The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro

15 Jun

Hello! I’m Calvin, Megan’s boyfriend/personal assistant. I was asked several months ago to do a guest post on this blog, an offer that I immediately accepted and immediately after that did everything in my power to put off, not because I dreaded doing it, but because I am incredibly lazy. Megan’s in Sudbury(!?) at the moment* so I figure that I’ll get this post up before she returns this afternoon so it’ll be all surprise!!! Here’s your two week late guest blog post!!*

Anyway, the place I am reviewing is the Kingston location of The Works, a chain gourmet burger joint that we’ve visited a few too many times recently, mostly because of Megan’s crippling addiction to a particular burger there (to be explained later). I was previously aware that there was one in Downtown Toronto but according to the website there is a whole shitload of them there, as well as in Ottawa.** The Works wor…operates and looks much like your typical wings place, only substituted with burgers. They’ve got stupid names for their food but at least the ingredients are listed, so you if get duped into ordering some burger with peanut butter and bananas*** on it then it’s your own dumbass fault. It’s not fast food either, since the burgers usually take 15-20 minutes to be prepared, which is their angle for pitching you the TOWER OF RINGS right after you order. It’s just a bunch of onion rings stacked up to…shampoo bottle height? Beer bottle height? I’m just looking around the room for something to compare it to. The onion rings are a tad iffy actually, mainly because the ratio of fried batter to onion is so hilariously skewed to the former that there might as well be nothing inside. Or maybe onions are just really scarce in Kingston. Regardless, I would avoid it and opt for something else if you’re in need of an appetizer—there are quesadillas and steamrollers? that could be worth a shot.

As for the burgers themselves, well…they’re burgers. They’re cooked adequately and the portions are sizable (apparently this is the correct Canadian and American spelling, whereas sizeable is the preferred British and Australian spelling. I looked it up! THE MORE YOU KNOW★★★). They will taste slightly or dramatically different depending on what kind of shit you fancy stuffing in there, and The Works will give you a healthy variety of shit to choose from—you can even choose what type of meat you want (beef, turkey, elk, and a few more) to go with your choice of the 70 or so topping combinations that are offered. The food is good, but the appeal of the place is going back and trying a new burger and picking your favourites—without the gimmick, the burgers aren’t that far off quality–wise from say, South St. So it’s basically Pokemon, only instead of capturing and training them to the very best like no one ever was, you just eat them.‡‡

Here are the types of Pokeburgers Megan and I have tried thus far:

Chili Millie – our famous chili, cheddar cheese & a dollop of sour cream

Tastes like someone snuck some lukewarm Tim Horton’s Chili in your burger. Not too much though, like two spoonfuls. RATING: EHHH

Fire Station #6 – avocado, salsa loco, sour cream & jalapeno peppers

Better! Tastes like flames or perhaps Daenerys Targaryen. RATING: FIRE & BLOOD

The Mother of Dragons definitely got a horse meat patty for her burger.

Jamaican Jerk – fiery jamaican jerk spices, sweet green chilies, monterey jack & ripe tomato

Sounds interesting, but honest to god it just tasted like a plain burger with some relish to me. Maybe I was expecting something more like Fire Station #6 and got the burger equivalent of Kofi Kingston instead. RATING: SNEAKY AND RACIST

M-Ange’R Burger – caramelized onions, avocado & havarti cheese

“Oh my god I love this! It’s the best! I want to have its children so I can eat its newborn baby burgers! ONOMOMOMOM” RATING: A++ WOULD CONSUME AGAIN

Looks terrifying.

Sopranos – pesto, grilled eggplant, sliced tomato & havarti cheese

I don’t remember if this was any good because it was too long ago, I can’t even make a crappy Sopranos reference here because it’s one of those shows I keep on putting off because they’re off the air and there is no urgency to catch up for the upcoming season(see also: The Wire, Deadwood). RATING: ???

Teriyaki Melt – sauteéd wild mushrooms, teriyaki sauce & swiss cheese

Self explanatory, it was aight but you can probably do better. I only ordered this because I’m Asian and I felt that it was expected of me. RATING: SLANT–EYED


So it’s definitely a mixed bag. I think the best way to approach The Works is to drag along a bunch of friends/co-workers/siblings you can bully, make them all get different burgers, sample all of them, pick your favourite, then forcibly remove said preferred burger from your friend/co-worker/sibling if it happens to not be your own order, which is almost certainly the case. Megan would do this to me all the time if she weren’t so fond of her MAN-JUR burger.‡‡‡


*That was written 5 weeks ago.
**They have since added even more locations, including Markham and Aurora which means I will be a fatty EVERYWHERE I GO.
*** Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love – peanut butter, strip bacon and fresh banana slices. SOUNDS DERICIOUS.
‡ Not quite World’s Shortest Man height.
‡‡ I wonder if that’s an ability you can give to one of your Pokemon in the games, that they can eat other Pokemon in your party to automically gain levels and maybe learn a technique from the recently pokechowed or something. Is it cannibalism if Pokemon eat each other? But they’re all so different! 
‡‡‡ Overheard pronunciations of the M-Ange’R Burger range from MAN-JUR (amurrican) to MON-SHAE (poor french) to some retarded hybrid like MON-JUR which is probably correct. Personally I’m waiting for ME-ANGRR or even better, MANGA. 

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