Monday, 6 October 2008


It was a grey, rainy day down on Elgin street in Ottawa. I had to go to straighten out my election situation down at Elections Canada so I could vote in the 40th general election on October 14th. It's complicated, but I did find out that on my birthday (the whole day, month, year dealie), there were 2 other births of people with my family name. Huh. As exciting as that was and feeling like a good citizen, I decided it was time for some wings.

But where to go. I walked up and down the street in the misty rain, trying to choose from the many pubs and restaurants that exist in this usually busy late night strip. They all seemed interesting; a few too expensive, some danky, some too small, others uptight. In the end, I decided on the very first place I saw, The Lieutenant's Pump.

First, its The Lieutenant's Pump, pronounced LEFT-tennant. Not the LEW-tennant of American speak. Good old Queen's English Left-tennant. Second, I don't know where the pump is. I don't know who the Lt. is, and I really regret asking. There was no lack of staff, and my waitress Amanda was quite helpful in answering my questions. I don't know why I didn't ask. Actually until I left I thought it was Lieutenant Pump's, and I was thinking there was some guy named Pump that helped build the canal with Colonel By, but I read things wrong all the time.

When I've passed by this establishment in the summer, the patio was always packed. Today in the rain it was empty. Outside. Inside, there was a lot of staff on hand, and even for an early lunch there were a few patrons I could see. I couldn't see a whole lot because there are several little rooms making up the whole pub.

The manager (I assume he was the manager as he was instructing the staff) said I could sit anywhere. Not sure where to go, I stayed in the main room (empty except all the staff and a guy at the bar). I was nervous at first due to the proximity of the staff and me taking pictures, but watching and listening to everything go down at the bar was worth me staying. Not that I have any really exciting stories, but just people-watching (and listening) was entertainment enough.

Not only did I have a great view of the bar, but I sat by the window, where I loved the greenery in what is really a pub in the bottom of a concrete apartment building. The atmosphere wasn't really rocking at 11:30 am when I came in, but it seemed to attract a lot of regulars. There was also something else attracting the regulars that I didn't expect when I chose the Lt's:

I happen to go to this place and they just happen to have $0.35 wings the day I come in. What luck. "Is this all day?" I ask Amanda, "yes it is". Sweet. "I'll start with 10 suicide please". What a great place matt!

2008 THE SCORE 3.0: Lieutenant’s Pump ~ Ottawa


Deep fried, dusted


$7.95 for 10

$12.95 for 20


  • Hot
  • Suicide
  • BBQ
  • Honey Garlic
  • Teriyaki
  • Cajun Spiced
  • Lemon Pepper Spiced



Suicide had a strong bite – due to Ghost Pepper





Very saucy



Chewy meat – not really crisp wing



Not bad



None (but it was wing day, so that might have affected order)



Wet naps, napkins, and wing plate



Wednesday all day $0.35 wings



Patio, lots of rooms, free refills on coke (but a coke was $3.30!)


Suicide nice effort, chicken not so great


The wings came out on a huge basket, but 10 wings looked like a lot. They were small to medium in size, and they were simply deep fried. The sauces aside, the chicken was chewy. Slightly tough, chewy. The skin was crisp, but the chicken meat really ruined the wing for me. Frozen chicken was very likely, not fresh.


I could smell the sauce as soon as it came down. Very wet, almost watery, but there was definetly some heat going to be involved. There were lots of flakes involved, and the smell made me think of carribean hot sauces. I tasted it, and I got the hiccups from my first bite. This had some heat! My mouth was stinging and wasting no time attacking the lips, tongue and throat.

I was really impressed with the sauce. The flavour was not my favourite (almost fruity) but I like the burning that was going on. When Amanda came to clear my empty plate, I asked if the suicide was homemade. She told me it was and asked how it was. I said I could tell that it was homemade with all the flavours and I appretiated that, and that it was hot, although I could eat hotter. She told me that the chef was experimenting with a 'Ghost Chili', supposedly the hottest in the world and was looking for feedback. I said it had a good bite for sure. At the time I didn't remember Ghost Peppers, but I faintly remember hearing something about it a few months back. When I got home, off to wikipedia and google for some help:

"The pepper is used as a spice in food or eaten alone. One seed from a Naga Jolokia can produce sustained intense pain sensations in the mouth for up to 30 minutes before subsiding. Extreme care should be taken when ingesting the pepper and its seeds, so as to not get it in the eyes. It is used as a cure for stomach ailments. It is also used as a remedy to summer heat, presumably by inducing perspiration. In northeastern India the peppers are smeared on fences or used in smoke bombs as a safety precaution to keep wild elephants at a distance."

Well, if the Naga Jolokia 'ghost chili' is good enough curing stomach ailments, remedying for summer heat and for keeping wild elephants away, its good enough for my wings!


I was enjoying my endorphin rush, but I wanted to balance my wing eating with a sweetish bbq sauce. Well, it was sweet, but no boldness to it. No tang or zing. Think Kraft bbq sauce. I'm not saying it is, but it was just a really weak bbq for me.


So this suicide actually lives up to its name. Ghost chili definetly gives it a big kick. BBQ was mild. Very mild. I wanted to try the cajun and the simple hot, but the chicken meat was just so chewy and tough, I gave up. It was sad. Everyone around me was ordering wings and I felt like saying no to their poultry. I'm hoping this was due to wing day and not their normal fare. But I liked the pub as a watering hole and the service was great. 11/20

The Lieutenant's Pump
361 Elgin Street, Ottawa

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