Review: Woody’s Urban Pub, Ottawa
330 Elgin St, Ottawa – Website
Date of Visit: January, 2016
I ventured into Woody’s just before noon on a Sunday and discovered that they do a brunch each week-end. I wasn’t really interested in what they had to offer brunch-wise, but I did stay for a few beers and ended up having a fairly decent lunch off their regular menu …
Woody’s seats about 100 or so and is arranged in an ‘L’ shape with the short side facing the street and the longer axis on the left and stretching to the rear of the building. It is nicely fitted out with wood-paneling and naked brick and the decoration is an eclectic mix of old books, interesting pictures, and random bric-a-brac.
I made rather a mistake sitting in the front portion near the front windows as the brunch crowd was at its height and I was near to a large and very noisy table. The music in that part of the building is also very loud and I discovered, when I ventured to the restrooms, that the other section is much quieter and cozier. I had a chance to chat with the manager when I went outside for a cigarette and she told me that the brunch crowd can be quite busy on some days and not nearly so on others.
I can’t say I was overly impressed with the service that day as my waitress was rather distracted and seemed only to be half listening when I placed my various orders. The place was busy, to be sure, but most of the custom seemed to be at the self-serve buffet and I rather got the impression that she was just not in the best form on that particular occasion. I might have reflected the service in my tip but, all in all, the service wasn’t that bad and I figure anyone can have an off day at times.
The menu at Woody’s is typical pub food, although I noticed that the chef seems to have a particular fondness for cream cheese and brie, both of which show up in slightly unusual ways and in dishes that I might otherwise have chosen but for their inclusion. There are a number of different burger plates, an interesting sounding smoke-meat sandwich, and pork-chops and steak. The bar has a number of different local brews on tap and I was quite happy to sample several of these as I considered my meal choice…
Ultimately, I ended up choosing Woody’s Fish and Chips. This consists of battered seasonal whitefish (haddock in this case) along with French fries, and a butter-milk poppy-seed coleslaw. Iin brief, the fries were pretty mediocre, the fish, not bad, and the coleslaw surprisingly good. When I tasted the fries, I found that the unpleasant taste of overused oil was very apparent but that, luckily, this did not come through in the fried fish. The haddock tasted a little bland at first but that may have been due to my taste-buds having been jaded by beer as it became really quite tasty a few bites later. I hadn’t expected to like the coleslaw much as I am not a fan of buttermilk, but it proved to be quite creamy and tangy with a pleasant flavor. I wasn’t wowed by this menu choice, by any means, but it still rated a decent 3 out of 5.
Quite frankly, there is little about the menu at Woody’s in general, nor the meal I ate in particular, that would make me recommend the place for the food, but it is still a nice little bar and I could see meeting friends there for a brew in the evening or else spending an afternoon there reading while having a few local draughts. I gave it a 3 out of 5 overall.