a peek inside the fishbowl

09 Nov, 2013

My 500th lunch (at Petit Bill’s!)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa|Recipes and Food

Those of you who are following my #dailylunches project may be interested to know that I photographed my 500th lunch yesterday. Here it is:

November 8 #dailylunches #500 - battered cod on a bun at Petit Bills Bistro

I chose to go to Petit Bill’s Bistro… for a few different reasons.

1) I wanted to keep it local for this milestone lunch.
2) I happened to have a gift card.
3) I knew it was going to be good.

Sidebar: I have no issues dining alone. Do you? I used to go out alone a lot when the girls were little, which was borne out of desperation to get out of the house as much as it was about issues with logistics. Hiring a babysitter required advance planning and extra cash. Mark and I would offhandedly plan to catch a movie but by the time we did the math we’d throw up our hands and just not bother going together. SO. That meant I went to see movies at the Bytowne alone. After a few times I got the hang of it and didn’t feel like such a big deal.

ANYWAY. Yes. I am more than equipped to dine alone, but as I was tweeting out my lunch (as I do every day using the #dailylunches hashtag) my tweet was answered by my virtual lunch companion: @NancyfromCanada. So she joined me, which was lovely. (YAY Twitter!)

It took me awhile to figure out what I was going to order – everything looked fabulous – but I eventually settled on the sandwich of the day, which was crisply battered cod – piping hot – on a lightly toasted bun with homemade tartar sauce and dollop of coleslaw tucked in for good measure. I couldn’t decide between fries and salad so the server kindly suggested I go with FRALAD, that is, a bit of both. This was an okay decision. The fries could have been hotter but it almost feels bad to complain when everything else was so fresh and flavourful.

Petit Bill’s is a pleasant setting for lunch. It’s nice without being too fancy, a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere that encourages diners to linger. The service is stellar; genuine and friendly without being overbearing. It strikes me as a really great neighbourhood meeting place too.

Good news for me: I still have enough on my gift card for one more lunch. So I will be back! Maybe I’ll try their famous lobster poutine next time. :)

Click to add a blog post for Petit Bill's Bistro on Zomato

Want to see my 500 lunches? You can do so right here.

2 Responses to "My 500th lunch (at Petit Bill’s!)"

1 | Lisa from Iroquois

November 12th, 2013 at 2:08 pm


A couple decades back I finally got enough money together for a long dreamed of trip to Egypt. I was much more timid in those days and I had to practice eating in restaurants alone so I’d be ready for the trip. Once a week for several weeks beforehand I made myself have dinner alone in a restaurant, a different one as often as I could handle it. For me the absolute hardest part was always walking up to and through the front door. Ironically the one time I actually found myself dining alone in Egypt the restaurant refused me service because I was a woman alone. They told me I had to eat in my room. The next more at breakfast they put me at a table with strangers to avoid the “problem.”

2 | Terry Fitzpatrick

November 13th, 2013 at 12:53 pm


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  • andrea tomkins: Lisa, I just LOVE the idea of cheeseburgers for breakfast. Sounds like the perfect hot meal, especially for growing kids!
  • andrea tomkins: The amount of sugar in grocery store products is positively astounding. Caesar salad dressing! Pita crisps! Ketchup! Battered fish! I wish I had a bet
  • Amy: I've recently been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it's made me take a lot harder look at all the sugar in my diet. Even though I was trying to
  • Lisa from Iroqouis: I have no problem with ribs for breakfast. I love leftovers in the morning. No fuss no muss. Isn't that what leftover Chinese food and pizza is for
  • andrea tomkins: Food traditions are so interesting! I could continue to eat like this, but meat is my stumbling block. I would prefer to eat less of it, not more. I c
  • Claudette: I also prefer veg to fruit in the morning. The other day I was watching an episode of a cattle farmer and they don't eat anything until 10:30 am s
  • Misty Pratt: I read that NYT article (the one about reducing your sugar?) and went to check a few things in our cupboards. I was happy to see the Farm Boy pita cra

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (18) and Sarah (16). 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... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! 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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