Donut hamburger [General]

2018 Apr 10
I had the We Be Glazin burger, a temporary special at the Burgers n Fries on Dalhousie, just for proof of concept. The bun in a sort of donut - actually, about half way between a donut and a bun, as an actual donut wouldn't hold up - and is indeed glazed with sugar (and Dorito crumbs), though not as covered with glaze as their promotional picture. I'm not a huge fan of Burgers and Fries burgers - just a bit too much like regular fast food burger meat - and the beef 'bacon' is edible but not a real replacement for pork bacon, but the sum total held up well, at least to try. I've always found the fries here to be superb, reminiscent of old-time Harvey's fries (remember when Harvey's fries used to be good, decades ago?), including the ability to bring a squeeze bottle of ketchup to your table (again, just like old-time Harvey's).

2018 Apr 11
I think i need to eat this. i KNOW i need to eat this.

2018 Apr 11
And here's the reverse: the Hamburger Donut from HFT in Almonte

2018 Apr 11
Havenít tried it but been to BFF twice and havenít been impressed, but the poutines Warby has been posting look good so maybe fries is the way to go.

BFF, Flapjacks and Union 613 are all places my friends like going that I do not like. I think a large portion of their success has to do with being social media savvy and advertising enticing photos on Facebook / Instagram that target 20-35 year olds.

2018 Apr 12
I've been thinking about social media and restaurants. A tourist might gather from the internet that Flapjacks - on all accounts, quite mediocre as a restaurant - is the finest dining establishment in Ottawa. On the other hand, while I agree with the general politics of Union 613, I fear that somebody who didn't agree might not go just because of not liking the in-your-face - and somewhat self-satisfied - politics. Some people are much better at social media than they are at running a restaurant.

Something that bothers me is good solid restaurants that may fail simply because they don't have a social media presence, or only use Facebook (Twitter and Instagram are much stronger platforms for food promotion, and Facebook may be going down the tubes anyway, good riddance!). With ethnic restaurants, I fear this is sometimes a language problem (they should put their kids on the job of running the social media!). A place that does a really good job - The Noodle House on Gladstone, and its superb Instagram feed, which is almost a tutorial in Vietnamese cooking.

2018 Apr 12
Agreed, social media is so important these days. Another excellent social media presence is the Wellington Diner. I haven't been a fan since I saw the owner scream at one of his employees in front of the whole diner but I can't knock his social media presence (or his hilarious response to sub 4 star google reviews...)

I love the Noodle House, and their instagram game (and puns) is very strong. Only difference between the places I've mentioned and The Noodle House is I have found their food to be very good. I love how passionate they are about their food and the service is excellent.

2018 Apr 12
And as far as Union 613 goes, I am not a fan of their self-righteous cry-bully attitude. They love to preach inclusiveness and acceptance but I wonder how they would treat me if I walked in wearing a Doug Ford hat?

Seeing how they raked Anne DesBrisay over the coals for selling her book at Chapters and criticizing her for not using locally sourced paper was the breaking point for me.

2018 Apr 12
I don't think social media, however brilliant, will save a poor restaurant, and a truly excelent restaurant may benefit from the exposure, but doesn't NEED social media to succeed.

(i adore Flapjacks and Union but don't follow either's media)

That said, social media might buy a mediocre restaurant some additional lifetime, especially in as forgiving a city as Ottawa. In Montreal i suspect it would just open another venue for unhappy diners to skewer a place.

2018 Apr 12
I only pay attention to what I read on the OF. . . . . . . . .

2018 Apr 12
Addendum to the above... and a badly handled social media presence can utterly turf an otherwise solid restaurant.

@TheNatureMan, i suspect that if you walked in with your Doug Ford hat and maybe a MAGA t-shirt and baby seal shoes for good measure, you would receive exactly the same service and quality of food as everyone else who was eating there.

...unless you chose to pick an argument with the staff over the owner's social media, and especially because you knew exactly whose restaurant you were walking into when you chose to eat there, because of that social media feed.

2018 Apr 12
I've been to Flapjacks and Union each a couple of times. Flapjacks just struck me as a typical diner with alright food but somehow got a great reputation (maybe based on their pancake bacon?). Union I was always disappointed with. The food was ok but not really that interesting and overpriced in my opinion. The drinks were actually quite good but again overpriced.

What's with places charging crazy high prices for drinks recently? I've been to several charging $10+ for a draft of a local microbrew or $12-$14 for a cocktail. That's like $3-$4 price increase from a year or two ago?

2018 Apr 13
I think Union (and every restaurant that actually participated in that book) had a right to be mad at Debraisay. She charged the restaurants money to be in the book, promised that they could make it back by selling it at their establishments, but failed to mention hat it would be sold for less at chapters and Costco. Also, having the local food critic charging restaurants cash to appear in pet projects doesnít exactly scream independent journalism

2018 Apr 13
I really appreciate Ivan and Unionís social media crusades. At least itís genuine and personal instead of bland and corporate. Heís also the only person publicly going to bat for service industry workers. No one else is saying a thing about the endemic wage theft and labour violations in the industry. It takes guts for Ivan to stick his neck out and criticize his peers.

2018 Apr 13
Other places that are (or were) really good at social media - in the sense that I see the posting and want to go there - are Art-is-in, The Nutty Greek, Sanguiccio, Ad Mare, and, of course, Holland's (RIP).

2018 Apr 13
The thing about Union 613 is that they have a strong brand and that carries into social media. Love it or hate it, it carries through everything from the way they run the business to the food to the social media.

Personally, I love the food but some people feel it's expensive - but it's expensive because they pay well and provide benefits and I support that. So I personally don't think it's expensive, it's what it should cost.

The industry is by all acounts full of really bad practices and they are trying to change that and one of the ways is by shedding light on what really happens.

But it's obvious that you have to be present and engaged on social media... it's where people's attention is.

2018 Apr 13
Fair enough, I respect all of your opinions and enjoyed reading your responses. I will say that even though I was not a fan of the food or atmosphere and the condescending / self-righteousness of Union 613 I can't knock a business that supports the food bank too hard.

Also- My apologies to Eight for derailing your post. Looks like the burger doughnut is getting lots of attention- Narcity published an article about it, although I still haven't figured out whether Narcity is a blog or paid advertising.

2018 Apr 13
Bit of both actually.

And re Union, take a look at this exchange, and specifically the comments:

...THAT'S how you social media right.

2018 Apr 13
Apologies, I totally posted off topic.

1. Iím pretty picky about burger buns. Itís playing with fire to have a bun that is too light and will just dissolve when faced with burger juice. I imagine thatís what would happen to a doughnut bun.

2. Off topic again: I totally feel like social media can make or break a restaurant. Instagram counts for a lot when iím deciding on an occasional high end night out. If youíre asking people to shell out over $100-$200 for dinner and drinks then at least try to sell it. I think thereís a pretty wide gulf between North and Navy/Riviera and MeNa/Beckta. The corporate feel of MeNaís social media and the cell phone photo quality of Becktaís instagram just feel lazy to me. If fine dining is about details, then theyíre missing an important one.

2018 Apr 25
Hi SGM: I really appreciate your comments around instagram, and how it plays into your decision on where to dine. Because of your comments (and a few others recently), we are investing in a much better camera experience for our social media at Beckta. I hope you will enjoy the upgrade starting next week in terms of picture quality, but also hope you love the topics and ultimately, our dining experience. Please let me know if I can ever make a reservation for you personally. Thanks again!

2018 May 3
And that is how you make a business really work. Listen to your clientele. In fact I just followed Beckta on Instagram for the above comment. Hope to see some daily stories!

Back on thread topic I'm going to Burgers and fries forever for dinner but I'm not sure a donut burger is my thing but I tell you that their Burgeritto is fab :)