Today my wife and I headed over to the Westboro part of Ottawa. We stopped by Moe's Newport Restaurant (334 Richmond Road, Ottawa) to try out this Ottawa institution.
Institution? The restaurant dates back to before 1987 when Moe Atallah took over ownership and even the Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, has recommended it as one of his favourite places to eat.
But the restaurant is on the move as of January 2013 in an attempt to downsize operations. It will be a sad day once the Elvis Sighting Society and Newport Restaurant move down the street after being at the location for so many years. The move has been extensively reported by both the Ottawa Citizen and the CBC amongst others.
We arrived at 12:30 P.M. with the restaurant half full of customers. Three waitresses were hopping as they cheerfully served their customers. We seated ourselves and three minutes later our waitress brought over the menues and two glasses of ice water. She inquired what we would like to drink and then dissapeared.
She came back with our drinks and inquired if we were ready to order. We were not as of yet and cheerfully said if we had any questions please inquire and then dissapeared for five minutes. Upon her return we were ready.
The Order: 1 Classic Burger with French Fries and a Coke and 1 Chicken Sandwich Platter with a Glass of Water.
The food arrived around ten minutes later. The drinks though were interesting. $1.95 for what turned out to be a can of Coke and glass with ice. They did have "fountain pop" on the menu, but Iit was never inquired as to which I would prefer (i.e. fountain or can) and, unlike many other restaurants, no free refills.
The Classic Burger with fries was a solid contender for good diner food. The burger was topped with bacon and all the trimmings including ketchup, mustard and relish. The burger itself was juicy but nothing overly special that suggested a "secret family recipe."
The fries seemed to be fresh cut, but seem to be similar to those found at the University of Ottawa's Le Bac a Frites which may draw the freshness into doubt. But nonetheless, a solid batch of French Fries for a diner setting.
The chicken sandwich Platter contained fries and a side salad. The side salad was drowned in italien dressing. The salad seemed half toss salad and italian dressing half cole slaw.
The atmosphere of the restaurant took you back to a 1980's diner with Ottawa Sun Columnist Earl McRae columns mixed with Elvis Memorobilia and positive newspaper dining reviews.
Overall, the restaurant has seen it's heyday and is indeed an Ottawa institution. It still serves solid diner food but may need a retweek that may be coming soon with the aformentioned move.