The Works (London, ON)

Upon entering into The Works my friend and I were quickly greeted and seated by the maitre’d. Our server was quick to come to the table and explain the menu to us, very friendly too. She also gave each of us a 16oz measuring cup full of water, and the salt and pepper shakers looked like light bulbs- both added to the friendly atmosphere of the restaurant.

When you open the menu you are met with an overwhelmingly large number of options that can only be narrowed down after a great deal of thinking and some random elimination. You start by picking the toppings from a list of about 40 options, then pick the type of patty you want (such as turkey, beef, and, for an extra charge, elk). You also have a choice of several sides, including a few premium options such as sweet potato fries. Finally, you choose what type of bun you want- between white and multi-grain.

I went with the Hunka Hunka burger ($14.53), cooked medium well, with an elk patty ($3.88 additional fee) and sweet potato fries ($1.76 additional fee). The food took around 15 minutes to arrive and the server came back briefly after we started to check on us.

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The Hunka Hunka burger had bacon, peanut butter, and banana slices and came on a regular sized elk patty. The toppings complimented each other and added a sweet kick to the burger. Aside from having peanut butter dripping down my fingers, it was very enjoyable. I would recommend however to get the elk patty cooked medium rare or medium, so as to bring out the flavour more. Otherwise, I suggest going with a beef patty, as most toppings were likely selected with a beef patty in mind.

The sweet potato fries came with chipotle mayo dipping sauce. The fries were fantastic- every one of them had the ideal amount of crispiness and the dipping sauce was creamy with a hint of spiciness (but not too much). I highly recommend upgrading this this side.

Overall the meal was very filling and well worth the money. The vast amount of topping choices makes me want to come back to try new combinations.

4.5/5

If you want to try it yourself it can be found at:
145 King St., London, ON
https://www.worksburger.com/

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Zen Gardens in London, ON

I went here with a friend of mine and had the lunch combination with the Sweet and Sour Lappa (C71), which cost $10.50. The meal came in a bento box with purple rice, some type of tofu thing (at least I think it was tofu), a fruit salad, and of course the sweet and sour lappa.

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The two small pieces of “tofu thing” that looked like mini-chicken-nuggets had a spongy texture but tasted great with the dipping sauce provided. I actually wish the dish had come with more than just two of them.

The purple rice had a grainy seasoning which I thought took away from the flavour of the rice itself. In my experience purple rice tastes plenty good on its own and the two textures didn’t mix very well.

The fruit salad was adequate given what it was. The sour sauce didn’t go very well with the sweet tasting fruit. It was an interesting but for the most part unsuccessful attempt at incorporating fruit into a sweet and sour dish.

Finally, the lappa balls in the sweet and sour sauce were amazing. Apart from the two small “tofu-things”, this was the saving grace of the lunch combination. They tasted like a vegetarian take on small meatballs without trying to hard to create an artificial meat taste. This part of the dish was served on top of mushrooms, pineapple, and a few other fruits. Again, the only big flaw here was the portion being rather small. Should I return to this restaurant in the future I would most likely just get the sweet and sour lappa balls on their own, instead of as part of the lunch combination.

Overall the food was pretty good despite a few shortcomings, including the rather small portions. Additionally, the service was rather slow despite there only being a few tables occupied.

3.5/5.

If you want to try it yourself it can be found at:
344 Dundas Street, London, ON
http://www.zen-garden.ca/