800 Ottawa Street South
In her opinion:
I love brunch on Sunday mornings, especially warm spring mornings like this past Sunday. But the constant question is "where should we go"? After some debate we decided on Fireside Family Restaurant. We had been there a few times and never had bad service or meal, so we decided to give it a go.
We waited about 10 minutes to be seated. That wasn't bad at all considering when we left the line-up was out the door and into the parking lot! Once we got seated, our server came over right away to take our drink orders.
I started with coffee for myself and an orange juice and water for little man. After looking over the menu just for reassurance (I knew what I wanted before I even left home), I ordered the Fireside Melt. This is a melt consisting of home fries, cheese with hot peppers, onions, mushrooms, bacon, ham and sausage. Served with two eggs and toast. I ordered my eggs poached and with rye toast. I also ordered a side of Hollandaise sauce.
The melt itself was excellent. Full of flavour and absolutely delicious. The hot peppers add the right amount of punch and heat. The eggs were perfectly poached. The Hollandaise sauce was smooth and creamy and tasted really good. Overall, an excellent brunch dish.
Our little man had the kids waffles. This was a nice serving. This was more than Ethan could handle but he devoured half easily. They tasted really delicious.
The Fireside Family Restaurant is a great place for breakfast/brunch, on a Sunday and it also serves lunch and dinner. It is popular and you may have to wait a little bit but it was worth it in my opinion.
In his opinion:
You are driving along when you casually notice the lineups outside a certain restaurant and you can't stop from wondering...this place must be great since there are huge lineups out the door, right? Well...given my experience, that is not always the case!
Enter Fireside Family Restaurant, a decent sized restaurant that fits that exact bill of having lineups at peak hours and has consistently done so for a few good years. So what is it that keeps people coming back over and over? What do they have that warrants baring the bitter cold for 20 min to get some breakfast on a Sunday morning?
The answer in short is, I don't really know! Surely there aren't a lot of good spots for breakfast in Waterloo Region and yes, you will be full at the end of a meal here but is it worth lining up for a meal here?
After waiting a minimal time to be seated, I found myself in a booth next to the parking lot window, staring at an extensive menu and trying not to notice the rip on the seat of the booth that has been patched over with large clear scotch tape.
I order coffee which is poured swiftly but a bit sloppy and zone in on a certain item on the menu. I love eggs Benedict and I also love cordon blue and they have a dish that combines the two? Well, sign me up for that already...
Having made my selection and while I'm sweetening my coffee, I notice the fast pace at which this restaurant operates. The service is very friendly however, you do feel rushed and the waitresses might as well have roller skates on given the speed at which they "glide" from table to table. Speed surely keeps the waiting times shorter for the patrons outside but makes the patrons inside feel like they are only allowed to chew twice because you are on the clock. The 1 hour limit WiFi helps cement that idea.
My dish arrived and it consisted of small squared hash browned potatoes, a small cup with beans, a slice of orange and the piece de resistance itself, the cordon blue eggs Benedict. The Hollandaise sauce tastes unlike any other Hollandaise that I have ever had, great consistency but the creaminess is replaced with an aftertaste that is hard to describe, in short it's good but very different.
The beans were just run of the mill and the eggs themselves were done very well. I found myself having to drown my potatoes in the sauce just to get any flavour off them. The portion was big which is consistent with their usual service. Overall, the meal was fast, filling but a mile away from being a great one.
The Good: Friendly service, big portions and extensive menu are big attractions for many people looking for a breakfast restaurant.
The Bad: 1 hour complimentary WiFi limit. Also patrons feel rushed through their meal.
The Verdict: Regardless of some of the low points about this place I strongly believe that they will always be busy and have lineups out the door. People want those huge portions, large restaurant, friendly service and extensive menu as the staples for their "go-to" spot. Is that enough to line up out the door for? You decide...
I give it 3 out of 5 Olives as rating