by: Victoria Garland
As I sit at my desk writing this, I can recall many times being plagued with the eternal question everyone in the business district/downtown core asks themselves around noon, “What am I going to eat for lunch?”
Aside from the days I actually do bring a lunch to work, working in downtown Ottawa for over three years has definitely compelled me scour to the ends of the internet for a new, delicious choice in lunch dining. (There are only so many times you can eat at McDonalds, along with the tried and true backups located conveniently close to your work; and those can start to get old, fast.)
While India Palace (one of those aforementioned conveniently close to my place of work eateries) is delicious and I shall have to write a review shortly about their fantastic, extensive lunch buffet is that sometimes it can be too extensive. You can get a takeout order, but for those days that you don’t feel like piling a tonne of food into a container and having to eat the leftovers the next day; Harry’s Deli is a great alternative.
When I’m feeling hungry, but not so hungry I need to pick everything off the buffet and cram it into the large Styrofoam container (at a little over 12 dollars at India Palace, it wouldn’t make sense not to take advantage of the generous price and pile your plate to your little heart’s content) Harry’s Deli in the basement of Place de Ville on the corner of Albert and Kent is a great choice.
This deli also has an impressive selection of snacks and drinks that can by bought to accompany a meal purchased or one you might have brought from home, including a low calorie section. They seem to offer a few choice dishes along the deli counter, but I was recommended to the Indian selection.
I have yet to try the other dishes offered, but I can say that their Chicken Curry/Butter Chicken is delicious! In a mild yet rich spicy curry, the large pieces of chicken are extremely juicy, offered with Basmati rice, Raita if you so wish, and half a Greek-style pita; it’s enough to keep me full for the rest of the day!
The price is also extremely reasonable at just over $ 7 with tax, and last time I went I also decided to try my luck with a small cup of their Indian style rice pudding which put my total at about $8-9. The rice pudding wasn’t bad, the nutmeg on the top gave it a little something extra but I’d have to say it’s not as good as the rice pudding offered at the buffet of India Palace. This one seemed a little generic and might’ve been reminiscent of the consistency of glue, but it really didn’t deter me from ordering again.
I also have to credit them on still serving lunch after the 12pm-2pm rush. Sometimes I’m stuck at my desk with other work or in meetings and the real shame is that after 2 pm it’s hard to get anything to eat without having to resort to McDonalds, Subway, Extreme Pita, etc. While their food may be put away, I’ve gone in as late as 3 pm and ordered. They heated it up for me, and it was just as good as when I ordered earlier in the day. They also did not seem bothered by the fact I came in late and had to have them heat it up, which was really nice.
Not only is this place close, convenient and inexpensive; the food is delicious and fills you up. I will have to rate Harry’s Deli 4.5/5 only because I have yet to try their other dishes, but to be honest, I’m fine with just sticking to my Chicken Curry.