photo by Mico Mazza

Sandy Hill Lounge and Grill

THE SANDY HILL Lounge and Grill is serving up one of the best breakfasts near campus on the corner of Blackburn and Somerset Street East. Apart from dishing up mouth-watering burgers, the perfect medium-rare steak, $10 pitchers of beer, Cajun-inspired meals, and some of the best pies in the city, this Canadian “soul food” restaurant is a Sunday brunch hot spot I will not soon forget!

The restaurant seats nearly 30 patrons, not including ample space at the bar. When you walk into the Sandy Hill Lounge and Grill, you instantly lay your eyes on the colourful fish tank and are greeted by the friendly wait staff.

Featuring old photographs and maps of the Sandy Hill area from the turn of the century, as well as portraits of old prime ministers, this restaurant is a treasure trove of Ottawa history. The Sandy Hill Lounge and Grill has traditional decor, an old-style bar, and a casual atmosphere.

If you don’t mind waiting for a delicious meal, the breakfast specials are numerous and to die for, served between 10 a.m and 2 p.m. I was fortunate enough to order The Biggie, which is the larger version of their regular breakfast special of two eggs, toast, a meat, and home fries. For $10, The Biggie comes with three eggs any way you want, along with toast, home fries, grilled tomato, sausage, bacon, Canadian back bacon, and in-house roasted ham.

The home fries are grilled with sweet green onion and the sausage, bacon, and back bacon were delicious and cooked perfectly. The house ham is the star of this delicious breakfast: A succulent roasted ham reminiscent of a fine, homemade dinner. The coffee, which comes in a sizeable mug, is under a dollar—always a plus for students.

I was happy to see other patrons’ breakfasts, as the specials tend to change. The French toast waffle looked particularly delicious, as did the crab cakes benedict and The Gypsy’s Breakfast Special which features pork schnitzel and braised sauerkraut. I was in awe at the quality and imagination put into these dishes and left deliciously satisfied.

—Joshua Pride