My fellow Haligonians, you are in for a treat!! The Works is coming to Halifax! Yes indeed, it will be occupying the space on Doyle St. where the Italian Gourmet used to be. Right in between Sweet Jane’s and Port of Wines. This is an Ottawa-based chain restaurant with sort of an “industrial” theme, specializing in burgers.
Just a few years ago, Halifax was a burger desert. Sometime in 2008 I was seriously contemplating doing a burger quest of Halifax. But where would I go aside from Chickenburger and Darrell’s? To be quite honest, Halifax has not known burgers until this year. I haven’t yet had time to do an updated burger quest, but soon I will be questing my way through Ace Burgers, Cheese Curds, Relish, Darrell’s and The Works.
In the meantime, I can tell you all about The Works.
I will just go ahead and say it then: the second best hamburger I’ve had in my whole life has been at The Works. And on TWO occasions! I first ate here when I was visiting Ottawa on my way across Canada. On this occasion I had a burger crusted with peppercorns and it was divine! This second occasion, more recently, I had a burger at The Works in London, Ontario and my expectations were totally warranted. This burger had avocado, eggplant, salsa and feta cheese. It was exceptional.
You see the pink, don’t you? I know you’re wondering about the pink. Rumour has had it that less-than-well-done hamburgers are illegal in Canada! As it turns out, this is an urban legend. I speculate that this originated when restaurants would refuse to serve rare burgers because the quality of the meat was so sub-par it was unsafe to serve it “undercooked”. Look, we are suffering from a bad situation when it comes to how we raise our cattle and how we handle our meat. However, if a restaurant is using quality ingredients and skilled cooks there is no problem with cooking a burger “properly”. As I was told in London, regulations require that beef be heated to a certain temperature, not to a certain colour.
So enjoy! The only stressful thing about your meal should be reading the menu and deciding which burger to order! Trust me, this WILL be the most difficult part.