Steeltown Brunch

6 May

Hamilton is not know for the “finer things” in life. I know how impossibly condescending that sounds! When you tell people you live/ work/ play in Hamilton, they sneer or furrow their brow in bafflement. The city is widely misunderstood. In fact, having spent 5+ years living and enriching my mind there, I have seen that the city has a lot to offer and has so much potential: gripping landscapes, a thriving art community, as well as emerging food scene.

After working up an appetite touring sites (Dundurn Castle and CHCH studios) for Doors Open Hamilton, my Hunk-of-Man and I needed to refuel. The destination: Radius.* James Street South is a strange intersection of everything Hamilton has to offer: transportation hub, hospitals, path to the Mountain, independent restos, and affordable living. It used to be the case that food options in the area were scant: too expensive/ touristy brunches, GREASY spoons and pub food. Radius, a distinct addition, advertises itself as ” urban casual dining” in a comfortable and trendy setting.

According to the our lovely server, the resto opened in November and the cafe six months before. The decor features high ceilings with hammered tin tiles, glass tables (with tree trunk bases) and chandeliers. I remember the modest sandwich shop that stood there before so I was impressed with the change! From 10-3 on weekends, Radius offers a brunch menu: traditional fare (eggs benedict, french toast) as well as a choice of 3 different frittatas. One has the choice of potatoes, quinoia salad, or a fruit bowl as accompaniment with each brekkie option.

I wanted this place to be good. I needed this place to be good (I live for the Bread Bar but variety is the spice of life).

I ordered the Classic Eggs Benedict. Hunk-of-Man ordered the Frittata Italiano (Italian sausage, parmesan cheese, onions peppers and more!).

I always order EB because I love breaking the yellow yolk over the pink ham/ pea meal bacon and english muffin. I didn’t specify that I wanted my eggs medium. I usually note my preference but have found that most chefs prepare it that way so I decided to keep schtum this time. (Note: the menu also states that eggs are “soft boiled”) That decision proved costly as the eggs were over hard. *sad trombone* They weren’t hard boiled – the yolks were still orange in the center. I just didn’t get the satisfaction of sopping up the yolky mess with bread and potatoes. On Masterchef, one of the major challenges the home chefs must complete is to prepare 3 styles of eggs perfectly. That the resto is only serving brunch in the afternoons but failed to execute a simple poached egg properly is disappointing. *I* can make runny poached eggs at home!

The English Muffin had a tender and chewy texture. The Denninger’s bacon was mouthwateringly savoury! The potatoes were wonderfully crisp. In the end, I was only mildly annoyed.

My manfriend’s frittata was described as “okay”; a bit scant on salt and toppings. The smoked cheese was a pleasant surprise.

Hamilton has a special place in my heart and so I want to believe that this was a one-off bad plate. I would certainly return and try the cafe offerings. I am also certainly willing to give brunch another go before I write them off!!

* Radius tweets!

Radius Café + Urban Casual Dining on Urbanspoon

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