I was back in Ottawa and I was on my own for lunch. I decided I wanted to try a campus bar at the University of Ottawa. I had never been, all I knew was that it was at the sports centre.
I found the sports centre, and tried to find free parking. Then I did on a side street, only it wasn't free parking after all and I got a ticket when I got back. But that's not the point. I started walking and as I came the building, I saw a giant board advertising their pound and a pint deal. I was on the right path.
I walked all around the building till I got to the front. I went in and wandered around trying to find where to go. I felt a little excitement as if I was a spy, infiltrating this organization, documenting the place and getting the hell out. It had crossed my mind that this campus pub may not be open to the public, so I was going to have to play it cool. I found out the pub was on level 2 and I took the stairs till I found the place.
The place was industrial student pub. Concrete and exposed rafters, U of O and Ottawa Senator sportswear, graffitii on all the walls. Oh and a giant moose head on the wall. Flat screens with sports too.
I was worried I wasn`t going to fit in, older than the average student, but almost everyone inside must have been professors or crew and over the age of 50. My server Alana was . . . not always around and not as friendly with me as she was with others. Oh well. She brought me Pepsi to drink, but charged me $1 for refills.
My seat had an awesome view of the ice rink, where I watched what looked like a pick-up game play out.
I ordered a side of onion rings, which were crispy enough, but I was pretty sure they were from frozen. They did come with a lemon wedge, which is something I have not seen before.
The wings came in orders of 1 pound (approx 9 wings) or 2. They were served with carrot sticks and lettuce, but no dip. But lettuce. Weird.
I ordered suicide with a side of their smokey mustard (I had never heard nor had this anywhere else, and thought it would go well with the onion rings). But I never got it, and I never saw Alana until it was time for my bill again to ask for it. Bummer.
The wings were a double medium: medium length and medium meatiness. The wings had been dusted, fried and tossed in their sauce which was full of seasonings. The skin was not crispy and quickly went soft by the time I received them. The wings were not wet and whatever sauce there had been had been absorbed into the skin.
Now to be fair, these wings had a good flavour. This was't just some bottled sauce dumped on the wings. There was an herby flavour (no those are not tooth picks on the wings but spices) and a slight heat. I almost didn't mind the non-cripsy wings.
FINAL SCORE: These were decent wings. A good flavour, although not really hot at all. The meat was tender, but the skin was a bit soggy. The onion rings were good, and an interesting view made this an interesting student pub. I'm not sure I'd be going back on my next trip to Ottawa, but it was worth the adventure. 5.5/10
The Draft Pub
801 King Edward Avenue, Ottawa ON