The Whalesbone Brown Bag Lunch

There isn’t too much documentation on the food here, so I’m hoping to add one more review that’ll help people in choosing their lunch spots.

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I walked into this small but cozy space with a small cash next to the entrance and an equally short display counter.  on the walls were the daily specials as well as explanations to the purpose of sustainable fisheries.  There is a little stand with sushi accompaniments and a small refrigerator with beverages.  A middle aged woman with deep laugh lines greeted me and helped me with my order.  The specials were smoked tuna, breaded walleye and the famous oyster po’ boy sandwiches.  All ranged around $6-8 for the 4 oz sizes, and $9-10 for the 6 oz.  I ordered the walleye, which came sandwiched between soft dense ciabatta-like bread, and topped with a mango sauce, mayo, shredded lettuce, and caramelized onions.

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First bite just got the fish.  The breading wasn’t crispy, but rather more moist.  the fish inside was perfectly cooked, white flaked, moist and as fresh a piece of fish I’d ever eaten.  I don’t know how to describe it, but I’ve never had fish that tasted this good.  the mango sauce on top was more like a kind of dressing, but was sweet and elevated the flavor of the fish.  The next bite, eating it as a sandwich, started off small and unassuming, but every chew, flavors mingled, developed and evolved into the best fish sandwich I have ever had.

I went on a tuesday, so got to benefit from their “chowdah chewsdays” special, where with every sandwich order you get a free cup of their buttermilk cream fish chowder.

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It was definitely a soup, and not a chowder, or at least didn’t have the thick consistency of ones I am familiar with.  It was, on the other hand, chock full of thumb sized fish chunks.  I could identify tuna and salmon. I think they had at least one other kind of fish in there, but I couldn’t identify it.  There were also bits of celery, potatoes and carrots.  Flavor was a bit meh, and the soup was pretty watery, but I appreciated the hefty portions of fish meat in there.

I also added one of the peanut butter cookies they had, gluten and dairy free I think.  they were pretty huge, almost the size of my open hand!  the cookie was my opinion, pretty close to peanut butter cookie perfection.  It could’ve been a bit less crumbly, but overall, this cookie had bits of chopped peanuts, and had that savory goodness balanced with just enough sweet.  The cookie was a well spent $2.

Hands down, the best fish sandwich I have ever had.  It might be a bit pricey in comparison to other lunch staples, but it is definitely well worth the money.  Perhaps just a weekly indulgence? 

They occasionally post the specials of the week on facebook and twitter, but its pretty infrequent and irregular, so you’d have to drive by this place to see whats on for the day.  They serve lunch from 11 am – 2 pm Monday through Saturday.

When you go, go for the sandwiches and skip the chowder. This is definitely one of Ottawa’s hidden gems.

503 Kent St.

Ottawa

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