Venturing off campus for a cheap meal can be a daunting, yet necessary, task. You can only have cafeteria food so many times before you start craving something a little more palatable, or just something you haven’t eaten six times in the past four days. You count your change, make sure you won’t overdraft your account by buying a cheeseburger, and make use of your bus pass by heading downtown, where a plethora of food options await you.
Maybe it’s just me being ridiculously indecisive but it’s always a challenge to decide where to eat. Do I want a sandwich? A Burger? Or, should I make a healthier choice by picking a restaurant that serves good salads? Throughout the flurry of options that my stomach is too overwhelmed to choose between, a beacon of light emerges. It’s a restaurant that uses a college kid’s two favourite words: Cheap. Food.
The cool atmosphere is enough reason to visit
El Furniture Warehouse is a national chain, with about 10 locations across the country. Ottawa’s location is in the heart of Ottawa, on Clarence Street. Warehouse is described as a “premium dive bar.” When you step inside the front door I’m sure you’ll understand why. Oversized light bulbs hang from the wooden beams on the ceiling, beer caps are pressed into some walls and a large counter is wrapped around a stocked bar.
To add to the chill atmosphere, the many TVs around the restaurant are usually playing your favourite throwback music videos. There’s truly nothing quite like a burger with a side of Missy Elliot’s ‘Work It’.
Come for the atmosphere, stay for the cheap price
A cool atmosphere is just one of the reasons why Warehouse is so appealing. The main appeal is how cheap the menu is. Every food item on their menu is just $4.95. That’s right, for less than five dollars you can get a delicious, hot meal. I can guarantee it will be better than your usual cafeteria dinner.
The menu features classic appetizers including potato skins, poutine, onion rings, and chicken wings. The entrees give you the choice between 4 salads, 5 tortilla-centric options, 4 sandwiches, 4 burgers and 4 pasta options. Although I’ll need to make quite a few more trips before I can make my definitive review on what the best options are, I can vouch for a few of my personal favourites.
The sweet potato fries are always crispy and served with a delicious dipping sauce. The burgers are always good, especially the works burger. Finally, I can testify that their pulled chicken sandwich is a great go-to. Just a friendly reminder, all of these are under $5.
Don’t forget to indulge your sweet tooth
To end your delicious, budget conscience meal, you can order one of the two dessert options. The dessert section of the menu isn’t big, but what they do have is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. They offer mini donuts with chocolate dipping sauce and a fried apple pie topped with ice cream. Let me tell you, this pie will put all others to shame.
Let the party begin
To complement its large food menu there are many alcoholic options, for those so inclined. But, before you begin celebrating, beware that these do not follow the under five dollars guideline. However, if you still feel like having a shooter, cocktail, or beer there are many options available.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, grab a few friends and try out the shotski. A shotski has four shots lined up, you guessed it, on a ski. At least if you’re saving money on food you might be able to afford to give it a go.