At Druxy's, diners select from a variety of fresh ingredients to design their own sandwiches, salads, and breakfast offerings. Customers calculate their mouth's circumference in order to choose regular ($6) or large ($8) sandwiches and then select from sandwich foundations such as french, kaiser, or gluten-free bread. Protein options such as deli ham and poached salmon prop up cheese and toppings, including artichoke hearts and mangos drizzled in a choice of sauce. Finally, customers watch as deli artisans assemble all ingredients in front of their eyes and accompany the newly formed sandwiches with a choice of coleslaw, veggie sticks, or potato salad and a sliced dill pickle. Mandibles can take a break from sandwiches and mix toppings into salads ($6–$9) or can enjoy breakfast offerings all day without having to constantly turn back the clocks to fool the refrigerator.
The chefs at Taki Japanese Restaurant roll more than 30 varieties of sushi and sashimi with eclectic and traditional ingredients ranging from sweet egg and salmon roe to sea urchin and yellowtail. Not satisfied with forcing their ingredients to do the heavy lifting, they also focus on aesthetics, arranging rolls in colorful tableaus on long porcelain plates or in mock naval battles on sushi boats. At lunch and dinner, they also fill the restaurant with aromas of Japanese cooking. As faces glow with light from sleek wall sconces amidst a warm yellow color scheme, tables fill with ginger pork, and wa-fu oroshi-style steak, and adventurous fusion dishes such as Japanese-style carpaccio.
Since 1958, Mama Mia's has strived to stand as a bridge to the past, from its classic Italian dishes right down to its vintage red-and-white-checkered tablecloths. Chefs further evoke the Old World with housemade menu selections, preparing hearty sauces, pastas, and Italian specialties from scratch. They serve up generous portion sizes, reminding diners of attending big family meals during the holidays or sneaking into Parliament Hill during luncheons. Bartenders furnish glasses with red wines, white wines, cocktails, and popular liqueurs from the drink menu.
Canadian BeaverTails started from a family recipe more than 30 years ago: fried dough in the cylindrical shape of a beaver tail, topped with sugary delights. The treat has since become iconic—there are 115 Canadian BeaverTails locations throughout the country, and U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly made it a point to try one of the pastries when he visited Ottawa in 2009.
After a piece of whole-wheat dough is stretched into the shape of the national animal’s tail, it gets float-cooked in canola oil, and then dressed with delectable spreads and toppings. The pastries come in a variety of flavours, separated into several categories: Classic, Indulgent, and Decadent. The Classic version features cinnamon and sugar. Meanwhile the Indulgent variety includes flavours such as maple butter with chocolate sauce, and the Decadent BeaverTails add richer toppings such as chocolate hazelnut with Reese’s pieces.
Beef Baron attempts to make diners feel like the beef and oil barons of days past with its menu of sumptuous surf ’n’ turf fare, high-backed booths, cherry-wood-covered walls, and vaulted ceilings. Forks dig into hand-carved prime rib aged 40 days and lobster tail with drawn butter as patrons twirl their imaginary handlebar moustaches and talk about the market crash of aught seven. After dinner, of-age diners can head to Blush Ultra Lounge, where they flit through two stories, drinking and dancing to pulsating beats.
The epicurean alchemists at Curry Queen draw on Indian and Chinese influences as they simmer traditional Indian fare ranging from curries to rotisserie meats. The aromas of fresh coriander, ginger, and garlic waft through the air of a bright dining room where patrons nibble kebabs and rotisserie meats or count the grains of saffron-flavoured basmati rice in biryani dishes to ensure they have enough to fill their hourglasses. Indian-style Hakka Chinese fare delights tongues with flavours such as chili-based soya sauce and mustard. Traditional tandoor ovens bake dishes only after they’ve marinated in spices for a full 24 hours.