Small-town feel, big time taste: Stephanie Brooks visits Westboro’s Milagro Grill

Milagro Grill is located at 357 Richmond Road, Ottawa

It’s a miracle an old diner and ice cream parlour was transformed into a trendy and picturesque dining room, bar, patio, and one of Westboro’s most popular eateries.

Brenda Freije and her co-workers from previous Mexican restaurants opened Milagro Grill in March 2006, to offer a unique atmosphere and dishes not found elsewhere in the area.

“Westboro was ideal. We’ve been trying to get in here for a very long time and finally found a perfect spot,” says general manager Freije.

The name “Milagro” – “miracle” in Spanish, just seemed to fit.

The 100-year-old hardwood floors, Latin decor and dimly-lit lanterns hanging above each table illuminating the exotic flavours on plates make the space reminiscent of a quaint Mexican café.

Located in the heart of Westboro Village between Churchill and Roosevelt Avenue, Milagro’s motto is “Mexican with attitude” – but the friendly service and staff on-hand have anything but.

Maybe that’s what keeps their regulars coming back. Or, it could be Milagro’s extensive and original menu, that features South American, Latin and Mexican flavours.

Whether it be the restaurant’s distinctive Kronenbourg or Tuborg beers, famous classic margaritas, or anything from the Milagro salad to the Brazilian Shrimp Stew, this restaurant has something for everyone. Sports fans can sit at the bar on one half the restaurant, families can enjoy one of the many booths, and candlelit corner tables are perfect for dates.

Freije says sandwiches at lunchtime are very popular, as it’s a go-to spot for local businesspeople. Their specials, she says, are also a big draw.

Milagro’s motto is “Mexican with attitude” 

“Our Brazilian chef, Lino, is always putting great specials together,” she says.

Others opt for my personal favourite: the never-disappointing Milagro Special – three enchiladas of beef, chicken, or cheese (or a combination), with beans, guacamole and salad.

“That’s the nicest if you want to try a bit of everything,” Freije says.

When the warm weather finally hits, two large garage doors will open up onto bustling Richmond Road for extra patio dining, adding to the 78 seats they have available.

During Westfest, Westboro’s annual outdoor weekend art and music festival, Milagro will join plenty of other vendors and open up their service onto closed-down Richmond Road. From June 10 to 12th, Freije says they will turn down their menu in order to accommodate the orders, and have seating available for 65 on their extended patio.

So what’s next for the owners of Westboro’s little miracle? Trying to pull off another – right across the street.

“Churchill’s” will be opening in a couple of weeks, offering pub fare in a relaxed setting. Freije says they, too, are hoping to open up the patio onto the road for Westfest.

So if you’re strolling the street for a great meal with an inviting atmosphere and authentic Latin flare, you can’t miss the aromatic flavours coming from Milagro’s kitchen – or the colourful mural on its exterior.

Thanks Stephanie! We hope to see you around here again soon!