Monday, 5 July 2010

Hintonburger ~ Ottawa ON

I'm a pretty flexible foodie. But I won't lie, I likes me a good fast food burger. I feel chain burgers can have a place at my table and I can't turn my nose up at a golden arch or a red headed girl or a big crown. But I also love to go to a local joint. They have more character to the places, the people and often the burgers. You just have to accept that a chain burger and an independent establishment have different burgers that serve to different parts of the soul.

So when I found out that a new place in my neck of the city had just opened about a week ago, I was excited, but a bit disappointed that I wasn't going to get to go right away. But then I did. The place is called "Hintonburger" because it's in the community of Hintonburg, where people are often referred to 'Hintonburgers.' Cute. Hintonburg was a small community of farms that developed into a town, eventually being incorporated into the City of Ottawa over 100 years ago, and locals are fierce to differentiate themselves from the more recent 'yuppie' neighborhood of Westboro.

The place is literally a burger shack. Inside there is a counter to order at, a long table against the wall for seating, a table with some chairs, and a booth in the back that looks like a retro-diner seat. A bathroom, a table with some extra condiments, napkins, straws etc and that's about it. Outside are a few picnic tables and seats.

There were two staff running the place, a young woman taking orders, dressing burgers and doing cash. Behind her the guy was busy manning the grill. They were friendly, but looked beat from the oppressive heat of 30 plus degree weather in a shack with grilling meat and deep fried items bubbling around them as well as dealing with a steady stream of customers. All the food appeared to be cooked to order, which meant a little bit of a wait time. But good things come to those who wait, right?

At Hintonburger, they keep things simple. That means a small menu with a few variations. Burgers, hot dogs, fries and onion rings. And they seem to be trying to keep it locally sourced. The burger meat is organic grain fed from O'briens Farms here in the Ottawa region. The cheese comes from St Albert's. One item I really wanted to try, but didn't was the hand dipped corn dogs. But instead I went with the burger and fries.

Above is my box o'lunch. A 'Hintonburger', a 'value' size fry, and a cream soda. At $9.25 I was not crazy about the price. This was going to have to be pretty good for my repeat business.

Above are some fresh cut fries that I sprayed with vinegar (sadly no malt or cider) some seasoning and ketchup for dipping. The fries were slightly soft, slightly crispy. Skins on. Good stuff. The 'value' size was enough fries for me on my own.

And then there was my 'Hintonburger' which spent maximum 60 seconds from the staff wrapping it to me sitting down and I don't know if you can see, but the grease has made the wax paper almost see through. Awesome.

The burger unveiled. It was a LOT bigger than I was expecting. Not the biggest burger, but large for what I expected. And lots of bacon and melty cheese.

Here's a breakdown of my burger. Key points include the BBQ sauce, which is their 'signature' sauce. It melded in well with the burger, being a team player rather than leader in the flavour. It was more sweet than savoury. They did not cheap out on the bacon. Drool worthy bacon. The bun on the burger was seemed surprisingly like just grocery store buns. Not bad, but nothing special at all.

The patty itself was medium in size; not too big and not too small. When I bit into the burger, it had a nice 'meaty' taste. The patty was quality and overall the whole burger was a great marriage of flavours. The tart pickles, the crisp hot peppers went with the ketchup, mustard and mayo and other toppings. Overall, a great burger.

A tasty burger with some good fries. Messy, greasy, simple. I certainly left full. Next time I definitely want to try the hand dipped pogos. A lot of people were ordering poutines. Onion rings would be good too. They just need ice cream to finish the drive-in feel of this burger shack.

991 Wellington Street West, Ottawa
Hintonburger on Facebook


Anonymous said...

Great review - love the detailed pics. Cool that the space is being used, it's on our list of places to check out this summer.

Lord of the Wings said...

Anon - thanks! Its an odd little space. Let me know how your visit there goes.

Chris said...

That place looks like a great, true burger shack. The burger really stacks up there.

Teena in Toronto said...

That's quite a monster burger!

Christopher said...

I've heard about this place and I've been meaning to try it. Now, after reading this and see those tempting pictures, I think I know where my next fast food burger is coming from!

Lord of the Wings said...

Chris - Yes, the burger stacks at the burger shack!

Teena - I wasn't expecting that big a burger!

Christopher - It's worth checking out - tasty burger.

Swordsman said...

Nothing beats a burger from an indy. Your burger looks great. I would have gone for the onion rings.
Would love to try the hand dipped corn dogs.
Think I would need a Bromo after leaving this place

Lord of the Wings said...

Swordsman - Gord, your right on - indys are the best. I went with fries to get a 'base standard' - but corn dogs for sure next time.

Eli said...

We've been there three times. The first time just after they opened, it was great. The second time the meat was dry. The third time late in November was pretty bad, overcooked to death. Too bad, seemed good at first. No more for us.

Lord of the Wings said...

@Eli - sorry to hear you last time was not so good. The last time I was there my burger was just right, but I've been away from Ottawa for a while . . .

Anonymous said...

Monday to Friday, you can't typically park in what you think is their parking lot. I don't think they own the parking lot... you normally have to park on Wellington. So save yourself the trouble, and park on the street.
Agreement on the food comments. Parking situation dated 3Jun2011

Lord of the Wings said...

@Anonymous - You are right on about the parking - thanks for the update!