 18th and it's 24c by the car's thermometre. Brunch was at the Empire Grill, one of the only places in the Bytown Market not to have their patio open - all the others decided to pay the fine the City imposes on them for having their patio open before April 1st. We still had the nice big table just by the patio doors - which we had open, most of the time.

The Empire Grill is usually good food and the only thing that can spoil a brunch here is the occasional bout of bad and inattentive service - not today though - our server was great and attended to us very well indeed.

The only meal that we decided was crappy was the special crab omelette - it was special as it hardly had any crab in it! Most everyone else had a great plate of food.

I had the "Atlantic" which has changed a bit since last year - the salmon is salmon not smoked salmon and it has asparagus - I could have sworn it was spinach last year and the hollandaise is a basil hollandaise. Yummy! The home fries at the Empire Grill are good too - so often they undercook these or they come from a bag. These are fresh from a potato and are well fried.

We had 11 at the table today - I think that's a record!

Most enjoyable - good company - nice exotic car spotting through the patio doors - lots of Italian stallions cruising around trying to look nonchalant!

Can't wait for the patio at EG - it's one of the best in the market on a hot sunny Sunday morning.

Here are the pics - off out to the deck so can't be arsed to intersperse them this week!

Have a good week.

The disappointing crab omelette...

My gorgeous salmon and asparagus benny 

Sausage and egg.

Steak and eggs.



The Hash.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mill St. Brewpub, Ottawa - diamond in the rough!

The Mill used to be a roast beef restaurant on the river by the Portage Bridge - it didn't get very good reviews anywhere you looked and so people didn't go - or very few because it got bought by the Mill St. Brewery, a micro-brewery and restaurant outfit who have a place in Toronto. Appropriately now called The Mill St. Brewpub, Ottawa.

A total refit, installation of some mash bins and brew kettles and a modern menu and you have a great overhaul of a tired old place which now becomes a vibrant place to have brunch, lunch or dinner.

We've meant to try this place out since it opened a few weeks ago but only 3 of us were in attendance this morning due to a variety of absenteeism reasons.

It's not often you can tempt me with a beer for breakfast but I was unable to pass up a taste of the Porter Ale - actually it wasn't very 'Ale-like' but more pilsner to my taste - but well done and makes me want to go back when I'm being driven and have a few samples of the 12 or so beers they have available.

The menu is small (good) for brunch - just seven items. Included are two 'bennys' - one traditional and one with spinach and portobello mushroom that was called the Julliene. One order of huevos-rancheros and 2 of the benny with a twist and our order was complete.
 The place was surprisingly busy for a place tucked away almost under the Portage bridge - but when the food came it was also plain why it was busy - the food was very good.

the home-fries tasted a bit as if they came from a 'bag' but they were ok - the benny, though - probably one of the best bennys I have ever had. The spinach and mushroom combo with a soft yolk, hollandaise and a bit of muffin was just sublime.

I tried the huevos-rancheros and that was good too although I'm not a huge fan of the dish at any time.

I am looking forward to our next visit, maybe with more of our club, maybe with a nice table by the window to watch the river go by.

The prices were actually not high. If you take out the two alcohol drinks, which we wouldn't normally partake in, it was a very reasonable couple of $10 plates of food.

Try the place - you'll more than likely love it. You can also buy a 6 pack or so from their beer store on the way out - they can sell it as they make it on the premises.

Until next Sunday, have a great week.