For a while I had been intrigued by an Ottawa sandwich chain but never made it. So Friday, I ventured over to Fat Albert's downtown location (245 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa) which is accompanied by a Ralph's Neighbourhood Sports Bar.
Upon entering I stood stunned. How in the heck do I get a sub sandwich and find a table like I would at Mr. Sub. or Subway? After standing there dumbfounded and attempting to work my way to the counter that turned out to be the kitchen I was met by a waitress. The waitress inquired if I would like to have something for there or to go. She showed me to a table and handed me a menu. Interesting a sub shop that is more of a restaurant.
The restaurant overlooks Laurier Avenue West near O'Connor Street with a small local bar setting. There were three waitresses working with one of the three learning. There were two customers at 11:30 A.M. including myself. So service started well and I selected a sandwich and ordered.
The Order: 1 12" Club Sub with a bottle of Pepsi.
The sandwich came before 10 minutes in a Quiznos style plastic basket. One of the interesting things, and it may only be my experience, is my waitress never asked if I want to add any toppings like Subway or other sandwich shop. I was forced to get the only option from the menu, no options no nothing.
The sandwich itself was pretty good oven roasted. Cheese, lettuce, tomato and bacon were average for a sandwich place. Nothing great, just a neighbourhood sports bar feeling sandwich which I guess is great for a "Ralph's Neighbourhood Sports Bar" feel.
Price wise Fat Albert's is a little off. The $8.49 for the sandwich could be a little more economical, but perhaps the worst is the 591 ml bottle of Pepsi at $2.49. A sandwich lunch after tax is $12.49 which also doesn't include a tip for the waitress service.
Add to this, a large group came in of 8 people, plus 2 guys who somehow have Friday lunch reservation spots at the bar and 2 other businessmen also arriving. The waitress I had was a little overwhelmed and took a little while to return with my change. Really, after receiving the expensive bill for a sub sandwich, all I wanted to do was leave and get back to work.
Overall, Fat Albert's somehow has a loyal following. Overpriced sandwiches coupled with a bar atmosphere may needs some tweaking. Why isn't there an option just order a sandwich, grab a pop out of the fridge fast food style? I guess then, they wouldn't call it Fat Albert's but would be labelled "Subway". I left feeling if Bill Cosby's character Fat Albert had of arrived to eat, he would leave full and broke.
What Yonge and Gerrard will look like in 10 years
31 minutes ago