Dandy is Handy for Brisket if you decide to risk it!

Dandy Brisket

Fortunately, Dandy Brisket is better than it’s name might imply!
If the location is handy,
The food is just dandy!
I’d say you should risk it,
Since they’ve more than just brisket!

Every now and then, a draft post gets overlooked and then hides way back in the archives. It turns out that my first visit to Dandy Brisket was back in October of 2010. At that time, I was helping a friend purchase a new TV and he ended up taking me to this restaurant for both breakfast and lunch. A couple of weeks ago, I was back with the same friend. These two visits were certainly enough for me to gain a good appreciation of the place.

Dandy Brisket MenuAlthough Dandy Brisket is tucked away in a small plaza on Lancaster Road just off St. Laurent Blvd. near the Science Museum and the Ottawa Athletic Club in Ottawa’s East End, it seems that people have nevertheless managed to find it, since it was relatively busy on the occasion of both my visits. 
Where we went: The first thing that stands out about this restaurant other than its unpreposing exterior is the affability of the owner/operator couple who are clearly of Lebanese origins. Even though one might think that the food is of paramount importance it has been my experience that the best food can often be overshadowed by lousy service. By the same token, sub-par culinary art can sometimes be mitigated by comfortable surroundings and sterling service. In the case of Dandy Brisket, although the ambience is more that of cafe than of fine dining, both the food and the service are beyond reproach.

What we ordered: On my first visit way back in October of 2010, I sampled their breakfast special and it was neither outstanding nor terrible but simply what one would expect. However, on the second and subsequent visit I ordered their Shawarma pita. I should say that generally, I am not a big fan of this particular style of cuisine.

Shawarma PitaWhat we got:  However, Dandy Brisket has changed all that since, on both occasions, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have become a fan. One reason, perhaps for my previous misgivings was the amount of garlic. Although I really like garlic and use it frequently in cooking, I prefer not to have it oozing from my pores. 

Worthy of note: Dandy Brisket is only open for breakfast and lunch.


  • Positives: Great food, reasonable prices, friendly service.
  • Negatives: Poor visibility, hard to find!
  • Recommendation: If you like Lebanese food, this should be on your list!
Category Rating Explanation
Food Quality *** Good cafe food
Price $$ Good value
Decor ** Slightly dingy
Service **** Convivial
Overall Rating *** Worth a try

Frivolous Foodie Facts
Shawarma, is an Arab sandwich-like wrap of shaved lamb, goat, chicken, turkey, beef, or a mixture thereof. The meat is placed on a spit, and may be grilled for as long as a day. Shawarma is a fast-food staple across the Arab world, Israel, Europe and the Caucasus.

 Shawarma is eaten with pita bread, Lavash bread, tabbouleh salad, fattoush salad, taboon bread, tomato and cucumber. Toppings include tahini, hummus, pickled turnips and amba.

Shawarma is shared by many country variations. In Greece, it is called gyros, meaning “turned”. In Armenian, it is “Tarna”, literally meaning “to turn”, and in Turkish it is called döner kebab, which in turn means “turning kebab”.

The word shawarma comes from the Turkish word çevirme, meaning turning.

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