Hintonburger  (991 Wellington Street West, Ottawa - hintonburger.ca)

Jay

When we decide to post a review of a restaurant, we do our best to take good quality pictures to reinforce your understanding of our overall experience.  Unfortunately, the pictures of Hintonburger will do the opposite, and I honestly wish you would just read these words and not click on any of the images below.  The place is a hole.  The burgers look like something you would get in a high school cafeteria.  The fries look like fries, but worse.  Even so, I’ll likely be eating there again sometime next week.

Hintonburger serves one of the best tasting burgers I’ve ever eaten, hands down.  Considering the passion of frontmen Rob Freeman and Tom Williams*, and the quality beef sourced locally from O’brien farms, I’m not surprised that their recipe was one for success.  Despite the overwhelming popularity since their launch, there’s no denying that Hintonburger operates under a huge shadow; the original success story of the Ottawa burger scene known as The Works.  The comparisons are unavoidable, but completely valid.  The Works offers a fun atmosphere, amazing selection, and good food, but is considerably expensive.  On the other hand, if The Works operated something like a discount brand, it would be known as Hintonburger; homely atmosphere with minimal service, but boasting a comparable (if not better) burger at a much better price.

I’m really looking forward to my next visit; I’ve heard a lot of good things about their corn dogs and homemade batter.

Sue

I hadn’t really been thinking about eating a hamburger that day.  Pizza had crossed my mind, Phở tempted me at one point, but burgers really weren’t on my mind.  So that’s why, when Jay suggested we hit up Hintonburger on our way to the movie theatre, I wasn’t super enthusiastic.  But, since I wasn’t particularly attached to any other food group, I agreed.  This place was all about expectations for me.  I had heard a lot of hype about how amazing their burgers were; best in Ottawa, people said.  To be honest, I was a little concerned for this tiny shack on Wellington: there was no way it was going to be able to live up to these tall stories.  So we arrived and walked in to the glorified chip truck, hoping for the best but expecting much less.

I wasn’t surprised to see a huge crowd filling the interior of Hintonburger.  This place was popular, after all.  We got in line and I started thinking about what I wanted.  But this proved difficult, considering that the only menu in the whole place that actually explained what the items were was taped to the counter where you order the actual food.  So, when I got to the front of the still-massive line, I felt so pressured to order, and quickly (considering all the people waiting behind us), that I just blurted out “one hintonburger!”, hoping and praying that it wasn’t some ridiculous burger with quail eggs and orange slices on it, and with no regard to any additional toppings that might be available to order.  When the gentleman behind the counter asked for my choice of side, I got the fries and Jay chose the onion rings.  It must have been my lucky day, because I got a delectable, juicy and humongous burger with gooey cheese, amazing barbecue sauce and two thick slices of bacon on top.  When I say this was the best burger I’ve eaten in my life, I am not exaggerating.  And the fries!  They were so good that I practically inhaled them.  The onion rings were pretty good too, although I’ll always prefer fries over the rings.

Seating might prove a problem unless it’s a sunny, warm day, as most of the tables are outside, and of the picnic variety.  But if the weather is agreeable, or you just need a quick bite to go, Hintonburger is a fantastic choice.  

 

(click to expand pictures)

 Hintonburger on Urbanspoon

*for some time, we had been inadvertantly giving credit to a Mr. Tod Williams for Hintonburger, where in fact, this credit is due to Mr. Tom Williams.  Thank you to Angela for pointing this out!