Eating Good in the Burlington Neighbourhood

It’s the most wonderful time of the year when Taste of Burlington returns! We recently hit up their Summer 2014 installment for a serious snack-down for the ages. The sold out event attracted 350+ people for an evening of sips, samples and seconds of…well, everything, at the gorgeous Performing Arts Centre in downtown Burlington.

TOBAs one of the judges for the event, we were tasked with trying dishes from each of the twenty participating restaurants (sidenote: thinking we might need to develop an OCTA clothing line for fancy eating pants). A�We’ve long felt that Burlington’s restaurant scene is an undiscovered gem (some of our favourite restaurants can be found in the region) but from the crowds of eager food lovers at the event, it looks like word is catching on. A�And it’s not hard to believe the line ups when you see the line up of restaurants on hand…

One of our favourite parts of this job is getting to meet the producers and purveyors who make Ontario a tasty, tasty place to live. We loved hearing from the passionate chefs and servers about the inspiration for their creations and their use of local ingredients. A�At The Water Street Cooker‘s station, a vibrant display of fresh produce served as a perfect compliment to their seasonal salad, featuring fresh greens and tomatoes that were harvested that very morning. Dee-licious (and nutritious!).

Taste of Burlington Summer 2014

Beautiful bites abounded. Clockwise from L: Ivy Bar + Kitchen, Water Street Cooker (photo credit: @surburbantourist),A�Rib Eye Jack’s (photo credit: @inspirehamilton), Ivy Bar + Kitchen goes vegetarian

Some other favourites included the crispy beef gyoza from Rib Eye Jack’s Ale House, the duck pastrami slider (using Ontario sourced Magret duck) with marrowed carrots from Ivy Bar + Kitchen, and the house smoked pickerel with potato salad from Red Canoe Bistro. Bonus points for innovation go to Paradiso, who served up a tangy fresh ricotta on bread made using the whey formed during the cheesemaking process. Whey cool, if you ask us!

No whey? Yes whey!!

No whey? Yes whey!!

Of course, with any competition, there were also some bragging rights on the line. This edition of #TOBSUM14 was a close race…here’s who took home the top honours:

Best Taste: Queen’s Head Pub
Caramel pretzel peanut butter ice cream – yes, all your favourite words in one dessert

People’s Choice: Stone House Restaurant
Pecan crusted salmon with sweet potato hash and honey Dijon cream sauce

Runner Up: Pepperwood Bistro
Crispy pork belly on housemade salt & vinegar chip with chipotle glaze, mango corn sauce

Missed the launch? The good folks at Tourism Burlington have you covered – Taste of Burlington runs from July 20th to August 3rd. The two week restaurant dining series features special prix fixe menus from the city’s best restaurants. Catch a sneak peak of their menus here and look for the Eat Local label indicating menus with locally sourced ingredients.

We’re always looking for a tasty tip…share your favourite dishes from Taste of Burlington using the #TOBSUM14 hashtag, on their Facebook page or by tweeting at @OCTA_licious.

Happy dining, friends!

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