Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Food, Glorious Food

Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to visit as many of my local eateries as I was hoping. I am a creature of habit and I tend to go to the same places over and over again. I was, however, able to visit a few new places and it was very exciting. Here is a couple for now. I swear I will try to be more adventurous about where I eat.

The Honest Lawyer

Hooooo boooy. This place is LOUD! I love the chuckie cheese for adults vibe that is happening but unless you are out to party harty this is not the place to go grab a bite. The staff was really friendly and the service was quick but to be honest I ended up switching my meal with my boyfriend because their buffalo chicken wrap burned my soul. I will be the first to admit that I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to spice, BUT I've usually had no problem with buffalo chicken. The Honest Lawyer's buffalo chicken is a whole other story. Was it my fault? Sure, but it still kind of skewed my vision about this place.

Verdict: Great for the early 20 somethings to go and pretend they're still in their teens...but with legal booze.  Also great if you like it hot. You know what I mean ;p

What it felt like to eat a buffalo chicken wrap from The Honest Lawyer.  

Now this place was BEAUTIFUL. Inspired in both decoration and menu by Greece. The patio was truly magical. A view of the lake, fire pits along the patio and twinkle lights hung above our heads. It was so pretty. I just wish the rest of the visit had been so pretty. I was immediately taken aback by the somewhat snobbish attitudes of some of the employees. The hostess was barely tolerating us and her face and demeanor definitely showed it. Our server was only as nice as he had to be and that's saying a lot. 

The food was so, so. I had fish and chips. It was a very large piece of fish but I'd say overall the food was very pub like and rather over priced. The saving grace was the drink menu. Liquor for days. We all ordered fancy drinks and we were all happy with them. I had one called a panda bear. It was delicious. Like an adult milkshake. It was made with amaretto, creme de cacao, chocolate syrup and ice cream. YUM! We were there for an evening dinner and before we were done eating our beautiful atmosphere was interrupted by a dance party that was happening at Barangas. Apparently it becomes a club after hours, which is great for club goers...less so for people looking for a quiet evening. Also got to watch one of the party girls throw up in the parking lot, so that was awesome.

Verdict: Go because it's beautiful. Have a fancy drink, take in the scenery. Leave early. Probably just go eat at hutches instead. 

Our view during dinner. Looks like we're not even in Hamilton.

The patio during day time hours. It's changed a bit now.    photo from: Royal Lepage.

So that's it. That's as far as I've gotten. I also ate at the works but it wasn't my first time so I don't know if I should include it. Probably not. There's nothing bad I can say about it anyways. BURGERS. YUMMY. My sister and I go there on our sister dates sometimes. It's always good and I like the atmosphere. I'd definitely recommend it. 

Hope you're all (is there an all?) enjoying your summer. Still a couple months of patio season left so get out there and eat, maybe I'll see you there! 

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Mini Break

Our dear friend mother nature kind of put a kink in my restaurant eating plans. I thought I'd be able to go enjoy some spring patio times but alas madam au natural had other plans. Rainy plans. Rainy, cold plans. Mother nature is definitely a b with an itch if you know what I'm saying. (You know what I'm saying right?) Don't worry there is plenty of summer patio funness to be had and I will keep you updated on all my yummy findings, but for now I would like to share something else that is super great about living in Hamilton. Are you ready? How about now...

It's only 45 minutes away from Toronto! Yay!! Yaaaaay!!

Okay so I haven't always been a huge TDOT fan (like when I was commuting to that unpaid internship) but I have to admit that it definitely has its perks. I recently spent a lovely weekend there with someone special and we partook in some very fun attractions. Seriously if you need a get away this summer but you're short on time I would definitely recommend a quick jot over to the little big city. It really does feel like a get away.

Here are the things we did that I think you should do too!

1) Ripley's Aquarium

This is NOT just for the kiddos. This had me ohhhing and ahhhing along the whole time we were there. It has some really cool fishies and some super scary but wicked sharks (by wicked I mean terrifying but I'm trying to play it cool and pretend that sharks don't scare the poop out of me, I mean I'm a gal who has nightmares about land sharks coming to get me...I'm not a shark fan) and other sea creatures. I touched a crab, a really small shark and a sting ray so I would say it's more than just looking through glass into their underwater worlds. There's tons of info as you go along and also a lot of interactive areas for the wee ones. Trust me, had it been less busy I would've crawled into the see through tunnel to have my picture taken with sharks but as it was there were thousands of small people running amok and I didn't want to be "that guy".

I would advise arriving early or buying your tickets online. We went in the morning and we didn't have to wait but when we left the line up was out the door and around the block so I would definitely plan to make this an early one.

To plan your underwater adventure click HERE.

Dinner recommendation: Sushi ;p

One of my favourite things at the aquarium. SO vibrant.

They look so happy and friendly...not like they could kill you or anything :/

pffft I know it's a robot...I'm cool. I'm cool. Get me awaaay from this thing.

2) Steam Whistle Brewery Tour

This was spontaneous but I'm so glad that we went to check it out. If you're a beer fan you will like this tour. There are three different admission prices. One is the souvenir tour which is $10 at the end of which you receive a bottle opener, the 6-pack tour which is $15 and you get a 6-pack to take with you or the 12-pack tour which is $26 and you get a 12-pack to take with you. All tours also come with a complimentary sample of Steam Whistle Pilsner. We did the 6-pack tour and it was SUCH a great deal! 

We didn't really plan it out so well so we actually ended up having Steam Whistle for lunch. Liquid lunch. We bought a pint while we waited for our tour and were also given a sample. Then we had a can on our tour and another sample after the tour. Let's just say we were slightly impaired by the end and then we both had 6 packs to carry around. Like I said we didn't really plan it out too well but we did have a great time and we learned a lot about Steam Whistle, like how they're the 2nd greenest brewery in North America and they only use 4 ingredients in their beer. I was pretty impressed.

Book your tour or find more info HERE.

Dinner Recommendation: Your Steam Whistle take aways.

REFRESHING!! This picture makes me wish I hadn't finished my 6-pack already.

3) Fort York

This one is cool because it's like walking into the past while still being in the middle of the city. You look in front of you and there is a lodging house from 1812, you look up and there are skyscrapers. It's very strange.

The day we went there was almost nobody else there. It was like a ghost town, which was kind of nice because we got to explore at our leisure. The site holds Canada's largest collection of original war of 1812 buildings and artifacts. There was very little interaction and the tour guide seemed a little bit uncomfortable but all in all I really enjoyed my time there. It was informative and I love history so it was right up my alley. It would be a great place to take the kidlets and have a picnic or something as there is also lots of green space. I'm pretty sure it was only $7 for adults so it would be a fairly priced day out as well.

For events and more information about Fort York click HERE.

Dinner recommendation: Although not close to the Fort I would recommend Johnny Rockets. It's a fun 50's inspired diner. You could go from 1812 to 1950 all in one day. Besides their butter finger milkshake is to die for. Seriously. I dropped mine and tears were almost shed.

An 1812 Soldier Lodging House.

Gats Yo!

There is SO much to do in Toronto and I do intend to go adventuring more this summer as well. Living just a hop, skip and a jump away definitely has its perks, but it's nice at the end of the day, or weekend to come back home to Hamilton where it's a little less congested and there isn't so much of a rush.

Sunday, 16 March 2014


Originally I thought this post would be about St. Patrick's Day in Hamilton and where you can go to get your Irish (or Irish for a day) on. And that's still true although it inspired me to go in a different direction. Just in case you were wondering though it appears that all of the bars on Augusta and the Corktown Pub are doing entire weekend celebrations. If by some awesome stroke of luck (like the luck 'O' the Irish) you don't have to work on Monday you can celebrate with a green beer just about anywhere. If you're off you should know that I'm green with envy. See what I did there?

Still want some?

Now onto my new project. Inspired by my new neighbourhood and my friend Amanda and her own 1001 project. One of her goals on her 1001 list is to eat at 29 new restaurants. We tend to frequent the same establishments and order the same dishes so branching out can be difficult. We are creatures of habit. While out on a walk through my new neighbourhood (Near St. Joseph's Hospital in downtown Hamilton) I realized there are probably at least that many bars and restaurants that I've never been to but would like to try. And they're all in walking distance which is great now that the weather is starting to take a turn for the not awful. Also if I'm going to be eating at all of these restaurants I should probably be doing some form of physical activity so walking to and from these places will make me feel better about my life choices. Right?


It mostly started with a trip to the Corktown which is literally right around the corner from me. I had been there once when I was in college and I remembered it being kind of a dive. Crackhead central if you will. So when my friend Keri said she was having her birthday party there I was skeptical. Upon arrival I saw that many renovations had been done and the place is actually super nice. Seemed like a decent crowd as well. I really liked it. Then I was lucky enough to be introduced to the yummiest shawarma in town, from Lulu's. It was SO, so, so, so, SO good! What's next you might ask? I have a small list. I think I will write about them as I go. I am by no means a food critic. I just really enjoy food and atmosphere and all the things that go into making a great establishment. Here's the short list:

So as you can see most of these are either fairly high end, fancy shmancy or...Italian. There isn't much diversity on this list. I'm also a big fan of mom and pop places. I need your help! Please leave some suggestions for your favourite restaurants in the downtown core (what your fave menu item is, why you love this place) and I'll try to visit them and write about them. It can be for more than just the food. If you know of somewhere that has a lot of character and is just a fun, hip atmosphere I want to know that too!

Thanks and Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Reputable...My Aunt Fanny

In the last few months a lot of things in my life have changed. Change of job position, change of address and I finally, FINALLY got my driver's license. Now the only thing I needed to change was my bed.

I have had the same bed since...forever. It was my grandparents bed before that and some great aunt or something or other before that. This bed has seen an age. Every morning when I wake up my body groans in anger at me for subjecting it to yet another moonlit nightmare. This bed needed to go, I've known for quite a few years but I just could never afford it. I kept buying foam mattress toppers to try and ease the pain but nothing really worked.

For Christmas and my birthday (since they are one and the same) quite a few people gave me money, plus the $100 that my grandmother had given me when I moved out to use towards whatever I wanted for my new apartment. I finally had enough to get myself all I had been dreaming of for years. A brand spanking new bed.

On boxing day I saw that The Brick had some great deals and decided to bite the bullet and order a mattress and box spring from their website. I figured that The Brick has been around forever. I'd never really heard anything bad about them so I was pretty excited when I hit that little 'add to cart' button. Little did I know that that was where the happiness and excitement ended and the frustration would begin.

Originally it said that my delivery date would be December 30th but that was subject to change and that a customer service representative would be in contact with me in the next couple of days. Now I'm an understanding person and I know that boxing day was probably very busy for them but The Brick pushed me into rages and frustration I would never have imagined.

They called me on December 29th as I was doing groceries and I was unable to fish my phone out of my purse in time. When I called back 30 seconds later it was busy and continued to be busy for the next five days. I called on every break at work and every spare moment I had. I repeatedly got the message that they were receiving a higher volume of calls and try back later. In this time I also sent two emails which were never responded to. Finally I got through and sat on hold for an hour...and was then hung up on. Rage.

The next day I got through again and after waiting another hour finally spoke to a human. She told me that they had to confirm with security about my credit card because the address on the card and the shipping address were different. Um okay. I ordered half of my Christmas gifts online with zero issues but now there's a problem. Still I understand and am actually glad that they double checked, however I didn't hear from them again for another FOUR days. They wanted to let me know that security cleared me and they could set up a delivery date. "Finally", I thought. "Sweet sleep will be mine, ALL mine."

Well... not just yet.

When I called to set up the delivery date and waited another 45 minutes on hold I was told that there are no dates available (on a weekend as I work full time) until January 18th. I was upset. I have been waiting for this bed for nearly 3 weeks and I just want it. I just want to crawl into a bed that doesn't cause me pain. When I expressed my frustration (politely) the girl on the phone giggled at me. I told her how many times I had called and about the unanswered emails and I asked her if there was a way to make a note that I was extremely displeased with the level of customer service to which she responded, "ya I guess", and laughed again. I thanked her for laughing at me and... SHE LAUGHED AGAIN! At that point I was so livid and flabbergasted at her behaviour that I pretty much just hung up. I realize now I should have asked her name and spoken to her manager but I was very upset.

During the course of our conversation I was also informed that if I wanted the delivery people to take my existing mattress and box spring I would have to pay an additional fee. I decided that I had already given these people too much of my money. When you wait years and years to make a purchase like this and then are treated in this manner it really sours the whole excitement of it. I would have cancelled my order just on pride but I really do need this bed and I couldn't have afforded it without the sale.

To make things (ie. me) even angrier a coworker of mine just bought a bed from The Brick and they are not charging her for delivery OR to take away her other bed, or at least that's what she thinks...I have a feeling based on my experience that those fees will just pop up for her.

Anyways I don't usually use my blog for this kind of thing but I was just so shocked that a place as seemingly reputable as The Brick (of course once I mentioned this to a few people the horror stories about The Brick started flowing) would have such shoddy customer service that I had to share it. Hopefully some other person will read this and go somewhere else. Save yourself the frustration. You'll probably never speak to a human and when you do they will treat you like crap and leave you feeling like garbage. I still can't believe that I was laughed at like that. Ridiculous.

For now I guess I have another ten nights of sleeping on my rock...errr bed.

The mattress and box spring that I will EVENTUALLY have. EVENTUALLY!