An opening of one's knowledge,capabilities, vision and guidance. The Kenaz is about creating a relationship,learning and allowing room for interpretation. When you are in the darkness,an opening with light is the best and most gracious thing to have bestowed upon you. This is a great time for putting energies into new opportunities. Come share my world as I see it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I am putting together a list of best places to eat cheap in Hamilton- according to the following criteria.

The parametres are broad, all cuisines, all eateries, food trucks. Provide a list of what you ate, take a picture even, and provide the cost. Remember 3 courses under $20.00 or a quick snack or sandwich under $10.00. Lets get a list that gives the little man a shout out, the chains can do that themselves.

If you would like to add to the list, email me at
click on the title link to view the mission statement and the list.

I received some mass email from Councilor Merulla to all HSR drivers in error. Thanks Sam for this timely update, but I am not an HSR employee. I appreciate the detour info, albeit I don't travel the MOHAWK line to often. If any Barton or King detour info pops up, please feel free to include me in your mass email list. On an even lighter note, a while back you passed on some of my concerns as follows,

REPLY From: The General Manager
Subject: RE: (Edit) City workers visiting local bar

Councillor Merulla and Mr. Oliphant,
Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.
Upon detailed investigation by the Manager of Roads it has been determined that a crew of employees had stopped in this area for a break when observed by Mr. Oliphant.
The GPS system that is installed on the truck confirmed that the vehicle was standing for fifteen minutes.  Interviews confirmed that Espresso Coffee was consumed at the Club.
Thank you.

I would have to say I wouldn't be caught dead in these dive bars, but hey if city employees still find their Espresso Coffee the bomb, who am I to say. Maybe a community newsletter should follow, "Best dumps to get your buzz on, according to the public works department". Seriously, I wouldn't go a salon and get my haircut because they served you a drink while you are waiting(I read it in the Spec, it had to be true). Why would you get a coffee at a bar, that doesn't sell food(solid)?


  • I got to thinking and thought the rest of council could help with the idea floating around my brain,
Hi, firstly thank to all of you councilors and Mr. Mayor,

This email, I hope provokes some much needed laughter in your busy lives. I originally sent this email in reply to one sent by Councillor Merulla, in which he perplexed me with his thankful concern to HSR drivers to avoid a manhole repair, the problem is I have never been a employee of the HSR. I would though, be grateful to any other councilors who could provide me with any other similar updates on HSR detours as I do use many  hsr r
outes in my daily commutes. As far as the second half of my inquiry to Mr. Merulla, it concerned an old email in which I felt it wasn't appropriate for city workers to get their coffee buzz at a couple of North end dive bars. I was assured as you will read by (the General Manager), these transactions where above par. Please, I would love to gather a list of Hamilton "five star dive bars" a term coined by Food Channel Cook Guy Fieri, in which I could post on my blog to ensure these businesses are the tops according to Hamilton city employees.

To all a great weekend and please come visit he hood and maybe we can have a coffee.
I couldn't believe it when I got replies that where not nasty! In fact showed Councillors actually have a personality(sic)

Thanks for sharing your email.

I have to admit that I no longer attend "five star dives". You see recently, I leaned back in a new city hall chair and heard something snap. At first, I thought it was just one of my stiff joints. However, when I looked up... I noticed everyone was smiling at me. Well, that was the first day of my new "triple d" diet. However,I am still a fan of "diners, drive-ins, and dives", but I just look and don't eat. ;-)


Brad Clark
Councillor Ward 9
Heritage Stoney Creek 
Hello Kendall
Thanks for your email and it accomplished what you set out to do. It brought a smile to my face.
As for diners that are on the bus route in Ward 11? Ward 11 is very limited to HSR routes. Having said that, we have Frankie's in Mount Hope on Homestead Drive (as you come off hwy#6) and of course "The Egg and I" on Upper James.

Hope this helps
Brenda Johnson
Councillor Ward 11
the Communities of:
Glanbrook, Rural Upper Stoney Creek and Winona 

Remember this list is nothing without you. Please feel free to contribute often.

It seems right to introduce myself, my name is Kendall Oliphant a born and bred north end Hamiltonian and part time blogger.  A series of funny communicates with local politicians and department heads concerning the poor choice of a "dive bar" for city workers to get their cappuccino got me thinking "What are my favorite places to eat without breaking the bank?"

So why am I talking to you Hamiltonian readers?
I sent the following communication to the powers to be here and they graciously(!) granted me this opportunity to have this post  featured as "A Link of the Moment" on their sight. 

What's in this for you?
I need your help on compiling a list of great eateries and food trucks that offer "Constraint Elegance" 3 course meals for under $20.00, quick bites for under $10.00 for the people of Hamilton who are looking for a little class, without the price tag or pain(heartburn). Not the usual ones you hear about that always get the press, that quaint, cozy sea food shack with the killer homemade tarter sauce or the little bakery with the Red Velvet Cake created in heaven.




A letter to the editor of "The Hamiltonian" "As you will see it started with an erroneous email from Councillor Merulla and ends with some great “greasy spoon” suggestions from Councillor Johnson. I would love your input(?) and maybe your readers can get the ball rolling, on a list of great “Hammer Dives” a place that serves food that does the trick for those on a budget."

Basically, The Hamiltonian had interest in doing something on this topic, with a couple of suggestions, dives was dropped and 
finally the "Hungry Hamiltonian" is born.  After some deliberation, it was concluded that this post would stay on this sight and be linked to by "The Hamiltonian". Please send all ideas to me  at so I can create a list.


I don't want this to be a pretentious "I ate here thought it was great, eat there" those sights are always from paid snooty foodies. I'm a blue collar worker who is always looking for a place that serves food almost as good as Moms was at a price my broke butt can afford. I would love to devise a list of great places to eat on a budget and divide the list along the lines of municipal ward boundaries. Please submit your submissions to the editor and I will have final say to what qualifies. The parametres are broad, all cuisines, all eateries, food trucks. Provide a list of what you ate, take a picture even, and provide the cost. Remember 3 courses under $20.00 or a quick snack or sandwich under $10.00. Lets get a list that gives the little man a shout out, the chains can do that themselves. Get out their and "Eat to Sooth You Soul and Nourish your Mind"-Kendall Oliphant

My Entry's For the List 

Ward 2, Downtown

Capri Ristorante Italiano 25 John Street North Hamilton, ON L8R 1H1

Good home-cooked Italian, not the boxed version from the take out chains great for a relaxing dine in meal or take-out (they do deliver, comes in insulated foam containers). True story, I ordered the meal below, it took maybe an hour to arrive, but was like it just came out of the oven. I burnt the roof my mouth because I couldn't wait for the Manicotti to cool down. In house, the decor is straight out of an Italian postcard. I've been to more expensive Italian restaurants and didn't get food as good as Capri. Definitely my fave.  ****

Appetizer, Salad and Main Course Price  $18.45(one person) before tax

GARLIC BREAD, (6pcs) $3.95 / cheese $6.25 (12pcs) $6.95 / cheese $9.50
Italian loaf spread with garlic and herb butter, then lightly toasted
CHEF SALAD, $4.25 Garden greens, tomatoes & olives with choice of dressing 
MANICOTTI , $10.25 Pasta sheets rolled and filled with ricotta, rice and Parmesan cheese, topped and baked with tomato sauce and mozzarella

Mahal Restaurant Tandoori Tikka & Kabob House-22 King St. East, Hamilton, Ontario 
They serve a variety of delicious Pakistani, Indian, and Halal dishes. The Nan is straight up addictive, try to save some to temper the curry in  the main course  The Chicken Tikka Masala ($9.99) is a popular choice. If you want to sample a classic, try the Chicken Curry, cooked in Mahal’s mouthwatering traditional curry sauce ($8.99).  For the vegetarian the  ALOO GOBI a CAULIFLOWER AND POTATO dish COOKED WITH ONION AND TOMATOES for $6.99 is a great choice. Finish off the meal with some GULAB JAMUN,($2.99 for 2 pcs.) a spongy milky desert soaked in a rose scented syrup and serving of Masala Tea ($1.99) a sweet spiced milk brew. I found the staff extremely helpful in getting me around the names of the dishes, and offering suggestions to the spiciness of each so that even the most delicate constitutions can enjoy a delicious meal.

Ward 3, Noth End

The best deal in the North end has to be a little nondescript Polish restaurant on Barton ST E@ Sherman Ave N with a great name that fits the concept. Bel Air 677 Barton St E, Hamilton- Nothing seems to have changed in this very cool place since the 50s - even the cash register is this big mechanical thing - I don't think it even runs on electricity. What you really come here for is the food, the atmosphere, the beer.  Everything is shiny aluminum like in a 1950's diner. The food,  is amazing. It's Polish food and nothing but. Every time I go I have perogies, and sometimes cabbage rolls or some of the other stuff. It's all delicious. Perogies are a big delicious filling meal and are very very affordable. They have different kinds, stuffed with cheese, or with meat etc. I have had them all, and they are all good. Have them with onions, sour cream and bacon pieces. And lots of great Polish beer. I wish I was there right now! If you're the designated driver, try one of the milkshakes - equally awesome. Price for a plate of perogies, salad and desert around $10.00. Well within my parametres

Ward 11 

From Councilor Brenda Johnson
Frankie's Bar and Grill -2965 Homestead Dr RR 1, Mount Hope, ON L0R 1W0

The Egg And I Restaurants,-1760 UPPER JAMES ST, HAMILTON, ON  


Harvest Burger a downtown fixture for 32 years closed in August, what was your memories of this legend that fed great food to many hungry patrons for a great price? Mine was the killer veggie burgs, made with the same love as the meat version, no cardboard here, no sir. 

Tim Hortons coming to Nunavut Folks will soon be able to order a Tim Hortons coffee in Iqaluit, Nunavut, the last province or territory that has been without a location. The North West Co. said Wednesday it has signed a deal to open three kiosk locations in the territorial capital in December. 

Side note the new Horton's Sundried Tomato Asiago Parm a savoury bagel with tomato, garlic & herbs, Asiago & Parmesan cheese is killer. Also a killer plans to introduce a new extra-large cup size which will hold 24 oz. The new coffee will pack a mind blowing 340mg of caffeine, just under the recommended daily allowance of 400mg for adults and well over the 300mg for pregnant women. If the super size comes to Hamilton, I wouldn't slam one of these babies back and head out on the QEW during morning rush hour!


This is the section where you tell me who had the best single item you ever ate. You know that place that makes killer onion rings or the slice of pizza that was made with love. Let me start the list, 

Ward 1, Westdale 

Ghazi's Falafel Donair,1335 Main Street West Hamilton, ON L8S 1C6 Neighbourhoods: Ainslie Wood East One of the best Mid-east restaurants in town, easily. Great food, decent service. The review ratings gets slammed a bit because of the decor, but its reasonable spot to grab a quick felafel. Price Range (per person): $0-$10 

Ward 2, Downtown

Pam's Coffee & Tea Jackson Square, Hamilton, ON L8P 1A1   

A great little jewel at Jackson square holding it's own amongst the coffee giants around. Doing it with fresh standard and flavoured coffees and a nice display of pastries. The decor is clean and comfortable and overlooks a nice view of James St N. They even offer free WiFi.  

Bonanza's Bakery
Corner or Catharine N & Murray E
Bakery, deli, hot counter & sub sandwiches with MANY choices at $2.50!! Best bang for your buck in the city. Lunch time is quite busy

Great place for a Felafel, or a Shawarma if all you have is a fiver and need your belly filled. I prefer the middle eastern cuisine because it's a lot more tastier and healthy. If you're not satisfied with the Felafel or Shawarma, they have burgers, fries and other things a fast-food place has. For the price, atmosphere, quality of the coffee, you can't beat this downtown jewel.

Ward 3, Central
Duatre Supermarket
417 Barton St E 
See Bonanza's Bakery above but with more items.-submitted by Ryan Barneski

1127 King St. E

Great donairs, falafels, poutine, subs and other stuff. Super clean inside, and the woman working the counter is super nice-submitted by Ryan Barneski

Ward 5, East
Extreme Sandwich Plus 2255 Barton Street East Hamilton
If it's a extremely big, fresh sandwich you desire this is the place to go. Also servings of lasagna, penne and meatballs, are home made, fresh, and very large servings.  The price is right as well, best bang for your buck! Friendly atmosphere and fresh, good, cheap food. Around $8.00 for a 12oz sandwich!!

Ward 7, Central Mountain
Licks 1441 Upper James Street Map (North of Rymal Road) 
Most of the veggie burgers in restaurants seem to be Yves Garden Burgers, which are not my favourite and if not cooked thoroughly can be gummy. But there are some good ones. I like the Lick's Nature Burger . It's the best  in the city, sadly now as I mentioned above, Harvest Burger is no longer. Even non-vegetarians like them because they are very meat-like in texture. Price Range under $5.00, you can even buy them at Walmart, Food Basics and Metro in the frozen food section 4 for under $6.00