Monday, December 19, 2011

Nickel Plate Bar & Grill (Fishers, IN)

8654 East 116th Street Fishers, Indiana 46038, T: 317-841-2888

Nickel Plate Bar & Grill is the premier sports bar in Fishers, Indiana, and listed as having one of the best burgers of Indianapolis. It is bot bar and restaurant, which in Indiana means there are noth smoking and non-smoking areas! I ordered a cup of "Our World Famous Hobo Stew" ($3.99), which was extremely filled and chunky, but unfortunately also largely tasteless. I followed up with The Nickel Plate Burger (Cajun spices, grilled onions, served on grilled Texas toast; I opted out of the Hot Pepper cheese). The burger was thick, but a bit dry, the Cajun not very spicy: a decent, but not remarkable, burger. The fries were soggy but ok.

VERDICT: 78/100
The Nickel Plate Bar & Grill is a regular sports bar with regular bar food.

Dunn's Famous (Ottawa, ON)

220 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 1L7, T: 613-230-6444

Dunn's Famous is a chain of smoked meats restaurants that originated in Montreal and currently has five restaurants in that city, two in Ottawa, and one in Vancouver. It has a very extensive menu: burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, soups, salads, etc. The restaurant in the heart of Ottawa is open 24 hours and advertizes its breakfasts.

I ordered the Devine Breakfast ($12.99): three eggs, mixed grill, pancake or French toast, home fries, bagel or toast. The breakfast is HUGE! Massive amounts of decent home fries, three strips of tasty bacon, two nice links, one piece of Canadian bacon, three medium over eggs, one piece of not too sweet French toast, and four slices of wheat toast. A breakfast of champions (or truckers)!

VERDICT: 82/100
This is a huge breakfast, good quality, but also quite pricey.

Shawarma King (Ottawa, ON)

395 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 1Y3, T: 613-233-2226

It is almost impossible to get good shoarma/shawarma in the US, let alone in the Midwest, so I am always happy when I go to a Canadian city, which seems to have more options (and of higher quality). Shawarma King has been voted Ottawa's Best Lebanese Fast Food eleven years running (1997-2008), so I had high expectations. Even the ghetto exterior, and interior, couldn't deter me; in fact, I took them as proof of authenticity.

I ordered a Small Shawarma Sandwich (CDN$4.99): Lebanese bread, beef strips (from big skewer), different beets, lettuce, onion, garlic spread, all pressed like a panini. Although this is not my favorite way of preparing shoarma, it is fairly authentic, and so was the taste. Unfortunately, the meat was of very poor quality and very dry. To be honest, I didn't eat more than one third of the sandwich.

VERDICT: 56/100
While the pace looks and smells authentic, and the shawarma is prepared in a fairly authentic manner, the poor quality of the meat made it a big disappointment.

T D Chips (Ottawa, ON)

372 Lisgar St. (Bank St.), Ottawa, ON K2P 1Z9, Canada

Ontario seems to be the place for food carts. While Ottawa does not have so many food carts as Toronto (it is also a much smaller city), I came across several of them. This is the one I tried, in part because of the fact that I saw several people eating or waiting around it.

T D Chips sells... well... chips, or fries as non-Brits call them. While it also has a couple of other snacks (e.g. hamburgers and hot dogs), it is known for fries and poutine. I ordered a small portion of fries (CDN$ 3). Unfortunately, they only had ketchup, mustard, and vinegar... not mayonnaise. Sill, the fries were thick, crunchy and fresh! They had a good taste, even though they tasted a bit dry without sauce.

VERDICT: 89/100
This is a great chips truck, particularly if you eat them with ketchup or vinegar.