We’re finally back online, after the Engineer fixed the internet (with a little help from India). And it’s about time, too, because I’ve got news I simply MUST share: The Works will be expanding across Canada. I’m really hoping they open a restaurant in Montreal!
For those of you who haven’t heard of this place (or of my passion for it), let me catch you up to speed. I’ve reviewed it back in 2004 (when sweet potato fries were still nearly unheard of), and it serves simply THE best hamburgers I’ve ever had in my life. That’s why I’ve been on a quest to find the best hamburger in Montreal, and I’ll probably try and do the same in San Antonio, even though others are way ahead of me. The Works, in Ottawa, is a casual dining establishment that serves gourmet burgers: there are close to 70 different options on the menu, and you can choose your patty (beef or organic beef, chicken, turkey, salmon, portobello mushroom cap). The fries, sweet potato fries and onions rings are all fabulous, and servings are huge. But most importantly, the burgers are heavenly. Seriously. (The Engineer, who’s never been to The Works, is worried that I’ve built this up in my mind and that my memories of it exceed reality. But I know I’m right.) I’m not sure how safe it is for people with food allergies, as there are both nuts and peanuts in the restaurant (along with wheat, dairy, eggs and fish), but it is worth asking the location you’re thinking of visiting to see what can be done to accommodate you.
I’ve been trying to find similar restaurants ever since eating there, without success (I just don’t get to go to Ottawa as often as I would like). So you’ll excuse me if I quote an episode of How I Met Your Mother (excellent show, btw), where Marshall was on a similar quest. Marshall’s monologue is perhaps the most beautiful ode to a burger I’ve ever heard; I got it here.
“Just a Burger? Just a burger. Robin, it’s so much more than ‘just a burger’. I mean… that first bite—oh, what heaven that first bite is. The bun, like a sesame freckled breast of an angel, resting gently on the ketchup and mustard below, flavors mingling in a seductive pas de deux. And then… a pickle! The most playful little pickle! Then a slice of tomato, a leaf of lettuce and a… a patty of ground beef so exquisite, swirling in your mouth, breaking apart, and combining again in a fugue of sweets and savor so delightful. This is no mere sandwich of grilled meat and toasted bread, Robin. This is God, speaking to us in food.”
Please watch the video below, where it is compared to a passage from Amadeus.
If you are in Ottawa, do visit The Works. And keep your ears open to see if a location opens near you!