OTTAWA – Montreal-based Foodtastic, one of Canada’s leading restaurant franchisors, purchased Big Rig Brewery and Big Rig Restaurants ( back in 2019. There are presently four locations in the Ottawa region and two in Greater in Toronto, with expansion in the plans.

We were pleased to give Big Rig a try for the first time. The flagship Iris Street locale seats 250 people and an additional 50 on a seasonal patio. There is a bar and plenty of booths and television monitors throughout showing the sports event of the day. On this evening there were a lot of families seated at the different tables.

Big Rig boasts a diversified comfort food menu featuring starters, greens and soups, handhelds, poutine, nachos, burgers, items from the southern smoke house and the grill, Mykonos chicken, Korean salmon bowl. Fish ‘n Chips, southern fried chicken and a selection of Montreal-style pizzas. In 2024 a new menu is being introduced with more veggie and vegan options as well as back ribs.

For appetizers we shared the soup of the day (a piping hot and delicious bowl of beef and barley) and the fried pickles. As for the main course, we decided to share three items: the smoked prime rib, the smoked brisket (one pound) and the steak frites, a seven-ounce top sirloin. These items all came with homemade sauces. For sides we each had some coleslaw and mashed potatoes (including some sweet potato mashed). Everything was delicious. Noted for its beer selection, they also make their own sodas. For more information call 613-688-3336 or visit

RALPH & SONS DINER:  Ralph & Sons Diner is a family-owned operation located in a strip mall on Carling Avenue Ottawa. It has been in operation for over 50 years. I arrived for breakfast and perused the menu. Their omelet’s, among them mushroom veggie, Western and Ham ‘N’ cheese, with your choice of toast on the side are among the favorites. You can order breakfast here from opening to closing time. If lunch is more your style, then you’re in luck! The place has a variety of delicious dishes for you to choose from such as the four-piece chicken fingers, smoked meat on rye, or the fish and chips! They also have tasty clubs and to top it all off, homemade rice pudding.  You can dine in, pickup or order via one of the apps. I ordered the smoked meat special- two farm fresh eggs, Montreal smoked meat, home fries toast and jam as well as my traditional decaf coffee. I added in some crispy pieces of bacon. You can find Ralph & Sons Diner at 3420 Carling Avenue. It is open 7am to 2 pm Wednesday to Sunday. Visit or call 613-828-0697.

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