I have visited this Second Cup (50 Rideau Street, Ottawa) several times during my time in Ottawa. Usually I'm passing through the Rideau Centre to visit the ByWard Market, pick something up from the mall or visit elsewhere.
This Second Cup, like others nearby, has superb flavoured coffees on rotation. However, this location seems to have the flavoured coffees brewed in a more timely manner due to the volume of customers passing through. Thus, unlike other locations where the coffee may sit for hours on end, you are almost assured a fresh cup of flavoured coffee.
This past Thursday I stopped by for a midmorning snack and joined the line. The line up at this location tends to be slightly longer than others due to the volume. Normally there are three experienced employees working the line at a time so it moves quickly and efficently, unless there is a customer that is dumbfounded over what to order. But that is not usually the falt of the establishment but more the fault of the customer, heck it even happens at McDonald's.
The only quibble I have with this location is the labelling of the baked goods. Sometimes they have trays of savoury muffins, cookies, danishes and other baked goods tempting customers. But there are missing labels as to a name and a cost of some of the ones on offer. This leaves the customer to inquire with the workers about what each one is wasting even more time in line.
This happenned on Thursday where I was looking at a danish wondering if it was raspberry, cherry or strawberry. I had narrowed it down that it wasn't strawberry as the jelly looked too dark of a red. But the customer in front of me in line asked about a muffin on the shelf above the danish. The muffin turned out to be a Banana Chocolate Muffin. So much for the danish....
The Order: 1 Medium Paradiso Coffee with 1 Banana Chocolate Muffin.
I placed my order and retrieved my food to retreat to the small seating area in the mall outside the former Sears store.
I dug into the Banana Chocolate Muffin. It was a little dry to the taste. The chocolate didn't help matters as it was the dried chocolate sprinkled on top. The Banana tasted like it had been baked in and dried out. The muffin could have been there for a while I suppose, but normally Second Cup rotates the goodies out of their showcases on a regular basis to bring new tastes in.
The Paradiso Coffee was normal. It is the non-flavoured medium roast coffee of Second Cups everywhere. Normally I enjoy Second Cup's medium roasted flavoured coffees like the Belgian Chocolate, French Vanilla, Holiday Blend or Hazelnut. This occasion nothing struck my fancy, so I went with the plain Paradiso blend.
The Paradiso though does stand on it's own. It is weaker than the strong Starbucks offerings and tastes better than the run of the mill Tim Horton's coffee. Thus I find Second Cup's Paradiso blend to be a happy second choice when visiting.
Overall, this Second Cup location provides fresher coffees than other Second Cup locations. However, it needs to pull its socks up in terms of focusing on labelling the baked goods. The location seems to be able to label the coffees on offer without any issue, but somehow the baked goods are forgotten. This may lead to customers not ordering the goods leaving them to sit for a while. I still enjoy this location due to the experienced service provided and the convenience for those passing through the mall.