Welcome Back (90 Robertson Road, Bells Corners, Ottawa - No Website)

Jay

One way or another, there are things I just have to accept about myself. This includes, of course, a long list of character flaws, but also a few addictions that I’m not particularly proud of but haven’t been able to shake. Surrounded by restaurants offering spectacular pecan-crusted chicken breast, homemade pastas, top sirloins, and wood fire pizzas, I should be satisfied. I’m not. No matter how hard I try, there is simply no substitute for North American style Chinese food.

I truly get it, believe me, and I honestly confess my culinary-sins to a world of internet-savvy food purists and aficionados. I live minutes away from Ottawa’s Chinatown. I’ve had concerned friends take me out to have ‘real Chinese’, promising me that I’ll be cured. It didn’t work. I tried substituting Thai food, but it just wasn’t the same. Someone actually organized an intervention, but to no avail. I’ll always return to the fully adulterated deep-fried Chinese food that I grew up with, and it will never change.

Without any hesitation, Welcome Back is the best.  It’s completely inexpensive, the décor is quite dated, the service can be difficult, and to be honest, most of the food looks terrible, but it doesn’t matter to me in the slightest. The taste is beyond words. For example, their eggrolls will likely be the most disgusting looking things you’ll ever consider eating, but I promise you’ll remember the flavour for the rest of your life. In fact, during one visit, we watched a woman order 45 of them for takeout. Nothing else, just eggrolls.

Considering this day and age of eco-everything health product and anti-trans-fat legislation, I don’t expect everyone to understand what I’m talking about. You either have the cravings for deep-fried chicken balls served with a side of fried rice and infamous red sauce, or you don’t. For those of you who do, I’m starting a support group. My name is Jay, and I’ve been clean for 16 days.

 

Sue

I love trying new things, especially when it comes to food.  I rarely get the same dish twice when we go out to eat, and new restaurants are always a must-do.  However, sometimes a girl just needs something familiar, a place she can go to get some good comfort food, where she knows exactly what to order, and exactly what she can expect.  And for me, that place is Welcome Back.  It’s in a strip mall, which usually means it is total crap or a hidden gem, and Welcome Back is definitely the latter.  We found it shortly after moving to Ottawa, while searching online for a good place to get ‘Canadian’ Chinese food.  The blogger stated unequivocally that they had the best egg rolls you can find.  And they weren’t kidding.  They look like garbage, kind of burnt at the ends where the dough doesn’t quite close all the way and the insides goo out, but they are definitely the best egg rolls I’ve ever tasted.  And that’s not all.  If you’re looking for authentic Chinese food this probably isn’t the place to go, but their selection of chicken balls, General Tao chicken, Guy Ding and various rice dishes is excellent, especially for the price.  And who doesn’t love inexpensive Chinese food? 

One of the most redeeming qualities about Welcome Back is its wide appeal.  Although I am adventurous when it comes to food, I know that there are people who are not.  When I go out with some of my less daring friends or family for a bite to eat, I know that we can safely go to Welcome Back and everyone will find something they can enjoy.  And in Ottawa, restaurants like that are few and far between, especially if you’re not interested in visiting chain restaurants regularly. 

The only downside is that Welcome Back is kind of far; Bells Corners is not easy on the gas tank, especially when you live in the Ottawa core.  The décor is dated and kind of corny, but somehow that only adds to the great character of the place.  The service is always friendly, even if communication is limited sometimes due to language.  But overall, I wouldn’t change a thing about Welcome Back.  For what it is, the food is great and filling, the service is fast and friendly, and I always leave hoping to come back soon.  It’s a good, honest place to eat and I would recommend it to anyone.

(Click to enlarge pictures)

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