January 10, 2014

Revisited: Earth to Table Bread Bar

The last time I went to Bread Bar - it went a little sour and ever since, I haven't really been back. Not intentionally of course, I keep my ear to the ground and I know they have a pretty good following - so theres gotta be something good about this place right?  But once I have a bad taste in my mouth about a place - it's hard for me to forget. I've frequent there other establishments before and am quite a fan though. Read my other posts: here & here
Months back, my stint as a judge for Battledish landed me back at Bread Bar and I ended up really enjoying both the fried brie and my cocktail - so I decided to add them back to my radar and scope out any changes made to their menu. Of course, all was forgiven when I found out about there "Ramen Wednesday" But don't get excited. This isn't a ramen post. When I made the plans I thought it was Tuesday and the following day Wednesday but in fact, it was Wednesday and by the time I realized this, it was Thursday. Oy vey right?

So I suppose you can say I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer! But you won't - at least not to my face right? C'est la vie - we headed out there anyways… on a Thursdsay!
We decided to share the daily load fries ($9) and an order of the calamari ($13). The fries were delicious, crispy and no greasy finger residue. I'm not a fan of pulled pork but the sauce it was drenched in was pretty bomb diggity; very saucy (not enough to make the fries soggy though), a little sweet and they were generous with the portion. For less than  $10 I thought this dish was a great value.

The calamari (pictured above)  on the other hand was a bit of a regret. Very out-of-the-box frozen kinda calamari. I expected something more full of flavour and considering the price, I definitely expected a better portion as well.  The last time we were here the grilled octopus was spectacular so I guess I expected the same. Sadly it didn't go that way.
I had pizza the last time I was here so I opted for something else this time around. I'm a huge fan of the Porchetta sandwich from Porchetta and Co so I thought this would be a great chance to maybe discover a local substitute . 

I can tell you right now, the Porchetta on a Bun ($10) is completely different from Porchetta and Co. Not in a bad way or anything - just different. I really liked it - it was moist and the bun was nice and chewy - it did a great job of carrying the porchetta.

I loved the spicy mustard and porchetta itself was nice and tender with crispy little charred bits. I enjoyed the novelty of the parm chip - and totally get why it's there - it just didn't do its job. I can only assume it was added to provide a crunchy texture and a sharp salty taste to the meaty pork - but why not just add crackling? That's definitely what this sandwich was missing.  It needed more texture.  The addition of the parm chip was their attempt at it but it was too delicant to stand up to the meat or bun. I'd definitely order it again though - love porchetta anyway I can get it pretty much and this dish was a great value. 
My friend ordered the Mac & Cheese ($13). I loved the presentation of this dish and like before - it wasn't much the first bite but it got better and better the more I picked at it. The salad wasn't exactly the life of the party to be honest though and be warned - it's a pretty small portion. 

For dessert I ordered the Key Lime Pie - which was seasonal ($7) and my friend ordered the Butterscotch Budino with candied pumpkin seed ($7). My pie was the perfect end to the meal. It was light and airy with a little tang of citrus. They were also pretty generous with the slice as well. The Budino on the other hand was way too sweet and although I loved the presentation, it was too rich for me.
So all in all, a good meal - the service was much better this time and our server was amazing at making recommendations and checking up on us. I love the styling of the restaurant and the little details through out the place really make it visually appealing. The atmosphere is really warm and they have an amazing mantra on sourcing locally, organically and making as many things in house as possible. To me, Bread Bar is like a pretty girl that's funny and smart - seems too good to be true right? Hamilton's restaurant valedictorian - everyone seems to be praising her! But I'm not 100% completely sold on Bread Bar, yet -  I'll be back though..hopefully on a Wednesday next time!


Happy Eating!

Earth to Table Bread Bar
258 Locke Street South
Hamilton, On
breadbar.ca
Earth to Table Bread Bar on Urbanspoon

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