Part pub, part sports bar, part grandparents house. Between the dark wood accents, random betting pools posted about, modern neon jukeboxes, stained glass ceilings, and somewhat uncomfortable chairs, I certainly am left with the impression that the owners have absolutely no idea what they want to get across to their customers. Even something as simple as the fireplace seemed strangely out of place, but at least the place was clean. Almost sterile – like the waiting room of a dentist, but with taps.
Situated in an ideal location across from the National Gallery, the Earl of Sussex is easy to miss among the reconstruction of Sussex. Nonetheless, this restaurant has been on my radar for some time, and after a long Sunday, I was certainly ready to settle down for a cold beer and a good burger. As far as burgers go, this was nothing special, but I really appreciated that it was served on a toasted bun – something you don’t see enough these days. If I had my way, slightly toasted buns would be mandatory on all burgers, and the Earl of Sussex did it just right.
If you go to this restaurant, make sure you order something that comes with fries – they will be the best part of your meal.
I've walked by this pub countless times since moving to Ottawa. Looking in, I would see what looked like a great pub atmosphere. Warm, dim lighting, couches strewn around old wooden tables, and what looked like crowds of people every time I checked it out. Well, I finally got an opportunity this fall to visit, and I was sad to see that they've recently undergone renovations. Gone are the couches and the cozy atmosphere. They've been replaced with generic, uncomfortable wooden chairs and half-booths, and when I walked in, it felt more like a sports bar than an old English-style pub. How disappointing! But since I was hungry, I sat down and ordered some beer and a pizza.
The menu has something to offer every palate. Included are sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, soups and salads, and the regular pub fare. To be honest, I was afraid of being disappointed again, so I didn't try the Fish & Chips. I ordered their Market pizza (pepperoni, tomato sauce, green peppers and fresh mushrooms on a thin crust). I was not to be disappointed! The pizza was crispy on the bottom, and the toppings were evenly distributed throughout the pizza, with the cheese under the other toppings. You may ask, "Why does she care where the cheese is?", but this is very important to making a good pizza. When the cheese goes on top, it creates a seal, and the juices from the meat stay underneath. This makes for a crust that is very wet, and the toppings all slide off when you try to take a bite. This was not the case with the pizza that I ordered; it was crispy and tasty.
I don't think I would recommend this particular restaurant to someone who is looking for a great pub experience in Ottawa. If you're only there for the food, then the Earl of Sussex is for you. The food is good, but the atmosphere just didn't make it an awesome experience.
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