This #BIEat brings us to Concession BIA where my partner in crime, Michael Marini from The Hamilton Economic Development Office and I hit up Papa Leo's for a quick lunch. Papa Leo's is a recent discovery of mine - in fact, I am one of their newest breakfast groupies. So, I was elated to head over there for lunch - unfortunately they don't do dinner service at the moment. But if you want to harass Leo about dinner service - feel free to do so here .
We both started off with soup of the day - I got something special off their catering menu that they just happen to have - shiitake mushrooms, glass noodles & pulled pork and Michael ordered the soup of the day - a french onion styled soup.
Both soups were without a doubt well executed warm bowls of heart warming liquid. I am a huge fan of non-pureed soups - I prefer something with a good broth with little morsels I can scoop up with my spoon. Papa leo hit the spot with these two.
Michael and I also decided to go halfsies on two of the most popular lunch orders - Tacos and a Po'Boy. The Tacos ($12) come with a choice of battered cod, slow roasted pork, or chicken on flour tortillas with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, fresh mango salsa, seasoned mayo and a side cucumber & pepper salad.
Obviously we went with the cod taco and it was hands down the best decision I made all day. There was a perfect ratio of cod to tortilla. Every bite was one huge piece of cod, mixed with sweet crunchy mango and creamy mayo. The fish was perfectly battered - not too thick but still crispy - and the cod was huge. I can not stress how perfect the ratio of cod to tortilla was. I'm tired of ordering a fish taco at some froo-froo joint where the first two bites are all tortilla and there are about two and a half more bites left on the taco. </hater> The cucumber salad? - meh I could have done without, the taco was a decent enough portion.
These crab cakes although not super authentic were still completely satisfying. It was more of a patty than a cake and there isn't a lot of extra filler - just crab. This might be taboo to some but they throw in a little bit of that imitation crab too - which I am completely happy with. It's kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. They also serve these puppies with poached eggs for brekkie - definitely worth rolling out of bed for!
In all honestly, Papa Leos is one of those neighbourhood joints you picture on TV - where the Ross, Chandler and Rachel come for breakfast. The food is simple, wholesome and the faces are familiar - all the suppliers are local, when possible, in fact there's a list on the menu of all the local suppliers Leo supports. "Papa Leo" himself also works the cash register and runs tables. He's bubbly and full of smiles - definitely not your typical chef!
Previous BIEat features: Westdale - Delirious | Stoney Creek - The Attic | Waterdown - Jitterbug Cafe
638 Concession Street
*this was a complimentary meal in partnership with The Hamilton Economic Development Office. The opinions expressed are my own