Today for lunch I decided to turn back the block to the late 1990s and early 2000s by returning to my alma-mater, the University of Ottawa.
During my university career I used to visit the "fry shack" located in the parking lot between New Residence and Simard Hall at 56 Universite Private (Ottawa) on frequent basis. Back then it was owned by a Francophone couple name Gilles & Cecile. Gilles was there year round and Cecile during the spring, summer and fall. Both always greated customers with a friendly hello or bonjour and knew the University and surrounding area well. They took pride in their food by ensuring every last part of the meal was satisfactory to the customer. After I left the University of Ottawa in 2002, Gilles and Cecile decided to retire and sold the business, Le Bac a Frites, to Alvarro.
I have attempted to eat lunch at Le Bac a Frites at noon for two consecutive Fridays but came up empty handed. Why? Mainly because the line up to order was too long. But there is not much management can do except request an expansion from the University as there are 3 people working in such a small building. To solve that problem, I visited today shortly after they opened at 11 A.M.
Today at 11:05 A.M, I visited Alvarro who greeted me with "What you would like my good man?".
The Order: 1 Hamburger Combo (1 hamburger all dressed with medium fries and 1 can of Coke) - $8.50 including taxes.
The team went together with 1 finishing up chopping the onion and other vegetables to start working the grill for the burger and the other working the fryer for the fries. Alvarro handed me my can of Coke and I waited politly as more customers approached the counter.
5 minutes later, I was handed my freshly cooked meal and I was off. Normally during the spring, summer and fall, Le Back A Frites provides metal picnic tables to sit at and enjoy your freshly cooked meal. Today, I declined due to the light rain the Ottawa area was experiencing and headed for the main cafeteria seating area in the Jock Turcot University Centre.
I entered the cafeteria to find it to have been renovated probably 5 times over since I was last there. New tables and seating along with Chartwells as the new food supplier seemed to have modernized the food court counter area.
I sat down and dug into my meal. The Hamburger was exactly as I remembered it. Tasty paddy with freshly prepared ingredients topped with mustard, relish and ketchup. The only possible thing I noticed was the burger may have shrank a little bit in size. But considering I have not eaten there in 10 years, it is hard to know for sure.
The fries were just as I remembered them. Hot and Solid fries that are great doused in ketchup.
Overall, Le Bac a Frites has not changed even with the transition to new ownership. Same friendly service is provided with the small business proprieter on the premises serving quality food.
Ask the Professor, December 5, 2016
1 hour ago