If there's one thing I've come to love about social media, it's the way smart businesses use it to advertise specials. That's how I found out about Free Fries on Fry-Day at Hintonburger.
Free fries. No catches, no deals, no scams, just free fries. Walk in the door and get free fries. That's it. Why? Well it turns out that Hintonburger was having supply problems with their potatoes, so they switched suppliers, then still had uneven products being delivered. They switched to a frozen fry, and the response was very negative. They went back to their original supplier who promised quality product, and to celebrate, free fresh cut fries!
It was a good promotion, because I hadn't been to their new location that opened up last year. I first reviewed them back in 2010 when they were in their shack, then they moved to an old KFC, but it still wasn't big enough, when they moved to their new location. Free fries was a great enticement for me to get out.
I've always enjoyed Hintonburger but I don't go very often because they are very expensive. I mean their food is good and everything is locally sourced, but for a take-out burger, $15 is a lot. Online I read that folks feel the same way, although a several people complain about the quality and I don't get it - I've always had a great burger. But maybe things had changed since I went last?
Their Fry special was from 11am-4pm. I was hoping to get there at 11 to try and avoid lines, but I didn't get there till about 11:40am, but there were no lines!
There was a podium at the front where the hostess was. I wasn't sure how the system would work at the new place as at both the other locations you order, pay and pick up through a window. The girl asked what she could get me and I confirmed the free fry promotion (despite seeing that big painted window). She said that yup it was on. I said I wanted a Hintonburger as well and we had some confusion about what to do. Turns out behind her was a table set up with the free fries, and I could give my order and either wait for the fries or get them now. I made my order, and decided to get the fries while they were hot.
I went to the table where another server was dishing out fries from a hot pan which were refilled frequently. I took the order and added some vinegar and ketchup. She was also promoting a big card to be signed for the Humbolt Hockey tragedy that just happened. I took my fries and looked for a spot to sit.
The new space is quite spacious. It's a mix of old fast food style booths and nice big wooden tables. I found it a bit awkward for me sitting solo as the smallest table was a four-seater. Oh well. I really do like this location but I'll miss the charm of both the shack and the former KFC.
For a free fry order, this was a good portion. Not too big, not too small. They came seasoned already with very visible grains of salt.
At first glance, I thought the fries weren't going to be very good. But they were. They tasted fresh, they were crispy, and they were seasoned perfectly. There was a nice crunch, but the potato inside was nice and soft. The only thing I would have liked better was some malt or apple cider vinegar to the standard vinegar.
About 5-7 minutes after putting in my order and getting my fries, my burger was ready. The Hintonburger, a bacon-cheeseburger on it's own was $12. I got a drink and figuring with free fries I'd be saving some money but the Hintonburger combo is $15.50 regularly, and my bill came to $15.
The Hintonburger is a 6oz patty, with Bacon and Cheese. I went for all the toppings (minus relish - not a huge fan. Don't hate it, but don't love it either).
There were no downsides on this burger. The bun was so soft and fresh. The veggies were fresh too. The burger had a nice crust on it giving it a great texture, but the meat inside was beefy and tasty. The bacon was crispy and noticeable (a number of burger places bacon just seems to disappear in the burger).
The taste of this burger is exactly what I want in a burger. I don't get people's complaints. I do understand the price problem, but we often say we'd rather pay a bit more and get fresh, locally sourced product right? I think this is worth it in the end. The product was great, but I'm just not going to have it as often as I would like. I suppose that's a good thing.
So in the end, great fries are back, the burger was great, and the new space is excellent. Kudos to Hintonburger for listening to their customers and making my meal delicious.
1066 Somerset St W, Ottawa (Hintonburg) ON