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Dec 5, 2011 02:05 PM

The Works - Gourmet Burger Chain (opening in Oakville, already in Ottawa, etc)

Has anyone been to one of the other franchise locations of a place called The Works?

The are finishing up construction in Oakville and opening on December 15th. I saw a mention that they have hand pressed fresh burgers.

They look like they are mainly focussed in Ottawa area but have locations in London, Kingston, Guelph, etc.

Something I should look forward to or something I should avoid?

Looks decent from the pics I have seen so far.

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  1. I've been to the Ottawa locations several times. Bear in mind that I've only tried the veggie burgers -- but I quite like them. It's one of those "something for everyone" kind of places. And while they do have some more outlandish topping combinations, it's not a pretentious place.

    13 Replies
    1. re: piccola

      In other words, Ottawa's answer to South St....

      1. re: TexSquared

        They predate South Street, I think, and have taken their time in expanding so I hope they'll avoid the mistakes it made.

        1. re: piccola

          OK I'll revise my answer to, the restaurant South Street cloned :-)

          Do they spice the meat (like Licks, Shamrock, etc), or worse, use excessive fillers? Those are huge negatives to me so better I know in advance....

          1. re: TexSquared

            Nope! Check out their website for the details. Definitely not like lick's


            1. re: CanadaGirl

              OK, says no fillers but says nothing about spices. I can't stand that disgusting mix used by Licks and Shamrock....

              1. re: TexSquared

                When I lived in Ottawa we went to The Works occasionally (only had 2 locations back then). Not sure about the spices, but they ground the meat on premises and form the patties as the burgers are ordered. This was why it always took about 15-20 minutes to get your order. Definitely NOT like licks, it was far superior. I still remembering ordering a tower of rings to munch on while we waited for our order (from what I recall the fries were nothing special)

                HOWEVER, that was a number of years ago. Hopefully they haven't changed their ideals, so I guess we will see what happens with the Oakville location.

                1. re: Lazar

                  so they grind the meat to order... If they used any of that disgusting spice mix, you'd see them blend it in before forming the patties. That's good to know.

                  Yeah, superior to Licks isn't hard to do -- frozen patties full of filler and loaded with nasty spice mix... take out any one of the three (frozen, filler, spice mix) and you're already 1 better than Licks :-)

                1. re: Davwud

                  Yep. 20 minutes. There is nothing "fast food" about it.

                  I recommend getting a Tower O Rings - then you won't notice the wait :)

                  1. re: Davwud

                    "fire grilled, for about 20 minutes, to well done"...


                    1. re: childofthestorm

                      someone said you could sign a "waiver" to get it cooked less... Sounds dumb, but, I will be asking for medium when I go to try it out.

                      1. re: ylsf

                        You can sign a waiver to get it less done. I've ate with someone who did. I don't like pink in my ground meat (mental issue:)) but I don't find their burgers dry.

                        1. re: CanadaGirl

                          I'd be curious to read the waiver... I'm sure you waive the right to sue them if you get sick, but how do you waive your right to report them to the public health department?

                          Maybe restaurants should just pre-print the waiver on the backs of the receipts kind of like Ticketmaster tickets (so you can't sue them, the sports team, or the concert promoter...)

        2. "Gourmet Burgers"??

          Oh boy!!


          1. Always enjoyed the works when visiting in Ottawa

            Good burgers, good atmosphere

            1. Absolutely fantastic burgers! So many choices for toppings and I've never been disappointed. Te onion rings are great too.

              They will have to rename some of the burgers though, as Ottawa Senators themed flavours may not go over so well in the GTA!!

              4 Replies
              1. re: CanadaGirl

                tried this place when i was in Ottawa
                nothing special
                the location I went to was very dirty, service was not great
                it was the one on Bank street

                1. re: xiolablue

                  That's not good!

                  Either we have very different tastes (but I'm pretty picky about service and cleanliness) or it was an off day. I've been to that location, and most if the other Ottawa locations many times and have generally been very happy. I'm gonna say it was an off day. I hope so anyway! It has been about 1 year since I've been to Ottawa, but we used to live there.

                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                    I use to live near there and have been several times. Never had an issue with either. It is true that the food takes a while, though.

                2. re: CanadaGirl

                  Agreed. I live in Ottawa and my friends and I take a trip every month to the Works and absolutely love it. Really nice burgers, fantastic rings, and great poutine. Better than any burger I ever had in my years living in Toronto.

                3. The Works is alot better than the generic "gourmet burger" chains we have here in the GTA.

                  I ate at the one in Ottawa before and it was actually really good.

                  Biggest problem is the WAIT TIME.. And waiting even for a table. There was a small lineup out the door

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: duckdown

                    I've tried the locations in both London and Kingston, having heard someone I know from Ottawa rave about it.
                    I must admit, I was quite impressed. Great combos, excellent burgers (both the beef and turkey), fun atmosphere, etc.
                    So, I will be happy if they come to Toronto ;)