A “Dymond” in the rough and what a whopper of a burger – with shakes as well.

September 24, 2013

By Piper King

BURLINGTON, ON. I had originally planned to compare the desserts from the several different restaurants run by a group in the city.  I drove out to the location of the first one but couldn’t seem to find it.  I was looking for the Local Eatery & Refuge.  My stepson, Jordan and I decided to start our adventure there but when we arrived at the location (4155 Fairview Street), the name on the building was  Dymond’s Social Kitchen & BarA classy feel to it, but with a slightly retro kick..  Puzzled, we parked and entered the establishment.

When you walk in, Dymond’s has a classy feel to it, but with a slightly retro kick.  The tables and chairs are dark, but it thankfully lacks a claustrophobic feeling, due to the large and airy interior.  The walls have a mix of wood paneling and light brick.  The ceilings are a mix of industrial and dark night club blocks, which gives it an upscale, chic feel.

Kasia – took good care of us.

The server, a tiny blonde lady named Kasia greeted us warmly.  We asked for a booth seat, and she ushered us over and took our drink order.  I asked if they have milkshakes (which these establishments usually do not) and much to my delight, she responded YES!  Jordan ordered a chocolate shake and I the peanut butter and chocolate.

When Kasia returned, I asked her if this was still the Local Eatery & Refuge.  She said that it’s under the same management, but they broke away from the Tortoise Group of Companies April 1st of this year and renamed it Dymond’s Social Kitchen & Bar, after the owner Ryan Dymond.

We were both amazed when our milkshakes arrived!  Basically, we received two shakes for the price of one!  I took a sip of my shake and it was absolutely delicious! What struck me was that it was a lot lighter than the typical milkshake you’d get from either Wimpy’s, or Lick’s, which by the way is no longer in business – the bailiff had posted a notice on the plate-glass door.  A bonus for me with the shake in front of me was that I could taste more of the chocolate and less of the peanut butter (score)!

When Kasia returned she took our order: Jordan chose the Bacon Cheese Burger with fries and I chose the Arizona Dog and chips.

You could feed a family with this burger.

A few minutes later, Kasia brought out the largest burger we had ever seen, I mean this thing was piled high with lettuce, tomato and an onion ring (it was almost Alice in Wonderland/cartoon huge)! My dog was another amazing feat of Foodie heaven!  I have NEVER seen a hotdog piled up with so much deliciousness.  When we make hotdogs at home they’re usually a meager chicken or beef dog and a thin, no-name bun. 

The condiments alone amount to a meal.

This was quite literally, the king of dogs, hands down! The chips were served in a deep fryer basket. (I wondered if they were served in the very same basket they were fried in)? I didn’t ask.  The presentation for both meals were amazing.  The food was hot and delicious!  I suddenly remembered a Carl’s Jr commercial I used to see when I lived in Arizona.  Carl’s Jr is known for the messiest burgers, so much so that their slogan was, “If it doesn’t get all over the place; it doesn’t belong in your face.”  This Arizona Dog would have made Carl’s Jr. proud!

When we “finished” our meals (I managed to eat half of the hot dog and only half of the basket of chips), the owner, Ryan Dymond came over and introduced himself.  He struck me as a person who’s passionate about food and the restaurant industry. 

Ryan, a Burlington resident for many years, explained his reasoning for breaking away from the pack.  He wanted a restaurant that supports local businesses and he felt that this could not be accomplished as a franchise.  Once separated on April 1st, he ensured that all the food served in the restaurant would be sourced from local food businesses.  Most restaurants provide a menu for pairing the food with a fine wine, but his vision is to pair their foods with amazing, locally brewed craft beer. The only outsourced beer he advised us, is Samuel Adams (which hails from the U.S.).  He wanted to create a restaurant with “downscaled food in an upscale setting.” 

Ryan Dymond – broke away from a corporate environment and struck out on his own. The menu suggests he will do well – will the Dueling pianos give him that edge?

He went on to explain that every Friday night (and starting in October, Saturday night too) they have an amazing musical spotlight called Dueling Pianos.  It’s basically two pianos set up in a central location so both the bar and the dining room could request and enjoy the music all night.  He explained that he had renovated to ensure that everyone could enjoy the music and that no one would feel isolated.  Plus, for one Friday out of every month they feature a theme night, whereby they’d play to a specific theme – such as an “all Elton John songs” night.

It was truly a pleasure to meet Ryan and he was so good about posing for a photo or two. I will definitely go back one Friday, or Saturday night to check out the Dueling Pianos and see what the atmosphere will be like at night-time. 

All in all, Jordan and I give Dymond’s Social Kitchen & Bar four thumbs up!  The food was delicious, the atmosphere was relaxed and it really had an upscale feel to it that would appeal to Burlington’s affluent society, but the fare will cater to the “inner kid”.

Jordan summed it up this amazing event with his spontaneous observation at the end of our meal “Best part about this experience? “Heart”  just came on the speakers.”  So, we can give Dymond’s another gold star for amazing musical taste. 

Dymond’s Social Kitchen & Bar

4155 Fairview Street Burlington L7L 2A4


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