This Rideau Street deli, owned by restaurateur and impresario Dave Smith, has been an Ottawa institution for almost 40 years. As you enter you pass ... More
This Rideau Street deli, owned by restaurateur and impresario Dave Smith, has been an Ottawa institution for almost 40 years. As you enter you pass the take-out counter, where you can get a pound of Smoked Meat, a loaf of Rye Bread and a large jar of Kosher Dills. Once inside, Nate's menu is pure deli, featuring traditional smoked meat sandwiches, potato latkes and combination sandwiches with names like "The Liberace," "The Ginger Rogers" and Ottawa's native son, "The Paul Anka."
Its sad to say, but Nate's is not the same quirky but tasty place it used to be even 5 years ago. The quality of the smoked meat they use is low - mostly fat and rubber it seems, portions are much skimpier, and they practically take pride now is cold food and cold service. I think the whole 'we are losing our lease soon' thing has really turned the place into a lame duck of a restaurant - you really get the impression nobody there cares in the least.
The last 3 times I've been there in the fall of 2008 have been disastrous - long waits, cold fries, price-hikes combined with smaller portions, and the quality of the smoked meat sandwiches - their core business - is now somewhere between bland and nasty. I used to be a regular and love the place when I worked nearby, but nowadays, there are many other places that can do an equal job with nicer service, atmosphere, and value. Judging by the sparser and sparser crowds in Nate's these days at busy times, its pretty obvious I'm not the only one who feels this way.
Sad to see it fade away on a down note. Bring on McSmokedmeat - can't be much worse.
The fries and onion rings were old and cold, the smoke meat was tasty but not hot, the restaurant was chilly and the service while friendly was so fast that we couldn't give our server any feedback. Then when we mentionned our issues to the man at the cash, he was pretty rude and arrogant, denying the onion rings couldn't have been sitting around and "well of course the smoked meat was good, it's our specialty" I have been going to Nates for 30 years but I have been there for the last time!
18 Millhill Rd.
Ottawa, Ont. K2H 9N4
After walking five kilometres in the CIBC run for the cure, my group of eight hungry people were ready for a good breakfast. We headed to Nate's and had the worst restaurant experience of our lives. Our waitress greeted us by saying that she was so hungover and then disappeared. Our food was inedible, the service indifferent and one of us was overcharged. The cashier refused to fix this as it was considered a "tip". A 12 dollar tip, I don't think so! Run, don't walk away from this place.
Rude, terrible, deploriable behavior, food mediocre... will never ever go again. Even a custormer before us at the cash wished us good luck with dealing with the manager at the cash. DAVE SMITH... if you are reading this better to clean house now or you will loose this land mark
Great sandwichs and cheap breakfast. You can eat yourself beyond full for 8 dollars. Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra and the Duchess of York have all eaten at Nate's. It is the best find because it has take-out, deli meats and cheeses as well as a sit down restaurant