Funny story (ok not funny ha ha, more interesting). So a couple of years ago I was living in Ottawa, and at one of the cinemas I attend, they built in the parking lot a Shoeless Joes. I like Shoeless Joes when I've been there in the past, but never went to the Ottawa location. Now in 2011 I visit Ottawa and Shoeless Joes is gone and in its place is Tadavalkars.
I don't know what happened, I don't know who Tadavalkar is or what the deal is, but I thought it was worth going in and seeing what they are all about.
Inside looks like every Shoeless Joe's I've been to: kind of a classier sports pub vibe. It was pretty quiet at lunch, and while there were some in the dining room, I was seated in the bar area with a big booth to myself. There was what looked like some business guys there for lunch, and more eventually joined at another booth and another guy at the bar with the giant tv. The music was top 40. My server was an older gentleman - the bartender, host, waiter and I'm willing to bet manager. I never caught his name but he was friendly, joking around a bit, and filling my drink as necessary.
I ordered wings, which are usually enough for me, but I saw lattice fries on the menu, and I'm a huge fan. I love lattice fries because they are crispy, but full of potato. They are also great because they hold well for dipping and for piling on (like as a nacho base). These were good - and I dipped them in ketchup, I dipped them in ranch, and I dipped them in BBQ sauce.
On the side of my wings was some ranch dressing. That's all I have to report. Ranch.
Wings come by the pound, which works out to be about 8 or so wings. They come breaded or not, and I didn't specify, so they came out non-breaded. As I said there is ranch on the side (thankfully not sour cream) but no veggies.
The wings are also listed as capon wings, which means they are castrated rooster wings. I didn't notice a difference between capon and hen wings, but they were a pretty good quality.
The wing size varied from medium to large, and medium meatiness to very meaty. The wings were a decent level of crispiness, but because they were pretty wet, they lost that crunch soon. That didn't ruin the wings, but it didn't make them better.
There were some interesting flavours, but I chose two on my order. Oh, and it turned out on Tuesdays it's 1/2 price wings, so I got a much cheaper lunch than I was expecting (should have ordered more!)
OK so the above photo says HOT, but they are actually Blazing Hot. I felt pretty confident that this wasn't going to be very hot. I was right, but it was a decent Hot. So I guess the above photo was correct.
Either way, it was good classic cayenne based hot sauce. I could eat a ton of these.
This was a weird one. I mean it was tasty, but it looked like baby food. It was thick and oily looking.
The flavour was sweet but a bit smokey too. My server asked how it was, but volunteered that he had no idea what was in it because it changed with whoever was making it in the back. I would have it again for sure, but it sounds like I might get something different next time.
FINAL SCORE: The wings were a decent size, with good flavours. And all day 1/2 price wings is great. Shoeless Joe's may not have been able to stay in this location, but hopefully this now local place can. Plus I love their lattice fries. 6/10
Tadvalkars Lounge and Restaurant
3094 Carling Ave, Ottawa ON