Archives: Ottawa street

the edit

I first met the stunning and totally down-to-earth thrifter blogger fashionista Jentine at the opening of Girl on the Wing, and while trying on capes and designer 80′s sweaters at MODify your closet.

On Christmas Eve while doing some of my traditional last minute shopping on Ottawa Street I stumbled upon Jentine’s most recent fashion exposition at her brand new store The Edit!

The store although small, is perfect! Jentine had a great hand-picked winter selection of a vintage hats, shoes, boots, clutches, jackets, and dresses from the couture and fabric print houses of vintage 70′s Paris to 50′s cocktail and party dresses. I picked up a long black 80′s sweater dress with deep pockets and shiny brass buttons -dresses with pockets are the best!

the edit vintage window dress

 

the edit vintage hats on wall

the edit vintage shoes

the edit hats&sweaters

the edit jentine

It was fabulous to see the shop, and to chat with Jentine about her new adventure. I departed with a sweet treat of homemade fudge (courtesy of one of Jentine’s friends) melting in my mouth and my dress, a present for myself, in tow.

Even though it seems as if spring will never come, I’m sure that it won’t be long until the winter sweaters and jackets are just a distant memory, and skirts, jumpsuits, strappy sandals and shorts will be on the racks and shelves at The Edit.

IMG_6739

I love to see how Hamilton’s storefront fashion, food and retail scene continues to evolve and change. In the four and half years I’ve been in Hamilton, I’ve been happy to have witnessed a wave of new young entrepreneurs taking that massive jump to put themselves out there and to pick downtown Hamilton as the place they want to invest in for the long haul. So happy for Jentine and for the continued evolution of Ottawa Street!

Check out Jentine’s fashion blog My Edit here, or follow her on twitter @myeditblog.

*The Edit, 205 Ottawa St. North, W-F 12-6, Sat 11-5, @shopTheEdit

breakfast

Now that I have a baby, waking up early is something that happens in my life. The benefit of this is that I can actually make it out for breakfast instead of the typical late weekend brunch. This does have its advantages: you can entirely bypass the brunch rush, and after an early breakfast you still have the whole day to do as you like (without this whole brunch thing being all smack dab in the middle of the day).

On a recent Sunday morning, I finally got to try my first and very long awaited waffle breakfast at Cannon Coffee. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get in on their waffles! They were so delicious!

I got the Canadian Brunch Waffle, which consisted of the most delicious fresh smoked bacon, and two poached eggs, topped with cheddar cheese on an apple waffle -no less!

Canadian Brunch Waffle

My cousin, who recently arrived from Japan to study English in Canada, ordered the California Waffle; a jalapeño havarti waffle, topped with two poached eggs, fresh avocado salsa and chopped tomatoes.

California Waffle -I love the little house that holds the maple syrup

 

A direct quote from my cousin:

I eat waffle with Seema.

The Cannon is very nice cafe.

I want to go again.

 

Truth be told, I want to go again too.

 

*Cannon Coffee, 179 Ottawa St. N, 289.700.0088, M-F 7-6, S+S 9-5, @cannoncoffeeco

sew hungry #2

This was only the second Sew Hungry food truck rally that I’ve attended and it definitely seemed busier than the last one. Parking was tough and the line-ups were heavy. We started off at the Dirty South food truck but it was so busy that we passed on the fried chicken and waffle sandwich and headed straight for Buster’s Sea Cove.

My first Sew Hungry I remember saying that I had regrets about not trying Buster’s Sea Cove’s lobster roll. So first on the list was to get me a roll.

My meal came with a bag of chips, a juicy pickle and a lobster roll. The roll was pretty small and in the end I felt that it was a little over-priced -$13!

sew hungry, buster's sea cove, lobster roll

Buster's Sea Cove Lobster Roll

Be warned that when attending events like this, when you have a stroller, eating on the go from places like food trucks and food stands take on a whole new life. You’ve got crowds to manoeuvre around (and no matter what you always seem to be in the way), rocking to ensure that your baby is falling asleep (so you can eat with some sort of ease), and you’ve really only got one hand free, which is due cause for some messy eating.

So when I spotted a church parking lot filled with empty tables and chairs my friend Vern and I made a b-line for it with our two strollers and sleeping babies in tow. The admission; the purchase of one meat pie (with gravy, peas and onions and a pop). Hello -no problem there! Out of the crowds and the ability to use two hands while eating, we were pretty much sold.

It was a fabulously delicious homemade meat pie. I had to stop myself from licking the plate.

Our next stop was at El Gastronomo Vagabundo (with surprisingly no line-up). For all that it’s worth, line ups are sometimes not the best indicators of what’s good and what isn’t. We were so impressed with the presentation and flavour of the battered poached egg on asparagus that next time I see this truck I won’t hesitate to sample more from their menu.

Deep-fried poached egg; and the yolk was still runny!

asparagus, battered poached egg, with candied bacon

Just check out the photo gallery on El Gastronomo Vagabundo’s page here. Their food looks soooooooo good!

The one truck that I wanted to check out but didn’t get a chance to on this go round was The Big Chief, which is Hamilton’s newest food truck specializing in First Nation cuisine. I’m happy that it’s a Hamilton local so I won’t have to wait until the next Sew Hungry to sample some venison chili and bison sliders. You can follow them @thebigchiefco.

If you’ve never been to a Sew Hungry I do recommend that you go at least once. Do a little research prior to see which trucks you want to hit up first. Most of the trucks sold out of their menu items later on in the day. So get there early before the line-ups get out of hand. If I venture to another Sew Hungry, I’ll also likely consider taking the free shuttle bus or biking so as not to have to deal with finding a parking spot.

 

sew hungry

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.

 

short + sweet

I’ll make this post short and sweet.

The other day Steve was a baking master and made four whole pies -two peach and two meat!

The peach pie was made with fresh, local and in season peaches.  So yum!

It was one of the best peach pies I’ve ever had and perfectly paired with a mega scoop of Dr. Scoop Icecreamist Vanillaallin; salted caramel swirl.

I was happy to have finally made it out to the Ottawa Street market to buy some of Dr. Scoop’s infamously delicious ice-cream.  It was Ciara Brennan’s last day selling her organic and handmade ice-cream for this summer season.  Got some just in the nick of time!

In addition to the Vanillaallin I also picked up a Cinnamon Peach.  So amazing!

spadina station

There have been many Toronto visits the past month.

Last weekend I headed into the city to meet with my friend Vern, to check out City of Craft, and to show my support for the Day of Action rally at Queen’s Park (my first rally ever!).

I didn’t take a lot of pictures this visit.  But one picture I did manage to snap was this one of Spadina station.  I love how a lot of the subway stations in Toronto still look so retro.  I particularly like the contrast of this red bench against the rusty yellow honeycomb-esque tiles.

spadina station, toronto, ontario

I’m looking forward to sticking around Hamilton for the next few weekends with tons of stuff going on like Canada’s largest food truck rally on Ottawa Street, The Brain’s Deep Groove Record Swap, Lee Fields‘ funk show at This Ain’t HollywoodDoors Open, and Steve’s art opening at b contemporary (for the May artcrawl).

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