Sunday, March 08, 2015

Whoooooose There at Morning Owl?

A couple of weeks back, I had the pleasure of being downtown to visit a client to go over recent work my company had completed.

I had saw that the old Quiznos store at 139 Bank Street had closed and was undergoing renovation to a Morning Owl Coffeehouse. I had heard rave reviews about their other location on Rochester Street but, for whatever reason, never went there.

I ventured in a lunch time on a Friday after hearing about their specials on Twitter and was interested in their Turkey Club Sandwich with perhaps, them being a coffee house, a cup of coffee.

The new location at 139 Bank Street has a modern looking coffee shop interior with a counter overlooking the sidewalk at the front and a few small tables inside.   Along the right hand side of the narrow store is the main counter where the food is ordered, prepared and paid for along with the coffee products.

I waited in line that moved fairly quickly to order with one of the two employees behind the counter who were preparing the food.  From there I gradually moved forward to the cash to order the sandwich (again!) and coffee.  Everything, except for the sandwich ordering, seemed somewhat smooth as the coffee came quick and, after a return back to the two friendly ladies prepping food, I got my sandwich.

For $10.06 including tax (or thereabouts) I had a turkey club sandwich, which seemed to be regular bread sized, and a cup of coffee.  Not great value wise but what about quality wise?  Only one way to find out...

I sat down at the front counter overlooking the sidewalk.  All the other tables were full of downtown office workers enjoying their lunch time.  The sandwich was the first victim.   The bread, if you call it that, was a tasty artisan crunchy layer that was like a bready pie crust.  Not bad, but I wasn't sold on it totally.  The rest of the sandwich tasted like it was "cared for".  The lettuce and tomatoes were noticeably as fresh as could sourced for February in Ottawa.  The mayonaise was noticeable but not overbearing.  The turkey was excellent.  A pretty good sandwich with only one change I would make, perhaps some locally sourced old school baked bread that is more bread like and less artistically inclined?  Is that so wrong?  It probably would sell well considering the pubs around this place only really don't concentrate on the freshness aspect as well as Morning Owl seems to.

The coffee was exquisite.  Fresh tasting with a decent decadent taste to it. I'd probably return to Morning Owl Coffeehouse if I was in the area again.

Overall, Morning Owl Coffeehouse is not your local Tim Hortons.  Freshness and quality is top of mind instead of volume and cost effectiveness.  Don't bother entering the door looking for cheap items as you will leave empty handed.  But customers can expect quality prepared food that seems to have that old school local business touch along with decent service.   That's really "whoooooooose at Morning Owl!  People who care!

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