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Review of The Works in Kingston, Ontario

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Simon Lam loves to eat. Although he isn't a trained chef, he sure knows what good food tastes like.

The restaurant has a mechanical room theme

The restaurant has a mechanical room theme

Beef Patty Was Excellent; Toppings Need Improvement

The Works is a Canadian gourmet burger chain serving fresh Canadian beef. It has been open in Kingston since 2011. Inside the restaurant, they have created a very clear mechanical room theme. It feels a bit cold—but it would be ideal in the hot summer months.

My friend and I visited in late March. My friend ordered the vegetarian "Beyond Sexy" burger, which she said was yummy. I chose the "Down Under" burger. The beef patty was excellent and very flavourful. The veggie and fruit toppings, as well as the fried egg, were a bit of a disappointment. The pineapple and beets didn't have that fresh-picked taste, and the egg could have been runnier. Overall, it was pretty good, but the toppings could be improved.

The other aspects of the restaurant were pretty good, as well. Their service was friendly and efficient. Their washrooms were clean and well stocked. As for their health records, they received one non-critical violation in their most recent inspection, which was easily corrected.

Overall, I would recommend eating at The Works. They have a great selection of burgers to choose from!

A Bit of History

The Works is a Canadian gourmet burger chain with over 25 locations in Ontario. The Kingston restaurant first opened in the summer of 2011. It has become the spot for getting your burger fix.

Atmosphere

There is definitely a strong mechanical room theme going on in the interior of the restaurant. Faux red brick and grey limestone provide the backdrop for electric boxes, wires, large conduits with hand wheels, gauges, switches and caged lights on the walls. Silver hanging pendant lights provide some of the indoor lighting. Large windows allow some natural light in, which is always welcomed.

The wooden tables are a light brown colour and are paired with black and brown chairs. Some seating is provided by banquettes, consisting of dark brown wooden back panels and light brown upholstery.

Although they have nailed their industry-like theme, their space feels a bit cold. I suppose that would be welcomed in the hotter months.

Nice large windows

Nice large windows

The Food

My friend and I dropped by The Works in late March to try their burgers after spending some time downtown. I have always walked by this place and seen it busy with guests so I was excited to try their gourmet burgers.

My friend ordered the new vegetarian "Beyond Sexy" burger. It contained a plant-based burger patty and topped with sweet and tangy sauce, grilled pineapple, banana peppers, and arugula, all served on a lettuce bun. She chose fries as the side dish. The whole thing cost $16.47.

I ordered the "Down Under" burger. I chose Canadian beef as my patty. It came with caramelized onions, a fried egg, grilled pineapple, purple beets, and Monterey Jack. For my side, I chose steamed broccoli. This burger was $16.74.

"Down Under" Burger

The presentation of the burger and side was appealing. The burger was open to reveal the fried egg on the top, and bits of the onion, beets and beef patty showing underneath. The broccoli looked fresh, and it was vibrant in colour.

I started with my side first. The broccoli was cooked well. There wasn't any seasoning on it so you have to add salt and pepper. It may have been slightly overcooked as I missed the crunch in it.

The burger was quite tasty. I loved the beef patty. It had great flavour. The veggies and fruit were pretty good. However, they lacked freshness, so I wondered whether they were canned. The egg was good, too, although I wished it was a bit runnier.

Overall, the burger was quite good. I enjoyed the beef patty but was disappointed with the other toppings.

My friend said her "Beyond Sexy" burger was good, although it was hard to eat with the lettuce "bun."

"Down Under" burger with steamed broccoli

"Down Under" burger with steamed broccoli

Close-up of steamed broccoli

Close-up of steamed broccoli

Close-up of "Down Under" burger

Close-up of "Down Under" burger

The Service

We were served by two female staff. One server took our orders, and made sure we had everything we needed, and checked that the food was to our liking. Another server brought us our food. We didn't have to wait too long for our meal, which was nice. Overall, the servers were friendly, knowledgeable and efficient.

Washrooms

The state of a restaurant's washroom is often an indication of their cleanliness, upkeep and attention to detail. I visited The Works' washroom after my meal. It had a much warmer mood than the dinning area. The walls were orange with the lower half covered with dark brown wooden panels. I thought their washroom was clean and well stocked. It was quite nice!

Washroom

Washroom

Health Inspection

The local Health Unit does regular health inspections of food facilities and post their results online on their website. I went on there to check how The Works did on their most recent inspection. The restaurant was last inspected on March 12, 2019. They had one non-critical violation, which was that their food handlers didn't wash their hands. This infraction is easily corrected and I am not too concerned.