Wednesday, 20 January 2010

GRACE O'MALLEY'S Irish Pub & Restaurant ~ Ottawa ON

= This location is now CLOSE - RIP =

Grace O'Malley, or Grainne Ni Mhaille, or Granuaile or Grany Malley (depending on who you are talking to and what language you are speaking) and was a noble woman in Ireland in the 1500's, may have been a pirate and a revolutionary. And she met Queen Elizabeth. Now she is immortalized as a small chain of pub/restaurants.

In a little mini-mall on Merivale road, down South in Ottawa in the area that was known as Nepean, one of these pub and eateries sits. The mini-mall is small, only a few stores, with Grace O'Malley's (or Gracie's) in the corner. There's a little castle facade at the main entrance, and the place looks small from the outside.

But when you step inside of Gracie's, it's quite large. It's wide, and deep. A long bar, big booth sections, table seating - there's lots to sit at. Then you go farther back and there's even more. And a dance floor somewhere. There's fireplace seating and flat screen TV's. The decor is old wood, dark lighting, cast iron, and big ale flasks. It feels like a hundred year old Irish pub (not that I've been in a REAL one before).

Our waitress was Alexis, who was very friendly. She, like all the waitresses, are dressed very skimpily, with short short skits and not-loosely fitting sports jerseys. The crowd was mixed, mostly an older crowd (looked like a lot of people here after work) but there were families with small kids, and some groups of college crowd kids.

For an appetizer, we got deep fried pickles. They aren't on the menu really, but they are in a combo platter. Alexis go us an order of the DFP's for $7, but it was a hefty order of like 12 spears.

The DFP's were crispy and a very hot temperature. Just a heads up with these, watch the pickle juice, it can burn. The crumb coating had a nice crunch. They came with an alioli dip that was very nice and garlicky. The order came with two dips. The only problem we had was when we got down to a few spears, Alexis came by and asked if we were finished with them. We said no. Then two minutes later she came back, cleared our neighbours table and grabbed our spears too. She was just trying to be helpful cleaning up, but took our food away!

Finally, the main reason we were here was because of their 10 Cent Wings. You don't see this very often anymore! The deal is you get 10 wings for $1 with the purchase of a beverage. Can't beat that these days. OK, I need to come clean, I checked this place out in like December, but couldn't do a review because the photos didn't turn out due to the darkness and my refusal to use flash.

This time I got a chance to get some good photos. My waitress then told me how the wings used to be 1 cent a piece during sports games, but they decided to make it every Monday, and upped the price to 10 cents. And she said you couldn't believe how the clientele changed when they upped the prices - 9 more cents brought in a much more respectable crowd and they lost the undesirables. Wow.

I've come for the 10 cent wings, but I'll be don't know if these wings are the same as the one's on a regular night. That being said, these wings are pretty small. Not the smallest wings I've had, as in not pigeon wings, but they are small. But meaty! Tender meat. Some of the skin was crispy, others were not. As I was told by a waitress, they cook big batches of wings all day, then deep fry them again when ordered. The pre-cooked wings often run out, and they go straight from frozen to meet the demand. That sounds not so good, but these wings were pretty decent.

LJ and I ordered 40 wings (which sounds like a lot, but again, these aren't small) and we went with 4 flavours (although one order was a repeat with sauce on the side). The wings with sauce came out saucy, which was good.


Crispy, salty wings. Straight out of the fryer and tossed in 'Cajun' spices. Nothing new hear, but the good thing is that these were not as salty as other 'Cajun' dustings.

Later we got a second order of this, and I got a side of their BBQ sauce on the side. The BBQ was a ketchup based sauce, which was a balance of sweet, savoury and tomatoey. It complimented the Cajun wings well.

Standard hot had a really nice flavour, and just a tad of a kick. I couldn't identify the sauce used, so it could be a house sauce, but whatever it was, I liked it.

There was a mild vinegar kick, to add into what heat there was. It was still more of a mild in my mind, but LJ found it had a bit of spice. This would be my go-to sauce if I came back again.

The first time I went to Grace O'Malley's, the suicide was like the Hot, only hotter. But this time it was a thick, peppery sauce. And when I say peppery, more like black pepper than chili pepper. At first, I thought it was so-so in heat. But after a few wings, the heat definitely built up. I almost had a runny nose, and it attacked the back of my throat a few times.

FINAL SCORE: If these are the wings on a regular night, I wouldn't bother with them. They are small, not that crisp and the sauces aren't amazing. BUT, for 10 Cents on Mondays, they rock. Meaty, tasty and the frozen/multi-cooking processes take a back seat. You'll need a basket or two, but then again, they have good deep fried pickles (and fries) to supplement your grub. 4.5/10

Grace O'Malley's Irish Pub & Eatery
1541 Merivale Road, Ottawa (Nepean) On (and other locations)


Chris said...

"Our waitress was Alexis, who was very friendly. She, like all the waitresses, are dressed very skimpily, with short short skits and not-loosely fitting sports jerseys."

WAIT! My wife is working there? That hussy. LOL

I love fried pickles and have had them before but NEVER spears, just chips. I'm intrigued.

Teena in Toronto said...

There's a Grace O'Malley's here in Toronto ... I haven't been there in ages. And I don't think I've ever eaten there ... just had drinks.

Lord of the Wings said...

Chris - LOL which one is your wife?!? And the spears are good - but then again, I've never had the chips. We should do an exchange.

Teena - I haven't been to that location despite my friends having gone many times for concerts! I regreted not going.