Burger Challenge – updated

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Ever find yourself at a loss after issuing a challenge? I am presently looking for some input.

You see, a week ago yestereday, I noticed Toronto food writer/photographer, Suresh Doss of Spotlight Toronto, was in Ottawa, at The Works on Richmond Road no less. We at foodiePrints have been following Doss’ exploits ever since he was asked to write for the LCBO‘s goLOCAL blog about local wine this past fall. We followed him on Twitter at @spotlightcity sometime before.

Doss was in Ottawa with a small contingent of marketing and communications professionals to attend The Works‘ media event that announced new Ontario locations in London, Kingston, Guelph, Oakville, and Barrhaven (Ottawa). This, after Andy O’Brien and Fresh Brands Inc. purchased the Works’ lock, stock, and 68 burger menu from local restauranteur Ion Aimers.

Two days later, Ian Gillespie of the London Free Press would muse about regional additions to the Works’ menu. One, includes chipotle ketchup, caramelized onions, Havarti cheese and four strips of double-smoked bacon. It was christened “Smokin’ Joe”, by London’s mayor, Joe Fontana. London’s Works will open in May.

In Ottawa, there are presently 6 locations. Of them, Jenn and I have had pleasant experiences from 2. If someone asks which Works to visit, we recommend the one in the Glebe, 580 Bank Street.

If someone asks for a good burger in Ottawa, the Works isn’t at the top of our list. It has been hit and miss burger-wise for a while, sometimes dry, sometimes heavily charred… And, hence my dilemma. I offered to show Doss Ottawa serves better burgers than the Works.

For instance, here is a burger from Allium Restaurant (87 Holland Avenue), a locally-owned French bistro, with La Sauvagine cheese, roasted tomato relish, chipotle aioli, pickled red onion, lettuce, fresh slice of tomato, and crispy bacon.

Allium Cheeseburger

Allium Cheeseburger

Flavourful, Juicy, and Masterfully Grilled

Flavourful, Juicy, and Masterfully Grilled

No nonsense, it came from the lunch menu. Cost: $13 (same price point as many Works burgers, including the “Hamburger Mary” we normally order ($13.19))

To date, my short list of places to take Doss follows:

  • Absinthe Cafe (1208 Wellington Street W.) for their hanger steak burger, which is sometimes on their lunch menu [but is almost always available according to Abinthe]
  • Allium Restaurant (87 Holland Avenue) for their cheeseburger that is presently on their lunch menu
  • Black Cat Bistro (428 Preston Street) for Burger Tuesdays (Tonight’s: Fillet o’fish: Fried halibut, pickled ramp tartar sauce, pickled red onion, garlic and Parmesan toasted sesame bun)
  • Chez Lucien (137 Murray Street) for its eponymous burger
  • Hintonburger (991 Wellington Street W.) for their Burger of the Month (April’s: Ham and Swiss on a burger, ranch or honey mustard, lettuce and tomato)
  • Vera’s Burger Shack at The Butchery (3657 Richmond Road)

Do you have any recommendations?

Allium Restaurant
87 Holland Avenue

Allium 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.


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Looks like CTVOttawa is doing a Best Of contest like they did for poutine last year.

Here are the nominated burger joints from viewers:

- Baja Burger Shack(Snack bar at Britannia Beach - 100 Greenview Avenue)
- Double Decker Dairy Bar & Grill(5525 Manotick Main Street)
- Hintonburger (991 Wellington Street W.)
- Sandy Hill Lounge and Grill(Pub at University of Ottawa - 21 Somerset Street E.)
- The Works (All Locations)


Hey Don

Adrian and I loved this post. We are great fans of Hintonburger.

We recently tried The Works for the first time and it wasn't quite what we were expecting.


@boneats (Apr 14, 09:02 AM)
@foodiePrints All this talk about burgers...I want! Let's grab some the next time I'm in town!


@JenniferBylok (Apr 14, 08:14 AM)
@spotlightcity @foodiePrints heck yeah accept it! Way better than the 'challenge' to go sans meat, computer, alcohol, etc for 60 days :)


@spotlightcity (Apr 14, 08:09 AM)
should I accept this Burger challenge? “@foodiePrints: Some great comments on our Burger Challenge post http://t.co/SpAv3Tv


Hey Don

Thank you chiming in on my trip to Ottawa and works. During my lunch there, I shared a total of 5 different burgers with another colleague from Toronto.

My colleague (easily one of the city's top foodies) and I agreed that the flavour combinations at works were good, but the meat was overdone and this was partially because we weren't told we can order them medium or medium rare.

Anyway, I would love to take you up on this challlenge. I would love to come to Ottawa and try the burgers at some of these other locations.
I've been meaning to spend some time in Ottawa this spring/summer and this is the perfect excuse.

Count me in.

Ps. I didnt have any time on my trip to try anything else other than works. In all fairness


All I can think about right now is wanting to scarf down a juicy burger... I'm on detox right now...le sigh....


@MJDerouin (Apr 13, 01:27 PM)
Got a favorite burger? Let the good folks here about it RT @foodiePrints: Burger Challenge http://nblo.gs/gAUFE


Burgers & Shakes out in Manotick Stn - really good burgs, very much like Hintonburger & Vera's.


That list is pretty much my list too. I haven't tried Absinthe.

Canvas does a Bison Burger for lunch but I haven't stepped up to it yet.

DH tried the burger at Corner Bar & Grill in Westboro last Wednesday and was pleasantly surprised. (I went with DS in the early days of opening and the place in general didn't ring my bell but I am willing to give them another try when they settle down.)

I have also heard people speak well of the Clock Tower Brew Pub's burger. Glebe location I think.

As for the Works, there appear to be changes in marketing style now with the new owners. Or I have been under a rock for an awfully long time? I just can't imagine Ion Aimers ever trying to entice me to The Works by calling me a 'Burgerhead' or inviting me to try a #bichinburger. Is this type of pitch as new as I think it is? Then I am clearly not their target demographic. There are enough good choices in town (and out) that I will take a pass on them for now.

As for the Black Cat, although they have a Burger Tuesday, the burger of that day is in fact challenging the burger already on the menu. The Richard's 8 oz Angus Burger. And I believe they serve it Monday through Thursday on their dinner service. No need to save your BCB craving for Tuesdays. Richard's 8 oz A.B. will satisfy. First hand experience on that front.

Depending on your readership, you might have the chip wagon fans throw a pitch for their favourite burger come street side. I know there was lots of burger talk when CTV did their chipwagon contest last summer.

Considering my neck of the woods, if I get a hankering, I head to the Hintonburger.


@orenmazor (Apr 13, 10:15 AM)
@foodieprints you should probably add famous frenchy's to your list of burgers, asap.

@foodiePrints (Apr 13, 10:19 AM)
@orenmazor Famous Frenchy's is now Frenzies. New owner. Haven't tried the burgers. Check out @roneade's post http://goo.gl/0U4b5

@foodiePrints (Apr 13, 10:20 AM)
@orenmazor Visually saw the change in signage two Saturday's ago on my way into Vanier.


This comment comes from Facebook:

Chris W. (April 13, 07:40 AM): I've always, too, been left wanting when it comes to burgers from The Works. My bite goes to the Hintonburger fir best burgers in Ottawa.


@AbsintheCafe (Apr 13, 09:28 AM)
@foodiePrints thanks for the mention - http://bit.ly/gpbUH6 the burger is almost always available.


@stuntmanstu (Apr 13, 06:33 AM)
@foodiePrints I make a mean burger...

@foodiePrints (Apr 13, 08:39 AM)
@stuntmanstu :) Best in Barrhaven right?

@stuntmanstu (Apr 13, 08:48 AM)
@foodiePrints best in my house!


I love Hintonburgers myself.. but I really want to go out and try the Black Cat Bistros Burger Tuesday creations.


@slybeer (Apr 12, 06:53 PM)
YUM. I want to try them all. I've lived a sheltered Ottawa food life. RT: @thefoodott Burger Challenge (foodiePrints) http://fewd.ca/a23261


@thefoodca (Apr 12, 06:50 PM)
Burger Challenge (foodiePrints) http://fewd.ca/a23261

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