Monday, November 12, 2012

Getting The Works in the Glebe

Today, after visiting the War Museum, we decided to try out The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro located in the Glebe area of Ottawa (580 Bank Street, Ottawa). 

We started our visit  about 12:15 P.M. with a moderate amount of customers inside.  There were a decent number of people in the restauraunt but still tables left.  As our time at the restaurant wore on the numbers increased and the Host had to plead with the customers waiting for the tables to come all the way into the Restaurant and let the doors close to keep the cold out.  This location could easily double in size to handle the rushes.  Thus, it is a good idea to visit early to avoid dissapointment or a long wait to be seated. 

We were fortunate to arrive early enough to be seated right after entering.  Next came the biggest problem with this restaurant, what the heck to order.  According to our waitress' shirt there are about 70 hamburgers to choose from.  But all is not lost, the menu provides step by step instructions on how to assemble your own mouthwatering burger creation.  Once assembled you can place your order with your server.  The issue though is the toppings, there are combinations that include different cheeses, grilled onions, shrimp and much more.  Thus, it takes some time, especially first time customers, to digest the menu options and choose something.

Table Branding at The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro

As we perused our menues, our waitress stopped by to inquire if we would like to order drinks perhaps a milkshake or something from the bar menu.  It was intriguing the delivery of the usual waitress question of "could I take your drink order" or the usual "are you ready to order".  Instead, I felt the waitress' query to include the more expensive and not bottomless milkshake or bar menu items was a way to try and upsell the customer.  Obviously I didn't force the issue.

We ordered our drinks (1 Coke & 1 Water) and I watched the waitress' reaction. No real reaction from The Works' waitress.  Sometimes when we order our usual soft drink and water combination I get a brief scowl or wince.  This usually leads to a little insight into the server who is thinking ("another cheap table who probably won't tip that well").  Nothing of the sort here though. 

We continued to peruse our menues over the many choices.  Our waitress returned with our bottomless water and Coke drinks.  The drinks were delivered in Anchor Measuring cups complete with straws.   Our waitress dropped them off and quickley left for another table.  She did return though in two minutes to retrieve our orders. 

The Order: 1 Stephane's Ticket (Ground Beef with fresh red pepper, swiss cheese, strip bacon & real mayo) with Fries and 1 North of Fifth (Whole Chicken Breast with fresh avocado, diced tomatoes, minced garlic & tiger shrimp) with Sweet Potatoe Fries.

Our waitress dissapeared as we conversed about our morning at the War Museum.  Our waitress returned a couple of times to refill our drinks.  At the twenty five minute waiting mark though I was starting to get concerned.  Had the food been forgotten?  Had the kitchen not received the order? I looked around to see the front entrance full of customers waiting for a tables and the serving staff moving plates and glasses too and from the kitchen area.  We finally received our food just short of 30 minutes.  Normally I start wondering where the food was at 20 minutes, but realized in this case the restaurant was full with recently arrived guests and the kitchen was probably a little backlogged with orders, but at least was moving an understable pace to move food out to the hungry customers. 

Our waitress dropped off our orders minus my wife's North of Fifth Chicken Breast Burger.  The waitress apologized by saying somehow the kitchen received the order as the San Francisco Treat burger.  The kitchen was in the process of fixing the issue and the burger would be out quickley.  We grabbed the ketchup bottles had some fries while we waited.  Less than minute later the waitress returned, swapped out the serving trays and we were away to the races.

Stephane's Ticket Burger with Fries and a Coke.

Stephane's Ticket burger was excellent.  The burger patty was thick and juicy like any well prepared burger should be.  The toppings were fresh and tasted excellent as well.  The melted swiss cheese was delish and completmented the burger.    The only problem with the burger, after all that goodness my tongue still wanted more! 

No worries, there were the fresh cut fries. The fries were well prepared as well. The only issue was they weren't quite exactly freshly cooked as the temperature seemed a little lacking.  But I could tell, based on appearances and taste the fries were carefully made.  The fries look and taste similar to those at New York Fries, but the major difference is they are not oversalted like New York Fries.  The salting at New York Fries is mainly so customers will not only order fries but a drink as well to wash it all down. 

North of Fifth Burger with Sweet Potato String Fries and Water

The North of Fifth burger appeared delicious.  My wife said it was o.k. I would say it was pretty delicious as she also finished quickly without any complaints. 

The Sweet Potato String Fries were intersting as well.  I was expecting them to be the curly Sweet Potato Fries found at other restaurants.  But at The Works the string fries appared to be the same length and width in size as the regular fries.  Thus we are still wondering where the word "string" fits in.  Nonetheless the fries were also excellent but a little lacking in temperature with a classification of "luke warm" being the best descriptor. 

After we were finished demolishing our burgers and fries we inquired about the bill.  The waitress dissapeared and returned with the printed receipt. On the receipt it showed the "San Franciso Treat" burger as being entered instead of the "North of Fifth".  So in the end we saved about $1.00 by the mistype in the bill and the difference in price.

Overall, The Works is a great place to eat.  But make sure to be there early as during regular meal times the wait times for tables  and  food can be longer than normal.  The service is attentive, even with the slite slip up in data entry. The Works truly is one of the best burger places in Ottawa. 

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