I was visiting friends in Ottawa this past weekend with another mutual friend, both of us from Montreal. Our friends had made a reservation at Empire Grill where they had been for brunch but never for dinner. They both had really enjoyed their brunch and several of their friends had given a "Thumbs Up" to their dinner chioice.
Well, what a crappy meal.
We arrived at 7:30, were immediately seated and within 10 minutes, ordered our meals which consisted of salads for 3 of us and hamburgers for all of us. The salads arrived relatively promptly and, to the credit of this restaurant, were very good. We then waited and waited, with the server, who kept apologizing for the delay, explaining that the kitchen was overwhelmed by the size of the crowd???? It was was Saturday night at a very popular restaurant and the kitchen was overwhelmed???
Well. at 8:55, the hamburgers arrived, and boy oh boy, McDonalds would have been better. In our opinions, the line cooks must have left these burgers on the grill at least 15 - 20 minutes beyond their "done" stage. They were so dry that when I attempted to cut through the burger with a fork and hefty steak knife, I had to do a sawing motion and the bun was so dried out that it resembled drywall.
The server was very apologetic and the manager came over and told us that there would something done to compensate for this disaster.
We were comped for the burgers, but there is no way that these meals should have left the kitchen in the first place.
Our Ottawa hosts (who were completely embarressed) vowed to never patronize this restaurant again.
I'm not trying to put down Ottawa restaurants because I'm from Montreal (I've had bad dinners in Montreal) but they was the worst ever.
47 Clarence St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9K1, CA
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