I’d call Hamilton, Ontario’s Earth To Table Bread Bar a hidden gem but it isn’t. Just about everyone local to the area knows about it. I was surprised when going through my archives recently that I had never been in for review though. Truth be told I have rarely fleshed out their menu. For years I’d go in specifically to get their Bacon & Scallion Pizza.
Side story, the first prize I ever won through Twitter was that Pizza. Co-Owner Jeff Crump tweeted out that the next 5 people to walk in and show his tweet would get a pizza. Keep in mind this was the dead of February and around -20C out there. Even at a 10 minute walk each way I was hesitant. Leave it to say despite the bitter cold, it was worth it. That pizza was GAWDLIKE!
Sadly, my favourite pizza is no longer featured. That, like many old staples, has fallen to the wayside as the current menu has branched out, and added an assortment of items. I stopped in last month with Chanry (sorry folks, no tag review this time) after hearing Earth To Table Bread Bar had Fried Chicken on Fridays.
Loaded Fries (Shredded Parmesan & White Truffle Mayo) – $10
Earth To Table Bread Bar changes their Loaded Fries every day. I had popped in last year and at that time it was a Pulled Pork Poutine. This time around these Hand Cut Fries were covered in shredded Parmesan and then drizzled with White Truffle Mayo. First off, they didn’t mess around with the portion. You could easily eat this to your face and be done for your meal. The Fries were insanely crisp. My biggest gripe with Hand Cut Fries typically is they come out soggy. These had a the crisp texture that typically comes from double blanching. The shredded Parmesan was nice but didn’t really do much in terms of flavour. That was more than covered with the extraordinarily rich White Truffle Mayo. There was a bit more than I’d care for (yes I’m bitching about too much White Truffle) as it’s a very strong flavour but it was delicious.
Porchetta On A Bun – $10
Excuse me, can I buy this in bulk? My… GOD… did I love this Sandwich. This was overloaded with meat. Just layers upon layers of thinly sliced juicy Pork. When it arrived I literally laughed out loud at how much Pork there was. As for the other components, the menu states “Triple Crunch” but I have no idea what means. I do know that there was some crunch to it, most likely the Crackle from the Pork. This was dressed with Parmesan, Truffle Mayo (deja vu?) and Hot Sauce. With so much meat, I was fearful of a soggy bun but it held up very well. I couldn’t have been happier after finishing this one. This single-handedly ensured I’ll be returning soon.
Fried Chicken & Biscuit – $14
While the Porchetta was a huge surprise and a true highlight of my visit, the Fried Chicken was more a mixed bag. Part of it I’ll admit just comes down to personal preference. The Fried Chicken has a sweeter taste to it. Either the Chicken or Skin tasted like it was infused with Maple Syrup. I’d prefer my Chicken to be straight up salty goodness. Flavour preference aside, I was a bit disappointed in one of the pieces. I found the breast meat dry. The thigh on the other hand was very juicy. You can see the contrast between the 2 pieces above. As for the biscuit, that was everything I was hoping for. While large in size, it was light and fluffy. I’ve found so many homemade biscuits dense and overloaded with Butter. This was the perfect balance. I’d buy the Biscuits alone in a half dozen and eat them for breakfast over a couple of days. Yes 2 days for 6 large biscuits. DON’T JUDGE ME!
Overall we had an enjoyable experience. The service was fantastic (our server sassed the hell out of us in a fun way). Breast meat aside, everything else we ate was delicious. That Porchetta On A Bun will ensure I come back on a regular basis to get my fix. If you’re a resident of Hamilton and haven’t taken the time as yet, head to Earth To Table Bread Bar for lunch or dinner. If you get the Fried Chicken, I’d love to get your impressions as well.
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Do you have a question/compliment/criticism? I’m happy to talk it over in the comments below.