Archives: king st.

hamilton gems

The Academy of All Things Awesome and This Must Be The Place are very proud to finally present to you Hamilton Gems map illustrated by Jacqui Oakley!

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The map features a selection of Hamilton Gems focused in the downtown area with a few destinations outside the core for you to explore. Take note of a little nod to Hamilton legend Jed the Dancing Guy; usually spotted dancing in the streets of downtown Hamilton (in the map he’s dancing just to the left of the letter “H”).

Aren’t they gorgeous! You know you want one hanging on your wall.

This Saturday, November 26th we will be selling them at Stuffed Hamilton from 11am-6pm at Collective Arts Brewery. Parking is free and admission is $5 (free for kids under 12). There’ll be 70+ local vendors, coffee by Vintage Coffee Roasters, and awesome tunes by DJ Donna Love Joy to keep you grooving while you shop.

Then on Sunday, November 27th we will be selling them at Handmade Hamilton from 11am-5pm at the Staircase Theatre. Admission is only $2, which will get you access to 32+ amazing vendors like ceramic artist Krystal Speck, Hitokoo (clothing line), and more Hamilton maps by the Jelly Brothers.

For the Stuffed and Handmade Hamilton show we’re selling the maps at a special reduced price listed below. Maps are available in two sizes and formats.

20×28″ screen prints $75 black & white, $85 colour (printed by hand at Centre 3 for Print and Media Arts)

12×16″ archival giclée prints $45 colour or black & white (printed by Smokestack Studios)

If you can’t make it out to the Stuffed show or Handmade Hamilton, then you can still pick up maps from the lovely folks at Mixed Media (James North), White Elephant (Westdale), Girl on the Wing (King East), Canoe (Locke) and on-line via The Academy of All Things Awesome.

Don’t wait long to buy one, especially if it’s for a gift for Christmas. We’re doing a limited edition print for the holidays and they are already selling fast!

 *Stuffed, Saturday November 26, 11-6, 207 Burlington Street East

*Handmade Hamilton, Sunday November 27, 11-5, 27 Dundurn Street North, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

 

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.

 

 

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.

The Gifted XFiles

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

a fine medley’s pop up flower shop

With summer nearly here the gardens are all a bloom and I’m dreaming of a day when my garden might swell with fragrant blossoms as unique and beautiful as the collection of flora that Jessica Hunter’s A Fine Medley‘s flower shop carries.

Back in February, when we were all dying for any sign of spring (a tulip, a crocus, some greenery -anything!) Girl On the Wing hosted A Fine Medley’s Pop-up Flower Shop.

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Throughout the day I kept seeing these amazing A Fine Medley floral arrangements on my Instragram feed (you can see some of the bouquets arranged that day on Jessica’s beautifully curated blog -right here!).

Just short of the last 10 minutes left of the shop being open, I managed to eject myself out of the cozy warm comforts of my house to get one of the last bouquets of the day, finally ending the torment of my late winter flower Instagram envy.

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I loved the colour and composition of her arrangement. It was dark with soft romantic pops of colour, and most importantly different from the usual bouquets you might get in a more traditional flower shop.

What also makes A Fine Medley unique to other florists is that Jessica uses environmental and ethical practices. When possible she forages and grows her own plants and flowers, and uses locally sourced greenery, herbs and blossoms of the best of what is in season at the time.

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Although A Fine Medley does not have a brick and mortar shop yet, you can get custom arrangements for your home, small and large events, and photo and film shoots.

If you have the chance check out at A Fine Medley’s blog -it’s all kinds of beautiful!

*A Fine Medley, Hamilton, ON,  hello@finemedley.comInstagram, Twitter, Facebook,

jay mccarrol & brave shores

A few years ago I stumbled across a Southern Souls video of Jay McCarrol’s that I kinda fell in love with.

The melody of the piano, the voice and lyrics of Jay and the simplicity of the backing band (featuring members from ZeusGolden Dogs and his sister Stefanie) all made for a recipe of unabashed repeat song listening, which in all honesty does not happen much these days. The video itself is so warm and beautiful it left me feeling all sorts of glowy on the inside.

JAY McCARROL – Jimmy Song / Mistaken from Southern Souls on Vimeo.

I searched for some info about Jay to see if he was working on an album and if/when/where I could get it. But besides spotting him and Taylor Knox (who currently has his debut solo album out) backing Hayden, when he came to town at The Casbah two years ago, my search pretty much came up empty handed.

Taylor Knox & Jay McCarrol backing Hayden

Taylor Knox and Jay McCarrol backing Hayden, Casbah Nov. 2013.

Until… I recently discovered Brave Shores which is duo made up of Jay McCarrol and his sister Stefanie.

Their debut album is called Never Come Down AND they’re playing tomorrow night at Mills Hardware. Although (from the few of the songs that I’ve heard from the album) this new indie rock electro-pop outfit is nothing like my first intro into Jay’s music and piano playing but all the same it’s still really awesome.

The show at Mills is on May 6th 7-11pm $12 in advance/$15 at the door.

* Mills Hardware, 95 King Street East, @MillsHardware

studio 205

A the start of early spring another new place on King Street East opened up. It’s on the corner of King and Walnut Street right next to its sister store MODify Your Closet.

Around four years ago I remember enthusiastically rushing into MODify Your Closet the day it opened and speaking to owner Melanie McArthur about how happy I was about a vintage and consignment store like hers opening up on what was then a pretty vacant looking King Street.

Since then stores like Girl On the Wing, Vintage Soul Geek, and now Melanie and her business/life partner in crime Vito’s latest project… Studio 205. They’ve all taken up shop on this strip, each helping to transform the vintage and Canadian made retail landscape of King east.

In addition to being a boutique that focuses on local and Canadian made goods, Studio 205 is also a take-out espresso bar serving up barista coffees, specialty teas and my fav Hamilton’s original Grandad’s Donuts. They also carry delicate treats from local Hamilton organic bakery Made For You By Madeleine to accompany a coffee or tea to go.

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Studio 205 coffee bar

Owner Melanie serving up some lattes under handblown light fixtures by Courtney Lush Glass.

Studio 205 is eclectic in the sense that is sells locally made items from hand painted shoes, to vintage typewriter key cuff-links to hats, necklaces, jewellery, feather hair fascinators, leather bags and knit goods to hand blown glass, pottery, art and fancy hats. Basically a one stop shop gift shop or place where you can find limitless ways to treat yourself to something beautiful, unique and handcrafted.

Tilted Shoes hand painted heels

Tilted Shoes -one of a kind hand painted heels

made in canada felt hats

Traditionally crafted hats and fascinators by Clavaux Designs, Toronto

Mum's Garden tea cup succulents

Succulents in tea cups by Mum’s Garden Floral Studio

Michelle Tilley jewellery

Gorgeous leather and metal work jewellery by Michelle Tilley

Tremblay et al

Vintage bottle corkers and pins by Tremblay et al

curious oddities jewellery

Necklaces by Curious Oddities, and yes that little baby harmonica actually works!

Courtney Lush Glass

Beautiful glass ware by Courtney Lush Glass

Made for you by Madeleine cookies

Baked goods from local Hamilton organic bakery Made for you by Madeleine

grandads maple bacon donut

Daily offerings of Grandad’s maple bacon donuts, usually along side ghostbuster (Boston cream meets eclaire), vanilla dip strawberry swirl, or on Friday’s their special fritters -mmmmmm.

Besides selling some gorgeous goods made by Canadian artisans, Studio 205 also offers workshops like upcoming flower arranging workshop April 25th from 1-2:30pm by Mum’s Garden Floral. There are sure to be many more crafty DIY workshops that will be popping up in the future.

If you’re in the neighbourhood you should definitely stop by and check it out all that is happening in this gem of a store.

Oh and by the way… May 10 is the first of the spring/summer series of Village Station Bazaars (a hip artisan flea market, which owner Melanie helped to spearhead -she just doesn’t stop)! It’s also worth a gander and is just down the street from Studio 205! See my post from last year about it here.

*Studio 205, 205 King St. East, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, 905.522.2205

 

100 years of AGH

A few weeks ago we celebrated the Art Gallery of Hamilton‘s one hundred years of existence at a free BBQ picnic in their sculpture garden.

The BBQ was followed by a slew of kid and family friendly activities.

AGH tshirt printing

AGH printing stamps

The kids were loving this; printing old car and machine parts onto T-shirts!

AGH inking up

AGH tshirt print

Although Omi was a little young for the art activities and the guided tour of the gallery that didn’t stop us from doing our own self directed toddler-mini-tour.

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Phantom Hunter William Blair Bruce

William Blair Bruce -The Phantom Hunter 1888

While on our wanderings, I was glad to have gotten a peek at the William Blair Bruce exhibit. Bruce was a born and raised Hamiltonian, who established himself primarily as Canadian impressionist painter, recognized and celebrated throughout Paris, North America and Europe.

I later learned that following Bruce’s death his collection was donated to the city of Hamilton, which at the time did not have a municipal gallery. The collection would in turn play a critical role in the foundation and establishment of the Art Gallery of Hamilton. It’s possible that without Bruce’s collection the AGH may have never materialized. My guess is it’s no coincidence that the Bruce exhibit coincided with the celebration of the AGH’s centennial.

The Bruce exhibit runs at the AGH until October 5th. It’s the largest Bruce exhibit to be shown with 100 works; some of which have never been publicly exhibited. Definitely a must-see! (FYI first Friday of each month admission is free!!)

I’m so thankful that Hamilton has the AGH. Happy one hundred years!

*Art Gallery of Hamilton, 123 King Street West, 905.527.6610, @theAGH

 

staxx

Admittedly I am no expert when it comes to fried chicken and waffles. However, I have tried the fried chicken and triple decker buttermilk waffle sandwich from the Dirty South food truck -oh my goodness! And I’ve now officially gone to Staxx Chicken & Waffle House twice to sample how they do their waffles and chicken.

When we moved to Hamilton, I remember having gone to a Korean restaurant that was where Staxx is now. The food was meh and it was dark and forgettable. Well, the interior of Staxx isn’t much to write home about but it’s clean, near my house and the first of its kind (as far as I knew) in Hamilton.

The first time I went to Staxx was just a few weeks after they’d opened. The tables were full, which is always a good sign, and the fried chicken that was coming out of the kitchen was looking crispy and mouth watering.

I went with a friend, and we knew that although they also serve burgers, pulled pork sandwiches and other edibles, we came for the chicken and waffles. So that is what we ordered.

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve always grown up thinking that waffles should be crispy on the outside yet still fluffy on the inside. This may strangely be based on my experience with the classic Eggo Waffle but I know that I’ve also had Belgian waffles that have been crisp too. So when the order came up and we noticed that the waffles were kinda floppy and still gooey on the inside, we sent back and a new order was promptly brought out (with unfortunately not much improvement). The fried chicken was great but we were a little disappointed with our realization that perhaps waffles aren’t always crispy?

I wasn’t willing to give up on the place on just the one visit, so with some other friends I decided to give it another try. With an order of chocolate milk all around to start we prepped ourselves for the fried chicken and waffles; this go was supreme! Waffles -crispy(er), and fried chicken delicious. I also learned (from observation of a pro) the perfect eating combo of a piece of fried chicken carefully accompanied by waffle, dipped in maple syrup and with a touch of hot sauce for a most deliciously perfect ratio of savoury, sweet and spicy. Our only complaint this time around was that the meals were served on round baking tins with high curved edges that make for difficult cutting and eating of perfect previously said combo of savoury, sweet and spicy morsels of chicken and waffle. We did make plans to come back again to try some of the other things on their menu like their hamburger with fried egg or deep fried onions, or their philly cheese steak and waffles.

Staxx chicken and waffles

chicken and waffles staxx

Before I can legitimately say that Staxx has the best (bricks and mortar) fried chicken in Hamilton, I’ve got to try Tavern on George’s take on it, which I recently read about on Chanry Thach‘s food blog The Hungry Gnome. A hidden gem that I’m dying to try! Check out Chanry‘s post about it here.

*Staxx Burger Chicken Waffle House, 236 King St. E, 289.396.4162, @staxxhamilton

 

village station bazaar

Although this weekend was packed with a ton of amazing things to do in Hamilton (Doors Open, Craftstock, AGH Design Annex Spring Sale, and Jane’s Walks) I came down with a mini-cold that kept me out of commission until Sunday. Luckily I was feeling recouped enough that I made it out to enjoy some spring sun, wind, and an early Sunday afternoon visit to the first ever Village Station Bazaar!

I’ve been longing for something downtown on a Sunday afternoon similar to Kingston’s Sunday antique and farmer’s market or something akin to the ever successful Junction Flea in Toronto. Needless to say, I’m so over the moon that something like this has been born here in Hamilton! I can’t wait to watch this event grow over its lifetime this summer.

Village station bazaar

Cafe Oranje Village Station Bazaar

Much needed latte from Café Oranje to wake and warm me up as I browsed the vendors.

LITA Village Station Bazaar

Vintage clothing and wares from Love in the Afternoon.

Jelly Bros. Maps

Hamilton neighbourhood maps by the Jelly Brothers.

Alfie Smith

Alfie Smith, Hamilton blues man.

Z&ko Village Station Bazaar

Super cute quilted South African hot-pink printed skirt locally designed by Z&K.O.

meatventures

Tasty meat treats from Meat Ventures. Sad I missed out on the opportunity for pulled duck sliders.

ifiori village station bazaar

Gorgeous spring flowers (fresh cut & potted) from James North’s i-fiori.

ifiori tulips

This was the first of the Village Station Bazaar but there will be more! The first Sunday of every month from now until August 3rd. I can’t wait to see the addition of food trucks, bakeries, and perhaps even a local farmer selling some seasonal produce.

Oh yes, Hamilton sometimes my dreams really do come true! Thank you Melanie from MODify Your Closet and Chris from Cafe Oranje for organizing!

If you’re interested in vending at the next bazaar, you can contact the organizers here.

*Village Station Bazaar, King St. E & Ferguson, June 1, July 6, August 3 11am-5pm, @VillStnBazaar.

café oranje

I have a new favourite neighbourhood coffee shop because… Café Oranje is now open for business!

Café Oranje is a Dutch inspired contemporary style coffee house that serves baked goods from Hamilton’s Cake and Loaf, as well as locally roasted coffees. They also have some beautiful and delicious Dutch treats like stroopwafel and boterkoek (a little something like shortbread) that are an absolute must have to accompany any coffee.

So proud of owners Chris Godwaldt and Amy Gringhuis for all their determination and hard work in opening up something that I know they have been dreaming about for a long time. These two plus a small crew of friends renovated, designed, and decorated the space right down to the floor boards and fixtures. If you ever saw the space as Appleberry’s or (two former incarnations ago) as a Moroccan tea house, you’d know that this transformation is pretty amazing. It’s bright and airy and has storefront window-seating for gazing and people watching plus a comfy back sitting area for a little cozy café lounging.

Co-owner Chris Godwaldt about to barista up some brews.

My first Café Oranje café verkeerd (the literal translation is wrong coffee but it's basically a café au lait)

The floors are such a nice warm nutty brown. Chris and Amy sanded these bad boys down themselves.

Owners Chris Godwaldt and Amy Gringhuis

*Café Oranje, 312 King St E, @cafeoranjeham

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