Address: 874 Clyde Ave N, Ottawa
Hours: 6am – 9pm (Mon – Fri); 7am – 2pm (Sat – Sun); Hours may vary during pandemic
For my first time at Reynold’s Restaurant, I was there for my usual reason at a new-to-me, west-end eatery – refueling after donating blood at the nearby Canadian Blood Services office. If a hearty meal at a diner isn’t a great way to begin replenishing my red blood cell count, I don’t know what is!
My maiden voyage at Reynold’s was back in the summer, when their patio was still open, and I was able to take in the lovely sights and sounds of Clyde Street – a lot across the street up for development and significant commercial and light industrial traffic. Prime people watching, it is not.
As per standard diner protocol, they have a huge menu. Whether you’re feeling like breakfast, deep fried apps, subs/sandwiches/wraps, burgers, or diner classics like liver and onions, hamburger steak, or pork chops, they’ve got you covered. Some non-typical items include shawarma and a “hot western sandwich”. I can only speculate what it is, but I envision a typical western sandwich of scrambled eggs with ham, bell peppers and onions … and then topped with gravy. If this in fact its execution, I don’t know why it exists, but would I try it? You’re damn right I would.
It wasn’t going to be this visit though, as I had in my sights the dish that Reynold’s Restaurant is known for – their club sandwich. To class up my meal, I added on a cup of French onion soup.
It’s really a shame that continental classic, French onion soup, isn’t on more menus these days! Who doesn’t like caramelized onions and melted cheese? At $5.50, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away with a house-made broth or high-end cheese and found that Reynold’s met my tempered expectations. Its richness and somewhat heavy hand with the salt were right up my alley, and were basically just what the doctor/blood donation clinic nurse ordered.
As for my club sandwich platter ($12.95), the sandwich definitely lived up to the hype. Tender hunks of roasted chicken breast, with a good balance of tomato and bacon, and a generous slathering of mayo.
The fries seemed to be of the from-frozen variety, and somehow seemed to be simultaneously too brown and yet not crispy enough. To add to the disappointment, they tasted like the oil in the fryer needed a change. The risks of a late lunch at a diner, I suppose.
I was glad to see that the coleslaw had a vinegar-based dressing, which I much prefer to mayo for its ability to cut through the hearty meals that it’s usually paired with.
Visita número dos
It was two donations and four months later, but I made it back to Reynold’s for a second time last fall, this time with my brother-in-law in tow.
Having had their club sandwich before, I decided to venture into the breakfast side of the menu. There’s plenty of options for the most important meal of the day, but if you’re looking for anything that isn’t meat and carbs, you’re out of luck.
Luckily for me, that was exactly what I was looking for! Not only that I double, nay, tripled down on the meat and quadrupled down on the carbs with the ‘Jumbo Everything But The Pan’. It was impossible for me to resist its siren song of affordable gluttony of *deep breath* three eggs, two slices of toast, home fries, two pieces each of bacon and breakfast sausages, a slice of ham, French toast and a pancake *exhales*. All for the shockingly low price of $11.95! Reynold’s Restaurant may be the land that inflation forgot.
When you get that much food for that much money, you wouldn’t be wrong to be hesitant with the execution of the end product – but I was really impressed!
The meats were all cooked with care – the bacon was crisp, the ham lightly browned and not overcooked, and the breakfast sausages had a great sear and snap, without being tough and leathery from sitting on the flat top for who-knows-how-long.
My sunny-side-up eggs were just as expertly cooked, with fully-set whites and runny yolks that made for great dipping with my toast.
With the home fries, you have the option of either grilled or deep fried, and I chose the former. They were a pleasant mix of tender chunks of potato and some crispy bits, although the addition of some sautéed onions and/or savoury herbs would take these to the next level.
I was probably most impressed by my French toast. So often at restaurants, when it arrives at your table it’s limp and sad, but Reynold’s had plenty of structure, and even a light crispness to the edges. The flavour was rich and eggy, with just the right amount of cinnamon.
Carb number four, my pancake, was no slouch either, with a respectable height and an airy interior that did a great job at absorbing the table syrup.
My brother-in-law had ordered the smoked meat sandwich platter, and was happy with the fatty cuts of Montreal’s most famous meat. Again, a vinegar-based slaw was clutch here, and the generous helping of fries had a more even cooking and crispness than on my last visit.
If you know what you’re getting into at Reynold’s Restaurant, you can fill your belly with some really good food at prices that aren’t going to empty your wallet.