| 1 Comment

Return to the Works: Manor Park location

Print Friendly

In Ottawa, when you ask locals where to get a decent burger, you will likely be directed to one of two old favourites or a newcomer: The Works, Chez Lucien or Famous Frenchy’s respectively.

The relative newcomer, Famous Frenchy’s opened its doors several months ago and Ottawa Citizen’s food editor Ron Eade pounced on it pretty quickly.

Ron Eade's Heart Attack Grill

Ron Eade’s Heart Attack Grill

In his writeup, he referred to Famous Frenchy’s by the name of an American burger chain whose restaurants earned some notoriety for serving “excess”, the Heart Attack Grill (HAG). The Heart Attack Grill’s owner and operator, Jon Basso, would later call Eade on infringement on his trademark from Twitter.

@doublebypass (Jul 25, 11:38 AM)
@RonEade You are publishing trademarks which are registered in US and Canada. Contact me immediately jon@heartattackgrill.com Jon Basso

@DoubleBypass Doctor Jon (Jul 25, 12:04 PM)
Up at 7am to the charming news that yet another … media concern is violating my trademarks, oh well back to court, it’s getting old.

Clearly, foodiePrints’ a “Palin” blog entry on the chain was mistaken when my then research turned up that the Heart Attack Grill had closed its doors.

Regarding Famous Frenchy’s, friends of mine have visited it, telling me that the burgers are quite good, but you would best bring a defibrillator with you. They also tell me it is a great place to take a “guy” to on his birthday.

We at foodiePrints have visited Chez Lucien several times before, finding both the burgers and service are best at the beginning of evening service, just before the night time rush. Though, I have to admit there is no other eatery in the city with the same ambiance. It is a popular destination.

Regarding the Works, there is a chain of restaurants in Ottawa. My better half, her sister, and I thoroughly enjoyed our first off-the-menu burger experience at the Works’ Bank Street location in the Glebe. We also enjoy Westfest burgers from the Works’ Richmond Road Location in Westboro during the annual summer festival.

However, I later discovered that the various Works locations are independently run and do not all offer the same quality of food or service. Admittedly, it is difficult to replicate the qualities that gave the Works its reputation in all its location, but each should come close.

Such wasn’t the case when I went to the Works’ Manor Park location on the Friday evening before the Victoria Day weekend with friends. This would be their first visit and I advised them to try another location before dismissing chain entirely.

Firstly, the service was atrocious. While we understood that a 4 person table at the busy location was difficult to come by, sticking us outside in the makeshift terrace (2 tables on the sidewalk) during dusk in the summer-time only ensured that we got close encounters of the mosquito kind. Then, promising us an inside table when space permits, literally forgetting us outside, and then telling us that we have to be re-queued with other arriving parties just adds insult to injury. Had you no space, tell us so and we would have gone elsewhere.

Secondly, the food we were served had my friends questioning why I spoke so highly of the chain. Our plates of sweet potato fries were served mostly cold, lukewarm at best.

Soggy Sweet Potato Fries

Soggy Sweet Potato Fries

The tower of greasy onion rings did not please the crowd.

Greasy Onion Rings

Greasy Onion Rings

My friend’s “Hail Mary” ($12.94) burger sported an over cooked beef pattie and an egg that was taller than it was wide. I actually had to stop and think about how the cook managed to produce a pimple of a fried egg. Inside, the yolk looked almost chalky.

Overcooked Fried Egg

Overcooked Fried Egg

My “Peppercorn Broiler” ($12.52) burger’s pattie had a nice layer of charcoal on top of what resembled an already good sear. It had me wonder if it had been pre-cooked and then re-seared. Needless to say, it too was overcooked, its internal heat literally liquefying the lettuce in my burger.

My Burger

My Burger

Lifeless Pattie

Lifeless Pattie

The buns also came cold. Every other time I have eaten burgers from the Works, the buns came toasted.

Cold Bun

Cold Bun

Total: $32.16 (after taxes, before tip, and including an Iced Tea ($2.99))

In future, I’m sticking to what I feel should be the Works’ flagship location, the Glebe establishment. There, my guests and I are treated well, and our burgers demonstrate how the Works earned its reputation.

The Works
363 St-Laurent Boulevard

The Works (Manor Park) on Urbanspoon

Mild-mannered IT professional by day and food blogger by night, I founded foodiePrints with a single intention, to share my love of all things food. My first post shared a recipe. Many followed. Eventually, I learned Ottawa prepares and serves great food. Thereafter, I started meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, all good people. Ideas for food-related content swirled in my head. foodiePrints grew into a place to put them. From exploring foreign and domestic cuisines to shopping for exotic ingredients and cobbling together my takes on dishes in my meager kitchen, there are stories to tell. Welcome to foodiePrints. Here, you will find stories about food and drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital. Be it food-related or just food-for-thought, I hope you find something tasty here.


serge morin

hi,serge morin ,i run a small take out in vanier .i m known for my poutine,meat and veggie poutine. our famous thick garlic gravy. i would like to invite you to try my poutine in my take out place at 200 deschamps ,it call the vanier snack shack ,best time to come and have the .50 tour of my products would be around 200 pm but any time good .clouse sunday because i like to hang around with the wife,even after 30 years i steel want to hang with her on sunday ,check me at urbanspoon and see the peoples reviews andon facebook there amazing .were very involve white the community .we do music event fundraiser and public relationship .i m born in vanier and like vanier very much .vanier is about to go true a big change and i m glade to be part of the community .h by the way i have a 8oz burger with cheese i do ,is very new ,but wont claim it as one of the best but its not bad at all,BUT my poutine i will claim ONE OF THE BEST IN THE GREATER OF OTTAWA and put my name on it serge morin call me if you what 613 709 0783 peace...

Leave A Comment