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Monday, June 6, 2011

[Ottawa] The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro

Review Location:
2525 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario

(Major Intersection: Bank st & Hwy 417)

Hopefully you all aren't bored of reading about Ottawa, but I promise this is the last from this trip!

For lunch on the Victoria Day Monday that we were there, we decided to go to The Works. We were actually supposed to go here the night before for dinner, but it was so packed, so we went somewhere else. In a way, this place reminds me of Craft Burger in Toronto, except with even crazier burgers.

When we first got to the restaurant, the decor inside gave me the impression that it's like a factory or some sort of warehouse. The walls were all stone and brick, tables were separated by metal fencing, and they've added other little details to their warehouse theme. I really liked the recycled paper menu, and the lightbulbs that they used to put their salt and pepper in. What a great way to reuse and recycle!

Left: Gauges and other things on the wall, Right: S&P shakers, and the menu

We sat down next to the window, which they fully opened up making it almost like sitting on the patio. It was a nice day, but very windy, so all our napkins and menus were flying around! Not to worry though, because we promptly ordered waters and milkshakes to weigh everything down. At The Works, they serve all their beverages in these measuring glasses. I thought it was a really creative touch, and you can check that they don't skimp out on your 16 ounce milkshake!

Measuring glasses of water and "Chocolate Chip Milkshake"

The milkshakes were really good. We all ended up ordering vanilla, but I decided to be bold and ordered the Chocolate Chip (essentially vanilla with chocolate chips). When it first came, it was so thick that I couldn't draw it up through the straw. This thing is like all ice cream! The 16 ounce I ordered is also definitely too big for one person. This thing is a meal in itself! Good thing I decided to share one. Make sure you order a smaller if you plan on eating! (It comes in 8, 16, and 32 ounces)

"Tower-O-Rings" -not just excellent, but simply the best dang O-Rings this side of Carlsbad Springs - they're breaded not battered for that big crispy crunch!! the rings are hot, the towers are cool, and now you've gotta choose 2 Dipsticks for dippin'

For starters, we ordered the onion rings. It comes on a stand and they stack it like a tower (hence the name). I'm sure this onion ring tower isn't a new phenomenon to many people since they do this at lots of places now, but what I really liked was that it came with two dipping sauces of your choice. They had a whole bunch of interesting ones, but we settled on Beechhouse and Tzatziki chili. Untraditional but it worked. Just as the description on the menu (quoted in the photo caption) says, the breaded not battered rings were extra crunchy! I LOVE onion rings!

 Top Left: "M.E.C" -fresh avocado, beechhouse sauce, sundried tomato & feta cheese
Top Right: "Peppercorn Broiler" -crunchy black pepper crust, gouda cheese & crispy bacon
Bottom Left: "Three Ringe Binder"- fried mushrooms, chipotle mayo, gouda cheese & 3 crunchy o-rings
Bottom Right: "Crappy Tire"-pineapple ring, sweet & spicy sauce & brie cheese (Can Tire $ accepted)

The burgers took a long time to come, but to be honest at that point I was already quite full! The combination of the shake and onion rings just about did it for me. And these burgers ended up being huge! But for the sake of trying everything fresh, I tried to eat whatever I could. On the menu there was a "Mary Burger" (it came with fried egg!), and I felt obligated to order it, but decided it wasn't the occasion.. Instead I went with the Crappy Tire because it comes with my favourite cheese --brie! (And apparently you really can pay with Canadian Tire money if you order this burger!  Too bad I didn't have any on me...) When you order your burger they ask you what kind of patty you want, and there is everything from beef to portobello mushroom cap, to domestic elk. On my Crappy Tire, I opted for turkey. The burger was really different, but I found it was well balanced. The slight bitterness from the brie complimented the sweet and spicy from sauce, and the sour of the pineapple. I took pictures of other people's burgers to show what they looked like, and what kind of sides you could get. They had these Spicy Die-cut chips (paired with the M.E.C burger) that were really good!

In general I was really impressed with everything here. They have multiple locations, so check it out if you're ever close by to one of their franchises!

The WORKS Hunt Club on Urbanspoon
The Works Westboro on Restaurantica

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