Once a month, the Hungry Gnome and the Hamilton Economic Development Office team up to feature one BIA. We are five months into this series so if you're gunna ask me what a BIA is - you need to leave the room because you are in so much trouble.
This months BIEat starts a little bit differently...I was asked to meet Michael Marini at the AM900 CHML office - cause get this?! We were going to be on the radio! I was super excited and I ended up having a fantastic time talking all things food related with Scott Thompson. I'm also looking forward to having Scott join us for our next BIEat adventure. After that, Marini and I headed to Dundas for the official start to BIEat .. but first, let me take a selfie.
Not only is Dundas the home of my favourite crab apple tree in all of Hamilton - it's also a quaint little neighborhood with an exceptional offering of prepared food items. I know what you're thinking "Tell us where the crab apple tree is Chan!" - No. Finders, keepers, suckers!
Lets see, you've got Cumbrae's (butcher shop), Nellie James (chef driven gourmet food shop) and duh - Picone Fine Foods, for those nights you wanna pick up groceries but don't actually plan on cooking them that day. You know what I mean, you wanna be a good and pick up some fresh produce, stock up on that quinoa, maybe some whole grain bread and evoo - but for tomorrows meal - tonight, ain't nobody got time for that. That's why Picone's is the perfect stop.
We decided to change it up this month and instead of picking the usual sit down restaurant, we thought, lets shine some light on other outlets that do their part to feed this Hungry Gnome. Picone is celebrating their 100th birthday next year so, it seemed the perfect fit. It was suppose to be a beautiful day out for a "take out" lunch for Marini and I but mother nature had other plans. But I don't let anything rain on my parade...
If you've never been to Picone's before, it's a real treat. For someone whose first job was strawberry picking and did a few summers in a meat factory, I love knowing where my food comes from. I also count grocery shopping amongst one of my favourite past times. But Picone isn't your just average Fortinos down the street. They carry an array of local and hard to seek items. Ahem - like those Miracle Noodles that cost a fortune online but you can get them at Picone - zero calorie noodles people! As well as a few fancy shmancy bottles of evoo and balsamic, if you feel like getting fancy.
I could have spent all afternoon just creeping through the shelves at Picone but Marini was all "I'm hungry, let's go - can we eat now?!" Thanks to the fine folks at Picone were kind enough to let us have a mini indoor picnic at the back of the story so we weren't left out in the rain.
Marini ordered a mini chicken pot pie - but from the time I snapped this shot to him ordering, someone had already scooped it up. He had to "settle" for the turkey. Still a great choice in my opinion.
I ordered a tuna pasta salad to start cause you can't picnic without a pasta salad and Marini decided to spoil himself and ordered the sicilian salad.
Marini, setting up our indoor picnic. Picone is one tof those places right out of an episode of Gilmore Girls - the hustle & bustle of everyone coming in and out , warm smiles, familiar chit chat, seriously you'd expect Rory to walk in any minuite and Dean to be bagging groceries at the cash register.
I ordered the prosciutto, fig and brie panini. These flavours are all big winners in my book. The salty prosciutto, sweet fig and creamy brie just do the happy dance on my tongue. The turkey pot pie was also incredibly flaky and crunchy on the outside, with huge chunks of turkey and mushrooms on the inside.
See I wasn't lying - look how happy they all look together - trust me - brie, prosciutto and fig play very well together.
Usually that would be the end of BIEat but I dragged Marini out to the new B.Love cafe across the street cause I was being a nosy foodie. I know, last week I said I would stop trying to make vegan happen (see here for proof) but I couldn't help it! I had to see what they were offering. What I found was a sweet little cafe selling house made vegan treats.Detour for a cup of joe - or breakfast - seriously come for the breakfast.
And that's a wrap for our Dundas BIEat. By now I hope you know the drill - stay tuned for BIEat number six. Where will we be? Seriously, where should we go? Tweet Marini & I and let us know which BIA we should hit up next! Follow #BIEat on Instagram & Twitter!
*this was a complimentary meal in partnership with The Hamilton Economic Development Office. The opinions expressed are my own