The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro chain* has opened their first location in Toronto. They’re opening this week on the Danforth across from Square Boy and down the street from the current pub-burger champ (by my estimation, at least) Allen’s on the Danforth.
To mark the grand opening this Thursday, May 3, 2012 their entire menu (alcohol excluded) will be free. In exchange they’re collecting monetary donations from diners for the nearby Pape Food Bank. The promotion runs from 11 AM to 2 PM for lunch and from 5 PM to 8 PM for dinner.
Choice is king at The Works. Six different patties are topped with seventy different topping combinations–each with a cheeky local name. Some, like the Benny Piggenbeef or the Sexy Sarah Polley–named for Ben Mulroney and, uh, Sarah Polley–take the local connection a step further and connect with local celebrities.
At the media preview yesterday The Blaze of 1849 (avocado, salsa loco, sour cream & jalapeno peppers) was my favourite of the three combinations I tried. Look for options that include avocado as it does a decent job of combining with the extra lean beef.
All the usual check-boxes for starters and sides are ticked in somewhat unusual, over-sized fashion. The onion rings come in a tower (with their dipping sauces held to the side) and poutine hits the table in a galvanized metal bucket. Not to be outdone the milkshakes are served in half-litre glass measuring cups.
Like the other outlets (the first one opened in Ottawa in 2001) the Danforth outpost features a rustic, industrial decor and a classic rock soundtrack.
*I’m told they prefer “network”.