After finishing my last year of undergrad in April I decided there was nothing stopping me from exploring this beautiful country. I don’t think many people appreciate what lies within the vast expanse between Vancouver and St. John’s, but I can testify after weeks of couch surfing, bus riding, and reunions that sometimes you can strike gold in your own backyard. There is so much more to discover in Canada but I think I covered a fair bit of ground over four weeks. The itinerary went something like this:
Kingston –> Hamilton –> Niagara Falls –> Toronto –> Montreal –> Québec City –> Charlottetown –> Halifax –> St. John’s
So I’m going to try to do something completely new on this blog – restaurant reviews! Because let’s be honest – I ate my way through Eastern Canada.
My first stop surprised pretty much everyone, including myself: Hamilton, the city with the most waterfalls per capita! My friend M. goes to med school there and he convinced me, despite warnings of the “industrial wasteland” from others, that he would show me a good time in Hamilton.
In between shenanigans I got to explore Hamilton on my own and I discovered one of my favourite streets: Locke St. How could you not love it? It has a tea parlour where you can have high tea in a garden patio for only $15! An artisan cheese shop doubling as a design showcase with reclaimed wood cutting boards. I ended up at Earth to Table, the last restaurant on the street.
The interior is bright and quirky with menus written on chalkboards and plenty of tables in front of the sunny windows. Everyone from families to couples were eating hearty lunches there and I instantly felt at home. Seasonal, local, and quirky options on the menu included quinoa burgers, porchetta sandwiches, a spicy tomato pizza with lemon ricotta, honey, and hot peppers. Apparently pizza is what they are known for so I went with the Apple and Bacon pizza. It was Neopolitan-style pizza dough with bechamel sauce, caramelized onions, smoked cheddar, sage, sliced apples and bacon.
The pizza was hearty with lots of interesting textures, between melty cheese, crispy sage, salty bacon, and refreshing apple. It would have been nice to have more apple slices to cut the saltiness of the bacon and cheese. The crust was a little thicker than most Neopolitan pizzas but it worked with the generous toppings.
For dessert I had the Rhubarb & Ginger Sundae which became the inspiration for a summer pie later. Scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream layered with oat crumble, crystallized ginger, fresh rhubarb compote, topped with a cloud of whipped cream. I have an aversion to ginger so I was slightly apprehensive, but I couldn’t distinguish it between the toasty nutty oats with the tart saucy rhubarb. Fantastic spring dessert! I would definitely eat here again.
The promise was delivered; between singing our hearts out to Cher to re-living prom at the Med Formal and tasty pizza I had a fantastic time in Hamilton!