Tommy’s Chip Wagon
Address: 1249 Wellington St W, Ottawa (by the BMO)
Hours: 11am – 5pm (Mon – Fri)
Green factor: Styrofoam containers, plastic utensils, no waste or recycling bins on site
While Tommy’s Chip Wagon certainly isn’t made out of marble, it is just as much a fixture on Wellington Street as the eclectic sculptures that dot this west end neighbourhood. It may be mobile, but this food truck has been steadfast in a neighbourhood that has changed greatly over the years – and continues to do so.
On my visit, I ordered my bellwether chip wagon meal to gauge if Tommy’s is up to snuff in a city rife with competition – a cheeseburger ($4.50) and a small poutine ($5.50). If you’re looking for food that isn’t a form of hamburger, tube meat, or fries, you’re out of luck.
When my burger was ready, it was passed to me open-faced to dress to my own liking, and I added the classics of mustard, relish, pickles, and chopped onions. Once I had my poutine in hand as well, I moseyed down the street to find better seating to enjoy my meal.
The patty of my cheeseburger had a good char on it from the grill, and its origins didn’t seem to be that of a box in a freezer, so it had a good leg up on a lot of the chip wagons in Ottawa. The cheese wasn’t melted when I first got my burger, but it had softened by the time I had found seating and taken my obligatory pictures. With the addition of the toppings I chose, the burger had the taste of a good, though not great, diner burger.
The fries in my poutine were golden brown and nice and crisp initially, though as it often is with poutine, had soggified by the time I ate my burger. While the gravy was a bit bland, it wasn’t too salty, nor did it have the telltale flavour of packaged gravy. These small strikes were somewhat balanced out by a generous portion of plump, squeaky cheese curds.
If you’re in the area and need refueling, Tommy’s Chip Wagon is a quick, dependable and inexpensive option in a sea of much trendier and wallet-draining choices.