(Originally written August 27, 2014)
Now, I’ve been to the real Real Sports Bar & Grill a handful of times, mostly to watch football–whether it was the Super Bowl, a post-Seahawks-shitstomping-Buffalo celebration, or, more recently, when I had basketball tickets on the evening of the Hawks’ Wild Card playoff game. The one time I went there for the Stanley Cup Finals, I couldn’t get a seat. But the Ottawa edition certainly wasn’t packed for an afternoon CFL contest and some NFL preseason action–not even at 7:30 on a Saturday. (Then again, isn’t that when most Ottawans hit the hay, anyways?)
That said, ownership has done a pretty good job of making the George St. location seem like Real Sports on steroids–if steroids made your junk smaller. (Oh, wait!) It’s almost like a miniature version of the real thing, what with its frosted glass bar, back wall of beer taps, and a centrepiece TV that you can see from the scaled-down second floor. Of course, while the real Real Sports boasts a giant screen the size of a Toronto townhouse, the Ottawa edition is roughly as large as your MP’s office. Which is to say, you still gotta crane your neck to watch the action when seated at the bar.
I will say this, though: While I wasn’t impressed with the food in Toronto the one time I ate there, I’d say my capital-city meal was a major improvement. Although I can’t say it was an Ottawa thing–the two menus are virtually identical; in fact, the sandwich I ordered features prominently on the Toronto Real Sports’ website. That said, the Triple Threat puts three good things between two pieces of bread: namely, pulled pork, beef brisket and peameal bacon. The first two blend together quite nicely, while the latter adds another texture to the dish. And the best thing about this sammy? No veggies in sight!
UPDATE: It would appear that the Triple Threat is no longer on the menu…but they do offer something called “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner,” which is most likely trademarked by Guy Fieri. 😉