Tuesday, 19 August 2008

FATHER & SONS ~ Ottawa

Sometimes looking for a great wing place in any city can be hit or miss. To find the places I am looking for I go by word of mouth, advertising, stumbling and yes the Internet. Food forums often can give helpful, and not so helpful advice. Sometimes I listen to the smallest tidbits of info in the hopes of a hidden wing gem. Today, I was going to one pub in the Sandyhill area of Ottawa but the place was closed for lunch (go figure). I had a back up in mind, Father and Sons, and I went based on one review from Restaurantica:

"Order: Wings, and beer
Review: This place is awesome. I would recommend to anyone looking to let loose and have a great time. A little crowded but not worth wining about!"

Yup. That's it. It didn't even mention the wings. I went back tonight to the Internet because I thought there were more wing related reviews, but there aren't. I had passed this place before, it looked quaint and I figured, why the hell not.

Father and Sons is a pub across from the University of Ottawa. The crowd during the school year is apparently very student in nature - local pub and watering hole. I arrived on a summer afternoon, and while there were a few students, the patio I sat in offered an interesting mix. A few youths debating some philosophy, a British woman discussing with a friend/colleague, her time in India and issues around adoption, and several middle age men who every staff member and every other person in the bar seemed to know.

The service was slow. Really slow. Friendly mind you, but I noticed the staff seemed extremely stressed despite it not being that busy. It took a while before I got a menu. The first waitress gave me 1 minute to look over the menu before she asked if I was ready; I said I needed another minute (you know, to actually look at the menu). After a long while, I was starting to think she wasn't coming back. And she didn't. The other waitress finally came to see me after I made some eye contact. She was friendly and apologized for the wait, and I was just happy to order some wings and curly fries.

I sat on the patio because it was a nice day, and I can take photos with natural light much easier. Since I do a lot of reviews by myself, it can be a bit awkward in a dark place to have a bright flash go off, and people wondering why that guy by himself is taking pictures of his food.

Now I normally don't care too much what people think (most people are too insecure to eat by themselves), but I do these reviews in relative anonymity from the staff - I want an honest review of the food and service, and a flash might attract the curiosity of the waitress and ask why I was taking photos of my wings. While taking photos in groups and of your food in restaurants is becoming more accepted and common place with the blogosphere and flickr sights and digital cameras, even I can admit a guy taking pictures of his wings by himself looks pretty weird. On a patio, people have way more distractions and I have more light. It's win win.

My two orders arrived at the same time. My basket of curly fries looked good. I was fearful of the cheap frozen ones that never have enough seasoning. These, however, were perfect. They tasted like Arby's curly fries, and those are my standard for this spiraling potato fare. Slightly spicy, crunchy, and temperature hot to the very last bite.

2008 THE SCORE 3.0: Father & Sons ~ Ottawa


Deep fried


$5.99 for 6

$7.99 for 10

$14.99 for 20

$21.99 for 30


  • Mild
  • Medium
  • Hot
  • Honey Garlic



No heat – barely a tingle


A small medium sized wing, no meat



Dry with sauce on the plate



Hard – definitely over cooked



Ok – pub wing sauce









Mon/Sat $0.35 a wing after 7pm w/drink purchase



Patio, great curly fries


Not worth the wings, stick to the curly fries


I was really hungry by the time the food had come, and after diving into a few curly fries, I was ready for my wings. At first glance I was optimistic about these wings. Then I took a closer look, and realized my 10 wings were not big. Not even really medium, but not pigeon wings either. I noticed there was very little sauce on the wings, that most of it was on the plate, and it wasn't that much.

The wings were over-cooked. I'm pretty sure they were frozen to begin with. The extra long deep frying didn't help. So let's recap: small wings that were frozen and then cooked too long. Not a good combination at all.

The sauce was also nothing special. Generic Pub Sauce #2 used by oh so many places. And hot was not.
The only one who seemed to care for these wings was a wasp who kept buzzing around. One of the hazards of a patio I guess. He really got into the bones, loving what I had already picked what I thought was clean.

FINAL SCORE: Small, frozen over-cooked wings with mild generic sauce. Not even a decent wing place. But the curly fries were excellent. I took a chance on a whim and I lost. Meh, you win some, you lose some. 6/20

Father & Sons
112 1/2 Osgoode Ave



Anonymous said...

Thanks for mentioning Restaurantica in your blog. We've added a link to yours in our new blog:http://www.restaurantica.com/blog/Look-Whos-Talking-about-Restaurantica/2/

Love all the pictures in your blog - nice touch!

We have a lot of changes planned over the next few months, so please pop by often. If you'd like to add pictures to any reviews you write, just send them in an email to support@restaurantica.com and we'll be happy to put them up for you.

See you on Restaurantica!

Anonymous said...

We go there every week, and I always get either poutine, a quessedila (sp?) or one of those sandwhiches with the chicken parmesean on garlic toast. All excellent. You should go back try something else.

Lord of the Wings said...

@Anonymous - I think wings just aren't their thing. I know people enjoy other food there, so I didn't dislike the place. The service was slow, but not unfriendly. But thanks for the tips!