Eat St.
Savory Saturdays 235 Main Street West

In September, The Food Network’s hit reality show Eat St. came to Hamilton to feature a couple of our newest food trucks. Last year they featured Gorilla Cheese, which was a great episode. I was excited to see that they would be returning and was thrilled to be contacted for an interview. My reality tv show debut!

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Savory Saturdays made for an ideal spot to film. Making it even better, proceeds from Savory Saturdays go to Food4Kids, a cause close to my heart after working with them on I Heart Hamilton’s The Playlist 2.0 this summer.

On Saturday, Jonny Blonde was up first. The food truck serves up flatbread sandwiches, skewers, and sides. They use locally-raised meats and local produce. Describing their food as “bold flavours [with] international influences,” they switch up their menu daily.

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At the Eat St. shoot, they served three sandwiches (I didn’t get to try “The Peachy Blonde” – chicken, double cream brie, arugula, and grilled peaches in piri piri and basil pesto mayo – but that sounds delicious).

I think it’s very cool to say my first time trying Jonny Blonde was captured by a television crew! I ate their feature for the day, the “Blonde Roots,” which paid homage to Jonny’s Spanish roots. It’s a Spanish tortilla (potato, eggs, and onions), served with mixed greens, tomato, and a grilled flatbread and chorizo skewer.

Blonde Roots
Blonde Roots

The plate was so substantial and an amazing value for the price. The tortilla was very tasty, fluffy, and light, and the spice of the chorizo was just enough for me. It was a good balance.

I had the opportunity to chat on camera about Jonny Blonde and talk up Hamilton’s incredible food truck scene. With a camera in my face and boom mic overhead, that was a crazy and new experience. It gave me a new appreciation for the work that goes into these shows.

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The next day, it was time for Karma ChaMEALeon to be in the spotlight. This was my second time sampling food from Ontario’s first 100% plant-based and animal-free food truck.

Run by husband and wife team Chase and Cindy Thomson, they’re all about fresh, local ingredients and being environmentally friendly. Even their utensils and packaging are compostable. They also purchase carbon offsets to reduce their carbon footprint, which is very admirable in a food truck.

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Karma ChaMEALeon has a full menu which they switch up each time. They offer really creative vegetarian and vegan options. For the shoot, they served their Philly Cheeze Steak (no real steak or cheese, of course) and Taquito Dog. The Eat St. crew had me sample the No Piggy Pulled Pork – BBQ jackfruit with Cajun slaw served on a freshly baked Italian roll.

Using jackfruit is an innovative idea because it has a stringy texture that pulls apart easily. For those who can’t have pulled pork, it’s perfect. And even if you are a carnivore, you would love this tasty sandwich too. I got mine with fries on the side. The tricky part – not eating it until it was my turn to film!

“No Piggy Pulled Pork”
“No Piggy Pulled Pork”
Waiting for my cue
Waiting for my cue

Now, as good as the No Piggy Pulled Pork is, it’s not ideal to eat with a camera in your face. Before my close up, I noted to the director that this was going to be messy. His response: “Messy is good!” It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. I had even more fun in front of the camera on the second day because I was more relaxed. The team were super nice and made you feel comfortable.

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This was such a great experience. Thank you to the Eat St. crew for inviting me! Hamilton is chock full of fantastic food trucks – I hope you come back to feature some more.

Keep a lookout for the new Eat St. episodes which are to be aired in June 2014.

– Kristin

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kristin
ihearthamiltontour@gmail.com
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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