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!

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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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Holiday Entertaining

Happy New Year!

Well, my food-loving friends… the Holidays have come and gone. I was so blessed this year to spend lots of time with family & friends, which in my world also means…food events!

I’m going to share a couple of my favourite things I enjoyed over the Holidays. Consider these as some ideas for future entertaining! I know I will.

Cheese

What’s a holiday party without a cheese tray? Still a Holiday party…but a more…lame version….

Okay bad joke.

What i’m really trying to say is If you don’t have a cheese platter at your party, please don’t expect me to come….

Okay, maybe a bit harsh.

Just make a cheese tray for cripe sakes. Udder Way Artisan Cheese can help you out.

Udder Way Artisan Cheese Co Hamilton Ontario Hamilton Small Fries Food Reviews
A couple weeks ago I was invited out to check out the new factory of Udder Way Artisan Cheese.

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Tor Krueger, co-owner of Cheese Shoppe on Locke, opened this new venture in the old Gos and Gris factory on the Stoney Creek Mountain (380 Highway 20 East).

It’s a new space for him to make artisan cheeses (including their specialty, Snow Peak Goat Cheese Pyramids).

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At Udder Way, you can expect to find a gift shop/cheese store (think compact version of Cheese Shoppe on Locke), plus a small factory where you can get local, freshly-made delicious cheese.

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I picked up some Snow Peak Goat Cheese (Udder Way) and Jalapeno Cheddar (Blyth’s)- I’d recommend both! They’re at either ends of the cheese spectrum (honestly, I just made this up) which makes them ideal for creating a balanced cheese tray (true though).

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Turducken

Echelon Foods was kind enough to reach out and contact me to see if I would be willing to try out their Turducken. Seriously, if there’s meat involved, you don’t even need to ask. I was finally able to check this bad boy off of my foodie bucket list.

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If you’ve never heard of a Turducken – you are missing out. It’s a large-size turkey, deboned and stuffed with chicken, duck, and stuffing. Meaty, meaty goodness.

Echelon makes an Original Turducken with Chicken Apple Stuffing or Italian Sausage Stuffing, a Premium Turducken (no drumsticks or wings, just the roast) with stuffing and – get this – a Bacon Wrapped Turducken! As much as I would have loved to try the Bacon-Wrapped version, my family is not as meat-crazy as I am (boo-urns), so we went with the Original Turducken.

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I ordered it online, easy peasy. It came within 3 business days…just in time for Christmas Eve! There was literally no prep on this. It just needed to be defrosted over 24 hours, then it was plopped into a roaster and was good to go.

This was the best-looking roast I have ever made. And it tasted perfect. Thanks Echelon Foods for making me look like a Food Network superstar in front of all my fam. *flips hair*

Crantini Jelly

Now, the Turducken was already beautifully flavoured (especially the stuffing), but I’m a creative lass and can’t help putting my own spin on things. SO I picked up some Wandering Locavore Crantini Jelly from my workplace, Christy’s Gourmet Gifts.

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You can have the Crantini Jelly just on it’s own with crackers, but I ended up mixing it up with some olive oil and basting the Turducken with it. I mixed cranberries with root veggies and roasted them around the Turducken. It gave great additional flavour to this already mouth-watering meal.

Now that all the Holiday entertaining is over, we can move on to think about the new year – 2016!! 2015 was my best foodie year yet, and I expect 2016 to be even better!

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Do you have a food goal for 2016? Perhaps to experiment with a new recipe ingredient or try a new restaurant?

Please share it in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you! 

Upcoming Restaurants in #HamOnt

Hamilton is now a foodie city. There’s no denying it. There’s an awesome food joint on every corner and there are new ones opening each day.  With the recent sneak peek of the new Nellie James Too we attended – blog post coming soon – (officially opened Thursday Oct 15th!), along with the grand opening of Serve Ping Pong, we thought we would compile a list of soon-to-be eateries in Hamilton. We’re excited for what’s on the horizon for #HamOnt. We want you to be excited too!


HAMBRGER
49 King William Street
Hamilton, Ontario, L8R 1A2

3 Hambrgr

“People are going to spell our name wrong and they’re definitely going to question the choice. Our response will be simple. Simplicity applies to all things and burgers are most definitely not an exception. We get right to the point at HAMBRGR, giving our guests the perfect combination of fresh ingredients, locally brewed and new to market craft beer, culinary artistry and of course, one of the most memorable experiences one can possibly muster in the enriching restaurant culture sweeping over downtown Hamilton. We have all of the elements we need to keep true to our name, now all we need is you. We’ll see you soon, Hamilton.”

Estimate Opening Date: Monday October 26th, 2015.

Follow them on Social Media:
Instagram: @hambrgrhamilton
Twitter: @hambrgrhamilton
Facebook: /hambrgrhamilton
Website: No website as of yet.


Pokeh
Located in the Hamilton Farmer’s Market  (lower level west corner next to Eat Industries, Naked Lunch, Henry Browns Ice Cream – turning into the food corner!)

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From the people who brought us MeatVentures; “Pokeh is going to be Canada’s first Poké bar, serving fresh and healthy Poké bowls with a selection of our signature combinations or the option to build a totally custom bowl just the way you like it. A Poké bowl is a combination of raw ahi tuna or other seafood, soy sauce, sesame oil, green and white onions, and more, over top of rice.  That’s the classic version, and we’ll have a lot of different options and twists that use traditional ingredients as well as seasonal local produce from the Farmer’s market.  We’ll have vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options available.”

Estimated Opening Date: Early November 2015 (no firm date yet)

Follow them on Social Media:
Instagram: @pokehbar
Twitter: @pokehbar
Facebook: /pokehbar
Website: pokeh.ca


Jonny Blonde Kitchen (Brick and Mortar)
664 Concession Street
Hamilton, Ontario

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Jonny Blonde food truck is now expanding into a brick and mortar!

“Jonny and Layal, the worker bees behind Jonny Blonde, are currently planning the opening of Jonny Blonde Kitchen at 664 Concession St., a new take out spot, which will also operate as their catering kitchen. They are starting with serving lunch from Tuesday to Friday 11-3pm, eventually extending the hours to serve dinner and open on Saturdays. Stay tuned to social media for October’s schedule – Jonny Blonde food truck will be serving a limited curbside menu for lunch from 11-3pm on select weekdays throughout October and November until the storefront is open. Including some familiar favourites (aka. the Peachy Blonde), the menu will offer a selection of salads, soups and sandwiches on Jonny’s homemade breads, as well as handmade pasta features.”

Estimate Opening Date: Mid November 2015

Follow them on Social Media:
Instagram: @jonnyblondefoodtruck
Twitter: @jonnyblonde
Facebook: /JonnyBlondeFoodTruck
Website:  JonnyBlonde.com


Mesa
255 James Street North

Hamilton, ON

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When Mex-I-Can closed their doors on James St N, a collective groan was heard across the #HamOnt art district. Luckily for all of us, they’re launching a new venture on the street with ‘Mesa’! Mesa’s menu offerings will be similar to the old favourites at Mex-I-Can, but with a few tweaks. They chose the name Mesa – which means table in Spanish – because they’re all about welcoming everyone to the table. They plan to be gluten free friendly, as well as vegan, vegetarian and halal. Now that’s something we can get behind!

Estimate Opening Date: To be announced
Follow them on Social Media:
Instagram: @mesahamont
Twitter: @mesahamont
Facebook: /MesaHamilton
Website: None as of yet


Born + Raised
244 James Street N

Hamilton, ON
4 BornAndRaised

More information coming soon!

Estimate Opening Date: Opening 2016. Official date to be announced
Follow them on Social Media:
Instagram: None as of yet
Twitter: None as of yet
Facebook: Born and Raised Restaurant, Hamilton
Website: http://www.bornandraised.restaurant/


Do you know of any restaurants opening in the Hamilton area that we didn’t mention? Share them in the comments below!

Which restaurant are you most excited for?

Butcher and the Vegan

Butcher and the Vegan

61 Barton Street E

Hamilton, ON 

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After visiting Butcher and the Vegan on our first Hamilton Food Tour, we couldn’t stop thinking about and planning our next visit. Shout out to their Beet Fries and their Mushroom Crostinis! We were impressed and ready for more. Lindsay was all about celebrating Friendship Day with her besties, so three of us (Small Fries + Brittany) ended up celebrating the day foodie-style at Butcher and the Vegan.

Logo

Butcher and the Vegan has two different forms of their logo. The ‘B&V’ seen outside and the written out version. They mesh well – black on white, bold fonts.

B&V is making an impact on their neighbourhood. It only makes sense that their logo would be impactful as well.

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Food & Reviews

For the table we chose:

Lindsay’s go-to, Beet Salad. She is crazy about Beet Salad and orders it at almost every restaurant. Seriously, tweet her for the best Beet Salads in Hamilton. She will eat all of them. And she’ll post about them. You won’t be disappointed. Anyways, we digress.

This beet salad was definitely up there in the ‘best of’ list. But really, we would have ordered it just for the food porn. Look at how colourful this freakin’ plate is!
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Steak Frites with Asparagus. Lindsay ordered this main. The steak was slightly overdone for her taste, but it was still amazing nonetheless. She didn’t complain, but we’re 100% positive they would have given her a new one if she had. But the flavours were mouth-watering. Just writing this makes her want to get it again. Like .. right now…

Anywho, her only complaint was that there was too much (yes, we said too much) food on the plate. It was hard to cut the steak because it was piled on the fries.

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Fig, Duck and Arugula Flatbread Pizza. Brittany had this butcher’s pizza. I mean – look at it. That’s what we really love about B&V – the food not only tastes amazing, it looks amazing. It had this delicious sweet taste to it. It was also really good cold the next day.

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Wild Mushroom Risotto – Our fabulous waiter suggested we order the risotto, which was his personal fave that week. We went with the non-vegan version – you can get it made either way – which was made with cream and some sort of cheese. We were so happy we went with this suggestion.

Risotto is often hit and miss, and often will be crazy strong with wine or cheese. This one had a perfect balance. It was rich and creamy. With the earthy flavour of the wild mushrooms and the sweet crunch of the carrot (?) topping, this was a perfect dish.

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Watermelon Sorbet – While we were there we also heard that one of the kitchen staff had been working hard on perfecting his Sorbet recipe. Of course, this meant we had to get dessert. (Right….that’s the reason..;)…)

Yum. This sorbet was like eating a frozen watermelon. Only way classier. Heather ordered it, but being friendship day, shared with Lindsay and Brittany as well.

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Atmosphere

When you think of where to find higher-end, local culinary gems – Barton and John isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind.  (Though a renaissance is beginning!)

In our minds, Butcher and the Vegan is not the norm for when you think of Barton street. It’s a cute little space decorated in bright colours. With mismatched chairs, mahogany wood and blackboard signs, it’s lowkey and comfortable. B&V is a diamond in the rough.

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Brand

Butcher and the Vegan has a strong focus on bringing all ingredients in from a 100 mile radius. This means you may pay a bit more for your meal, but we promise – it’s worth it. You’re eating fresh, you’re eating local, and you can feel good about it.

B&V’s aim is to make a space that is meatatarian, vegetarian and vegan friendly. If you bring a group to this resto, you’re going to be able to order a proper meal for everyone.

Oh, and they try to make you really feel at home. Which is why you can find action-figures and other toys on every table. Check out Brittany and cold Spidey!

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Social Media Campaign

Facebook – Butcher and the Vegan

Twitter – BandtheV

Instagram – butcherandthevegan

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No complaints on the social media front. Whoever manages the B&V social media accounts, they’re doing a great job. They have enough posts to be engaging, without overwhelming their online community. Plus there’s tons of menu info and some great food porn!

Suggestions

We don’t have many suggestions for Butcher and the Vegan, to be honest! If they keep doing what they’re doing – ROCKIN’ IT – we foresee that word of mouth will get them far!

Have you been to Butcher and the Vegan? Review it with us in the comments below!
Butcher and the Vegan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Collective Arts – Hamilton Store Now Open!

Collective Arts Brewing

207 Burlington St. E.

Hamilton, Ontario

www.collectiveartsbrewing.com / @CollectiveBrew

hamilton small fries | Arts and Science Brewery | Hamilton, Ontario | Picture 8Collective Arts Store Officially Open September 1st

Retail storefront at 207 Burlington St. E. in Hamilton, ON selling Collective Arts beer to public.

Craft beer lovers rejoice: Collective Arts officially opened their retail storefront at 207 Burlington St. E. in Hamilton on Tuesday, September 1st. Located at the end of Hamilton’s constantly evolving James St. N., the store opened just in time for the Labour Day long weekend and the James Street North Supercrawl.

The entire lineup of Collective Arts beer is available for purchase.  Beer will be sold in 750mL growlers, 6-packs of bottles, and kegs. New brews and tall cans coming soon.

Guests to Collective Arts’ retail store will be able to sample the beer portfolio and pick up some Collective Arts merchandise. Completing the experience is a bottle gallery featuring Collective Arts’ unique artist labels as well as a mural done by Nick Sweetman and Peru Dyer Jalea, AKA Peru143, of Montreal’s multi-artist collaborative, EN MASSE.

Store hours are Sundays to Wednesdays, 11:30AM – 7:30PM and Thursdays to Saturdays, 11AM – 10:30PM.

Brewery tours will not start until the official brewery open house, planned for November 2015.

The Collective Arts collection includes:

  • Rhyme & Reason Extra Pale Ale
  • Saint of Circumstance
  • State of Mind Session Ale
  • NEW Ransack The Universe, Hemisphere IPA
  • NEW Stranger Than Fiction Porter

Check out a ‘behind the scenes’ look on the Brewery Launch here: http://hamiltonsmallfries.com/2014/05/18/arts-and-science/

Will you visit the new Collective Arts store in Hamilton? What brew are you most excited to try?