New Year, New Menu

Paramount Fine Foods 

1441 Upper James St,

Hamilton, ON

It’s a new year, full of new beginnings, and Paramount Fine Foods is on top of it with their new menu additions!

hamilton small fries | Hamilton, Ontario Food Reviews | Paramount Fine Foods Pic 1

We had visited previously (see our original review HERE) and enjoyed their classic menu. But every restaurant needs to embrace change to keep customers interested.

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Our friends at Hamilton Gastronomy were in the know about the menu change and graciously invited us for a tasting, along with a couple other #HamOnt foodies.

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The new menu inclusions are:

Saj Bread

“Saj bread is a thin crust wrap with all the flavour and less the calories. The dough is authentically made, flattened by hand then placed on a domed hot clay oven called the Saj. The Saj is a very popular method of cooking in the Middle East and can be found in most homes and restaurants. It is not commonly found in Canada as the process can be labour intensive but the authentic flavour wins out which is why Paramount is the first restaurant chain to offer it.”

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Sujuk Shawarma

“Sujuk Shawarma is a grilled spiced minced beef sausage which is available in the Saj Bread, pita or plate. It is traditionally made as a dry spicy sausage using various seasonings including cumin, sumac, garlic, salt and red pepper. The sausage is typically sliced and fried as a side or on a sandwich but also found on a rotating skewer and shaved as shawarma.”

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Paramount also has a crazy large dessert bar, which in our opinion, is the highlight of the visit there every time.

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Have you tried anything off of Paramount Fine Foods’ new menu? Review it with us in the comments below! 

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Novemburger 2015

November is officially half-way through. For some, that might mean the start of Christmas decorations, the end of Pumpkin Spice everything + the beginning of Gingerbread Spice everything, cooler weather and warmer clothes. What’s it mean for me? Only 15 days left to try Novemburgers. (32 of them to be exact.)

Novemburger Hamilton by Urbanicity

Novemburger Hamilton by Urbanicity

For those of you that haven’t heard of Novemburger yet…..where have you been? Have you been living under a rock? Kidding. But not really.

Novemburger Hamilton - Hambrgr: #HamOnt Burger

Hambrgr: #HamOnt Burger

Novemburger is a seriously awesome campaign put on by the people at Urbanicity. The basics of the campaign are: restaurants all over the Hamilton area come out with a special burger for the month of November. For each Novemburger sold, $1 goes to raising funds for United Way. As you hit the Novemburger trail, you can visit their website and rate each burger you try. At the end, two winners get chosen; one for most burgers sold and one for best burger.

Novemburger Hamilton - Collins Brewhouse: Wild Boar Gets WIld

Collins Brewhouse: Wild Boar Gets Wild

I wasn’t a huge fan of how the website worked for burger info – especially on mobile (sorry guys!), so I put together this checklist below, which shows all the Novemburgers available this year. *As a side note, all of these are listed in the printed copy of Urbanicity along with photos*

Novemburger Hamilton: Jonny Blonde - Blonde Boca Burger

Jonny Blonde – Blonde Boca Burger

Get out there and get rating! (By the way they have photos of all these burgs on their website as well if you want to see some #FoodPorn before you decide what to eat!)

SquareHambrgr – #HamOnt Brgr– $13; Double patty (3.5oz each), grilled onions, American cheese, mustard glazed bacon, brgr sauce, iceberg lettuce on a classic grill bun.

Thirsty Cactus Cantina and GrillSquare – The Big Jerk – $14; Beef patty, jerk rub, pulled jerk chicken, jalapenos, Monterey Jack and house smoked chipotle mayo, mango.

Square Snooty Fox The Big Reub – $13; All beef burger patty, carved corned beef, white wine sauerkraut, melted swiss cheese, thousand islands dressing served on a pretzel bun with a pickle.

SquareCoach and LanternThe Sweet Burger – $16; 6oz Wild Boar patty on a Rustic kaiser with Spinach, Apple Berry Compote and Goat Cheese.

SquareAcclamation Bar & GrillSurf ‘N Turf – $16; Juicy AAA ground beef with house seasonings, lobster butter, creamy gouda, and a citrus caper aioli on grilled brioche.

FSquareisher’s Eatery and Sports LoungeAloha Burger – $15; Beef patty, smoked ham, melted Swiss, grilled pineapple, lettuce, tomato, red onion, honey mustard.

SquareOne DukeDuke Ukranian Burger – $14; Two fresh ground sirloin patties, potato cheese stuffed perogie, applewood smoked bacon, sauteed onions, sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, sauerkraut, sliced kielbasa, arugula, field fresh tomato, diced green onion on a potato scallion bun.

SquareJet CafeEggs Benny Burger – $10.99; 8oz all-beef patty, Canadian cheddar, a fried egg, peameal bacon, bacon strips, hollandaise sauce on a kaiser roll.

SquareJack & Lois Easy Rider – $16; A 7oz lean ground chicken & lean ground turkey patty mixed with a house-blend of secret spices, double cream brie, house-made apple bacon chutney on a bed of Crunch.

SquareFool and Flagon The Firestation – $13.25; Fresh ground chuck burger dredged in dehydrated chili peppers, topped with dusted and lightly fried jalapeno peppers, bacon and crispy fried onion straws, jalapeno havarti cheese on an Ace Bakery roll.

SquareCeili HouseSpicy Pear Truffle Hunter – $14; 1/2lb beef patty, melted aged brie, bacon-chilli candied pear, crisp arugula, candied bacon chilli aioli, served on a warm sesame bun.

SquareThe MuleThe Big Macasada – $12; 4oz beef patty stacked between fried and grilled tortillas, queso fundido, spicy mayo, mules special sauce, pickles, lettuce, onion and sesame seeds.

SquareThe Works The Big Popper – $14.81; 8oz 100% Canadian Hormone Free Beef Patty, deep fried jalapenos, cream cheese, deep fried onion strings, 2 slices bacon, sour cream, green onion slivers.

SquareTavern on GeorgeThe Tavernac – $16; Hand-formed beef patty, peameal bacon, cheese curd, maple ketchup, mayonnaise, and fried egg on a daily-baked brioche bun.

SquareGown and Gavel Misteak’n Burger – $14; 8oz local beef patty, sauteed onions and mushrooms, swiss cheese, steak sauce, a sunny-side up egg, and mustard on a challah bun.

SquareStonewalls Hamilton’s “Best” Dirty South Chicken Burger – $13.99; Free range chicken breast soaked in butter milk, coated in a secret seasoned breading and deep fried, bacon, cheddar, house made dirty southern heat sauce, lettuce, and tomato on a split kaiser.

SquarePapa Leo’s The Morning Thai Burger – $16; All beef patty, back bacon, fried egg, pickled carrots, onion, cilantro, house peanut sauce on a sesame challah bun.

SquareMezcal TNT aPORKalypse NOW – $12; Pork patty, bacon aioli, smoked cheddar chipotle ketchup, double smoked bacon.

SquareJohn St DinerPopeye Burger – $10.99; 8oz all-beef patty, spinach, feta cheese, mushrooms and onions.

SquareServe PingPongGood Morning Burger – $12; 6oz Angus ground beef patty, aged white cheddar, whiskey candied bacon, confit cherry tomatoes, a fried egg, house-made dill Hollandaise sauce, on a fried brioche bun.

SquareNellie James Too The Duck Burger (Open Face) – $16; Handmade uck burger, savoury bread “bun” with bacon Hollandaise and pickled kale salad. *Vegetarian version also available!*

SquareUnion BurgerSriracha Smash – $8.99; Sriracha cheese balls, sriracha sauce and ranch smashed between two beef patties, lettuce and tomatoes.

SquarePub FictionJack Daniels BBQ Burger – $12; 8oz Ground Chuck patty, provolone, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, Panko onion rings and house made Jack Daniels BBQ sauce.

SquareBean Bar Marauder Burger – $14; 8oz Beef Patty, BBQ pulled pork, aged white cheddar, sweet pickled onions, lettuce, tomato, pickle and red onion.

SquareState and MainGrilled Cheese Burger – $13; Burger on grilled french bread, american, swiss and provolone cheese, peppered bacon, shredded lettuce, tomato, and a stack of crisp fried onions.

SquareAugusta HouseThe Conquistador – $15; 5oz certified Angus patty, chorizo sausage, crisp chicharrones, spicy Piri Piri sauce between a soft potato scallion bun.

SquarePheasant Plucker The Plucker – $20; Bison burger, 40 Creek BBQ sauce, beer braised onions, mushrooms, house-cured peameal bacon, smoked cheddar.

SquareCollins BrewhouseWild Boar Gets Wild! – $17.99; 7oz home made wild boar patty on a bed of Mac N Cheese, pulled pork, pineapple mustard, split between a potato and chive bun.

SquareNaromaNaRoma Burger (Novemburger-inspired Pizza) – $20 (serves 2 to 3); Lean ground beef, home made bbq peperoncino spread, cherry tomatoes, red onion, pickles, romaine hearts and aged cheddar.

SquareJonny BlondeBlonde Boca Burger – $12; 100% handcut beef blade burger, local Mountain oak Gouda, caramelized onions, baby spinach, grape tomato, crisp proscuitto, chopped sage, roasted garlic aioli, beef demi glaze, topped with hickory sticks.

SquareRadius Smoked Surf Burger – $24; AAA beef patty topped with braised smoked beef short rib, onion ring, shrimp and arugula on a brioche bun.

SquareDowntown BistroTriple Play – $13; Hand-formed 8oz ground sirloin grilled with maple smoked bacon, bourbon pulled pork, aged Jensen cheddar, on a toasted brioche bun.

So far I have only tried four. In foodie terms, that would mean I get a fail. But I promise I’ll be eating more Novemburgers (and writing about them!). Follow along with the #Novemburger hashtag or my twitter feed!

Have you tried any #Novemburgers yet? What was your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!

Open House & Bash in the Brewery

Attention #HamOnt Craft Beer lovers! This is an event you won’t want to miss.

Where: Nickelbrook And Collective Arts Brewery – 207 Burlington Street East, Hamilton, ON

 Collective Arts and Nickelbrook Brewery Hamilton Ontario

Craft beer lovers and curious neighbours alike are invited to come down to the brewery to enjoy some quality beer, art and music, and delicious fare from Hamilton’s finest food trucks/restaurants. Plus tours!! Also featured? A special collaboration beer between the two brewers! To sample their 13 different brews, they’re offering logo glassware + 4 tokens for $10 upon entry. Patrons can also buy tokens for individual $2 or $4 pours.
Bands: Bravestation / Sarah Burton / The Knads /  DJ: DIGITS
Admission: FREE

Later on that evening, they’re throwing a party with an AWESOME musical lineup and more good craft beer.
Admission: $20* / [30* at the door] 19+ / *HST and handling charges are additional

To purchase tickets to both events, visit 
Due to capacity restrictions, those interested in attending the Open House portion are encouraged to secure their spot with free tickets for entrance.


Feast ON Culinary Crawl with Niagara Parks

The Feast ON the Parkway Culinary Crawl had Small Fry Heather joined by a special guest co-poster, Jessica from Hoppily Ever After.

The folks at Niagara Parks invited us on a Culinary Crawl to check out the five restaurants of the Niagara Parkway. We accepted with excitement – as Winston Churchill once apparently said about the Niagara Parkway, it’s the “prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world”.

Along the Parkway, there are gardens, golf courses, attractions like the Butterfly Conservatory and Journey Behind the Falls, and – you guessed it – restaurants. The area is steeped in history and Canadiana, and the restaurants took that theme and ran with it. There’s strong focus on local food in all five (three of which are certified “Feast ONrestaurants).hamilton small fries | Feast ON Culinary Crawl | Niagara Parks | Picture 1 | Hamilton, Ontario Day Trip

Our first stop (joined by a troupe of Ontario writers, including fellow Hamiltonians Chanry, from the Hungry Gnome, and Kristin, from I Heart Hamilton) was Queenston Heights Restaurant, a two story primarily event-location perched on a hill with an amazing view of the river, meticulously tended gardens stretching all the way around, and War of 1812 battle history (we won this one).

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The potato gnocchi carbonara (with double-smoked Ontario bacon, Hamilton cremini mushrooms, and baby arugula in pecorino romano cream) was to-die-for delicious. The gnocchi was filling without being heavy, the cheesy cream sauce was the stuff dreams are made of.hamilton small fries | Feast ON Culinary Crawl | Niagara Parks | Picture 5 | Hamilton, Ontario Day TripThe Chateau des Charmes Gamay Noir was the wine match, rich enough to match the cheese but light-bodied enough for the pasta. This was definitely our favourite dish of the night.

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Whirlpool Restaurant at the Whirlpool Golf Course was next. We’re no golfers, but apparently this is a more traditional course, designed by a world-renowned golf-course creator (according to our awesome tour guide, Ryan Moran).

hamilton small fries | Feast ON Culinary Crawl | Niagara Parks | Picture 6 | Hamilton, Ontario Day TripThe club house matched the simple, traditional feel, and they had a pretty little area set up for us.

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The soup and salad course at Whirlpool was a spicy butternut squash bisque and a spinach salad (with dried cranberries, toasted sunflower seeds, and mandarins topped with a sweet onion VQA riesling mandarin vinaigrette). It came with a “nosy goat” cheese crostini on the side, the perfect tangy offset for the sweetness of the fruit.

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The accompanying wine was Hernder Estate’s Riesling, bringing back the sweetness full circle.

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The third stop was to Legends on the Niagara, a large, newer, sweeping golf course with not one, but TWO 18-hole courses.

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Again, the club house matched the feel: big, sweeping, rustic wood and stone with a beautiful, giant back porch overlooking the green vistas.

hamilton small fries | Feast ON Culinary Crawl | Niagara Parks | Picture 11 | Hamilton, Ontario Day TripThey served up braised beef short ribs wrapped in bacon, mixed Sledgers greens (a local farm), balsamic glaze, with a seared hot pepper on each tray. We were told it came from the chef’s garden. The meal was rich, the flavours complemented each other, and Peller Estates hearty Cab Franc was a perfect match.

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The second to last stop was Edgewaters at Queen Victoria Place Restaurant. Downtown Niagara Falls, it’s a second floor patio restaurant with a pub-like vibe and an amazing view of the Falls – right across the street. On this night, the Falls were lit up in rainbows. It’s a seasonal restaurant though, since it’s an open patio!

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Their offering was a pepper berry rubbed northern rainbow trout (another Canadian staple), curried seven grain salad with cilantro yogurt. We didn’t find the fish too strong in flavour, so the strong tastes of the curry and light yogurt matched it well. Malivoire’s Lady Bug Rose was a good complement for trout.

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The final stop was Elements on the Falls, even closer to the water than Edgewaters (and we didn’t think that was possible). It’s a closed-in restaurant, so it’s all-seasons, and it sits right on top of the top edge of Niagara Falls. Obviously, the view is phenomenal.

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First they served grilled muscovy duck on shoal lake wild rice (an authentically Canadian rice), pinge capicola crisp (salty and crispy, portioned out with each bite of the silky duck), covered with sweet cherry glaze. It was paired with an Inniskillin Niagara Series Pinot Noir, which matched the meal element for element. No pun intended.

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Finally, it was time for dessert, and Elements certainly doesn’t disappoint. Our dessert was a display of a poached Bartlett pear in Cab Franc, with Maple Mousse Cream in a chocolate cup, and honey tuile crisp. Gorgeous and delicious!

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Though you may not want to do every restaurant in one day, (like we did on this Culinary Crawl) we recommend checking out the Niagara Parkway on a day trip or weekend getaway. It’s right in our backyard, and you’ll find a lot of character in this place of natural wonders.

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Have you been to any of the Niagara Parks restaurants? Review them with us in the comments below!

Jessica Peter - Guest Writer


Guest co-poster: Jessica Peter is one half of Hoppily Ever After, a Hamilton-based craft beer blog. She’s a #HamOnt super-fan with a passion for local shows, local food & drink, trying to see the whole world, and writing kind-of-strange novels in her spare time.