Bowman's Bar & Grill
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Hintonburg/ Preston/ Chinatown
Foods from Bowman's Bar & Grill
2015 Jun 3
I hate to be "that guy" and log on just to write a negative review, but I honestly can't emphasize enough how much this place should be avoided. We were a party of 10, and there was only one other party in the restaurant at the time (another party of around 10). The food took more than an hour to come out, and when it did, it was thoroughly unexceptional and below average. I had the curried parsnip soup, which was watery and flavourless, and the fish lettuce wraps, which were mostly just batter with little actual fish. The wraps were bland and incredibly disappointing, especially after waiting so long. My companions' meals were similarly disappointing: the basics (sandwiches, brunch dishes) were below average, though one or two were nicely done.
The service also left a terrible taste. After waiting so long for the food, we got our bills only to find that there was 18% automatically added because it was "industry standard" for parties of 6 or more. Of course, I'd suggest it's not "industry standard" to wait an hour or more for our meals. We had made our frustration with the long wait clear; most places I've been to will (gladly or reluctantly) comp a dish or two in this situation. That wasn't done here.
I honestly was hoping throughout the long wait that it would be worth it; I had seen the reviews on this site and was excited to have a pub-style place that could do food well. Tasting the food was a bitter disappointment; it wouldn't have even been worth an average wait. The worst part from my point of view was that my mother had been there a year ago, and mentioned that the service was completely disorganized and the food below average. We decided to give it our own shot, figuring enough time had passed to get things humming. Sadly, nothing had changed.
I'm sorry to again to log on to write this, but after such a disheartening experience, I felt the need to share.
2015 Apr 4
Nothing but love for this place. 10 draft taps, all craft beers from our local breweries. The food is all gourmet twists on old pub favourites and comfort foods, executed quite brilliantly. Absolutely no "culinary gibberish" here, just classic dishes cranked up a few notches, almost everything done from scratch.
Price is about the same as the Oak... a.k.a. a little on the high side around $30-35 per person (dinner) but at least here the food is worth it. I will be here a lot :)
2014 Aug 25
Had the pleasure of dining at Bowman's last week. We were greeted warmly and the quality service continued throughout our meal. Deep fried pickles were excellent, a mix of thick cut dills and baby cornichons with a good buttermilk dip. Fresh salad, delicious pork belly club, and excellent burgers (topped with "bacon jam") were had, ordered with tater tots (fun delicious option) and fries (only quibble, these were overdone, but still ok). Very good selection of craft beers is on tap. You won't be disappointed here, next I want to try their brunch.
2013 Dec 21
I had to go for the fried chicken. As I bit into the breast it was evident from the juiciness and tenderness this had been brined in buttermilk as with many places down south. This is their take on chicken and waffles with the waffles replaced by corn cakes. The greens today were kale that were very enjoyable. I was told collards are an option upon availability. One of my complaints with this dish as with most chicken in Ottawa is the size. I guess the cold weather prevents big birds in our city and the portion is reflected by that with a wing,leg and breast all on the small side for a medium to larger eater. The coating had adhesion issues and was a tad on the dark side possibly from hotter than recommended oil temps with a slight greasiness to it creating a texture less than crispy. The corn cakes were great and the cilantro jalapeno creme good.
2013 Dec 21
Everything we ordered was fresh made. My wife got the Pappardelle Short-Rib Ragout and it was executed perfectly. Pasta a hearty cut and still firm, some of the best we have had in Ottawa. Flavors blended great. Fresh pieces of mushroom and snow peas whats not to like. Nice version of a meat and pasta dish that was balanced and hearty. Freshness is a theme at this new establishment. I think this will be my next choice in the future.
2013 Dec 21
Our first visit was great. The deep fried pickles were made to order. Cut into nuggets and lightly panko breaded. The pickle still retained a firm texture with a hearty vinegar finish.They came with a buttermilk ranch dip that was a little hard to detect through the flavor of the pickle. Nice job.
2014 Apr 1
Stopped in early for brunch a few weekends ago and we were greeted by a friendly and welcoming host. There weren't any other patrons in at 10:30am so we got his undivided attention while we chatted about how the space had really transformed since it's Dubrovnik days. The space felt more open without the split level seating and the tall ceilings helped the room feel brighter as well.
I ordered the 'Salute to Benny' which came with a fresh side salad. The eggs came nice and runny, covered in a rich hollandaise sauce with crisp and salty pancetta; but the best part for me was the potato cakes which substituted the English muffins. The potato cakes were crusted and fried, crispy on the outside and perfect for scooping up with some runny yokes and pancetta crumbles. I always found the most boring part of the eggs Benedict was the English muffin anyways :)
My only complaint was that they didn't have any fresh juices which are usually offered by most brunch places.
My breakfast buddy got the Huevos Rancheros, which he said was really good; not great enough to come running back but a solid breakfast option which he wouldn't mind getting again. We shared a side pancake too which was airy and fluffy as we stared longingly at the home-made list of desserts.
We'll have to come back for those another time.
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