The Lazy Owl’s new menu: 2 Lazy 2 Owl￼
Another Owl update turns out to be a flop
Last fall, the Lazy Owl reopened with a new name and a new menu. Back in November, I wrote my review on that menu and that “new look.” With the return of students this March, the Lazy Owl has once again rebranded its menu.
“The new look” marketed back in September did not actually change the interior of the restaurant. With this new re-opening, they’re once again proclaiming that there’s a “new look,” except you can’t actually eat inside the Owl; it’s takeout only right now. So, they’re boasting a brand-new look that you can’t actually see – or you maybe you can see for a quick second if you go in to order or pick up food.
Speaking of takeout being the only option: they don’t actually explain how the takeout works on the website. It just says it’s reopening for takeout. There’s no phone number to call; there’s no online order. I’ll rephrase: there is a phone number on the website at the bottom, but it’s not advertised anywhere near the statements of takeout only.
Here’s an early disclaimer: I haven’t tried any of the food from the new menu, thus I will not be critiquing the taste or presentation of the food, just the menu available on the website and the information URSU has presented. And a reminder, kids: it’s not slander if there’s proof.
Big problem #1 is that there’s no alcohol. If you Google the Lazy Owl, the Google listing proclaims it as “The Lazy Owl – Restaurant and Pub.” It’s not a pub if there’s no alcohol. While I do understand that serving alcohol as a takeout restaurant is incredibly difficult for verifying ages, the Lazy Owl is known as a bar. People know it as a place to get alcohol – but there is none.
Second big problem is the halal and vegetarian options. During the URSU AGM, people asked about more halal options for the Lazy Owl. They were told that URSU wanted to update the menu again with more halal and vegetarian options. Here we are, with a brand-new Owl menu and less listed options. Out of the four options in the “specialties” section, not one is listed as vegetarian or halal. You may be thinking, “but Jorah, it’s salads and chicken dishes, why would there be a need to list these things as halal?” I understand that, but if there’s no need for it there, then why are the chicken and ground beef listed as halal in the pizza options? Why is the chicken listed as halal in one section and not the other?
Speaking of pizza: I’ve got some qualms with the pizza. There’s only one size of pizza, probably. It doesn’t actually list the sizes other than in the “make your own” section, which lists it as a 12” pizza, a medium. A medium pizza for $20. Generally, medium pizza prices range from $7.99 to $15.49. Why is the pizza at the Owl so expensive? And the topping choices are interesting. Waffles and fried chicken? Wouldn’t the waffle pieces burn in the oven? And this leads us back to the same problem as last time: the menu is just trying too hard to be fancy. There’s been some fixes, like having a regular caesar salad, but there’s no plain cheese or pepperoni pizza options – just the three “fancy” options.
Let’s talk about the side options. Why is one of the sides more expensive than two of the specialties? The salads are $11 while Italian wedges are $12. At that point, is it even still a side? And the fries (or “fies,” as it’s spelled on the website) cost $6 total with gravy, but $9 for a poutine. You’re paying an additional $3 for cheese.
The side section is the only place you’ll find vegetarian options. While the side caesar salad is vegetarian, the main one is not. Why? [Editor’s note: as a vegetarian, I want to add that traditional caesar salad is not vegetarian.] And how are the “messy chips” and “Italian wedges” not vegetarian? What’s in them that makes them not vegetarian? What’s in all the options that make none of them halal? What has changed since the last menu that the poutine isn’t halal anymore?
Despite all of these issues, there’s one thing that has been resolved that I’m forever grateful for: the Lazy Owl has taken Clamato off tap. May we all remember and honour the hard work of whoever had to clean the tap that was full of Clamato.