“Screw an app, there’s a burger for that.”
This no-nonsense slogan that appears on the shirts of staff at The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro makes it very clear that this is not your average burger joint.
I think hamburgers are pretty tasty. However, I am not a fan of mustard, relish or ketchup (blech). So, I am thrilled that The Works offers more than the ho hum regular trifecta or burger toppings. Lots more. The Works has 71 burgers topping options on their menu.
Fancy something unique? The Million Dollar KD is topped with Kraft dinner. The SK8R Boy is topped with jack cheese, bacon and peanut butter ( it’s awesome if you’re wondering). Or, maybe you’d like to try the Sexy Sarah Polley which features cream cheese, hot peppers and grilled pineapple.
Like I said, not your average burger joint …definitely a must-try.
I headed to The Works newest location in The Beaches for some burger deliciousness.
Like the Danforth and St Lawrence Market locations ( the only others I have been to), the restaurant has an industrial/construction site type theme. The Works definitely has fun with this theme. Washrooms are labelled ” Men’s Dumping Area” and ” Ladies Waste Removal Zone”. Attention to is paid to the fun details like the light bulb salt and pepper shakers.
This location is spacious and clean with a small open window area in front. I imagine this will be a highly coveted spot in the Summer months.
As soon as we were seated , the owner of this Works location appeared ast our table. He introduced himself, and gave us a card for a free Tower-O-Rings appetizer on our next visit. He also asked if we would like to see a salmon burger option added to the menu, as there had been some demand for it. He was friendly and welcoming. It was great to have him come and chat with us as it showed that The Works is truly interested in customer feedback. He was friendly and welcoming.
A short time later, our server appeared. She was courteous and friendly. She seemed a bit over zealous at times, often offering to clear food that we were not quite finished with. No biggie.
The menu at The Works is overwhelming, to say the least.
I recommend browsing the menu online prior to arriving at The Works if you are anywhere near as indecisive as me.
We started with a coconut milkshake. The shake was ginormous. Three of us split it and there was still more left over! It was a definite treat.
Now, for the burger.
The first order of business burger-wise is to choose the type of burger patty you’re after. The choices are; gourmet ground Canadian beef (hand pressed daily) , whole chicken breast, ground turkey, gourmet veggie, portobello mushroom or lean domestic elk.
I had tried the elk burger on previous visits and I love it. It tastes almost exactly like the beef patty, but a tiny bit stronger in flavour. A server once told me that the elk patty has only 5 grams of fat, while the beef has 20. Winning!
Next, you choose one of the many’ many topping selections on the menu. They are grouped for ease. Top 10, Veg Out, and Carnivore’s Corner are a few of the categories.
Then, you choose your bun ( whole wheat, white or gluten-free) .
All that’s left now is to decide if you would like your burger with spicy die cut chips, fries, coleslaw, salad, broccoli, cucumbers, mashed potatoes, or sweet potato strings.
I chose an elk patty, with Sum Young Guy topping ( caramelized onions, cream cheese and limp strip bacon) on a whole wheat bun. For my side, I chose the house salad, called ” weeds” on the menu. Nom.
The burger was delicious. The melty cream cheese was definitely the highlight of this selection. The flavour held up nicely to the elk patty and the sweet caramelized onions,rounded it out. The side salad was fresh and tasty, a great pairing to the rich burger that I chose.
Curious what the rest of my party had?
Here, we have the Superman ( crunchy black peppercorn crust, gouda cheese and crispy bacon) on a turkey patty. The side is spicy die cut fries. These were delicious salty potato crisps dusted with cayenne pepper.
Lastly, Smokey Mountain ( smokey bbq sauce, jack cheese and bacon strips) on a beef burger with regular french fries.
At The Works , the price of your burger is dependant on the topping choice you make. They are all between $11 and $13. Considering the quality and selection of both toppings and meat, this is a very good value.
Also, If you choose the lean domestic elk burger there is a $3.39 surcharge.
The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro is a delicious and fun dining experience. Their modern and varied take on the burger and fries will surely have something for everyone. Just the process of finding your perfect burger combo is a good time in and of itself and you will want to keep returning to find new favourites.
The Works has prime locations. The Beaches, Bloor West Village, Danforth and St. Lawrence market neighbourhoods make for some great after dinner strolls and people watching!
Have you been to The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro? What’s your fave burger on the menu?
The Beach location of The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro is located at 1953 Queen Street East. (416) 686-6516