Sunday, 7 July 2013


337 James Street North
Hamilton, ON
visited Friday July 5, 2013

I've heard several people talking about Work and decided I needed to come to Work myself to see what all the buzz was about.  Spending my Friday evening at Work (loving the play on words here) with a girlfriend catching up on travel stories, over delicious food and good drink was just perfect.

Located in James St N with a very unobtrusive awning sign, you may easily walk past this place.  No loud music, no big signs and no flashing lights to make you even think there's a restaurant in there.  And even upon entering, you might just think its a simple bar to grab a beer, but sit your butt down and get ready to experience some delicious food.

The menu is always rotating, but I suspect they keep some tried and true favourites up on their blackboard menu.  The menu has maybe 20 items, but that's just the way I like a restaurant to function.  Keep is concise and do it well and you'll have lots of happy customers. 

Rosewood Estate Riesling & Mixed Berry Bellini
The one lone waitress/bartender quickly cleared an empty table for me and my girlfriend and instructed us to order from the menu on the wall as there were no table menus.  We asked about drinks first and we sauntered down the bar to see the wine selection.  They keep it local with Niagara wines to choose from and a very large beer fridge.  I went for the Rosewood Estate Riesling and my girlfriend got the mixed berry Bellini.  Both were delicious summer sippers.

Avocado Fries $5

Our food came quite quickly and visually it was all very appealing.  We did family style sharing of our three dishes.  The avocado fries, (small for $5) was the most interesting concoction I've ever seen.  Why did no one think of this genius idea sooner?  Well Work has and they do 'em so well.  Wedges of avocado breaded and deep fried and served with either a coconut curry or ranch sauce.  We went for the ranch sauce, but the fries were good just on their own too.  The outer crust was crisp and held the soft avocado inside just right.  These were amazing!

Shrimp Burger w/ pickle mayo & shredded cabbage $8
We split a Shrimp Burger that had pickle mayo and shredded cabbage ($8).  It was served on a decent Kaiser roll that was proportionate to the burger and toppings. Again why has no one thought of a shrimp burger before??  Fairly large chunks of shrimp, well seasoned and held perfectly in burger form.  The side helping of coleslaw went really well inside the burger as well.  This was cooked just right to keep the shrimp juicy and plump and the flavour was outstanding.

And lastly we picked at a rather huge plate of Sriracha and Sesame Pork Nachos with cilantro and sour cream ($11).  There was a good helping of melted cheese to bind it all together and we were able to request the spice level to come down just a bit for my girlfriends delicate spice palate.  We were actually quite  busy chatting most of this meal and by the end thought that the supposed pork chunks were actually chicken.  Either way it was a delicious plate of nachos and such a neat combination of flavours.  This is bar food elevated and a great plate for sharing.

Sriracha Sesame & Pork Nachos $11
The portions were quite big and the price for the whole meal was excellent.  At $45 total we each had a drink and got to share three delicious plates of food.  The place was mostly filled with patrons and the waitress did an excellent job of checking in once in awhile and also being super polite.  The rest of the menu had a real mix of items from Brussel Sprouts with bacon cream sauce to Confit Chicken Wings that i'd love to come back and try.

 The atmosphere is typical James Street North.  Very relaxed and casual with some hits of vintage décor in an old building.  I really enjoyed the vibe and the unfussy bar scene here, without it ever feeling dirty or grimey.  The focus is definitely on the food and drink, which is obviously most important anyway.  I'll be back here sooner than later to bring my husband and I'm confident enough to say I'd bring some out of towners looking for good food in a blue collar Hamilton atmosphere. 

Food 5*, Value 5*, Service 5*, Décor/Ambiance 4.5*
Work has added yet another stellar downtown food spot to the James Street North community.  I hope they continue to build clientele and really get their name out there so they can stay around for a long time.  With well prepared food at the right price point you won't be disappointed here.

Work Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. Just read your review and this really makes me want to try this place. I read about avocado fries in a magazine recently and am interested to try them so this makes me very happy to learn that someone local has them. Thanks.

  2. Upon reading your blog my friends and I decided to check this place out. You forgot to mention that they don't open until 4pm. All was not lost though as ventured over to the The Capri restaurant our tried and true favorite..Of course it was delicious!!

    1. I try not to include hours of operation etc on my blog as those change and rotate frequently. Glad you enjoyed your lunch at Capri