The other day Kristin Archer of I Heart Hamilton and I met to catch up and to check out WORK, one of the many new restaurants/bars popping up in downtown Hamilton. In the past few months just on James North alone (not even counting the multiple new spots that have all opened recently around town) we’ve seen the opening of sandwich, soup and salad bar resto McCartney & Son, arcade themed pub The Stowaway and WORK located right next to This Ain’t Hollywood (my favourite Hamilton live music venue).
If I’m not mistaken before WORK opened it was formerly a yellow awning-ed Portuguese sports bar. Am I right? The yellow awning is down but on the interior, you could say… the decor has probably not changed much. But that’s kinda what I like about WORK. Its beauty is in their unique culinary fusions. I counted at least four or five different takes on dishes from various cultures. They have southern ribs and fried chicken, classic spaghetti and meat balls, jerk chicken and even chow mein.
There was such a variety to choose from on their menu that it took Kristin and I a good ten minutes of contemplation to finally make our lunch selections.
However, the one thing that we were quick to decide on was an order of avocado fries. The avocado was in that perfect melt-in-your-mouth state of ripeness but with a crispy savoury battered exterior.
After much deliberation my final lunch selection was the braised beef sandwich. It had a nice tart punch of tangy fresh horseradish.
For dessert we couldn’t resist splitting the Koo Koo cake (named after the classic neopolitan striped Koo Koo Taffy Bar). It’s made with strawberry and cappuccino gelato, layered over an espresso crumb crust.
The charm in WORK is that there’s no pretences; it wears its heart on its sleeve and is the kind of place you can saddle up to the bar, enjoy a beer, some great affordable food and likely end up chatting with everyone in the place (they’re all fans). I found myself telling Kristin that if Steve and I didn’t have a baby, we’d probably frequent here on weekday evenings for a beer and some grub (especially pre-shows at This Ain’t). For now I’ll have to settle for sampling the WORK menu during lunch time meet ups.
Thanks Kristin, it was great to try another new place together and to hear about what you’ve been up to. Looking forward to the next rendezvous! You can read Kristin’s post about WORK here.
*WORK, 337 James St. N, 905.777.9675