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.
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