Archives: hamilton

day tripping in the hammer

I often get emails from people who want to check out Hamilton for a day. They want to know where to go for coffee, to eat, drink, check out some art, vintage, shops and generally get the scoop of all that is abuzz.

A few years ago a task like that wouldn’t have taken long. I could’ve quickly listed off my favourite spots, both old and new. However, now a job like that would take some serious thought, which don’t get me wrong is a good thing! I’d have to take inventory of all that has recently opened (for which there is a ton of) and is soon to open (something new on the daily).

So when Expedia.ca approached me a little while back and asked that I do a write up about the Hammer, I took it as an opportunity to give (all those wanting to get in on Hamilton) a quick and dirty one-day-tour of our city. It is by no means comprehensive and there is much room to expand.

For the purpose of this entry I will keep this trek a walking one with the potential start and end points being the train stations; for which Hamilton now has two of (conveniently located at the Southern and Northern tips of James Street).

So you’ve decided to check out Hamilton

Starting from James South at the Hamilton GO Centre, my first stop would be at Pinecone Coffee (a short jaunt east to John South) for a morning coffee and a little treat to eat. Sit for a bit and get your bearings on the city. Contrary to what you might geographically be inclined to feel, toward the mountain/escarpment is South, and the lake is North.

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After your first taste of Hamilton’s growing coffee/cafe scene head north down John Street. Make note, if you’re still in the city for the evening, you might make your way back up this way for buck a shuck oysters, cocktails, and charcuterie (of the meat/cheese or chocolate variety) at Two Black Sheep, tacos and tequila (over 30 kinds listed on their menu) at Mezcal, or pints and pub fare on Augusta Street at local watering holes: The Ship (one of my favourite places for burgers in the city) or The Winking Judge; both of which have extensive lists of craft beer on tap.

Keep your eyes up around John and King to admire some of the architecture and the restoration of a Hamilton classic: The Royal Connaught Hotel.

If the time is right (past noon and not on a Sunday or Monday, when most shops downtown are closed) then head right from John onto King St. East to pop into any or all of these boutiques: Girl On The Wing, MODify Your Closet, Studio 205, The GiftedTundra Leather, and JH Gordon Books.

By now you may be in need for a little rest and refuelling for which your next stop should be Cafe Oranje.

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If you’ve got a hankering for German eats then make a stop at either Denninger’s Foods of the World or The Black Forest Inn (both have been in their locations for over 50 years). It should be noted that at the Black Forest Inn (a total Hamilton institution) your goulash and schnitzel will be delivered to you by servers dressed in traditional German dirndl and lederhosen. But of course, if you’re not into that, then there’s always Staxx’s Waffle House for burgers, fried chicken and waffles or Sparkle (a total hidden gem) for Northern Chinese: cumin lamb skewers and dumplings.

Before leaving King East or what some call the International Village, check off your list Out of the Past and Vintage Soul Geek‘s shops (if vintage is what you’re after).

Go west on King and hang a right going North on John; passing by my favourite building in the city -Treble Hall.

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Just before you hit King William check out the latest art exhibit at Nathaniel Hughson Gallery.

Working your way west down King William you’ll find the recently opened HAM BRGR boasting some crazy mouth watering burgers, over the top caesars garnished with a mini-slider, and a good selection of craft beer. There’s also the Mule for gourmet tacos, tequila, bourbon, and weekend brunch, Made for you by Madeleine bakery (they mill their flour on-site), and Homegrown Hamilton Cafe and coffee roasters amidst many other notable restaurants and establishments.

As you approach James North you’ll see another beauty of a building -The Lister Block, which was restored and brought back to life just a few years back. It already seems strange to imagine that when I first moved to Hamilton and laid eyes on Lady Lister, she was all boarded up. There is undoubtedly an architectural renaissance that is starting to take hold in the downtown core.

Tourism Hamilton is on the main floor of the Lister, which is a good stop if looking for additional information on Hamilton. In case you didn’t know, Hamilton is known for its nature: waterfalls (over 100 of them), beautiful escarpment trails, waterfront, and Canada’s largest botanical garden.

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Continuing up James Street North there is no shortage of cool shops, cafes and restaurants.

The Design Annex: Satellite branch of the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Half design furniture store gift shop half gallery event space.

Hawk and Sparrow: A vintage store favourite of mine. One of the first vintage stores to open on James nearly five years ago.

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Pretty Gritt: Mix of vintage and new design housewares and gift shop.

Hand Knit Yarn: For all your knitting needs.

White Elephant: Boutique of beautiful and quality designed women’s clothing, jewelery and accessories.

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O’s Clothes: Men and women’s clothing and lifestyle store. Everything from the iconic #HAMont t-shirts to lux Pendleton shawls, Fjalraven bags and jackets, and Chemex coffee paraphernalia.

Chaise Musicale: Great collection of mid century modern furnishings, and the best selection of books, vinyl and art cult movies for rental or purchase.

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Mixed Media: For every and any Hamilton visit Mixed Media should be a mandatory stop. They’re an art supply, stationary, gift shop and they just celebrated their 10th year of business.

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Tucked just east of James on Cannon you can pick up a coffee to go at Smalls. It has become my fail safe spot for a guaranteed ah-mazing coffee. Next to Smalls is The Burnt Tongue, soup joint, which is another one of my favourite places for burgers (plain and simple no fuss classic burger). Or if in the mood for something else, across the way is Pho Dao Bo, which delivers on good broth, bun, and my indulgent summer-time favourite a coconut milkshake.

Two art galleries at this corner worth mentioning are:

Hundred Dollar Gallery: Curated selection of works all priced at $100!

Hamilton Artist Inc: Home to some of my favourite art exhibits in recent years.

New to James North is Hamilton’s latest cafe; Saint James. It has a menu that changes up daily with Italian sandwiches, pasta, and cereal bars that rotate through childhood classic cereal flavours like Cap’n Crunch, Lucky Charms, and Fruit Loops. I recommend The Drive-Thru: a piping hot breakfast sandwich (English muffin with egg, sausage, hash-brown, and a spicy mayo). I could eat one every day!

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Next to Saint James for great fabrics and creative classes is the lovely Needlework.

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If you’ve got friends to meet up with or are in need of a place to relax, then hit up Mulberry Coffee shop. In addition to usual cafe spreads, they’ve also have a good selection of vegan and vegetarian menu options. On sunny days you can sit out on their corner patio soaking up the afternoon sun and the goings on of James Street.

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Moving on just a couple doors north is a Hamilton bar I love -The Brain. It has an extensive craft beer selection, great cheeses, hot and cold sandwiches, coffee, pies, and fancy cocktails. It’s a perfect hang-out.

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For further bites to eat at this end of James:

Venturas: Portuguese steak and seafood house. Massive seafood platters like the Mariscada: jumbo shrimp, mussels, jumbo clams, white snow crab legs sauted in a garlic and white wine sauce

Ola Bakery: Super delicious classic portuguese sweets and treats.

Knead Pizza: Gourmet pizzas like The Smoked Brisket, or Mango Tango: crispy pork belly, pickled jalapenos and mango. Eat in, take out, full pies or by the slice. Veggie options also available.

Saltlick Smokehouse: Southern cuisine with a menu organized by meat: hog, bovine, poultry, with sides like mac’n cheese, slaw, beans and croquettes. They’ve recently added weekend brunch: smokehouse style eggs benny.

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Lakeroad: Fancy, delicious and gorgeous presentation. They run the gambit of dishes from pizza, pasta, to Moroccan hen, flank steak, ribs and pork belly.

Green Smoothie Bar: A dose of healthy that looks and tastes delicious. Green smoothies, vegan lunch bowls, meal-worthy salads, wraps and desserts.

Jack and Lois: An all day and night kind of place. Breakfast, sandwiches, soups, and burgers and I might add a surprisingly large and amazing back patio for hangover caesars and summer time evening beers. My fav The Peter Rowe Breaded Parm Sandwich: Portobello Cap, Eggplant Cutlet, Roasted Red Pepper Caramalized Onions, Asiago with House Marinara on a Baguette.

Butcher and the Vegan: Their mission – serve delicious, local, sustainable and ethical food for every palate and persuasion. Their menu changes according to season but ranges from beet ravioli to duck pizza. They’ve also got you covered for weekend brunch.

Golden Brown: Located just east of James on Barton is the cutest little Korean sweet and spicy fried chicken take-out and delivery restaurant. Cash only.

Work: Rivals The Brain as my favourite bar hang out. In addition to great hangs, beers, and laid back vibes they also have a really fabulous and unique menu. My favs: banh mi fries and kimchi nachos. They’ve also got their foot in the ramen door too. Did I mention they also have a comedy night?

More shops and Galleries:

Record Stores: The three in the area are Cheapies, Dr. Disc and Hammer City Records (specializing in Punk, Hard Core, and Metal).

The Hamilton Store: For all your Hamilton heart-throb gift and good needs.

NewOlds: Men, women and kids vintage clothing and accessories.

b Contemporary: A must-see gallery for me on art crawls.

HAVN (Hamilton Audio Visual Node): A place to listen, view, and experience. Always an interesting place for live music and visual art.

You Me Gallery: The oldest art gallery on the block. Owner and artist Bryce Kanbara is a long time veteran of Hamilton’s art scene (like since the 70′s).

Workers Arts and Heritage Centre: Hamilton’s old Custom House (one of the oldest remaining ‘federal’ public buildings in Canada) is a museum with curated art exhibitions and programming about the culture and history of the working people.

At this end of James Street North the new West Harbour Go Station is a short two minute walk (west of James). But if you’re still looking for a few more notable destinations not necessarily on James Street (but worth checking out) read on!

Going out at Night:

The Baltimore House: Coffee house and pub by day, live venue for bands or club DJ and dancing by night. They also have Karaoke, trivia, open mic nights.

Homegrown Hamilton: Cafe by day, open mic and live music venue at night.

This Ain’t Hollywood: Some might call it a dive. It’s definitely no frills and it’s my favourite band venue in the city.

The Casbah: Bands play here and they’ve got lots of craft beer.

Yuk Yuks: Comedy club. Cause everybody needs a good laugh.

Serve Ping Pong: In addition to crap loads of ping pong they also have a supremely amazing menu and weekend brunch.

Gameopolis: Walls of games for unlimited board game fun. They’ve got you covered for snacks, beer, wine and coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and floats!

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Worth Mentioning:

Hamilton Farmer’s Market: Meats, cheeses, local farm produce. Plus, the market has recently upped its game with the opening of Eat Industries Inc‘s tacos, Pokeh Bar (sashimi grade tuna salmon bowls), Henry Brown’s (small batch ice-cream) and Eat Industrie’s latest venture a ramen shop. Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Art Gallery of Hamilton: A visit to Hamilton should not forgo a trip to the AGH. This gallery and art institution is probably one of the things I’m most proud of in our city.

Collective Art’s Brewery: Hamilton’s first large-scale craft brewery has recently made its debut in the city. Expect larger scale events and concerts to be held here in the future.

Art Crawl: During the second Friday of every month galleries, shops, vendors, food trucks and musicians pop up or stay open late along James North from 7-11pm. A great way to get a snapshot view of the city. It can bring a fabulous energy to the core, but can get very busy in good weather.

Supercrawl: An annual festival that promotes the art and indie music scene. Several street blocks close (to cars) for three days as numerous stages, food trucks, stalls/vendors and attractions line the streets. Named Ontario’s Tourism Event of the Year.

So Bi: Hamilton’s bike share. Great way for getting around the city.

For Further Hamilton Reading:

I Heart Hamilton: Kristin Archer, Hamilton’s sweetheart, has been living her motto of “being a tourist in her own city” for the past four years; blogging about restaurants, shops, music and events. If it’s about Hamilton, she’s blogged about it.

The Hungry Gnome: For all your food related Hamilton blogging. @TheRealChanry gets the scoop on all things new, old and good to eat in the city.

Cut From Steel: BIljana Njegovan’s music blog that covers concerts, reviews bands, promotes and showcases the amazing musical talent that comes out of Hamilton.

Rebuild Hamilton: Thomas Allan is a walking historical architectural encyclopedia about all things related to buildings in Hamilton. Super passionate about the city and everything that comes with it.

 

 

meeting on rooftops

One of my favourite places in Hamilton is Jackson Square’s rooftop. So I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise (cause great minds think a like -right?) that it’d also be the chosen meeting place of Hamilton cheerleader and architectural lover Thomas Allen of Rebuild Hamilton. We met up on top of Jackson Square for an unusual evening gathering of likeminded folks.

We spent most of the night on various downtown rooftops talking about non other than our true love… Hamilton.

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The best thing about it was grabbing a few of these shots (above) but also connecting with the likes of Forris Borris aka Sex Drugs and Hamont aka Taylor Heres (beautifully talented photographic aesthetic) and Matt Carson (creator of Exhale Music and Eternal Summer music series).

These gents are doing some pretty cool things in this city. Check their links and follow them on insta. You won’t be disappointed.

reveling in fall

The last few falls have entirely escaped me. Last year I made a promise to myself that this year I’d revel in all its glorious splendour, which I definitely did.

At the start of fall there was no telling just how long it was going to be; a quick two-monther or a drawn out three maybe if we’re lucky four months? So every day that wasn’t cold (which there were a lot of) we spent it outside.

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There were days where we were out from morning until late afternoon; double park dates, collecting sticks and jumping in leaf piles in parks and trails all over the city. One particularly warm November afternoon we even ordered a pizza to the park!

I’ve felt so fortunate to be off on maternity leave; able to spend so many gorgeous days outside with friends and the kids romping around the city, parks, trails and hitting up various coffee shops.

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I’m already nostalgic in the memory that this was the last fall where both my kids were at home with me free-wheeling through the changing of the seasons.

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This fall was just gorgeous, it was long and filled with sunny days and pink fall sunsets. Here’s to  hoping that next September, when I’m headed back to work, that I’ll still be able to find the time to stop and enjoy the season.

hamilton flea

One of my favourite Hamiltonians, Whitney McMeekin aka Girl On The Wing, plus her sister and organizer of all things super fun in Hamilton (namely founder of The Academy of All Things Awesome & Sous Bas), Erika McMeekin put on their first Hamilton Flea back in July.

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It was housed in Treble Hall (a building I’m constantly gushing over) with a slew of amazing vendors from gourmet donuts from Donut Monster, vintage finds via Roly Poly Records, The Eye of Faith, and other vendors like Rare Specimens jewellery, White Elephant, Stay Home Club and the Jelly Brothers.

It was summer-time hot, the venue packed, and an all ’round success and super fun afternoon shopping around, seeing friends, and hanging out inside a very unique and underused Hamilton space.

It felt like we all got in on a little Hamilton secret for an afternoon.

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Well… this weekend Whitney and Erika are putting on the second edition of Hamilton Flea in yet another gem of a secret Hamilton building.

This Saturday, November 14 from 11-6 at 45 Wellington Street North and King William, come check out over 30 vendors like the ladies from Hoot Furnishings, Girl Can Create, Vintage Soul Geek, Newold’s, and… Donut Monster will be back serving up delish donuts, plus my fav coffee to-go -Smalls will be there while you chomp down on some Phat N’ Phull eats and shop around bopping to the tunes Dj’d by Young Lions Music Club.

For a sneak peak into this Flea’s building check out Whitney’s post on Girl On The Wing here.

*Hamilton Flea (No. 2), 45 Wellington Street North, Saturday November 14, 11am-6pm, Facebook, Twitter, Insta

the gifted

The Gifted is King Street East’s latest addition to its ever growing hip retail scene.

It is essentially a super cute novelty gift shop; not in the It Store kind of novelty of way, but in an art and design Magic Pony (except way more affordable and accessible) kind of way.

I took my first visit to The Gifted prompted by the fact that they carry a KEYTAG by Various Projects that literally had my name written all over it. Well… not exactly my name (as I have only ever known a lifetime’s worth of disappointment for never having been able to find pencils, paper, toothbrushes, and bath towels with my name monogrammed on them) but having This Must Be The Place etched onto an ironic KEYTAG was plenty good enough for me.

The Gifted KeyTags by Various Projects

The Gifted carries cool art and design prints, books, magazines, artwork, toys, plush animals, socks, Hamilton neighbourhood totes and lots and lots of unique gift items pretty much perfect for the upcoming shop local Christmas and holiday gift buying season.The Gifted Hamilton totes The Gifted Tofu toys

You can even by these cute little alpacas in GIANT 18″ tall format -so freaking adorable! The Gifted Hamilton Alpacas

They had a great selection of cute and punny cards. Especially love the Cher one.

The Gifted cards

In addition to the X-File card featured above you can also get more X-file heartthrob paraphernalia such as this print from And Smile Studio.

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The Gifted Hamilton Novelty store

So if you’ve got somewhere to go with someone that requires a little unique je ne sais quoi, make sure you stop by The Gifted to say “hey” and to pick up a little something special for a friend or to just treat yo’self.

*The Gifted, 249 King Street East, 289.389.8147, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

hoot furnishings

I feel pretty proud of one of my oldest friends, who (with a great eye for super vintage gems) has taken on a joint venture with her business partner to create their home decor and vintage furniture company called Hoot Furnishings.

You may have seen them front and centre of Hamilton’s most recent Flea that was out front of City Hall a few months back.

They sell everything from vintage pictures, frames, chairs, tables, dressers and mirrors to vintage kids toys, rockers and garden furniture.

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Hoot Furnishings red rose hoot furnishings chairs

Over the years we have acquired quite a collection of Hoot’s refinished furniture.

Most recently we picked up this super cute kid’s table and chairs. They fit perfect in this cosy little space in our son’s room.

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Before my son was born and when Hoot was just starting out, my friend refinished my childhood high chair as a baby gift for us. It was in rough shape and in definite need of some TLC.

I was super happy with the results and loved how part of the table-top and seat were left natural. A bee’s wax finish was used on the raw part of the wood, so I didn’t have to worry about toxic paint. It felt great being able to just put food directly onto the raw wood surface.

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I got this super sweet children’s rocker for a friend as a baby gift. I loved the spindles on this piece!

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Hoot does not focus on just kid’s vintage furniture. I just happen to buy a lot of the kid’s stuff -I can’t help it!

If you have been on the hunt for a unique piece of furniture, then you are in luck because this Friday and Saturday they are having a huge STUDIO SALE!! The sale is in partnership with Gardiner Girls and Sandi Fodor, who will also be there selling a fabulous curated collection of their vintage clothing and handbags.

If you take a look at Hoot Furnishings’ Instagram feed you can get a sneak peek of a few of the pieces they’ll be featuring at their Studio Sale. Stop by Friday for their sneak peek preview sale: great deals, door prizes and a little nosh. Or pop by Saturday for their Sale from 9am until 1pm. See you there!

*Hoot Furnishings, Preview Sale: Friday 6-10pm & Studio Sale: Saturday 9am-1pm, 83 Stanley Ave. Backgarden Studio

ancaster market

This summer I took my first visit out to the Ancaster Farmer’s Market.

The market is tucked nicely into a beautiful tree-lined grassy green space just behind the old Saint John’s Anglican church.

Not so much a traditional market as it is a destination to go to for an evening outing, a delicious meal out and a place to pick up some local and seasonal produce, plus some snacks, breads and treats for perhaps later in the week. You’ll see wine vendors, Cake and Loaf and Earth to Table baked breads, Fenwood Farms (for fresh local meat), cheese, maple syrup and a complementary and comprehensive list of other vendors here.

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It was super kid and family friendly, and definitely a place worthy of another visit again in the fall for pumpkin pies, and the like plus perhaps my last indulgence of the remnants of summer with a little scoop of Foundry Ice-cream. Foundry Ice-cream

The market is open weekly on Wednesdays from 3-7pm at 37 Halson Street (with ample parking in back of the church).

*Ancaster Farmer’s Market, open seasonally Wednesdays 3-7pm, Twitter, Facebook

 

steam & technology

In the back of my mind I have this running list of places to check out in Hamilton and the surrounding area. There’s usually a reserve of ideas and places banked so that we don’t go and blow all our fun Hamilton adventures in one go.  That way there’ll always be some new #HamOnt gem to discover.

The Steam and Technology Museum was one of those destinations.

The drive down to the museum was pretty cool. We weaved our way through the industrial heart of Hamilton.

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Neo: old factory I spotted on the way to the museum. I couldn’t resist that baby blue lettering. We pulled over so I could snap a picture.

 

I definitely would like to go back and take some more photos of these old buildings, and especially this weirdly out of place island of 60′s residential neighbourhoods smack right in the middle of this industrial tip. Since all the buildings and factories had a total mid-century feel it kinda made sense that the subdivisions were built to be the homes for the factory workers -perhaps?

The Steam and Technology Museum itself was pretty cool. They had a live miniature steam train that you could take a ride on for a little spin (only during their scheduled steamer days in the summer), plus a slew of other scheduled events, activities and things to explore.

The architecture alone was worth checking out.

IMG_7952 IMG_7954 IMG_7964 IMG_7965The Hamilton Globe that collects methane gas from the City’s water treatment facility. A definite iconic Hamilton symbol from my youth while passing the industrial part of the city on the QEW Niagara. There was much talk last winter of the potentially for its dismantling or refurbishment (with a new paint job)?

 

To read more about what to see and do at the Steam and Technology Museum, check out my post here on Tourism Hamilton‘s #MyHamilton page where I write a regular feature of family friendly outings in the city.

dundurn market

I’m giving a little nod to the latest addition to the food scene on Dundurn.

Across the street from Cake and Loaf, and just around the corner from its sister operation Aberdeen Tavern, you’ll find the fresh faced Dundurn Market.

Although not really your typical neighbourhood market, it is a high-end gourmet sandwich coffee shop with pre-made pies, dinners, cookies, sauces, flowers, and a small selection of seasonal produce.

It’s the kind of place that I might imagine someone rushing home from a busy 9-5 work day to pick something up on their way home or to a friend’s: dinner, dessert or a missing vegetable and sauce needed to complete a meal, along with a bouquet of fresh flowers -yes please! A one-stop crowd pleasing gourmet dinner stop.

I popped by the market the other day for a late morning baby date.

My friend and I devoured a super delicious breakfast biscuit with egg, dill, swiss cheese (hot and melty) and ham, in between rocking our babies and dusting renegade savoury biscuit crumbs from their heads. There wasn’t a chance for a photo opp; being a hungry mom and all, it was gone in seconds flat -a true sign of tastiness! It definitely got my stamp of good food approval and left me wanting to come back another day for more.

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In addition to the prepared dine-in or take-out food, you can also pick up anything from bread, jams, spreads, Balzac’s Coffee beans, to a cactus in a tea cup, or a carton of eggs. Combine this place with being able to sell bottles of wine and a case of craft beer you’d pretty much have a shop that’d truly cover all the bases for hosting a hungry guest (the LCBO and Beer Store are after all just down the road).

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As we were about to leave the sandwich station was being prepped for their 11am lunch start (dinners served after 4pm), and I couldn’t resist getting two sandwiches to go for Steve and I later that afternoon. I opted for the Muffaletta and Reuben both of which came with a choice out of 4 different sides or salads.Dundurn Market Menu Dundurn Market Muffaletta

Muffaletta with side of carrot raisin slaw.

Dundurn Market ReubenReuben sandwich stacked high with smoked meat and a side of creamy macaroni salad.

Right now the idea of dinning out a restaurant with a 3 year old and 2 month old is looking like something that’s probably not going to happen in our near future, so we’ll have to settle for tasty eat-ins at home a la Dundurn Market. Excited to try out their Take Away Dinner options!

*Dundurn Market, 346 Dundurn St. South, 7am-8pm daily, 289.983.5715, @DundurnMarket, Facebook

 

 

hamilton fringe

Six summers ago when we first moved to Hamilton I attended my first Hamilton Fringe Festival. The show we saw was performed in what was then the vast and vacant second floor of Jackson Square (which McMaster University has now taken over). In the middle of that warehouse sized emptiness black curtains were draped and a stage was set up with seating for a modest audience. The festival was smaller then.

That was six years ago (half of the Fringe Festival’s 12 year life) and since then, my has it grown!

Admittedly I have not attended many shows in recent years. What with babies and kids it can be hard to steal away for a series of evenings and afternoons to check out the roster of amazing theatre that the Fringe has to offer.

Last summer I did make it out for one show: Love With Leila, which I adored (see that post here). And this summer there is a line-up of shows I would definitely check-out if I wasn’t knee deep into trying to balance life (and survival) with what is now two kids.

She Said Saffron is a one-woman play by Lisa Pijuan-Nomura. There is a never a dull moment with Lisa. She has her finger on the pulse of all things creative in Hamilton and is always doing something: dance, art, theatre, story telling, and making me laugh. Last spring I saw her debut Hamilton performance in her show Small, Sweet and Quiet. It detailed intimate, honest, and sweet moments in her life and her move from Toronto to Hamilton; all accompanied by interludes of mini historic Hamilton narratives depicted through a beautifully artistic shadow puppet show.

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This time around She Said Saffron touches on all my favourite Fs:  Food, Family and First loves. A story told through dance, words and Lisa’s life experience. You’ll be sure to leave with hearts full, a smile on your face, and a satiating desire to eat paella.

*She Said Saffron at The Players Guild, Th. 8:30, F. 7, Sat 3:30+8:30, $10, @GirlCanCreate

My life is such that it is not every day that I meet a playwright, so when I met Hamilton playwright Radha S. Menon I was in awe. Radha; a woman of smarts, spunk, and imagination has written such plays as: The Washing Machine, Ganga’s Ganjawas, Rise of the Prickly Pear, and Rukmini’s Gold. She was the finalist for the Woodward/Newman International Playwriting Prize and not to mention she founded the Hamilton production company Red Betty Theatre.

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Rukimini’s Gold is Radha’s exploration of her family’s journey from India and around the world:

It was midnight when I stood alone waiting for a night train at a deserted station in North Cornwall.

There was no sign of life anywhere, it was eerie and desolate and I worried that my train may never come. That’s when I had a vision of Rukmini, an elderly lady waiting alone in her white sari, clutching nothing but her precious baggage. And I wondered what it would be like to meet oneself in a place like this? Would I recognise myself after fifty or more years?

Rukmini’s Gold won the  2015 Toronto Fringe New Play Contest and is a must see for this year’s Hamilton Fringe!

*Rukmini’s Gold, Mills Hardware, M 7:30, W 6, Sat 2, Sun 6, $10, @RedBettyTheatre

Bottom line is if I were to steal away from the duties of newborn parental duties I would most certainly take an hour or two to attend both of these shows. So proud and happy to have these two amazing women here in Hamilton -congrats on both of your shows!

*Hamilton Fringe Festival, #HamFringe, @HamOntFringe, Facebook

 

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