Ahora Restaurant Mexicain
       
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Ahora Restaurant Mexicain

Neighborhood: Byward MarketPrice Range: Inexpensive
7.6
Based on 52 reviews


307 Dalhousie St.
Ottawa/Gatineau

Tel: 613-562-2081

Categories:
Mexican


Mexican





    
 

Reviews

User Review Rating
iamlilc
2011-Jul-06
14:16:48


Contribution Status:

Good (81.20)

A nice little place
This place is sort of hidden, but it's crazy busy. Surprisingly, we were able to reserve a table on a Saturday night so we didn't have to wait. It was packed from the minute we stepped in, until we left.

The atmosphere is nice - small and cozy. It's a bit of a zoo though, because you need to order your food at the front and there's also a variety of salsa's in the area as well.

I love me some Mexican food and was quite hungry, but I thought it was very good. I had some nachos and tacos.

The price was decent and the service was okay, even though they forgot my drink, but they brought it immediately once I told them.

Overall it was a good meal, but I might try and avoid a weekend the next time.
-- iamlilc
Will
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User Review Rating
Eatsmore
2011-Jun-23
09:04:08
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Contribution Status:

Regular (42.08)

3 visits same complaint
We've now been back to this restaurant on three occasions, as our 4-year-old daughter loves this place. To be honest, I find Mexican food in general pretty ordinary. I've eaten in many Mexican restaurants in my life, including those right in Mexico, not to mention I managed a kitchen in a Mexican restaurant for a year in Australia. Ahora, seems to produce a very authentic taste, and from what I can tell only us fresh product, nothing seems to be pre-made. The food is pretty flavoursome, as it goes for Mexican food. My only complaint is the temperature of the food, it never seems to be hot enough, and they either need to raise their temperatures, or start preheating their plates. But alas, in terms of Mexican food in Ottawa, I don't think it can get any better, as we plan on returning.
-- Eatsmore
Will
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User Review Rating
veg head
2011-May-11
20:47:16
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Contribution Status:

Regular (49.10)

lackluster food
I ordered a vegetarian burrito with a side of chips and salsa for take away.

Chips - home made, and very greasy
Salsa - the mild red salsa tasted like someone opened up a can of V8 and poured it into a serving bowl, bleh. The green 'hot' salsa was definitely not hot at all. It had no chunks in it, no kick to it and was really salty.
Burrito - it was small and had two detectable ingredients; beans and plain red salsa. This was a huge dissapointment, it was so dull and uninspired I felt like I was in prison.

Sevice was friendly and prompt, no complaints there. The restaurant itself was bright, cheerful and clean.

The food was so plain and unexciting I won't return to this land of boring and cheap.
-- veg head
Won't
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User Review Rating
Food101
2010-Dec-30
14:04:26


Contribution Status:

Novice (2.20)

Over Rated
I was anxious to try this restaurant because I like Mexican and this place had a lot of good reviews.

The food did not have much taste, it was soggy and there was very little filling (meat) in the enchiladas. The restaurant is between a full service and fast food type restaurant but the prices are the same as high end Mexican restaurant.

I will not be returning.
-- Food101
Won't
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User Review Rating
Froglegs
2010-Dec-28
15:39:32


Contribution Status:

Good (50.20)

Visited on 2010-Dec-28
Most disappointing
After reading all the reviews on this site, we were anxious to give Ahora a try.

When we go to a Mexican restaurant, we always try their enchiladas. Right now, our two favourites for these are Pancho Villa and Milagro Grill.

So we both ordered the combo plate - Enchiladas Mixta. I ordered two beef and one chicken with rice and beans, and she ordered one of each - beef, chicken and veggie, with salad and beans.

What we got were small - much shorter than the other places. Unfortunately I didn't get what I ordered - I got two beef and one veggie, so no chicken. Oh, and being a cafeteria style restaurant, nobody comes by to ask how everything is, so you can point out their error.

Not only were the enchiladas small, but they were watery, and had very little meat inside. I mean a TINY amount of meat. The other places we go stuff them full of meat. I felt very ripped off. These seemed to be full of 'other' stuff. Even McDonalds doesn't skimp this much on the meat. (Come to think of it, McDonalds could probably make a better enchilada).

The food was not terribly hot either. Warm, but not hot like it was just made.

The rice was slightly underdone and inedible, but the beans were good.

Other things I noticed - the napkins are those paper-thin type you get at a donut shop. Not something suitable for actually wiping your mouth with. They also don't serve guacamole with the food. This is a necessity. This would have been forgivable had there been some in the salsa bar - which there wasn't. No tortilla chips were offered either. Pretty standard if you ask me. Not even a few on the plate with the main dish. And to top it off, the table wobbled badly!

The atmosphere was nice, though the having to go up to the cash to order is a bit odd, as the prices are about the same as Pancho Villa, which is a full-service restaurant. You even have to go back to the cash area to pour yourself a glass of water, or order another beer.

Maybe it was an off-night, since everyone else here gives it great reviews. Based on what I experienced, I would not go back and waste my money again. I would go spend the same money at Pancho Villa or Milagro, and get food that is satisfying.

I have to agree with the reviewer below that said that Ahora is only a step up from Taco Bell. That does about sum it up. I would choose it over Taco Bell, but only just. Another reviewer below said that it's a little expensive for a cafeteria style restaurant. I agree. If it was half the price, and located in a food court, it would be fine.

Major disappointment, since Mexican is one of my favourite foods. I just felt ripped off by the entire experience.
-- Froglegs
Won't
Visit
Again
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User Review Rating
GotAnyFifty
2010-Nov-13
05:39:54


Contribution Status:

Frequent (10.20)

Burritos and beer anyone?
Ahora is another reason to love Ottawa. Tucked away in a semi-basement on Dalhousie, it seems an unlikely place to find such a warm and welcoming refuge. But a refuge it is - authentic Mexican food right down to the imported sodas. If cerveza isn't on the agenda, try the Tamarind or the Lemon Lime to accompany your delicious burrito, taco or chimi. Make sure you visit the salsa bar to heap your plate high with cilantro salsa, tomato salsa or one of the range of hot sauces on offer. The folks who run the place are charming, and frankly for a snack on a cold winter afternoon, it doesn't get much better than this. And PS bring 20 bucks and leave with more than enough change to go get a quart at Chez Lucien!
-- GotAnyFifty
Recommended
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User Review Rating
Marijumanji
2009-Sep-18
15:45:07


Contribution Status:

Great (190.97)

Busy for a a good reason
Went to Ahora's for lunch today. There was a lineup almost up the stairs and people were running out of places to sit down, usually a good sign that a restaurant is quality. Two of us ate for under 16 dollars, you can't beat that.

We both had a pollo burrito, they were simply fantastic, the grilled meats really give it some extra flavor and the guacamole is great too. It wasn't my first time here, I'd sampled the black bean dip before and it was okay nothing great. The chips weren't too good either. I'm not sure if it's the corn they use or if they just get them out of a bag. You'll probably want to try the beans, salad or rice as a side and avoid the chips altogether, no matter how tempting that salsa bar looks.

The food is great here and I'll be back to give some of their tacos and enchiladas a try soon.
-- Marijumanji
Recommended
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User Review Rating
Yroc
2009-Aug-02
20:42:24


Contribution Status:

Superb (306.62)

Maybe the 2nd time
Went today for the first time.

I got the Taco Taco, my wife got the Taco Salad.

I did not care for my tacos all that much. I used to go to a friends in the summer and his grandmom and her friend from Mexico used to make tacos. They tasted unreal and the tacos I had today did not even come close. In short, I did not like the doughy taco shell.

My wife had the taco salad and it was really good. I ate about 1.4 of it. Very good flavors and the shell was the best I have ever had of this type.

I will return and update at that time (have to try the burrito). I think it is good, but I still think Pancho villa serves a better overall meal. Plus the atmosphere lacks a bit at Ahora.
-- Yroc
Will
Visit
Again
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User Review Rating
SebsDream
2009-May-17
20:43:23


Contribution Status:

Frequent (10.95)

Visited on 2009-May-12
Hidden Gem
This spot may be hard to find but it is worth it. Food is really good and the salsa's are great too. Lot's of interesting choices on the menu.
-- SebsDream
Recommended
Comments (1) ... 
     

User Review Rating
ArmchairCritic
2009-Mar-18
13:54:44


Contribution Status:

Good (95.62)

Enjoyed the natchos...
Finally got a chance to drop in here. Was somewhat confused as to what kind of restaurant it wanted to be. There was a 'waitress' who brought us menus, but it looked like we were supposed to go to the front counter and order and pay, which we did. Ordered natchos, quesadilla, taco trio plate with salad and rice and a burrito plate. The natchos were very good, with a good portion of sour cream and guacomole on top, with tomatoes. The salsa bar was great for dipping. The rest of my meal was very average, did not overly enjoy the tacos, the rice could use a lot more seasoning and the salad was ok. $42 for the meal, so not sure that the price matches the casual cafeteria style. May go back for natchos though!
-- ArmchairCritic
Might
Visit
Again
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User Review Rating
Jade2010
2009-Feb-13
12:44:55


Contribution Status:

Frequent (12.50)

Visited on 2009-Feb-4
A Good Little Hole in the Wall
It took us forever to find this restaurant and after driving up and down the road several times we got out to walk and finally found a small basement restaurant tucked behind a tiny door. The place was pretty crowded almost full for such a small place on a weekday. We loved the salsa bar and I ended up making my side of chips into nachos with the salsa and jalepenos. The seafood burrito wasn't the best, I am from California so hold Mexican places to a higher standard, and the shrimp in it was the tiny salad shrimp. However, it was still very delicious, their Mexican rice was very tasty as was their selection of salsas. It was quite inexpensive with 2 meals, drinks and tip coming to only $22 (I have spent almost that at McDonalds before). I still have a few Mexican places in Ottawa to go to, but so far this is one of the best for the area.

The atmosphere was great and the server was polite and helpful and checked on us a couple of times after bringing out the food.

As for the comment below mine about it not being authentic. If you are searching for an authentic Mexican restaurant that serves *real* corn tortillas from fresh corn they just picked and mashed themselves with a mortar and pestle, I would suggest going somewhere else besides Canada... like... Mexico!!

If you are just out for an inexpensive, delicious meal in a friendly Mexican setting, visit Ahoras.
-- Jade2010
Recommended
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User Review Rating
MarketRez
2008-Dec-31
16:43:41


Contribution Status:

Novice (3.00)

Visited on 2008-Dec-9
Not authentic
The restaurant does not serve authentic Mexican food. It is only a step up from Taco Bell. The salsa bar is the only nice touch. I had several dishes trying to find one that more closely resembled true Mexican food. The best dish are the quesadillas which are the same as you would find in any restaurant in Ottawa. BTW, authentic quesadillas are made out of corn tortillas or if they are truly authentic they are made from masa. What they serve is something invented in the States.
-- MarketRez
Won't
Visit
Again
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User Review Rating
D&M
2008-Nov-30
19:08:54
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Contribution Status:

Occasional (8.10)

Visited on 2008-Nov-30
Can't go wrong
My wife and I went by for lunch today before going to the Bytowne. Shared a steak tostada and a reg nachos. Closest thing to Mexico food wise that we have in this city. Pleasant Mexican staff. Popular place. Better food and half the price of the other Tex-Mex near-by.
-- D&M
Recommended
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User Review Rating
whatthehell
2008-Nov-06
11:25:08


Contribution Status:

Regular (29.00)

Visited on 2008-Mar-19
I, too, loved the salsa bar and enjoyed my chicken enchilada. My companion raved about his beef enchilada, and generally loved the place. The churros were to die for!

I did find a hair in my food, but it's a testament to the quality of the food that I removed it and kept on eating. I'd even go back.

Nice, fresh, tasty stuff.
-- whatthehell
Will
Visit
Again
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User Review Rating
Earlybird
2008-Oct-30
20:00:54


Contribution Status:

Regular (28.70)

Nice and simple
A good place for a quick bite when you don't want to cook. Inexpensive and tasty food. Forget about the decor or the service (although the music may make you want to bust a move). It's kind of hilarious that people complain about a lack of service. I mean, come on, you're paying $7 for your main course. What do you expect? In all, I'm happy I found this place: I've paid twice as much elsewhere for Mexican food that was half as good. Well done.
-- Earlybird
Recommended
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User Review Rating
sushibaby
2008-Apr-26
00:30:09
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Contribution Status:

Frequent (11.10)

The food was really good and I think the idea of a salsa bar is brilliant! Very tasty salsas.
I found that the prices were a little high. I felt a bit strange tipping the server who really didn't do much for us except bring us our food, but never returned to check on us or offer us anything else, such as dessert or drinks.
-- sushibaby
Might
Visit
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User Review Rating
chowfan
2008-Apr-20
17:40:32


Contribution Status:

Occasional (5.00)

Visited on 2007-Mar-22
Overrated. Not a bad restaurant but....
The reviews would suggest an excellent restaurant. It's not quite that. It's more average. My meal had some really tough beef portions that were unedible. That definitely throws it out of the '8' ratings category. Sevice okay, functional for a cafeteria style restaurant.
-- chowfan
Might
Visit
Again
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User Review Rating
cclemon
2008-Feb-24
11:09:58


Contribution Status:

Great (118.80)

This basement restaurant was a delight to find on Dalhousie. Small but cosy atmosphere with good food. The salsa bar is abounding with spice and very convenient.
-- cclemon
Will
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Again
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User Review Rating
mr.biscuit
2008-Jan-20
15:45:16


Contribution Status:

Occasional (7.00)

Very fresh. Love the salsa bar. Fast and friendly staff. Very good prices.
-- mr.biscuit
Will
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Again
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User Review Rating
starmora
2007-Nov-30
22:50:35
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Contribution Status:

Regular (42.10)

for the same price as a fast food joint i can get delicious nachos and an amazing salsa bar worth of toppings. great value, and food that you can spice up as much as you want.
-- starmora
Will
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Again
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User Review Rating
byung6
2007-Sep-20
16:21:18


Contribution Status:

Frequent (18.00)

A Gem!
I've been to Ahora on many occasions and it's a great place to go with friends and have an enjoyable meal. It's unpretentious and servers are very friendly. I love the cantina-style feel to the place. As such, those looking for a fine dining experience will be disappointed, but those looking for good food at a very good value will be pleased.
-- byung6
Will
Visit
Again
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User Review Rating
Emanonem
2007-Sep-16
19:47:53


Contribution Status:

Frequent (22.00)

A little disapointed...
With so many good reviews we were surprised with what we got...

First of all, the restaurant is very small and cafeteria style. We ordered chips and guacamole to start with an ice tea (which is canned and a little overprices) and a beer. The guacamole was a little bland, but the salsa bar makes up for it. We ordered the Ranchero and the Ahora both with beef, rice and salad. The salad wasn't very good (brown, soggy and tasteless), the rice was regular seasoned rice and the "burrito" filled with beef was good and actually quite large. We both agreed that the entire meal was "okay" but that we wouldn't return. Other than the salsa bar, there wasn't much different between this place and a chain mexican restaurant.

Our total came up to just over 43$ for a beer, ice tea, chips and guacamole and two main entrees. We thought this was a little expensive for a "cafeteria" style restaurant.
-- Emanonem
Won't
Visit
Again
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User Review Rating
Katherine
2007-Aug-17
22:07:26


Contribution Status:

Good (71.00)

YUM
This is the most flavorful mexican food I have ever had, and it's affordable. Their salsa bar comes with the meal and I've never had such good salsa. Their desserts are not that good but the food I had made up for it. The food isn't very heavy and you can fill yourself for no more than $10.
-- Katherine
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User Review Rating
hungryhippo
2007-Aug-16
20:18:42


Contribution Status:

Novice (4.00)

good food, good prices, good service, really bad system!!
I visited with my family last Monday Aug 13th for lunch. The place was a little busy but we got served very quickly.

The food was good, big portions. We had the enchiladas, which seemed pretty aunthentic to me and I thought the salsa bar was excellent. The prices were fair. Food was really well priced. The service was excellent, very friendly and attentive.

Now this is were it really gets stupid. The ordering system they got set up is truly ridiculous. You have a seat, check out the menu, then get up and order at the counter, and PAY FIRST! If you want to order anything else, get up again and pay again, like a cafeteria or a junk food joint.

So there is a bunch of people waiting in line while the waiter worked the cash and served the tables. I paid with visa and felt really annoyed that I had to get up and pay again for some extra drinks. I didnt order dessert just because I didn't want to use my card again. Too bad because the place otherwise was really good.



-- hungryhippo
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User Review Rating
Veggie
2007-Aug-07
12:50:54


Contribution Status:

Frequent (17.70)

Loved the Salsa Bar!
We went last Sunday afternoon around 1:30pm, so it wasn't busy at all. We ordered the the burrito grande and plato ranchero. Food was good but cold. Portions are quite big so go hungry. The salsa bar was cool. Different types of sauces ranging from hot to mild. We tried almost everything and my favorite was the regular tomato salsa and some green coriander flavored sauce. The set up for service was quite weird...almost cafeteria style. Order and pay at the counter. They bring the food to you but not the drinks. I didn't know you that you had to get your own water?? The decor was nice...all mexican style. I think I would go back again. It was a nice change from the Mexicali and Lone Star chains.
-- Veggie
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User Review Rating
dosgringos
2007-May-12
18:14:39


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

It was great....two years ago
We stopped in for supper on Thursday May 10th with a friend visiting from Oaxaca, Mexico. It had been two years since we last visited Ahora. We were very disappointed with our meals, two Plato Rancheros (chicken) and one Chicken Enchiladas. The meat was all dark and tough. The Plato Rancheros were especially bad, the meat tasted of too much vinegar or lime. The tomatoes on our plate had hard white flesh. We did not make a fuss in front of our guest. We have enjoyed dining there in the past, but will likely not return. The service was pleasant enough, but it's the food that kept us coming back up until now.
-- dosgringos
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User Review Rating
ChefBoyR
2007-Mar-23
16:11:56


Contribution Status:

Frequent (13.00)

Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
daft
2007-Mar-05
15:56:29


Contribution Status:

Frequent (21.30)

Excellent, cheap food. Salsa bar was excellent.

The service model they use really does not work. It's ridiculous actually.
The restaurant was about 1/3 full.
After waiting 10 minutes in line to order, and 30 minutes after that for our Pina Coladas, we got our drinks, appetizers, and mains within 2 minutes of eachother.
-- daft
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User Review Rating
ottawonton
2007-Feb-12
00:25:50


Contribution Status:

Occasional (6.00)

Went for light dinner on a Saturday night

Ordered: Quesadilla Vegitariana with Chips, Mango Juice

People need to stop giving this place great reviews! When I discovered Ahora two years ago getting a table on a Saturday night was not a problem. On this particular visit, they were hosting two parties of 10+ people so we had to line up for a table, and the line was still there after we finished our meal. This is one of my favourite restaurants in Ottawa; I always recommend it and bring my out-of-town visitors here. It takes them a bit to understand how it works (ordering at the cash, getting up for the salsa bar, remembering to get cutlery or water from the counter) but overall it makes for a fun night.

This visit was the first time I had their Homemade Mango Juice which is definitely is heaven in a glass. The portions are small(ish) but the prices are so reasonable you can split an order of nachos or anafres to go with your meal and get a churros after and still be under $15 per person. Only bad thing about this place is that when it gets too busy (like this visit) the tables get a little crowded and the service suffers. Even still, the staff make a decent effort to make everyone happy so you don’t come away disappointed.
-- ottawonton
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User Review Rating
lfgonzalez
2007-Feb-07
12:28:39


Contribution Status:

Novice (2.00)

This place is so awesome. Finnally good, fair priced mexican food in town. Ive been to all those texmex places in search for good tacos but these guys are for sure the best. I LOVE THE SALSA BAR!!!! and the homemade juices are amazing too. The service was very friendly and the overall experience was pretty laid back. Will be back asap.
-- lfgonzalez
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User Review Rating
amok13
2007-Feb-05
20:31:09


Contribution Status:

Novice (2.00)

Very reasonably priced menu and very friendly service. Mexican isn't my favourite type of food, but I would definitely return and recommend this place to friends. It has a cafeteria feel to it with ordering and paying in advance, but as mentioned in other reviews, the friendly waitress gives little containers to take some of the salsa home with you.
-- amok13
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User Review Rating
kmennie
2006-Nov-07
16:00:11


Contribution Status:

Regular (45.00)

I like! The food reminded me of what I missed from living in SoCal. Fresh! Flavourful! Nice combination of "authentic" and "recognisable" -- nothing too exotic, but definitely not Taco Bell. The service, despite being more fast-food than standard restaurant, was sweet. (Endless bonus points for providing, unasked, mini take-away containers so we could take stuff from the salsa bar home with our doggie-bagged stuff.) Will definitely be back for more of the vegetarian enchiladas. Decent sangria. The visit was slightly hampered by a loud, large party right next to us, but...not much, and the music was turned down as soon as the crowd thinned out. Well priced, too, which is good given the extra-casual atmosphere -- though the food's so good I'd pay more to eat it in a nicer place.

Edited to add: I've since returned several times, and haven't been disappointed. Well, the margaritas are a bit too iced (and stop with those too-short straws, I beg you), but the "enchiladas vegetariana" make it worth going out of my way to eat there despite the sort of cafeteria-ish atmosphere. Unarguably one of the better places in the city to eat, and the best Mexican going in Ottawa.
-- kmennie
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User Review Rating
bunnycakes
2006-Oct-06
21:59:52


Contribution Status:

Occasional (5.00)

We found this little restaurant awhile ago - when you could still walk in and find a table on a Friday night! The food is simple, fast and fresh with a salsa bar that allows you to season to taste. The servers are friendly and even though you order your food at the counter, you leave feeling that you were well taken care of.
-- bunnycakes
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User Review Rating
epicurien
2006-Sep-15
14:34:53


Contribution Status:

Frequent (13.80)

This is excellent California Mexican style food. I don't like the idea of ordering at the counter, but I adore the salsa bar, love the food and the staff are always smiling and friendly. It's surprisingly bright for a basement location, and everyone I have brought here always wants to come back. I don't think I can ever again eat that deep fried, cheese drenched Mexican that I thought was authentic, before I discovered Ahora! I never feel guilty eating here since everything is fresh, and healthy!
-- epicurien
No Rating
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User Review Rating
basura
2006-Aug-13
20:27:44


Contribution Status:

Frequent (21.10)

very good - not fancy, but friendly and a cheery atmosphere. excellent value - and good simple food.
-- basura
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User Review Rating
crazycanuck
2006-Aug-13
10:17:54


Contribution Status:

Occasional (6.00)

This is probably the best Mexican food i've ever had. Burritos very flavorful & i'm a fan of the black beans ( nice change from the pellets served at most other 'mexican' places. Not for elegant restaurant types but the setting really adds to a mexican feel. Nice to go out and get quick, inexpensive, good food.

A true market hidden gem.
-- crazycanuck
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User Review Rating
Pearl88
2006-Jul-22
19:12:00


Contribution Status:

Occasional (7.00)

My first time eating Mexican food was a dinner with my husband's group of friends many years ago in Dallas. I really like the cheerful atmosphere - the restaurant had people playing guitar and singing at each table. We had a wonderful time. From then on, we tried many chained restaurants in Ottawa and always missed the Mexican restaurant our friends took us in Dallas.

Shame on myself that I didn't know about Ahora in the Byward market. Not until I heard CBC's Ottawa Morning and Ahora was on Chef Steven Vardy's favourite restaurant list.

So we went to try Ahora. Thanks to Chef Vardy. The food was awesome, everything was fresh! Can't resist those yummy tortilla chips. My favourite Pina Coladas was very tasty. The tostada with grilled chicken was perfect.

The decor was really neat inside with bright colors. Very nice and friendly ambiance. Food price was very good. Highly recommended place for Mexican food.
-- Pearl88
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User Review Rating
Ottawa Food
2006-Jul-07
00:47:19


Contribution Status:

Frequent (12.00)

Wow! What a treat. I went in with high expectations after reading the reviews on this page and was not disappointed! The food was awesome! Two platters, two Pina Coladas and a churro for $45. How do you go wrong with that? Fresh, friendly and delicious! I'll be back!
-- Ottawa Food
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User Review Rating
food_critic
2006-Mar-20
22:29:39


Contribution Status:

Superb (420.10)

I went here for lunch recently and I can echo the previous poster's comments. I had a burrito grande and a Strawberry soda, good food, cheerful service and reasonably priced; I would return – recommended.
-- food_critic
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User Review Rating
cinderelly24
2006-Feb-07
11:43:19


Contribution Status:

Frequent (12.00)

We went to this restaurant, based on the OttawaXpress review, as well as the Voir's. We also had a 2 for 1 coupon from the Entertainment book. So we figured if it sucked, at least we wouldn't have emptied our pockets. The look of the place is bright and cheerful. The service was impeccable! A young lady with a smile that could illuminate the place, speaking French, English and Spanish, took our orders, informed us of where the salsa was and was just overall extremely nice. We had a Ranchero Platter and a Ahora Platter. Burritos were extremly good, with a lot of meat (chicken or steak depending on the one you get). The sides were plentiful, and we left with a doggie bag, after pigging out. The churros were excellent, even if they were out, and all that was left was one (that I happily chowed down), all warm and drizzled with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. If you want fancy, don't go there. If you want good, solid, comfort food, and don't really care about the ambiance, you won't regret visiting Ahora.
-- cinderelly24
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dude_food
2005-Nov-30
13:18:46


Contribution Status:

Frequent (22.10)

I finally found it! It's right on Dalhousie. Very small sign. Very good food. Small restaurant, with more of a fast food feel. But well worth trying it out. My wife and I ate for around $35 including 2 beers.
-- dude_food
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silverblitz
2005-Nov-24
22:24:27


Contribution Status:

Frequent (16.00)

I went here under the pretenses of a rave review with the XPress and the friend I went with loved it. I on the other hand, found it well, worth the price? It was cheap and it was food but overall I wasn't that impressed. If you want a great value this is the place to go.
-- silverblitz
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Jebbe99
2005-Jun-18
21:54:02


Contribution Status:

Good (89.10)

Went there for dinner after reading the review in XPress. The place is unpretentious but with a good, friendly atmosphere. The beef burrito grande was good but the chicken quesadilla could be meatier. There is a salsa bar where one can spice up with hot peppers(red or green) or mild sauce. Will likely go back to try the anafres (refried beans topped with melted cheese in a clay pot).
-- Jebbe99
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Grabster
2005-May-01
15:54:13


Contribution Status:

Novice (2.00)

I like it. I find that you get really good Mexican food. I have traveled in California somewhat and this place is a very close match to authentic family run Mexican restaurants there. I don't think this is the environment for a romantic dinner date, but if you are looking for a place to meet friends or family for great food, cold beer you can't go wrong.
-- Grabster
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shirleyroygenest
2005-Mar-29
18:09:20


Contribution Status:

Novice (4.00)

I read a review for Ahora Mexican restaurant in the Ottawa citizen last week and was tempted to bring my friends for dinner on Saturday. We were more then impressed.... we found our new favorite Ottawa restaurant. We loved the concept of the salsa bar where you can choose the kind of sauces you want to add to your dish. We all loved the "salsa verde"! We started off with a plate of Nachos: simply delicious! It is, by the way, a great place for an after-work-nachos-and-drinks get together. The pina colada were great and so I have heard of the Micealada. We tried different things on the menu, which were all extremely tasty. I highly recommend the chicken tostada. One of my friend, who lived in Mexico for years was also more than satisfied with the meal. She said the tortilla soup tasted even better than what she recalls from her stay. Our night out at Ahora ended really cheap.... and with the music, the wall colors and the staff, I felt I was in Mexico myself.
I say, don't hesitate: GO!
-- shirleyroygenest
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spy
2005-Mar-19
22:13:09


Contribution Status:

Superb (494.09)

kind of too small and in the basement but the food is tasty and the employees are super nice.
-- spy
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CdnDuck
2005-Feb-14
00:54:38


Contribution Status:

Frequent (16.00)

Been here for lunch on a couple of occassions and I have to say they have the best quesadilla I've had outside California or Mexico. I've also tried the carne burritos, which are good but a bit lite on the meat filling. Definitely the best mexican food I've had in Ottawa so far but I've yet to go to southern cross or mexicali Rosa's.
-- CdnDuck
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michael2000
2005-Jan-22
18:17:17


Contribution Status:

Regular (34.00)

The best Mexican food that we've had so far in Ottawa - by far. About 10X better than the chain that is advertised as Ottawa's best mexican.

The food is awesome. We started with the nachos - which were excellent. The chips were nice and fresh and not greasy at all. For dinner, I had two plates: The two tacos (one beef, one chicken). They are rather unique - with two soft shells. Very nice, freshly prepared. I also had a burrito, which also was great. My wife had a burrito platter Ranchero, which she also loved. I absolutely adored the salsa bar. Lots of fresh jalapenos, and very hot sauses (and mild for the less adventurous).

Nice, clean, bright and friendly. Go.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
-- michael2000
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rhardy
2004-Dec-11
18:06:54


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

A small but very fast inexpensive Mexican restaurant with excellent food. I
would recommend it to anyone who likes Mexican food. We had to pay first but
we actually got really good food in an almost "fast food" time frame.
Ahora=now in Spanish. We were in and out of the restaurant in less than 30
minutes. We had beer and were slow deciding what we wanted too. The menu is
mostly text, you might find it helpful to examine the pictures on the wall
on the way into the restaurant before you sit down to examine the menu. It
would be nice if they added pictures to the menus. The rice was excellent
(and I don't normally order rice.) We had two of their burrito style meals and they were great. If you are wondering how Mexican food is
supposed to taste this is the place to go. The restaurant isn't well
advertised. The only real complaint we had was, at our last visit, they were
having a minor fruit fly problem near the salsa bar.
-- rhardy
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lestcdn
2004-Aug-26
23:23:26


Contribution Status:

Occasional (6.00)

a bit of context for my review: my family (2 teenage kids)have recently returned from a 3 week vacation in California. We developed a love of Mexican food there and ate 2 meals a day in family-run establishments which were almost always excellent and in the low-middle price range. We were almost desperate to find an equivalent in Ottawa upon our return. We were disappointed with both Pancho Villa and Mexicali Rosa's. We thank our lucky stars that we did find Ahora tonight. We are not ethnically Mexican, so you can take our impressions with a grain of salt. But we ate the omnipresent chips&salsa, beans & rice at over 30 different restaurants. Ahora is the only place we've found that would fit in, in California. Nice soft rice -- completely unlike those Lone Star hard pellets. Delicious!
-- lestcdn
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lost
2004-Aug-25
16:10:59


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

the best mexican restaurant that I ever saw before! the prices are reasonable, the decorations
are wonderful and the foods are greats! there is a salsa bar for those
which want to add sauces (it is free).
-- lost
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cyclist
2004-Aug-02
22:31:19


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

There are some low price items on the menu and the food is plentiful. It has soft corn tortillas which can be hard to find in Ottawa. The wait staff was warm and friendly and the decor is nice underground place. There's a bar to add whatever toppings and level of salsa heat you want,
-- cyclist
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