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    Wednesday October 26th, 2011

    Posted at 3:15pm

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    Burger Lounge at 1459 Ottawa Street in Windsor

    Green is the new black in business these days and restaurants are no different as a new trend toward healthy, planet-friendly eating creates demand for a new niche between unhealthy fast-food burgers and expensive but still-unhealthy, gourmet burger restaurants.

    The Burger Lounge opened this week on Ottawa Street in Windsor, a joint venture by partners Joe Fallea of Il Gabbiano and Gus Bressan of the former Tony Macaroni’s.

    "The Vegetarian Lounger"

    A counter server shows off a prepared meal

    HEALTHY

    “We’re bringing a healthier choice to the burger restaurant experience,” said Joe Fallea.

    Haven’t we heard this before?  Burger places adding salads or wraps to their menus in order to minimize the losses of health-conscious customers?  Except this time, it’s different.  When Fallea and Bressan say healthy, they really mean it.  And they don’t sell pizza or wings, thank you very much.  The Burger Lounge is strictly for burger lovers.  Beef, turkey, or vegetarian.

    The entire menu at Burger Lounge was literally built from nothing as Fallea and Bressan overcame obstacles to make their vision happen.  “I told my baker what I wanted for the bun and he said it can’t be done.  It won’t hold and it won’t last,” said Fallea.

    “We’ve produced a bun that is as soft as a regular hamburger bun with almost 100% whole wheat and no preservatives.  So what if it only stays fresh for one day? We get fresh bread every day. You buy buns in the grocery store and they stay soft in your cupboard for a week because of the preservatives.”

    The 3 ounce bun is a specially designed shape so it has fewer carbs but still holds the larger 6 ounce patty.

    “Everything is local. We use local grains, a local baker, local tomatoes. Our cheddar cheese is produced 100 kms away.”

    Burger Lounge staff process food orders

    GRASS-FED BEEF

    “Our beef supplier didn’t want to sell to us at first,” said Fallea.  He explained that the farmer came to personally speak with the owners and inspect their facilities before deciding to supply them with his coveted beef raised under strict protocols.

    “In North America the majority of beef is still corn fed.  Times have changed,” he said.

    “Demand for grass-fed beef is growing but restaurants aren’t there yet.”

    “Grass-fed beef is leaner.  Our burgers have only a 15% fat content.  The meat also contains higher Omega 3 levels and it’s hormone-free, so our burgers taste much better and are better for you.

    Burgers ready to be brought to the tableside

    A counter server poses for a photo at Burger Lounge

    A burger chef cooks patties

    FAST CASUAL

    According to Wikipedia, the fast-casual restaurant “is a type of restaurant that does not offer full table service but promises a higher quality of food and atmosphere than a fast food restaurant.” Burger Lounge is likely one of the first to ride this growing trend as there are no wait staff, only counter servers.

    “There’s no waiting for a table, waiting to order, waiting for the bill.  There’s no wasted time.”

    “We’re not as fast as McDonalds but we’re definitely more healthy,” says Fallea.

    I asked Fallea for his vegetarian burger recipe.

    “The vegetarian burger is made of organic quinoa, with brown rice, carrots, zucchini, mushroom, garlic and beans,” he said.

    “Seasoned with love.  100% pure love.”

    Chefs prepare burgers in the kitchen at Burger Lounge.

    A customer points to the menu on the wall at Burger Lounge.

    Burger Lounge is locate at 1459 Ottawa Street or online at  www.theburgerlounge.ca

     

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    • Ken

      This sounds great. I’m definitely going to try it.

    • ClintonHammond

      So, it is open?  Their web site says “Coming Soon”… Little clarification please?  ;-)  

      • http://windsorite.ca Owen Christopher Wolter

        Definitely open, see the first picture.

    • ThaFunk

      Is this part of the chain/franchise?  The logo is different?  Please tell me this isn’t a complete rip off of another company.

    • ThaFunk

      “The entire menu at Burger Lounge was literally built from nothing”

      It looks identical to burgerlounge.com ‘s menu.  If this is in a copy and not a franchise, oh Windsor restaurateurs.. an all new low.

      Things like the above shouldn’t be said if it is a franchise.. something is fishy here.

    • August7791

      I went to the Burger Lounge and I was not impressed by the entire experience….I did not like the cafeteria concept of paying for your meal prior to sitting down, carrying your own drink to the table etc while being expected to tip the cashier. I also was unimpressed with the selection of burgers….I guess if you have a name that states BURGER LOUNGE I would expect a lot of burgers on the menu. To pay $13.50 for a burger and fries which is without a beverage is quite pricy. There was a lack of condiments on the table and on the burger for that matter and there was no fork with the meal….I mean overall it was not a positive experience. I was very eager for it to open up and  try the place for lunch since I work on Ottawa street.  Naturally we are always searching for new lunch venues. All of us were disappointed with the experience. It is unfortunate considering the owner is a well known restaurant operator in this area. I guess I was expecting a lot more. I believe that this concept would work well in a big city but it doesn’t in a community like this. In my opinion anyhow.

    • Dean Loring

      As the founder and CEO of Burger Lounge in Southern California I can tell you the is nothing more than a shameless knock off of our restaurant company. Shame on these scamsters.

      http://www.burgerlounge.com

      • David

        Wow, Cease &Desist letter coming soon?

      • ThaFunk

        Thanks for the clarification.  As said previously, all new low for Windsor.  

    • Cj3141

      This place was a big rip off…First time I went to a place that you have to buy everything seperate.  Common sence if you want people coming  back make some kind of combo.  Plus what is the big hype about the burger’s I can make better at home.  You’s wont be in buisness for long,  would recommend McDonalds first and I hate that place!
       

      • lalooch

        sense*

    • LarryG

      they totally ripped off the burger lounge san diego….like you couldn’t even think of a different burger concept? why are all the rip off guys located in windsor? first Spago…then Gilligans and now this classless place….get a life and change the name and menu.

    • LarryG

      did I mention they stole the menu word for word from the original franchise? what a joke!

    • Vanessa1989

      I went there with my mom and we really liked it.  I like being able to order only what i want.  We each had a burger and we shared one order of fries.  I’m vegetarian and i found the veg burger was very good.

    • Jojo4542

      I went with my children, I thought the Vegie burger was  great also, i did not think it was pricey at all. My kids thought is was a fun place to hang out at and we will definatly be back.

    • Sol Rosenberg

      Looks like the astro-turfers have finally chimed in.  Do they think they fool anyone?

      Could you imagine how much it would cost to bring the family in?  “I did not think it was pricey at all” oh ok, sure whatever.  Maybe with the employee / friend / family discount.

      $15 for a simple burger + fries + cola after tax is insanely expensive for me, no matter how good the food.  And my burgers at home taste just as good.  I’d rather spend an hour to prepare my own meal at home than spend an hour at work to earn the money to pay for someone else to make it (and then get into a huff because I don’t hand over even more hard-earned money for a “tip”).

      If they would knock $2 off every menu item over $5, and put a “no tipping” sign up, then I’d be much more likely to regularly come in for lunch.

      This type of restaurant would have done better 5-10 years ago when people were being extra-stupid with their money ($5 cups of coffee and so forth were the fad.)  But now it’s a tough sell when people are worried about every last dollar.

    • lalooch

      I went to BL tonight and it was great! Everything tasted fresh and I appreciate the local food effort. I’ll be back again and I’ll spread the word too!!

    • michael

      wow went there tonight…..our bill was $37 and we had no alcohol!! when we paid for the meal I gave the girl  $40, she tried to keep the change and responded with a “enjoy your meal”….I asked her for the change and then she says “oh sorry I thought I gave it to you already” whatever, they rip off the franchise from the San Diego one, and then try ripping of their customers…what a joke….will never go back! oh, and th burger was average at best.

      • Jojo4542

        You have never been there obvously!!!  3 nice big juicy burgers and fries for $37.00 sounds reasonable to me , not much of a rip off when you get a all natural burger and fries for a great price. Rip off in your eyes and better choice and great place for others. You should just check out the place in San diego where you live and one day if you make it to Canada you will see the difference , does not look like a rip off!!!!

    • RevChuck

      No selection of burgers at all, pretty sad for a place called Burger Lounge. Horribly over-priced, unless paying $8 for $3.50 worth of burger makes you feel hip. Fries were soggy and lame…. but the onion rings were pretty good. Definitely not worth your money or time. AVOID!

    • Jojo4542

      $7.95 for a burger , $2.89 for a fries $2..00 for a soda , great beers, great drinks. Salads are all under $8.00 fro under $13.00 you have a healthier choice burger grassfed , fresh fries that go soggy after an hour so eat them hot and they are great. Mcdonalds fries are ususally crispy for days , not sure why but not willing to try to figure it out.Plenty of toppings, from nitrate free bacon to avacados, your basic tomato letttuce and onions like every burger joint in the country choices to over 10 suaces and also tasty grilled onions. . Not sure what REVCHUCK or MICHEAL are talking about ,but you obviously live in another country.Thnask to these guys I have a great burger joint to go to and bringing all m,y friends for a better burger.

    • Anonymous

      Boo! I want Tony Macaroni’s back!

    • Steve

      Went there twice this week. Had a burger and fries the first visit – the fries were awesome, but the burger disappointed. Second visit I had a milk shake and cupcake. The shake was great, but the cupcake tasted like cake-mix and chemicals? I want this place to succeed, and I WILL be back, but hopefully they work out the kinks and make it so I want to go back every week.

      • renaissance room

        I had the cupacke too, which cost over 3 bucks.  It was overpriced and tasted like any other processed cupcake.

    • ClintonHammond

      So we tried the Burger Lounge…. The place was PACKED… But the longer we were there waiting for our Take Out order (We didn’t wait long… I had a pint while I was waiting) the more I came to realize that the reason the place was packed is that everybody was waiting… and waiting….   The crowding at the bar meant that I stood so my wife could sit while we waited.  (I don’t really mind that… but I’ll wager a LOT of other people would)  

      I was disappointed by the lack of selection on the menu….  The counter-staff was more than friendly enough.   There seemed to be a lot of activity in the kitchen, but items seemed to sort of trickle out… Maybe that’s to be expected for “fast casual”… I don’t know.  We got our food, and a 5 minute drive later we were home…. All the way there, the smell was wonderful…. Opening the bag however left a little to be desired.  The burgers were small… the buns were dry… and for that kinda $, I want to get at least twice the number of fries.   What there was of the food, was good however.  I’m not sure it was good enough that we’ll be back any time soon… or that I’d recommend it to anyone else.  For the same price, I’ll go to Motor Burger, get full service, bigger portions, and a wider selection.  

      The accusations of business impropriety in the comments above do not to Burger Lounge any good either…. A good idea is a good idea sure, but if you’re going to steal something, at least put in the modicum of effort it takes to make it your own before you pass it off as your own…  

      Overall a solid 2.5 out of 5… but ask me tomorrow and that score might be lower.  

    • Ken

      I keep hearing about Motor Burger, I want to try that place out as well. Now I’ll have an excuse to use the new roundabout on Erie! ( I already did though, weeee!)

    • Jello

      It was good but they forgot to give us our pickles that we had ordered.
      realize after it was too late
      :(

    • DaveLauzon

      interesting… I went to Burger Lounge and I was very satisfied.  I do like the fact that the burger is healthier.  You can tell it’s not as greasy as other burgers are.  Yes it is more expensive than MdDonalds where a Big Mac is $5.00 and has 3 ounces of beef.  What I don’t understand are all the idiots complaining about price, service, selection, etc.  If you want a cheaper burger, go to Wendy’s and order off the dollar menu!  If you want a waitress serving you then go to Motor burger!  You want more selection, like what, you want a steak sandwich? Go to Lumberjack for crying out loud!  It’s not hard to understand taht this place sells healthy organic burgers, which is what I want.  I don’t know of anywhere else that offers that in Windsor.  Did they copy this idea from somehwere in the USA?  I really dont care as long as the burgers don’t clog up my arteries.  But then, I’m not the originality police like some on here seem to be!!!!!

      • ThaFunk

        Originality police?  A simple search for the menu brings up the place they completely hijacked and tried to pawn off as their own concept.  There is no policing here.  It’s a complete joke to claim they made the menu “from nothing”.  It is a complete lie and it brings into question the integrity of the owner and what else they are willing to deceive the public into thinking.  First it’s the lie about the concept and menu, next?  Who knows the quality of the ingredients.  I will stay well away from this place, that is for sure.  Motor Burger is pretty decent though.

        The price does seem a bit steep compared to other joints not only in this city but other cities I have had excellent burgers in.

        Lastly, the fact that the owner hasn’t even chimed in on the fact that the concept is lifted from another place is incredibly problematic.  Even more so since they link this very post from their website. 

        • DaveLauzon

          You are obviously a competing restaurant trying to bring these guys down.  Way too personal to be a customer.  You are the one that smells fishy.

          • ThaFunk

            Dave, not a competing restaurant .  Just a guy who looks for integrity in business and intellectual property.   There are somethings you just don’t do, and completely rip off a place is one of them.  I can assure you I am just a guy who enjoys good food – particular burgers – served from by a good and unique place.

            Once again, I did a google search because I was jazzed about a new burger joint – burger lounge san diego came up.  Not hard to read into that.  End of story.

            Windsor is better than this.  Come on.

    • Lucien Sarti

      “Healthy” burgers?   LOL, what’s next, “healthy” vodka?  Who would be so stupid to believe several ounces of red meat between gluten-filled buns and served with fried food and a corn-sugar/alcohol filled beverage is going to be a wise nutritional choice?

      It’s a good thing for this business that PT Barnum was right.

      And I love that they have an online PR presence to write rave reviews and tell us that a $8 burger is reasonably priced.  If I want to eat a burger, I’ll get something that tastes twice as good at half the price and not delude myself that it’s “healthy” just because the flowery menu says so in pastel colours.

    • ClintonHammond

      Red meat, gluten, fried food, corn-sugar and or alcohol are not necessarily bad nutritional choices…  I’d love to see what you think might be evidence that they are….  

      • Steve

        Red meat intake is associated with a higher risk for diabetes, arthritis, cancer, stroke, and hypertension – but then, is it due to the saturated fat, the NEU5GC, the cholesterol, etc – and what happens when you eat it in moderation?

      • Geriatric Profanity Disorder

        I agree.  Eating greasy burgers and fried food and boozing it up in the process is perfectly healthy.  Ask any doctor.  LOL, see you in the funny pages Clinton….

    • The Lance

      Would you like litigation with that? : San Diego Burger Lounge CEO calls plagiarism on new Windsor restaurant | The Lance

      http://uwindsorlance.ca/2011/11/16/would-you-like-litigation-with-that/

    • Raebo

      My friends and I went to Burger Lounge.  We were pleased to give our business to an establishment that uses local organic food.  But our experience was less than great.  The line-ups were big, the service slow, the counter staff seemed confused about whether they could make a float or not, the food came out at all different times making some of us wait while others were nearly done before the rest’s food came – making the dining together experience less than enjoyable.  The fries were cold, the veggie burger was mushy and one of the beef burgers was raw inside.  The salad was delicious as were the onion rings.  Perhaps this was just the effects of being new and being busy – but for the $$ we paid we expected the food to all taste great and we were disappointed at the response to the raw burger.  I doubt we’ll be back anytime soon

    • bobby kotevski

      best burger in the City hands down: Tuscan Grill located in Ambassador Golf Club……man, have eaten at least 10 of them this past summer….so big you can barely finish them…..and with a side of salad or fries (sweet potato at that) is like $12……also try the Club…..just incredible!!

      • ThaFunk

        When did large portions become synonymous with quality?   Why does everyone define good as more?  I don’t get that mentality. 

        I would much rather go for a ‘roadside’ burger any day of the week than a gut busting ‘pub style’ burger.  Much smaller, more tasty outside to inside ratio.

    • kd

      With a name like “Burger Lounge”, I expected there to be more of a selection of burgers…found it a bit pricey for what we got…burger was decent tasting, the fries were horrible, undercooked and soggy…didn’t really care for the atmosphere either…probably won’t go back!

    • Stockmanbeefguy

      Grass fed beef or grass finished beef?  Please be clear and respectful of a knowledgeable consumer.  All beef is fed grass at some point.  Grass finished beef is a rare commodity in these parts….not to mention very expensive.   Are you folks being honest??

    • S Konkle

      Went back and had the Turkey Burger, much better than the Beef Burger.

    • Anonymous

      Ok, after going over all these reviews and reading all the bashing going around I’m going to give this place some much needed suggestions instead.  I’m doing this for two reasons 1. because I live in this area and want to see successful restaurants in my neighbourhood–and want to eat at them.  2. It is painfully obvious that you are reading this due to some of the desperate comments that are being tossed in here by employees.  (stop it btw, it’s embarrassing and not helping)

      This place, despite it’s borrowed name, is called The Burger Lounge.  Whatever association it has with the place in SD is lost with this city so nobody is aware that you offer ‘healthier’ organic beef or any other of that stuff that you offer.  So people coming in are expecting burgers and burger type foods.  You need to market it a little more to your target base, that being students, vegetarian foodies etc.. in other words people who care that your beef is grass fed!  On top of this you need to give the rest of us something we can eat as well.  Sure there is money in healthier eating restaurants but not in this town.  We live in an industrial area, safe to say, and very few of them want free range turkey in their burgers.  By adding some large inexpensive selections for dad to order would help smooth over some price concerns when his newly vegan teenage daughter orders one of your pricier organic items from the menu. 

       With regards to health there isn’t any healthier beef on this planet than the stuff that comes from Canada, in fact, it is so abundant here that we have a minimum standard of grade A beef for restaurants in this country.  So yeah, that goes for Mcdonald’s and their big macs too–sorry to disappoint the mcd haters.   That being said, you could save some money and get some regular beef in there as well and have some inexpensive options available which could also open up possibilities for adding to a variety of burger selections, something that will get people back wanting to try something different than last time!  This alone wont save you, you need a signature burger, all the best places have them how can you not?  Signature sauce would be a bonus.  Your side dishes are pretty good, but for the price you need to up the sizes.  If you are worried about the healthies not wanting that much have 2 different sizes instead at least.

      lunch specials.  I work in an office in the area and we are pressed for time normally for lunches so we try to grab something affordable and quick before we get back at it in the afternoon.  This is one instance where you are competing with the mcdonalds and the burger kings so a pleasant, affordable and TIMELY lunch would appeal to the lunch crowd nicely.  You especially should be working this angle because Smoke and Spice has just left the area and they did pretty well on their lunches–price matters.

      Ice cream.  I know you have it, but do you have different flavours?  If you do I don’t recall  it so its not advertised well if you do.  You’d be the only place on Ottawa to offer it..that could be an opening for a dessert crowd as well.

      I know you guys hired some pros and consultants to get this thing up but I have 12 years of a marketing background and a lifetime of being a restaurant hound and food enthusiast.  Enough to know what people want and will come back for so take in some of this and hopefully we will see you succeed in the new year and beyond.

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