What's gotten me excited enough to dust off this old thing and write about it? A fricken coffee shop! Can you believe it? I sure couldn't. But when I walked into Saint James Eatery today I was pleasantly surprised. Aesthetically, this place totally gave me a lady boner. From the gorgeous, shiny, subway tiles, black & white colour scheme, to the gold ceiling - this girl was mad crushing.
I was absolutely diggin' the roll of craft paper hanging on the wall. To see their menu written in pen and paper (hopefully) means one thing; it'll be ever changing, seasonal, and fresh. They have one communal to eat in, which means you either play nice or get out. That's how I took it at least.
Like the space, the menu is clean and simple. No fussing - just the classics. It shows a lot of restraint when someone chooses to do less, but do it very well. What they'll eventually be known for, I think, is the steampunk coffee. One of four places in Canada serving it. I can't even get into explaining what that is but the process is very fun to watch. Check my Twitter for a video. I'm not a coffee connoisseur but it was something different, and definitely worth a try - at least once.
I ordered the Fusilli Amatricianna with bacon ($9) and it was the perfect lunch item. Nice sauce, with a smidgen of heat, and the pasta was cooked al dente. The kitchen is completely visible - which is a good thing peeps. Never trust a kitchen that has something to hide. This (hopefully) signifies honest, from scratch cooking. The portion I found to be okay. There could have been one more spoonful on the plate just to give a better value for your dollar. You're not walking out unbuttoning your pants but you also don't feel hungry afterwards. It's reasonably priced food. But I also know someone out there is going to say WTF to a $9 bowl of pasta and tomato sauce. GTFO haters.Another delicious surprise were these Captain Crunch squares. The marshmallow was soft and chewy and it just made me so happy to eat it. It was my childhood wrapped in marshmallows. I am hoping this signifies a slew of cereal theme sweets.
My partner in crime Kristin, ordered the breakfast sandwich ($5.75) and to put it lightly - it looked like an ooey gooey hot mess. This is a very good thing. That is exactly what a breakfast sandwich should be. Messy, dirty and delicious.
Thumbs up to Saint James for the excellent first impression. And also for getting me excited to dust off the blog. Years ago, you wouldn't find such a damn pretty cafe in Hamilton. It gives me a total chubby to think these types of restos are the norm now. We've been churning out some good quality restaurants lately which means I better start churning out some decent blog post. See you guys soon.
Saint James Espresso bar & Eatery
170 James Street N