Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sparking My Appetite for a Manhattan Burger

On Friday for lunch I decided to head downtown to check on an address for where I would be on Monday.  Nearby I had noted a Manhattan's Handmade Burgers (330 Sparks Street, Ottawa) was located.

I entered the Government of Canada office building, Place De Ville, and made an attempt to go to the food court.  Unfortunately the escalator was closed for renovation. I could see the food court was open, but I just couldn't get there from here.  Frustrating really no signage was provided for a detour except for a small sign saying to use the elevator or the stairs.  No real indication where either of these were.  I had to inquire with the burly looking security guard how to get from the main floor to the basement food court.  I was given directions to go down the hall and make a right onto the stairs to go to section "C".  I went down the hall and noticed a gentlemen entering the stairwell and followed him down three flights of stairs.  I entered to a large food court buried in a nondescript downtown Ottawa bureaucratic office tower to find a decent selection of options.

I quickly found Manhattan's Handmade Burgers with an already decent line at 11:45 A.M. I waited a reasonable 5 minutes in line to place my order.

The Order: 1 Yankee Burger Combo with fries and a can of Coke.

After ordering I entered another somewhat line to obtain my order.  This was more confusing  as it was more of a "find a spot to stay out of the way while waiting for your order" type area.  Another two minutes went by before I was called to order my burger toppings.  Then things kind of fell apart.  Other customers were having their orders of fries and poutine served up while my Styrofoam container languished on the counter.  Why were my fries not being served up and my order handed to me?  I grew impatient.  I tried to connect the dots of what was going on behind the counter.  Eventually I clicked in, the burger paddies were not finished cooking.  No wonder the simple orders of fries and poutine were flying out, these customers did not order burgers!

The burger paddy was eventually ready for it's new home stuck between two buns, lettuce tomato and other toppings.  Next the burger was joined with as fries moved in next door in the Styrofoam container.   I grabbed a few ketchup packets, a couple of napkins and a plastic fork before attempting to find a table in the food court.

The food court seating is a drearily dimly lit area that is hard to even read a newspaper in.  Sitting down, I unfurled my copy of the Globe & Mail and opened up my yummy looking lunch.

The fries were the first to be tasted.  Sure they were warm enough but the fries still reminded me of the Swiss Chalet fries like I mentioned before at another Manhattan's location. With a little ketchup the heap of fries soon disappeared.

The burger was next.  Compared to the A&W Teen burger the day before, this burger was far superior. The burger was slightly juicy and full of flavour.  Accompanied by carefully placed and properly prepared toppings this burger was superior to the fast food burgers of A&W but not quite there compared to Five Guys Burgers & Fries.  A well made burger for a lunch counter though.

Overall, this Manhattan's did not dissapoint food wise.  Price wise I did have issues with the other two Manhattan's with their cheeseburger combos being over $10.00 in price.  At $9.71 the Yankee Burger (a regular burger with regular toppings) does seem steep.  Compared to McDonald's and Harvey's this is true.  But alongside A&W at $9.50, Manhattan's presents a better burgers with a larger quantity of tastier fries.  So price wise I'm torn, A&W is indeed to expensive but Manhattan's I would argue should be lower at $9.00.  Ambiance wise this location needs to have the food court better lit. Sure this is not the fault of this Manhattan's as they are merely a tenant only and thus have no control over the seating and ambiance presented. If I was in the area looking for a solid burger I may return to this Manhattan's.

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