Saturday, January 23, 2010
The Empire Grill
The Empire Grill is on Clarence Street in the Byward Market and looks modern and roomy and inviting. We got the big table in the front window which was a good job as we had guests this last Sunday and so the Breakfast Club was suddenly a swollen 10!!
Coffee was served quickly although it was not free with breakfast, $3 for a cup of coffee, however many refills is just not a breakfast feature any of us enjoy! Note to Ottawa breakfast establishments: we pay enough for some meat, eggs and toast; give us the brown water for free and we'll keep you on our regular list!! Isn't this simple 'come back soon' economics??? Anyway as we wait for our table to fill up the menu was studied, choices made and finally ordered.
The only problem with this place apart from the price was the long wait to get the food. Now I know a '10top' in the window is considered a 'prisoner table' but 40 minutes is too long. The kitchen staff looked overwhelmed and, frankly, slow.
When it did arrive the reactions were varied but, mainly, good. The breakfast poutine had hollandaise which wasn't a good match and had such a small amount of 'hog' bacon it had to be searched for.
My breakfast pizza was one of the best things I've ever eaten at breakfast/brunch. The mix of very good chorizo, bacon, egg, spicy tomato sauce and smoked brie was magnificent; the fresh basil was a triumph of taste. My wife ordered the same and I ate half of her pizza too.
Portions, barring the pizza, were on the small side but the sausage on the regular plate was of good quality and most were happy with what they got in front of them.
With the inability to discover the fact that the green 2 hour parking meters are free on a Sunday we parked in the multi-storey for $6 which effectively made our breakfast $25 each. Too much when we can usually get away with a $20 including tip.
At these prices you don't expect to find a patty of jam with a slashed foil top on the table. If this place was less expensive and the coffee was free it would get 8/10 but the price tag forces a 6/10.
Most of us would return for another 'shot' but not anytime soon.
This week, a nostalgic return to the 'first born'. Cozy's (dress to unimpress) and then a trip to see the medals at the Mint!
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