3 DAYS WITH THE HUNGRY GNOME
Kristin: It has been a long time since I Heart Hamilton & The Hungry Gnome joined forces on a blog post! (Remember when we went to Che, over TWO years ago now? I just read mine and Chanry’s blog posts again – it’s amazing how far things have come since then, in both our friendship and Hamilton!). Lately we’ve been pretty inseparable and on a roll with our local adventures. The past few months have been a blogger’s dream in Hamilton – so many events.
Chanry: Three days with I Heart Hamilton, how did I get so .. lucky? Just kidding! It’s been an amazing few months for the Hamilton food scene and I can’t even believe it’s been two years since Kristin and I joined forces on a blog post. Fortunately, the universe brought us back together for three days of fun, and (very) filling media events.
Day One: Lake Road Restaurant (229 James St N)
Kristin: We all saw a sneak preview of brand new restaurant Lake Road during Supercrawl. Learning that it was a new venture by the team behind the acclaimed Twisted Lemon in Cayuga, and hearing about a stone oven cooking up pizza and some of the best bartenders in town serving up fabulous cocktails, it was on my list to visit. For their grand opening last month, Lake Road pulled out all the stops. It wasn’t your average grand opening, it was a gala. Oh, you fancy. Chanry and I attended with a bunch of bloggers and we all dressed to the nines!
Chanry: I was pretty much foaming at the mouth when I heard Chef Dan Megna and Laurie Lilliman were coming to downtown Hamilton. I knew they were going to elevate the restaurant scene with exceptional cocktails and over the top food pairings. They have a bit of reputation for killin’ it, if you know what I mean.
Kristin: When I first got there, I entered a room full of balloons and dessert. That’s all I needed. I could have gone home after that. Seriously, it was spectacular. Several different kinds of cake, a massive plate of gorgeous fruit, colourful macarons… heaven.
Chanry: Riiiiight? Errrmahgerd the dessert spread was absolutely divine.
Kristin: Watching the bartenders at Lake Road whip up the drinks was something else. These guys were having a blast and it was so entertaining to watch. They had a special “speakeasy” style menu downstairs (yes – two floors!). I really enjoyed the Lavender Tom Collins.
Chanry: My favourite part was when Megna pulled out the 8ft Noah’s Ark smorgasbord. There was practically one of every animal on the board – from crab, shrimp, to a whole pig’s head! Which the foodies had no shame digging into. You can actually order this thing of beauty at the restaurant. You just need to give the team a heads up! I was lucky enough to experience the dessert version during the #HamontFT. I agree with Kristin, the drinks were pretty spectacular.
Kristin: I look forward to eating there sometime during a regular day and perusing the menu. The pizza was awesome, too!
Day Two: Serve Ping Pong Bar & Lounge (105-115 King St E, 2nd floor)
Kristin: I warned everyone not to get too cray at Lake Road, because the next morning, it was round two: the launch of Serve Ping Pong’s new brunch menu. Serve finalllyyyy opened its doors in October. Hamilton’s first ping pong bar had a ton of hype behind it, and it has really lived up to it. Not only is it such a fun place to hang out, the food is really great, thanks to Chef Steward Byfield heading things up in the kitchen.
Chanry: A HUGE yas from me when it comes to brunch. I am so thrilled to see the brunch movement finally make its way to Hamilton. We were there when Serve PP first opened (for a media tasting) and I was very excited to hear they were rolling out Mimosa’s and Benny’s.
Kristin: Bring on the Eggs Benny! We tried two kinds – one with pulled pork and white cheddar, and one with their housemade candied bacon, garlic braised cherry tomatoes, and onion rings. We agree that we could eat that candied bacon with everything!
Kristin: It’s the best. There was also a vegetarian option for the Eggs Benny. And those handmade buttermilk biscuits! The Breakfast Poutine was also a standout for me.
Chanry: My Caesar came with a mini pizza. Fo realz. Oh, and on the 13th they are doing a pay one price and get brunch + bottomless Mimosa & Caesars. Yeah, I said it. BOTTOMLESS BABY!
Kristin: The pizza Caesar! That was a hit. I think they need just go wild with the garnishes. Serve has a great opportunity here to really step up Hamilton’s brunch game and bring a unique experience along with it (ping pong!). I love that you can stuff your face and then get a little exercise in. I’ll be there on the 13th for that big brunch!
Day Three: Mezcal Taco & Tequila Bar (150 James St S)
Kristin: It took me wayyyy too long to visit Mezcal for the first time. Forgive me, Hamilton. It only took one meal there to understand why it is a major local favourite. For this special visit, we were there to take part in their first Tequila Revolution event.
Chanry: I’m not even a huge taco fan but dat cauliflower taco, nom nom nom – it’s absolutely delightful. When they invited us for their first taco tasting with Canada’s only Master Tequilier, I was absolutely thrillllled. I love tequila and I was hoping this opportunity would force tequila to love me back.
Kristin: I’m not even a huge tequila fan – I more a bourbon/whiskey gal, but then again, I had never drank tequila like this. Tequila is meant to be sipped and savoured, and we were walked through the origins of it while picking out the different flavour notes, with the help of our Master Tequilier, Manny (not Chef Manny, another Manny!).
Chanry: Two things I learned:
- Tequila does love me back, I was just drinking the cheap stuff so It was always in a hurry to exit my body. The good stuff usually stays put and keeps you warm.
- Don’t listen to Kristin, she really likes tequila. lol
Kristin: Ok, ok, tequila won me over! I even got in trouble with the Tequiler for drinking too quickly. Oops.
Mezcal wants to start a Tequila Revolution. They’re on a mission to change the bad rep Tequila has. None of that salt & lime #$% with these guys. We learned how to drink tequila at their first Tequila Revolution and now we’d like to give you the chance to mix cocktails and sip on tequila flights at their next Revolution.
December 14th, join Tequila Tromba & Mezcal TNT for an interactive tasting. Oh, and did we mention they feed you too? Click here to purchase tickets or enter our contest below!