Cat's Fish and Chips: Restaurant Review

The other day one of my Facebook friends posted a lovely picture of her fish and chips dinner. The caption read "it's hard to find good fish 'n chips in Ottawa" - as a Brit, she should know. Britain is the land where fish and chips was born! Yesterday was my husband's 32nd birthday, and my friend's photo gave me a great idea. I decided to take my hubby out to the best fish and chips place in Ottawa. My husband is the guy who must try fish and chips at every restaurant/pub we visit - a lot of these meals have been pretty gross. It's easy to screw up fish and chips!

I did some googling, and found Cat's Fish and Chips at Hemlock and St. Laurent. The ambiance takes me right back to Casey Key, Florida, where my family loves to vacation every winter. If I closed my eyes, I could almost hear the ocean waves.


We sat on the patio, and ordered a beer - Beau's Festivale for my hubby (you get to take home the glass, but I believe this brew will be done soon!). The server was extremely welcoming and helpful, and the food arrived in record time. We tried the Crow's Nest (seasoned and fried onions) with chipotle and dill dipping sauces, and then opted for the halibut. Portions are GIANT, so think about it before you consider ordering 2 pieces of fish :)

We were too full for desert, but I can't wait to go back and try their homemade doughnut topped with a scoop of ice cream. There was a kids menu, which would offer smaller portions for the wee ones.

And speaking of kids, I was delighted to see that Cat's was very kid-friendly. The bathroom even had a wooden change table and pad - much nicer than those plastic monstrosities. And any child would be delighted with the decor, which makes you feel as though you're inside an old ship!

Price-wise, Cat's is very reasonable. Our bill was on the higher end, given that we paid extra for the halibut and indulged in an appetizer and some drinks. Most meals are between $10 - $15 (I found the kids menu a bit pricey, but given that my girls don't eat very much when we go out, I would probably have them share something)

And for those of you gluten free - Cat's has a whole menu dedicated to gluten free fare!

It was a lovely meal, and we ended the evening by walking through the National Cemetery of Canada. We definitely needed that walk after a healthy dose of fried fats :) I think Cat's may become one of our family's favourite restaurants in Ottawa!

Dining with kids at the Elgin Street Diner

by Brie Once upon a time I was a food snob. I loved good food. I liked to eat in nice restaurants, you know, with tablecloths. I hated to pay for bad food. Then I had kids. Now I am a food snob of a different kind.

We don't go out often to eat with the kids. When we do, given the frantic nature of the meal, there are certain things that we look for in a restaurant. Luckily we can find everything we are looking for at the Elgin Street Dinner.

Here are my top 5 reasons that the Elgin Street Diner is a great restaurant for kids.

1. The food comes fast Diners are the perfect choice for kids because the food is fast to come out from the kitchen. In fact I sometimes feel like I am waiting longer for the food to cool enough for the kids to eat it then I am for it to be brought to the table.

2. Distractions are plentiful The crayons and place mats for colouring that are handed out to all the kids when they arrive help to pass the time while you wait for the food. We usually bring some books with us too. If neither of those interest your kids you can probably keep them entertained for awhile watching all the people coming and going. A diner is perfect for people watching.

3. The servers are used to kids I am always thankful that the servers are used to kids. They know to bring extra napkins. They understand when we ask for the bill half way through the meal. They don't even look surprised when a glass of milk gets spilled. I am pretty sure they have seen it all at the Elgin Street Diner and that dinner with my two kids isn't the worst of it.

4. There is something on the menu your kids will eat Elgin Street Diner has an extensive menu, and with all day breakfast you can't really go wrong, but our kids are always happy to order off the kids' menu. In fact they always order the same thing. My 4 year old daughter gets the grilled cheese sandwich and my 2 year old son gets the macaroni and cheese. Once they totally threw me for a loop by switching their orders. Thankfully once the dishes arrived they decided to switch again and the order of the universe was restored. Phew, they had me going for awhile there.

5. It's loud. My kids are loud. They aren't even trying to be, they just are. I really, really appreciate being able to take them to eat somewhere where the noises from the kitchen and other patrons are as loud as they are. It means that instead of spending the whole meal being the mom that says "shhh" I get to actually eat my food.

The Elgin Street Diner is definitely an Ottawa institution.If you haven't been there since a 4am trip for poutine after a late night at the bars, I think it is time you stopped by. With the kids.

Brie is the mom of a 4 year old daughter “the girl” and 2 old son “the boy”. You can read her blog at Capital Mom.