Dining Out as a Vegan #1 – The Works

One of my favourite things in life is dining out. A meal that I don’t have to plan, make or clean up after is my definition of heaven. But it’s not always easy eating at restaurants as a vegan. And it can be especially tricky at family-friendly places that often specialize in chicken fingers, cheesy pizza and hot dogs. So I’m going to do a series over the next few months on my adventures dining away from home to share my trials and tribulations trying to uncover decent options for fellow veg-lovers.

Now I love a good veggie burger and let me tell you they are few and far between. Too mushy, too thick, too thin, tasteless, weird tasting, questionable ingredients and those are just the ones I’ve made at home! So it was with a fair amount of trepidation that I ventured out with the entire family to The Works – a new gourmet burger joint in downtown Burlington.


The atmosphere is fun and festive and right away the kids were thrilled with their drinks served up in huge measuring cups. The menu is unbelievable with so many choices that it is nearly impossible to decide which one to order. There are plenty of veggie options and an entire “Veg Out” section of the menu devoted toppings like grilled eggplant, fresh avocado, carmelized onions and sautéed wild mushrooms. And the most exciting part was when the waiter told us that their gravy was soy-based. I’m pretty sure my husband nearly wept.

There are actually 2 options for vegans when it comes to burgers– either the straight-up veggie burger or a grilled Portobello mushroom cap (my choice that night) and you can even get a gluten-free bun! We all tucked into our meals and loved every bite. Is this a low-fat meal? Not really. Is it especially healthy? Heck no! But as a special treat I was super impressed with the range of vegan and gluten-free choices.

What would I change? Not much actually. Perhaps non-dairy milk and ice-cream options for the shakes (because the kids didn’t get enough junk) and maybe a slightly better gluten-free bun. But overall it was fun, yummy and reasonably priced for a family of 5.

I’ll keep plugging away at perfecting my own veggie burger but for now when I’m craving a good burger and fries.. with a side of soy gravy- I’m heading to the The Works!

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