It was a gorgeous day outside, and I was in the neighbourhood of Carlingwood getting some work done on my car. The area is heavy on industry, auto-shops and commercial development. There aren't a lot of food options, but one of them is Reynolds Restaurant, and my car appointment happily coincided with lunch.
Reynold's is an old house from a neighbourhood from a time long ago (it's the only house in several blocks now, but I'm willing to bet there used to be more over 50 years ago). Inside it looks like, well a diner in someone's house. The place probably hasn't changed in decades, and I don't think customers care. The clientele is a mix of blue collar workers from the various industries surrounding Reynolds, seniors, occasional guys in suits, and randoms like me. The place was packed on this weekday after 11am and I had noticed that the patio was empty and it was beautiful out.
When I went in, I only saw one waitress and she was HUSTLING. She was serving, taking orders, ringing up bills at the register, cleaning. I actually felt a little bad when I asked if I could sit on the patio, and then she said she'd be out in a minute to clean up. I kind of thought I was going to get spit in my food for unintentionally making her do more work, but she was super friendly and looked after me very well - I don't even think she would spit in someone's food even if they were the worst. She said she had to clean up out there because the road construction nearby kicked up a lot of dust.
I was the only one the entire time on the patio which I thought was crazy because it was so beautiful out; sunny, but not humid, clear skies. Specials are out on the front of the deck (wing day was Tuesday, just missed it by a day! but only after 3pm).
The menu is all over the place - it's advertised as Canadian Italian with pasta dishes, but I'm pretty sure it's run by Lebanese folks and they have shawarma on the menu (under exotic sandwiches). You can get steaks, burgers, fish and chips, or hot chicken sandwiches and toasted westerns. I mostly see people getting breakfast dishes here or what they are most known for, club sandwiches.
The first time I came here was because I had read they were the best Club Sandwiches in Ottawa. Quick personal story, when we would go on family vacations as a kid, there were 3 things I used to order all the time: wings (obviously), nachos, and club sandwiches. I love a good club sandwich - it's the combination of chicken, crispy bacon, and mayo. Ohhh, so good. Back to Reynolds, I do believe they just might be the best Club's in Ottawa. Fresh ingredients, packed with good chicken and crispy tasty bacon. But I've never had the wings here, so it was time to try.
I didn't trust that the wings would be very big, or enough, so I also ordered a side of onion rings. I also ordered them just to give some diversity to my meal.
These onion rings were perfection. Per-fec-tion. First, I prefer these classic battered onion rings to the large, breaded rings (which are good too, but this is my preference). Second, they were deep fried just right - biting into them they had a crispy snap, you know when you can hear that crunch? The onion also broke when you took a bite, so that it didn't all come out in a single string, I like that. I added some ketchup and I was just pleased as punch with this side.
Would the wings be as good as the rings?
Wings here come in $9.99 for and order of 10 wings but they also come in 20 or 30 wings. Nothing comes with these wings - no dip, no veggies, no sides. Wing night is Tuesdays after 3pm for $0.35 a wing, or Friday is 10 wings and a 20oz draft beer for $9.99, also after 3pm.
I got 11 wings in my 10 wing order by the way - someone likes me!
The wings were a small to small-medium wings. The photos make them look a bit bigger but they were small. They were also not all that meaty but they were pretty tender chicken, despite being frozen chicken.
The wings are deep fried and are pretty crispy. There's a decent amount of sauce on them and they hold up without getting soggy. Several of the wings must have been damaged at some point before frying because a few of the flats had broken bones, and slashes in the skin that created little canyons as you can see in the photo above.
I ordered Hot wings and they were Frank's Red Hot. Simple, nothing special, but it got the job done. Tasty. They were wet, with not too much sauce, but the flavour was good.
Reynold's kills it in the breakfast and club sandwich games. The wings are just simple - Frank's Red Hot on crispy fried wings. They aren't big, they aren't fresh, but when you are waiting for your car to be repaired, they were the right thing to get. The onion rings were awesome. My waitress was great. I'll be back, but I might just stick to the club & rings unless it's wing night. 8/15
874 Clyde Ave, Ottawa ON