179 Rideau St., Ottawa – (613) 241-7642 – Website
Date of Visit: December 8, 2012
Cora’s, I only just discovered, is a chain of restaurants (currently celebrating 25 years in operation) that has 147 restaurants across Canada. Thus far, however, I have never been in one and the only one I have really noticed was the one on Rideau St. in downtown Ottawa which was visible from my hotel room during this last visit to the capital. One morning, during my stay, I decided to give it a try for brunch…
Ambience and Service
The restaurant is quite large, seating at least 100 patrons or so, and when I attended at 10:30 in the morning, it was very nearly full with the Saturday shopping crowd. It features mainly booth seating, with a few individual tables, and the interior is clean, brightly lit and very comfortable. I was seated and served right away and my waiter during the visit was very helpful in answering questions and never let my coffee cup get empty.
Cora’s has a very large colorful breakfast menu (there is a separate lunch menu on weekdays only) and it features a whole selection of crepes (both sweet and savory), several inventive French Toast selections, some nice fruit plates and quite a few omelets. On this occasion, I was looking for something substantial and was seduced by their offering called the ‘Gargantuan Feast’ which was described as including: 2 eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, a crepe, creton spread, baked beans and toast. What the menu didn’t say was that it also came with roast potatoes and, when my waiter informed me I could have these with mushrooms and onions on top I, perhaps unwisely, selected them.
As you can see, the feast is indeed substantial and, on the whole it was very good. The bacon, sausage, ham and scrambled eggs I chose were largely unremarkable (neither better or worse than equivalent eateries) and the baked beans were tasty but, I suspect, canned.
Cretons, for those unfamiliar, is a spread made out of pork, a little like rillettes, and is generally served cold. I have not had this before and I really wasn’t that keen on it as the heavy seasoning, featuring cinnamon, was a bit jarring with the rest of the meal.
The crepe was actually more of a pancake, actually, and was a bit rubbery to my taste (although not too bad), while the potatoes were far better than one usually gets with restaurant breakfasts. They were good size wedges, nicely seasoned, and I thought afterward, that having them with mushrooms and onions was a bit of an overkill. All in all, I thought this a pretty good spread for the $13.45 I paid and I rated it at a decent 4 out of 5.
I had a great, and very filling breakfast at Cora’s for a decent price and was treated very well in pleasant surroundings. It is easy to see how the place has managed to become so popular with its patrons and I would happily return.