Review: Don Cherry’s Sports Bar
290 Rideau Street, Ottawa – (613) 241.6382 – Website
Date of Visit: July 13, 2013
During my last trip to Ottawa, I wanted to bring home a nice single-malt Scotch and so I thought I could combine a trip to the well-stocked LCBO on Rideau street with a visit to Don Cherry’s for an early brunch…
Ambience and Service
This restaurant is quite comfortable with lots of hockey memorabilia on the walls and multiple television screens tuned to sports channels, all with the sound mercifully turned off (at least during my morning visit). The place looks quite small on first entry but it is divided into separate seating areas and I gather it can hold around 200 people or so. Generally, it is quite clean except for the washrooms which were decidedly smelly and with a disturbingly nasty stickiness to the floor.
The service was good throughout my meal and my coffee cup was not allowed to go empty at any time. Mt waitress was very pleasant but she had rather an irritating habit of approaching unseen from behind and then announcing her presence suddenly over my shoulder. This was very disconcerting and startled me unpleasantly a couple of times.
I didn’t get to see the regular menu here but the breakfast menu is quite extensive and features a variety of items with hockey-themed names such as the ‘Defensive Line Fruit Bowl’ and the ‘Hat Trick Platter’. I was quite hungry when I arrived and decided to go with the steak and eggs offering called ‘The Full Strength’…
This item consisted of a 6oz Sirloin Steak with 2 eggs, home fries (or baked beans, if desired), plus toast. The eggs and toast were unremarkable but the home-fries, sautéed with onion, were very good not the overly crisp and mostly tasteless one often gets served with restaurant breakfasts. The steak was also surprisingly good and the kitchen managed to cook it medium-rare, which is not always easy with a small one of this size. It wasn’t the most tender cut to be sure but, at $13 for the meal I think I got my money’s worth. Rating: 4 out of 5.
Don Cherry’s has a nice local bar type feel and I think that it would be a great place on a nasty winter’s evening with a good crowd inside. The service was decent and the food very hearty and filling at a reasonable price. A little bit of attention needs to be paid to the washrooms but otherwise everything was perfectly nice. Rating: 3 out of 5.