I used to belong to a breakfast club. No, not anything like that breakfast club.
We were twentysomething professionals meeting up on a weekly basis to discuss current events, political, professional, personal. Most of the time, we met at Dunn’s on Queen street, now closed, and enjoyed their breakfast special : two eggs your way, with home fries, toast, and your choice of bacon, ham, salami, sausage or tomato – all that for $1.99. Quite the deal, and it lasted at least until 2008 before the prices started going up – which had nothing to do with the closure, I’m sure.
As we all got busy with our lives, kids and all, we stopped getting together . It just wasn’t possible any longer. But a few weeks ago, on the news that Dunn’s is coming back to Sparks Street (as reported here by The Waffle), I suggested that this was a) good news and b) the time to revive the breakfast club.
The motion was moved and carried unanimously. Now, Dunn’s won’t open for a few months. So I suggested that we go back to the scene of my first breakfast with the club. Back in the days, the Sparks Street spot was called Barristers and had the strangest, widest murale of Ottawa on their west wall. Today, the location is called 73 North.
73 North is a bit of an oddity. It has dubbed itself a Restaurant and Lounge. It features Lebanese specialties, but also Canadian and Italian dishes.
In 2001, general manager Eli Malouf started offering shisha pipes on the patio in the summertime. In the morning, it is more like a greasy spoon with its breakfast special. And that is why we were here.
For $4.99, you get two eggs with home fries and toast, with your choice of bacon, ham or sausage.
I got my eggs poached, and ordered them with sausage and brown toasts.
At breakfast time, the place is never full but there are always patrons, mostly white collar types. You place your order, and in no time, it is served to you – usually within 5 minutes, or the time it takes to cook the eggs and toast the bread.
My poached eggs were cooked the way I like them. Sadly, they added too much white vinegar to their boiling water – you really shouldn’t be able to taste any vinegar. Once you get rid of the water in the little bowl, you can enjoy them better.
If the potatoes are of the frozen variety, the sausages are really the star of the breakfast. Not one, not two, but three links of plump, meaty, juicy breakfast sausage. Nothing like meat in a tube, eh?
No one can say that this is the best breakfast they’ll have ever had, but considering the quick service and the price, 73 North is hard to beat on Sparks. For now.