Barley Mow in Orleans – much more than Pub Food

Barley Mow at Tenth Line in Orleans, Ottawa

The Diner’s Lament

The Supper Seven have a weekly plight:

Where do we eat of a Friday night?

I know, said Debbie, just where to go:

A place in Orleans called The Barley Mow

And by gosh, do you know, she was right…

Our choice of restaurant for the Supper Seven’s usual Friday night jaunt was a little more contentious than normal this week. More often than not, we come to a reasonably quick and harmonious consensus but this particular evening, it seemed we were dealing with the nascent raging hormones of a soon to be young lady. It was a reminder to me of the fact that being a parent is not all fun and games. In any event, one of our group was distinctly unhappy with our choice of venue as we headed to the Barley Mow on 10th Line Road, Orleans in Ottawa’s East End. If you don’t often travel to this part of Gloucester, you will be amazed how built-up it has become and how many new choices for dining out there now are in the area.

First Impressions: This was actually at least our 3rd visit, so we had some idea of what to expect. Since we rarely make reservations on a Friday evening, the Barley Mow is a good choice because it usually has space and this evening was no exception. Still, it was busy and about at 80% of capacity. Since it has only been open for a couple of years, layout and decor is clean and modern,  seeming more of a restaurant than a traditional pub though!  It was immediately apparent from her friendly greeting and obvious affinity for the girls that the server would be a plus.

What we ordered: The two younger girls ordered nachos and chicken nuggets and fries. Both looked good but the portion size would have been suitable for an adult. What kind of a message are we sending to our young ones when we put more on their plate than they could possibly eat? Amber, still feeling contrary having been unsuccessful in swaying the majority, chose a smoked meat sandwich of which she uncharacteristically ate only half. Norma chose chicken curry, which although fairly spicy and voluminous, was deemed a hit. Dorothy chose a strip sirloin steak wrapped in a potato pancake which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Personally, somewhat unusually for me, I chose the daily special which was prime rib. I cautioned the server that I was only interested if I could be assured of it not being overcooked. Even though I grew up believing that properly cooked beef should always look greyish, I now only really like it when I can see mostly pink or even red. There was a slight scare when our server was unsure whether they had any horseradish which would also have been a deal-breaker for me! The Barley Mow did not disappoint: the beef was exactly as I would have cooked it for myself and the roast potatoes were perfect.

For dessert, Dorothy and I shared a slice of chocolate mousse cake. Because it was unlike any that we had elsewhere, we asked it is was made on premises. We were told that desserts were brought in from outside and changed constantly. In any event, we were glad to have taken the chance and practically fought over the last bite.


  • Positives: Everyone was happy with their food. Server obviously enjoyed her job. Dessert was outstanding.
  • Negatives: I can’t think of anything major except that the food was not piping hot and my side salad was served with my meal rather than before it as is customary in most restaurants.
  • Summary: Everybody will be able to find something they like on the varied menu here. Food and service are both good.
Category Rating Explanation
Food Quality **** Good
Price $$$ Moderate
Decor *** Acceptable
Service ***** First Class
Overall Rating **** Above Average


The Barley Mow Pub on Urbanspoon


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1 comment

    • Marius on May 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm
    • Reply

    Andreea says that their best desert is the pudding, and I agree with that. Next time try it, you will want to have more…

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