On a previous Friday for lunch I decided to spin my luck on the old the Zomato wheel of fortune to see where I would end up.
First, a Sushi place. Nope, don't like Sushi (please leave all hate mail down below...tried it a couple of times from real Japanese places, just never acquired the taste for it).
Second, a nice interesting spot, Wild Oat Bakery, Cafe & Restaurant (817 Bank Street, Ottawa). In past visits to the Glebe I had never set foot in this store figuring it would be some hipster coffee hangout. I decided to go and visit to check it out. If it didn't work out, shrug, no loss as there are a couple of other places I could investigate or just go and have pancakes.
I entered the store around noon and strolled past the bakery and through a doorway. There was another counter where they served coffee. My glasses had to defrost due to the change in temperature from the cold minus twenty Celsius outside to whatever warmth they had inside. After defrosting things got more interesting. In the coffee shop side (i.e. "The Cafe") there were tables to sit down at plus a long counter for singles to sit at to people watch the traffic going by on the sidewalk.
I perused the menu at the coffee shop which had some specials and then ventured over to the bakery side. With a refreshed view from my now defrosted glasses things were a little more appetizing. I even noticed the soup and chili counter near the front door I came in which had almost a dozen options to choose from along with what appeared to be a freshly made roll to accompany your selection! I scooped up some chili and headed to the cash with roll in hand and headed for the cash at the bakery.
The Order: 1 Vegetarian Chocolate Chili, Roll and a coffee.
After picking up the chili, I headed over to the coffee bar to grab a cup of their regular black coffee before finding a seat.
I found a seat near the window and dug into the chili.
The Vegetarian Chocolate Chili I chose because it sounded interesting. Why would you add Chocolate to Chili? It never crossed my mind to do so but I thought it was worth a try. The Vegetarian part? Didn't bother me as I had tried non meat chilies and other vegetarian concoctions that have been a culinary delight.
The Chocolate part was lacking. I couldn't even taste it and my tongue was looking for either a milk or dark chocolate flavour but came up empty. But besides that the chili was excellent with just the right amount of spice to provide the odd kick but nothing over the top "quick turn on the tap my mouth is on fire" spiciness. It would be a solid contestant in any neighbourhood chili contest.
The coffee was a decent tasting coffee. A real effort, like the chili, was made to ensure the coffee was of the right quality. After all, one of the key ingredients of a good "cafe" is a solid cup of coffee, and the Cafe at Wild Oat has it.
Overall, Wild Oat Bakery Cafe & Restaurant specializes in old style home cooked meals that would make your grandparents proud. With special attention to ingredients for vegetarians as well as taste, the bakery, cafe and restaurant produces quality food. At less than $10 for a solid portion of Chili and a cup of coffee it's a great lunch spot. Add in a vast selection of breads, soups, chilies and other items it is a great spot to explore with your taste buds.
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