NOTE: Hintonburger has now moved to 1096 Wellington West
991 Wellington O.
Bus: OC Transpo 2
Visit: September 21, 2011
My Burger Search quest has once again taken me to the Nation’s capital. If you do your research, you’ll find 3 specific places that you must visit for a good burger. The first place was Burger 50 and now, at Burger 113, we are at the second must-try location. My research took me to the restaurant’s website, where a rather simple menu can be found.
I have to start by saying that I almost got lost getting there. It wasn’t really my fault, as I took the right bus there. The buses in Ottawa also have automated stop callers, which makes getting off so much easier. Unfortunately, I encountered a major detour caused by road work. Not knowing the area well, my mind was racing to figure out what the damage done was. Luckily, once we returned to the normal route, my needed stop was called and I got off without an issue. Burger 113 almost didn’t happen and I almost would’ve been wandering aimlessly in Ottawa as you’re reading this.
Having seen pictures of the building, I was questioning what I was going to get. The restaurant is housed in a building that looks like a shack, as you can see in the picture. Since it’s so small, it made me wonder if I was going to be able to get the best experience possible. As I approached the location, I saw some picnic tables outside and decided that the outdoor eating option would serve as a suitable back-up, mostly because it was a beautiful day.
When you enter, you are greeted at the cash by the typical Canadian person. The Canadian accent and hospitality is extremely hard to miss. It’s so different from the kind of hospitality I get in Montreal. Since I did my research, I knew exactly what I wanted, so I didn’t have to wait around. I made my order and was informed that I could get the same thing for a slightly cheaper price. I was glad that the employee had a genuine concern for what the customer ordered and took great care to make sure that we got exactly what we wanted.
After making your order and paying your tab, you’re assigned a number as you wait patiently in the tiny restaurant. I took a table in the back crevice of the place and settled in. Around me, I noticed a number of sports related memorabilia posted on the wall. The Blue Jays jersey was alright, I could handle that. The photos of hockey players to my right were extremely suitable. Unfortunately, what bothered me the most was what I saw directly in front of me. I spotted pictures and newspaper articles from the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. As a loyal Montreal Canadiens fan, this was hard to take. They were lucky that I wasn’t eating in Montreal, as I would’ve walked out then and there. Zdeno Chara kissing the Cup still makes me sick. Then again, I wasn’t here for sports decorations, but for burgers.
The Left - Toronto Blue Jays Jersey
The Right - Player Photos
In Front - Zdeno Chara Worship Wall
The big feature that I liked was the homey feeling of the place. The employees and the customers had a great familiarity. A good number or regulars entered and got treated just as well as first timers, like me. From the two suits having a conversation in French to the family of three who came back to have a burger. Overhearing the conversation between the mother and the son was absolutely priceless. I enjoyed it because of the numerous mentions of the word, ‘bacon.’ It’s that hole in the wall place that makes it so comfortable to eat and enjoy the short amount of time there.
The order took a little bit of time to make, but getting to just people watch made the time go by so much faster. As I waited, about 10-15 orders came in after me. So, for 1 in the afternoon, the place was so busy, which is always a good sign. For the prices and the value, combined with the whole experience, it’s an Ottawa location that I feel everyone should visit once.
This was the first poutine I’ve ever had outside the province of Quebec. After having a lot of poutine in my time, I had my doubts that I could find something reasonable. So, I jumped at the opportunity to have a poutine with my burger here. Also, since I was trying to be as cautious as possible, I picked the smallest size possible. It’s not because I was scared of the taste, but because I wanted to be able to finish everything with ease.
The fries are very much like the kind of you can get at any casse-croute in Quebec, which is probably the best kind you can put in a poutine. The cheese and sauce make it look like the most authentic poutine you’ve ever seen. The dark sauce compliments the curds and fries really well. Even though the website touts the curds a lot, they didn’t taste different than anything I’ve ever had.
In all, this poutine rivals any casse-croute poutine you’ve ever had in Quebec. For a place that is clearly not in Quebec, that is a big accomplishment. I’m always afraid of having a home dish away from home, doubting whether or not they can do it justice, but Hintonburger delivered on their poutine. It worked well as the burger sidekick and completed the satisfying experience for me.
Hintonburger - Wrapped 1
Hintonburger - Wrapped 2
This burger contains lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheddar cheese, and bacon.
My expectations for this burger were mixed. For one, the size of the place lowered things a bit. On the other hand, reviews that I read heightened what I was waiting for. The burger is double wrapped, which is something that I have yet to see in 113 burgers. The marker made it clear that my order was what it was. In the end, I don’t care if it’s wrapped or on a plate, it’s the taste that really matters.
The biggest issue with the burger was the bottom bun. It was so small that the onions, which were under the meat, constantly fell out. The onions escape from the burger weren’t such a big nuisance though. However, I had some fear that the bottom bun was going to give way, which luckily, it never did.
In doing my research, I made the conscious decision to avoid taking any BBQ sauce. I do that for two reasons. The first reason was to avoid any kind of mess. My last visit to Ottawa didn’t end so cleanly and I didn’t want to leave the city with sauce all over me. My past experiences with sauce mostly ended up on my shirts. The second reason is that I feel that a burger is so much stronger without the sauce. Also, if the burger is good without the sauce, it is something that I remember for a long time. My personal belief is that I use sauce to enhance something. Why enhance something that should be awesome to begin with, if you pick the right ingredients.
As a lot of my follower know, bacon is a must for me. In this burger, I felt that the bacon was a tad overdone. However, despite that, the bacon really held its own and held its place solidly. The bacon created a taste that made me want to eat each bit that much faster. As a matter of fact, this location cause me to get hiccups, a Burger Search first. So, it shows you that I really wanted more of the burger.
The 6 ounce beef patty was interesting. The outer rim of the meat had a slight char. That char gave the rest of the burger a truly unique taste. Even though the black edges would seem a little off-putting, it wasn’t that hard to eat. The meat was easy to eat and I never had any difficulty putting the burger through its paces.
Overall, despite me writing about things that can be misconstrued with negativity, I really enjoyed this burger. As a matter of fact, I think this was one the strongest burger I’ve had in Ottawa. Each bite landed a powerful punch. I didn’t want to put down the burger whatsoever. I even contemplated buying another burger to take it with me on my way out. For the pricing and the taste of this burger, I would strongly urge anyone who wants a good burger in Ottawa to give Hintonburger a try, you will not regret it.