On September 21st I headed to my very first Sew Hungry.
Up until recently I’d never had a lunch hour long enough to check out the previous Sew Hungrys. But being on mat leave, pregnant, super hungry and no longer having to worry about lunch hours it was pretty much mandatory that I headed down to check out the new and returning food trucks on Ottawa Street.
I loved the synergy of the food trucks, local shops, farmer’s market and restaurants all collaborating together and benefiting from the crowds of people that headed down to Ottawa Street. Seemed like an all round success for ALL those involved in the event. I’d hear that this particular Sew Hungry drew record number crowds in the thousands! Well done Hamilton!
My main mission for this particular truck rally was to go to The Dirty South food truck, which I had recently heard makes tater tot poutine -yeah I know -unreal!!
To be honest I was a little disappointed. I was kinda expecting some hearty gravy and big fat squeaky cheese curds instead of plain shredded cheddar cheese. Despite the short fall the tots were served in large portion and they did taste really good (in that bad kind of way). I had some regrets that I didn’t get their fried chicken and waffles, which looked super duper delicious. I figured since the truck is local to Hamilton I’d have plenty of opportunity to sample their menu some other time.
I’d also previously heard about Poco Loco‘s taco chili salad in a mini corn chip Frito bag. So as the lunch hour drew near and the line ups at the food trucks started to get too long, I opted to support this local Ottawa Street restaurant and got my first taco salad in a bag. By no means was it gourmet. In fact it was more of a novelty item that I can now I can say I’ve tried. There is something a little strange about eating chili, beans, sour cream, hot sauce, and onions mashed into a brown hot mess from a chip bag.
What I really should’ve tried was the lobster roll sandwich from Buster’s Sea Cove (Toronto’s only seafood truck haling from St. Lawrence Market). I’d later heard that this was the favourite of the day for many.
This next truck -Frittersons interested me. I was gunning it over to the truck expecting sweet donut-like deep fried fritters topped with snow speckled icing sugar, ice-cream and berry sauce but alas the truck was a savory fritter truck not a dessert truck! I was intrigued by their “Thanksgiving in a bowl” -turkey with all the fixings plus potato cheese fritters. I love stuffing and I can’t resist anything deep fried in fritter form. My sweet fritter cravings will have to be serviced elsewhere, however I’d be willing to give these savory fritters a try for the next Sew Hungry.
One of my favourite trucks at Sew Hungry was the super adorable Manual Labour mobile trailer (aka “Frankie” -the 1969 Bailey Travel Trailer) coffee shop. I’d seen and heard of the mobile café serving up their Aussie inspired coffee specialities at events like the Junction Flea Market and The Greenbelt Harvest Picnic.
Co-owner Matthew Taylor and his partner in business and life are part of a growing community of people that have shifted from Toronto to the Hamilton area to set up shop. Matthew -formerly a barista in Toronto’s burgeoning café and coffee scene saw the possibility and opportunity to venture for a quieter life outside of Toronto and to create a business that supports other local and surrounding businesses like Detour coffee (for their roasted beans), Hewitt’s Dairy (for their milk) and locally grown herbs for their teas from Country Herbs.
It was a pleasure to run into Shannon Stone of Best of Hamilton, who was a guest barista for the day helping fellow Aussie and co-owner of Manual Labour -Katie Browne.
Manual Labour does have merch for sale. T-shirts for $20!
Thanks Shannon for making my delicious and beautiful first time ever “flat white“!
If you want to book Manual Labour for an event you can find their contact here, or follow them on twitter @MLcoffee.