The Wellington Diner
Address: 1385 Wellington St W, Ottawa, ON
Hours: 7:00am – 9:00pm (everyday)
**Note that their menu has changed since my visit, and not all the above items are currently available or have changed, and hours are different during the coronavirus lockdown.
Balance in life is important, so after taking a nice walk in Britannia Park, my wife and I stopped in at the Wellington Diner on our way home to recharge our carbohydrate stores.
Located near the western edge of Wellington Village, the diner has a retro vibe that’s been updated with some modern flair. It comes together as a space that has plenty to look at, but has a consistent, fun atmosphere.
We arrived mid-afternoon, and although the lunch rush was long gone, there was still a handful of other customers chowing down. The menu is surprisingly hefty for a contemporary diner, with several versions each of comfort food fare – eggs benedict, other breakfast classics, poutines, burgers, mac and cheese, sandwiches and wraps. You’d be hard-pressed to not find a dish that piques your interest (and appetite).
My wife is a new-ish convert to the goodness of runny yolks, so she went with the Latkes Benny ($14.99, no longer on the regular menu). My ravenous hunger made the pure gluttony of the Double Grilled Cheese Burger ($15.99) a foregone conclusion. Just to clarify the phrasing on that burger’s name, it denotes a hamburger which is sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Dangerously cheesy.
It’s always nice to see local beer on a diner menu, so I went with a tall glass of the ever-dependable Lug Tread lager ($6.99).
After a short wait, we soon had our hefty plates of food in front of us. My cross-cut burger displayed its impressive amount of cheese, and I eagerly dug in. Unsurprisingly, the buttered grilled cheese sandwiches and the salty goodness of processed cheese dominated the initial flavour, while the beef came in on the back end. The patty itself was a bit overcooked, but the sheer volume of cheese helped to compensate.
While burger purists might not approve of the onions that were worked into the meat, I enjoyed the flavour being evenly spread throughout the burger. It came with several pickle coins on the side, so I shoved a few in the second half of my burger for a tangy contrast against the richness of the burger.
The fries were excellent – a perfect golden brown and wonderfully crispy, slathering them in ketchup would be a crime.
My wife’s meal was nothing to sniff at either. The plate was filled with two thick potato pancakes and poached eggs, covered with a slathering of hollandaise, and a house salad that must count for half of one’s daily vegetable requirements!
While admirably substantial and crisp on the outside, thick latkes aren’t generally a thing and I would have preferred a thinner one for a pure play on crispness. The hollandaise was passable, though I wasn’t confident in its freshness, and it could have used another squirt of lemon juice to even out the flavour profile.
The salad was nice and fresh, and helped assuage our gluttonous guilt.
Service was friendly and on top of things during our whole meal.
Although the execution wasn’t quite perfect, The Wellington Diner has some tasty eats on an interesting menu, and it’s there for you when the fancier diners aren’t (re. after 2pm). Throw off your pretensions, come by and indulge.