OCCO Kitchen 4240 Innes Rd., 613-834-1200
The green, white, and red flag that brands this 200-seater in Orleans is not Italian, as we had first thought. It is, in fact, the Newfoundland Tricolour, and the green, white, and pink (as it happens) is the official flag of the Star of the Sea Association. Who knew? OCCO is the acronym for the no-nonsense-sounding Orleans Catering Co., run by East Coast chef Mark Steele. The wall art — paintings of white clapboard houses, raging sea, lighthouses — should have tipped us off. So, too, the menu: no veal saltimbocca in sight. Instead, burgers, tacos, salt cod fritters, fish and chips, seafood chowder. OCCO Kitchen is a big generic-looking space, mostly brown and grey with some orange, some barnboard, and modern brick accents, filled in with dozens and dozens of tables. The dishes that most impressed were the comfort classics — the beer-battered cod, the terrific fritters, the shockingly delicious pogo sticks with Seed to Sausage cheese curds and jalapeno smokies served with house ketchup and seedy mustard. And, of course, the burgers. “OCCO is known for its burgers,” we’re told, and these did indeed tick every Really Good Burger box, right down to the house-made cheddar cheese buns. Try the Hamre, topped with guacamole, smoked cheddar, and candied bacon, on a squishy cheese bun. The wine list is concise, the craft beer list is longer, and both are all-Ontario. I wouldn’t say OCCO is worth crossing town for, but to find good food in Orleans is a rare and happy treat. Burgers and mains $14–$28. Open Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.