a peek inside the fishbowl

25 Mar, 2007

New restaurant in Westboro

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Westboro|Recipes and Food

We had breakfast at Baker Street Café on Saturday morning.

This place is right next to the Legion on Richmond Road. It’s new. It used to be a pub called Gentle Annie’s. The girls and I dined there once while on a factfinding mission for Cheapeats Ottawa. Eating there was both hilarious and scary at the same time.

We went for lunch after I spotted a handwritten sign for $6.95 fish and chips in the window. We were there at 11:45 a.m. and there was already someone at the bar with a half-empty pint of beer in front of him.

“I think he’s a pirate,” whispered Emma.
“Why do you think he’s a pirate?”
“Because of his hat.”

It wasn’t a hat. It was a bandana, covering his head in such a way that indicated (to me) he might have been a biker. The kerchief had white skulls and crossbones pattern on a black background. ‘Nuff said.

The staff was great. It was as if they’d never seen women and children in there before. And I bet they hadn’t. They brought the girls tall glasses of water (in beer glasses) and didn’t forget the drinking straws. They polished our (slightly tarnished) cutlery and  fawned over us. The fish and chips (the girls shared a serving) came piping hot and was actually pretty good. They all came out – owner, staff, cook (?) to bid us farewell and they didn’t let us leave without giving us each a bag of potato chips. 

Despite their genuine service that place never did very well. I hardly ever saw anyone in there. And now it’s been sold and bought. As far as I can tell it hasn’t been renovated, and the owned has turned it into something that is more restaurant than biker bar.

This location of Baker Street (I think there’s one on Elgin) has only been open a month or so. Friends of ours invited us to join them and so we went along. It was high time to try it out.

Since I’m a breakfast junkie I needed to know if this place was worth a try.

Was it? Well, yes and no.

The food was excellent for breakfast standards. I ordered the two-egg breakfast with sausage (I think it was $5.95) and it came with a pile of toast, home fries and a heaping scoop of fresh fruit salad. Sadly, most of my toast teetered on the boarder of Burnsville and the fruit salad juice ran into my home fries (which were more like very large pieces of potato). The servings were huge and the plates were small yet overflowing.

In hindsight I should have asked them to make sure the toast is lightly done (I’m picky that way) and hold the ‘taters. I’m not a big fan of them anyway. They also could have put the fruit salad in a separate bowl.

And guess what, they didn’t have a children’s menu.

I suggested we just get the girls a few sides and split them along two plates. But Mark vetoed my suggested and got them each an adult-sized breakfast, which of course they weren’t able to finish.

This place is experiencing serious “new restaurant” pains. It was packed. And the food took much to long to get to us. One of the reasons breakfast is one of the best meals to eat out with kids is because it is fast. A good breakfast cook has the sausages lined up like soldiers and the eggs ready to drop right on the grill. I mean, it’s not like anyone is ordering anything else that time of day, right?

Anyway, yes. I am happy a new restaurant has opened up in this neighborhood and seems to be doing well. But I think I’m going to give them a couple months to iron out the kinks before we return.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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