Sunday, January 29, 2012

Brunch at The Prescott, Preston Street, Ottawa...

Marketing, in whatever form it takes, is very important for any business and especially so for a restaurant -  you need to send the messages regarding Who you are, What you provide, When you will supply 'it' and Where you are so people can find you. When it was suggested that we try The Prescott for brunch this week it wasn't immediately obvious from their web site that they did brunch until you see a small set of text that says, "join us for Sunday brunches". I guess my first bit of advice is add the brunch menu to the web site, maybe they'll get more than just the few tables coming in for some eggs.

The Prescott doesn't set one's expectations high, brunch-wise. It's an old hotel, bar, restaurant, tavern, event room and comedy club type of place - it's well known.

The brunch menu is laminated (!) and has 5 plates on it so at least it's easier to make the choice! The service is friendly and attentive and coffee and tea (included) is served and orders taken. We are an 8 today and found the place not to be very busy, therefore finding a table was a breeze.

All the dishes came with tomato and home fries so let's start there. I think I got almost a whole tomato and on the tomato 'taste-meter' was a 3/10 - but unless you are buying organic heirloom tomatoes, at this time of the year, no one should expect anymore than a 3. The home fries were from a bag of frozen and herbed home-fries and this started a bit of a debate about the difference in getting a real potato, cutting it up and frying those cut potatoes until golden brown as opposed to emptying a bag of frozen processed potato into same fryer. I guess I'm just old fashioned but I can't ever understand why restaurants use the frozen bag instead of the fresh. It should take no time for a competent chef/cook to chop potato and blanch-fry. The taste difference is worlds apart and the cost of the better option is lower on the purchasing side and a bit higher on the time to prep side, they probably equal out. Anyway - I was outvoted as a few of us liked the frozen, over herbed home-fries.
Scrambled and sausages.

Actually from my POV the home-fries was the only negative here and The Prescott actually impressed me quite a bit.

Eggs benedict
My eggs benedict came with a nice piece of ham, not off the bone, still a processed slice, but of reasonable quality and thickness, a decent muffin, some hollandaise (made from a packet mix) but the high-light was the quality, taste and cookedness of the egg. I'll give The Prescott one thing - they can damn well cook an egg! The poached eggs I had were perfectly cooked and the yolks tasted of......egg! 

The sunny-sides and the 'over-easy' eggs were just as well cooked and the scrambled eggs seemed to be ok too. The sausages here looked good, I didn't taste one but they seemed to be devoured with little complaint.

Sausage and eggs
All-in-all The Prescott exceeded expectations and should really 'up' their marketing to let people know about their brunch that they've been doing for 4 years - people will like it. It's not the most imaginative menu but it delivers a very competent plate of breakfast food and if they keep up the high level of egg cooking and maybe peel and chop a real potato instead of the bag of frozen homefries this place could be a busy place to go for brunch on a Sunday. Stoneface Dolly's across the road is always busy and always has a line-up outside the door (one of the reasons we don't go there) - so the market is there for The Prescott to steal.

The place isn't pricey but nor is it a bargain - it sits in the acceptable 'middle' of what a brunch should be - the eggs benedict was $9.99 but that included coffee or tea. Apologies for banging on about this but if the home-fries had been a real cut and fried potato this wouldn't have phased me, as it was the dish was about a $1 overpriced - splitting hairs, I know! 

We recommend The Prescott and it gets 8/10.

Until next week my little safe!

The Drude.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of marketing....We missed the closest entrance to The Prescott from our parking spot as it still had signage from a previous restaurant. Same thing with the next door around the corner. And it was chilly. #fail

    Loved the spicy homefries, the service and the chilled, laid-back ambience tho!

    After telling my parents they reminisced about their 'hey-days' at the Prescott in the 60's/70's and how they could buy a 2lb home-made sausage from the chef for .25 cents. #ThoseWereTheDays