Sunday, July 07, 2013

Check the Clock Tower for the Time While I Eat

Friday for lunch I stopped by the Clock Tower Brew Pub (422 MacKay Street, Ottawa) with a coworker.  I had been intrigued by this small Ottawa based chain of four locations. 

What is their claim to fame? Obviously it is that Clock Tower brews their own beer.  But would this just a beer only place or would the food be superb or merely mediocre?   Only one way to find out.  

We entered shortly after 1 P.M. to mainly empty pub with a couple of tables inside occupied and the same outside on the patio.  With the temperature pushing thirty degrees Celsius, we decided to sit inside to enjoy the air conditioning.  

One server walked by, apologized and said she would be right with us.  Fifteen seconds later another server stopped by, apologized for the wait and showed us to our seats.  Not sure what all the apologies were about, we were barely there a minute.  

At our seats we perused the menues.  The Club Sandwich stuck out to me.  Perhaps it was the failed attempt at mediocrity still ringing in my taste buds via the Club Sandwich served at my previous visit at Broadway Bar and Grill

I half thought about ordering a beer, but considering there was work to be done that afternoon, I stayed away.  

The server who seated us returned to be our waitress for the afternoon.  She took our orders and then left. 

My Order: 1 Clocktower Club (Grilled chicken breast, peameal bacon, mayo, lettuce & tomato served on ciabatta) with fries and Pepsi. 

The food came respectable ten minutes after ordering.  So far the service was excellent and timely.  The waitress ensured we had refills on our drinks and ketchup was brought to the table.  

The club sandwich plate looked well presented with the sandwich one side and the fries in a sepearate bowl, but also on the plate.  This got me thinking, was I being jipped on the fries or was this to keep the theoretical ketchup I was about to add from coagulating with the sandwich?  The other theory was to make the fries seem larger in quantity.  I leaned to latter option as it appeared there could of been more fries especially at a price of $13.50.  

The fries were pretty tasty and better than I had at Broadway.  They looked at least close to a fresh cut fries I have seen a pub provide to it's patrons.  They were also still warm from being made but not overly greasy.  

The club was equally as good an attempt as the fries. Freshly grilled chicken coupled with peameal bacon on a noticeably nicely tasting ciabatta bun provided a significant improvement over the average club sandwich served elsewhere.  A nice fresh cooked sandwich and fries washed down with a cold glass of Pepsi was a perfect lunch.  

Next things got interesting.  We started looking for our waitress for the bill so we could continue the afternoon.  She had not been in our area for a while.  Where was she?  We saw her wiz by out the front door with plates in hand.  Surely she was not also covering the patio outside as well?   Afraid so, she was bringing plates of food out to the other three tables outside despite another waitress being available indoors. But our server was quickly back inside and back to the kitchen.  She returned to the patio and dropped some more off and gathered other drink orders.  Took a non-complainable five minutes to find our waitress in order to ask for the bill. But the optics of her working both the patio outside and then back inside seemed a little weird.  Perhaps this minor issue could be fine tuned as if she had to handle one or two more tables, the server would have been in trouble.

Overall, the food at the Clock Tower Brew Pub was pretty good. The brew pub noticeably cared just as much about what food was served with their specialized beer. No second rate or mediocre food here, just well thought out tested pub foods with a slight culinary twist.  Nothing overly fancy gourmet but nothing mediocre or average either, just a happy medium that will keep the people coming back time and time again.

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