Tartan Pub in Orleans: Good for a pint, as a buffet not so much!

Wallace Tartan Tie

The Wallace Tartan

Perhaps Tartan’s Buffet is better after a few drinks?
The Tartan’s hard to find tucked away in this tiny strip mall
If we hadn’t been invited, we’d never have found it at all.
For me, the buffet’s only fair and the decor’s kind of tired
But those servers in their kilts really have to be admired ūüėČ
I suppose I’d go again, if my back was to the wall…

¬†One might reasonably assume that with a surname like Wallace that I am at very least of Scottish extraction. Indeed the tie shown at left is from my own wardrobe. However, I must confess that I do not come by the name honestly, since it was assumed by one of my forbears who immigrated to the United Kingdom sometime before the¬†First World War¬†from Czechoslowakia and thought it politic to shed his own very Germanic sounding name of¬† Wernic (?).¬† As you can tell, I’m not even sure how the original name was spelled.¬†Nevertheless, this family history has led me to have a general affinity for all things Scottish.¬†

Roy Wallace at Tartan Pub

Don't touch my Booze!

The Tartan Pub on Innes Road in Orleans in Ottawa’s East End first¬†cropped up,¬†a couple of years ago now, when we were looking for a venue for a relaxed reception for 30-50 people. The Tartan has a special room to accommodate such a function and on weekends offers an all-you-can-eat buffet at a reasonable price.

When we first visited, to check the place out, we discovered that this locale is a very pleasant English-style pub offering the usual pub-fare. After chatting with the manager, we decided to sample the fare from the menu. I must admit that I do not recall what we ordered but do remember that we were happy enough with the food to place the venue on our list of possibles.

Since that time, we have been back twice, both times to attend a function in the semi-private room adjoining the bar. In each case, the group took advantage of the buffet. Once again, I must state my bias against buffets. There are precious few in the Ottawa area that I would deliberately seek out. Unfortunately, the Tartan buffet did not cause me to change my judgement. I will say that I was probably in the minority and the bulk of the attendees at both functions were satisfied with the offerings. If I simply went for the traditional breakfast items, I would probably have a better opinion but I found that the hot dishes were nondescript and lacking in pizzazz. The desserts were similarly uninspired, consisting of individual commercial puddings, yoghurts and the like.

It is strange how the world works. This pub is truly similar to what one would have expected to find in a pub in the UK 15 to 20 years ago. Now, however, the majority of the British pubs have upped their game in their kitchens and produce a higher quality of food than you will find at the Tartan Pub.


  • Positives: Nice as a pub with good selection of brews. Some traditional Scottish specialties on the menu like Cock-a-leekie soup and haggis. Moderate prices
  • Negatives: Buffet was uninspiring.
  • Recommendation: If you’re feeling like a touch of Scotland, this might be the place for you!
  • Weblink: http://www.tartanpub.com
Category Rating Explanation
Food Quality *** Average
Price $$ Well-priced
Decor *** Cozy but tired
Service *** Good
Overall Rating *** It’s an OK pub

Frivolous Foodie Facts
The most infamous Scottish dish is haggis, normally made with sheep’s ‘pluck’ (heart, liver, and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal’s stomach for approximately an hour. Haggis may be a very ancient European recipe. Although it is not known where it originated, a similar dish was already mentioned in Greece some 2,500 years ago.

The Tartan Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon

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