Benny's Bistro
Weekend Brunch at Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Weekend Brunch at Benny's Bistro
Weekend Brunch at Benny's Bistro
Foods from Benny's Bistro

2008 May 10
ksw: You must have had the same waitress we had! We were there last weekend, as well, and were served by an extremely surly young lady who also left us alone for unacceptable stretches. She literally threw our entrees at us when they arrived, and bolted away before we could ask for pepper or anything. When she did finally return, we were nearly finished and our request for pepper was met with a roll of the eyes and a huff. At one point we requested more water, and it never came. I finally had to get up, manoeuver my way between the crowded tables and ask the other server (who seemed perfectly pleasant) for water. The request was communicated to Ms. Surly who came over and filled our waters, mumbling sorry as she actually sloshed water all over the table, not making any attempt to wipe it up.

I also saw her serving bread with her bare hands... after just taking someone's cash, and dropping off some dirty dishes. Gross. She also reached into the basket with her hands a few times to eat some bread, herself, which I also found pretty disgusting. And no, I normally wouldn't watch a waitress this closely, but I was trying to stare her down for 20 minutes to get her to come to our table!

We almost asked to see a manager -- someone that awful could ruin a good place.

Anyway, I agree with you that the food is very good there, but very, very rich. I always come away feeling slightly overindulged (which is fine for the once in a while we go there). As for the potatoes, my husband had them as well... they were halved fingerlings. Not quite "hash", but we liked them just fine.

2008 May 9
ksw: defines "hash" as such:

*A dish of finely chopped meat (roast beef and corned beef are the most common), potatoes and seasonings, usually fried together until lightly browned. Other chopped vegetables, such as green pepper, celery and onion, can also be added. Hash is sometimes served with gravy or sauce. hash v. To chop food into small pieces.*

So, in essence, a true hash wouldn't be "smushed", but would be chopped pieces. Not sure how this relates to the hash you had, seeing as you mentioned small roasted potatoes and not chopped potatoes, but interesting none the less.

2008 May 9
Went for brunch last Saturday. Arrived around 11:00 and although all the tables were full, there was no one else waiting. Within 5 minutes we had a table. About 10 minutes later we looked up and there were at least 10 people in line and the line stayed that long until we left at 12:30. Boy did we go at the right time!
Well, I have to be honest that I was not so enamoured by my experience.

First the not so good:
1. It was exceptionally noisy - not the people but the servers with the dishes. They seemed to be purposely slamming and banging the dirty dishes around as they brought them back to the kitchen (which is not fun when you are sitting right beside where they drop them off while waiting for your table). It's a bit odd that the dish drop off is at the counter (as well as the dishwasher I think?) and not around the corner in the kitchen. This adds immensely to the noise. I felt like I was at Mello's instead of at a nice Bistro.
2. Our server was not very pleasant. Never got one smile, ignored any attempt we made to get her attention, left us alone for unacceptable amounts of time (our empty plates were left in front of us for almost half an hour) and she forgot my order of a croissant with jam and when I mentioned it at the end so it would be not added to our bill she cut me off and said "yeah I know I forgot it". If she knew then why did she never bring it to me?
3. I ordered a cappuccino and it came with foam (I am not joking) about 5 inches high. It was impossible to drink it because you couldn't get anywhere near the coffee portion without scraping off this leaning tower of Pisa of foam - but there was no where for me to put it. So I just moved it around and stirred it until it finally melted a bit and by then my cap was cold. Why on god's green earth would anyone put that much foam on a cap? And I drink caps all the time from all kinds of sources in all kinds of countries. I have never seen that before.....
4. It was unbearably hot in there - they really need to do something about the air circulation or turn on the AC or something. We were both in a sweat.
4. The food, although good was very, very greasy - like they poured olive oil over it before serving or something.

The Good (sort of):
1. The food was very tasty. I ordered: Poached eggs on a potato gratin with sausage. The sausage was nice and spicy and I asked for the eggs hardboiled and they were perfectly done. The potato gratin was delish but way too large of a portion I felt.
He ordered: the special which was an omelette filled with cheeses and veggies but I can't remember what and came with toast. He also ordered the side dish of bacon and potato hash. This was a bit misleading since I am pretty sure something called "hash" should be sort of smushed up. We figured sort of fried mashed potatoes mixed with bacon. But it was just small roasted potatoes and pieces of fatty bacon (lardons), how is this a hash?
2. Atmosphere (other than the loudness and the heat) was nice. Loved the art on the walls.
So since this has been on my wish list for so long I would like to try it again and see if the experience is at all improved.
Sorry to any Benny's lovers!

2008 Mar 27
Great bistro! I was impressed by the quality of the food since I am not a big fan of the French baker (unlike some people, I've been very disappointed by their croissants or other pastries). I will definitely come back to Benny's and try new specials!

2007 Dec 2
We went to Benny's for lunch a couple of weeks ago—actually, it was on the Rememberance Day stat holdiday, so this review comes a bit late.

Delicious, light, artfully-arranged food, with affordable wines and friendly staff.

It was quite packed, though, and we had to wait for a while to get a table. We all seethed with anger (silently) at the table of students who, for the entire duration of our wait, were sitting at their table talking, Nalgenes clearly displayed, and not eating. But that's not anybody's fault except for theirs.

They were still there when we had settled our bills and left.

2007 Aug 8
I would argue that Benny's Bistro has the best brunch in Ottawa. Soft-boiled eggs always perfect. The food is always delicious, their prices are good (relative to the quality) and the atmosphere is excellent.

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2012 Sep 29
Portion sizes have shrunk since we visited 4 years ago. Pictured here is Savoury buckwheat pancake, double smoked pork shoulder, shaved Gruyere, sunnyside egg, apple & Savoy cabbage remoulade ($15)

I was a little surprised to find thin slices of deli-style ham in here. I mean, sure, ham *is* smoked pork shoulder, but based on the menu description I sort of expected chunks of pork inside the buckwheat pancake. What I got was more of an anglo-style "cordon blue" treatment than an impressive French product.

The apple/cabbage remoulade was really very nice. Still, for the price, a superior brunch is available across the river. (ref: Odile , Edgar).

2009 Feb 28
Love, love, love Benny's for brunch! Went there today with friends, and the French toast with aged cheddar, oat crumble with brown butter and salted caramel was amazing. The portion was just perfect, I was completely full after I was done. Complete with that came a frothy cappuccino with Illy coffee. I also tasted their orange juice and it was very fresh (I'm pretty sure if was freshly pressed). My partner asked that the egg be removed from his plate, since he doesn't eat them. The cook compensated by adding a lot of salmon. Service was very nice, everyone was smiling, it was awesome. Would definitely, definitely go back!

2008 Mar 31
My Pan-seared gnocchi, crispy lardons, spinach, poached eggs and chipotle mayo were just amazing. Again, the photo makes it look like a puny portion but it was right for me (and I eat well).

The poached eggs were top-notch aside from a slight tang of vinegar noticeable when eating just the white (I know you need some vinegar in poaching water to keep things together but I think they use a lot). Perfectly cooked, though. The crispy lardons were delectable and married perfectly with the pile of spinach buried underneath. The gnocchi were pleasantly chewy and very nice to eat. All in all a delicious feast!

2008 Mar 31
Wifey's Croque Madame with green salad was phenomenal (she let me try some)! Everyone should try this. Our dishes, and also those we saw delivered to other tables, were delightfully presented and extremely tantalizing.

This photo doesn't do justice to the generous size of this plate!