HeadQuarters is a new cafe in the ByWard Market area with stellar vibes, DELICIOUS bites to eat, and super inviting service. HQ also doubles as a hair salon so you can watch the stylists work their magic through the glass-median that divides the two sections of the shop whilst sipping your almond-milk latte and taking pics of the marble tables, artisanal baked goods and the various succulents throughout the venue. Keep reading to hear my first impressions of HQ Ottawa and check out their menu below!!
I knew yesterday was going to be a good day by the way the warm sun invited itself through the windows of our apartment. I knew by the way that the old senile man on the bus down to Rideau made a point in jutting his frail arm out to all the unsuspecting passengers’ faces and gracing them with his middle finger without breaking a sweat…and then proceeding to refuse the Bus driver’s demands that he kindly leave the bus given the fact that “The Rideau Centre” is indeed the last stop (bless his heart). Point being, I was already getting some pretty great vibes yesterday, and every aspect of my brunch at Headquarters really solidified those notions.
HeadQuarters had lovely service. I tend to prefer service that is outgoing and interactive enough that it’s useful and enjoyable since, on the contrary, I have a vehement distaste for service that gets over-the-top and likewise annoying. There is nothing worse than a happy-go-lucky waiter that hovers over your table every 5 minutes to ask you how you are liking those chicken wings. They are fine Arnold, thanks for asking for the THIRTEENTH time, and yes, I KNOW, I’ve decided to eat an appetizer as an entrée OK? Quit JUDGING ME!! Also, is it just me, or do you ever notice that waiters always come at the WORST times to check up on your table, like when you have a mouth full of food or while you are in the MIDDLE of telling a riveting story and then you lose your train of thought in order to say “yeah the food’s fucking great, Patricia“.
Speaking of “train of thought”, mine has evidently derailed. Whoops.
Let’s get back to HeadQuarters. There are two kinds of service on opposite poles of the spectrum: laid-back V.S high strung. Headquarters is undoubtedly the former, and I’m sure the leading reason behind this attitude stems from the fact that the employees seem to really love their jobs. That would explain why their service and interactions with you as a customer are so seamless and inviting – because they are genuine, not forced!
The venue is very spacious and it looks lovely! There MUST have been another blogger or social influencer of sorts there at the same time as I because there was this guy who was standing for about an hour in various locations throughout the store trying to NAIL the perfect Instagram pic. It was a combination of his unwavering dedication and the venue’s many aesthetically pleasing layouts that made his coffee go cold no doubt. But seriously, along with that great service, the interior design of this place is on-point!
And lastly, let us talk about the FOOD. I follow a lot of Ottawa bloggers in the area that have already paid a visit to HQ, and most of them have ordered the classic: “Avocado On Toast”. I fulfilled my millennial calling by following suit, and ordering some avocado toast for myself, while Ben had a “Bacon, Prosciutto and Ham Sandwich” made with local and naturally cured meats.
I had two choices of bread to have the avocado spread on, “White Sourdough” or a wholegrain variety called “Crazy Loaf”, which is what I ended up getting (one of the employees who heard my order said that that loaf was his favourite). Ben had way more options of bread for his sandwich so I couldn’t keep track of them all, but he ended up getting a rosemary and herb variety of bun.
My avocado toast consisted of the usual suspects: avocado on some “crazy loaf” toast, as well as a Panko flash fried poached egg on a bed of fresh arugula!
Look at this GOODNESS!!
Below is a pic of Ben’s Sandwich. I had a few bites and it was delicious! He was really contemplating getting an avocado toast for himself because he’s a big fan of eggs with toast (more than he is avocado on toast ahaha) and all things panko-fried, but he’s an even bigger fan of sandwiches that are damn good.
Aside from these more hearty foods, there is also an assortment of breads and pastries (including the breads that were used in our dishes) that you can order in the store that come from “Art-Is-In Bakery“, a Parisian-inspired local Ottawa gastro-pub bakery that exports it’s baked goods across Ottawa. Judging from the tags on Instagram, it looks like their “Kronuts” are a fav!
I highly recommend this place for all of the aspects that is has to offer! I look forward to trying out all the other items on the menu in due time!