Hambrgr 49 King William Street
When Hambrgr popped up in town, this Krstn was excited. One day, right before its October open, Chanry (The Hungry Gnome) and I walked by their window while on the prowl for some food (as we do). Right after, we got this tweet from them – we were spotted! Dang, they’re good!
— HAMBRGR (@hambrgrhamilton) October 27, 2015
A few days later, they were open, and we were back on the scene! Chanry, Suzanne, Lisa, and I raced over for lunch. Being the first ones in that day, we had the place to ourselves and spread out for a full burger photo shoot. But first, we started by sharing the BLT Devilled Eggs. I was really impressed when first perusing their menu – even before the burgers, I wanted to try all of the appetizers.
I’m not even a huge meat-eater; I sooner gravitate to veggie options, but when in Rome! You gotta go for it. If I’m going to eat a burger, it better be a damn good one. For my inaugural Hambrgr, I couldn’t resist the sound of The Morning Glory: fried egg, log smoked bacon, American cheese, chilli maple syrup aioli, and it’s on a WAFFLE BUN. Eggs, waffles, breakfasty items of all kinds – I’m all over it.
Chanry got the Nashville Style Hot Chicken: buttermilk fried crispy chicken, Nashville-style hot sauce, bread & butter pickles, southern style coleslaw, house mayo. I’m not so good with spicy, but if you love a little heat, that one’s for you.
Suzanne got the Chickpea & Lentil Burger which has shredded kale and apple salad, basil aioli, chia, on an oat bun. It can really be a challenge to find a solid veggie burger option, and this was the real deal. Lisa put together her own burger by taking the “You Can Do Anything at Hambrgr” route. With all of the options to choose from, you can go wild.
Anyone who has had to choose between regular fries and sweet potato fries, you know the struggle is real. Hambrgr has you covered with a basket of half and half. These burgers are pretty massive so it’s nice to have the option of ordering fries as a side, or maybe you want an app to complete the meal.
After that first visit, I returned again soon with my friends Trish and Josh. I tried The Chick Magnet: seared chicken breast, double brie, shredded kale, granny smith apple, avocado, toasted almond, herb aioli. Love everything about that combo.
My next trip, I went back to breakfast with their All Day Breakfast Poutine: fried egg, smoked bacon, cheese curds, gravy. The poutine, like the burger, is a beast, and you better be ready for it!
If you’re ever stuck on what to order, consider the #HamOnt Brgr. Every month the restaurant chooses a different local charity and gives $1 from each burger sold to that cause. For this month of March, it’s to support 541 – Eatery & Exchange‘s button program.
I also returned with pals Biljana (Cut From Steel) and Thomas (Rebuild Hamilton) right after the Hamilton Independent Media Awards, where we raised a glass to Thomas’ win for Best Journalist: Arts & Culture (he beat me in that category and then bought me a beer and I ate his fries – Tom’s a gem).
These days, it’s hard to keep up with the Hamilton food scene. I don’t often have time to double back to places when I have lists upon lists of restaurants still to try, from old classics to new ones. It’s saying a lot that Hambrgr saw me return so many times already.
Hambrgr also had me at Collective Arts Brewing; in fact, they had me specifically at Collective Arts’ Pumpkin Saison. That first visit was in October, but I’d gladly drink it any time the opportunity presents itself. I was headed back to work after lunch, so normally I wouldn’t indulge in a midday beer, but hey, I was christening Hambrgr! Actually, I was headed back to my company’s pumpkin carving contest. What’s worse – drinking and then heading back to work or drinking and then wielding around a jack-o-lantern carving knife? But let’s be honest – I just sat there and ate candy while the rest of them did the work. So I stand by my day drinking decision.
But I digress.
Hambrgr is awesome. It’s got all the right moves, baby. It’s saying all the right things. Sometimes I just go on their website to look at their menu and ponder what I’ll order next. That’s normal, right?
One thing that could be cool to see – there’s no dessert yet on the menu, and you know that’s the way to my heart. Lisa and I are thinking milkshakes could be fun. Spiked ones. With bourbon. Oh yeah, Hambrgr is also big on the bourbon. And Caesars. Now I’m off to plan my next visit…