I finally have a chance to get the heck out of Kanata to get into the city proper for dinner.
I wondered if local 'hounds have some favorites to recommend in the Byward Market or Elgin Street areas, specifically something below the topmost price tier, anywhere from high-middle down to quite inexpensive. Extraordinary food is paramount, more important to me than atmosphere and service; something locally unique and wonderful is a plus. Thoughts?
Oh, and Kanata isn't a complete wasteland. I have had some excellent meals at Darvish (Persian shawarma), Fratelli (Italian, about the only good middle/high-end meals I've had in the neighborhood, though its menu has big holes as well, like a really sub-par antipasto), Ox Head (Vietnamese), Rideau Restaurant (Chinese), and Sukothai (Thai). I thought that Cabotto's in Stittsville was decent in a very traditional Italian-Canadian way, but not really very evocative of the old country.
The torture of working in Kanata is being forced to endure some pretty execrable chain stuff, like Baton Rouge, which is beloved by some of my local colleagues but that I consider typical casual-dining chain awfulness: I think my mashed potatoes came from a box. I've had some pretty horrible Indian at Haveli and Bombay Masala; I thought the local Indian ex-pat population might drive demand for something better. There seems to be dozens of very interchangeable casual-dining chain menus: burgers, fake Mexican, mediocre steaks, giant bland pasta dishes. British-style pubs seems popular, too, but what I've had at places like Royal Oak and The Glen, a Scottish place, has been really unremarkable, like English food from the era before the gastropub revolution. I thought that Perspectives is admirably ambitious but not worth the money. I'll keep digging, and still welcome any suggestions for the non-terrible in Kanata, too.