Noel Nosh at Ottawa St. Farmers’ Market

Posted on December 10, 2011


Recently, I have my earliest Christmas gift. I found myself a part-time teaching job that would afford me to stay longer in my pursuit of food photography. The gig would start by January of the coming new year and that leaves me with under a month of freedom to be the master of my own time. That being said, it isn’t surprising that I impulsively jumped on the opportunity to have a foodie road trip when Yvonne of Bonfire Catering tipped me about Noël Nosh at Hamilton’s Ottawa St. Farmers Market. I just knew it that foodies don’t really hibernate in the winter ;)

The drive to Hamilton was pleasant and short. There was no heavy traffic on the roads and I assume most people were Christmas shopping, causing traffic at the malls. I located the venue in no time and left my car on an adjacent lot. Six food trucks I sought were mixed with the local vendors of fresh produce. For whatever reason, I anticipated Ottawa St. Farmers’ Market to be in an indoors farmers market. I foolishly made this assumption as the market was said to go on all-year-round. Seeing that the vendors sell their produce in an open parking lot, I am most curious what happens every February or early March, when the snow packs it in. Maybe I’d come back in Hamilton early next year, just to check that out.

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After going back to the car to grab gloves and an extra sweater, I went first to Bonfire Catering’s truck. Evidently, there are benefits to having a big wood-fire pizza oven on your food truck. I discovered this as Yvonne invited me to stand by the oven and thaw my frozen fingers. I was in luck that a bacon jam pizza was already baking in the oven and I got my camera up on time as it was pulled out of the oven. Bacon-maple-syrup goodness like the first time I had it last October. I made a mental note to mention it to my sister Ishy and get her green with envy. Sisterly love, what can I say?

I could also not resist repeating Gorilla Cheese’s The Sarducci. This grilled cheese packs it with mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar and red onions (I wouldn’t be surprised if Ishy strangles me now). Patiently I waited for my Sarducci despite the chill in the air. I just know that crust I so love to bite into takes time to happen. As was the first time, this grilled cheese did not disappoint. I was a happy camper, licking the balsamic vinegar off my fingers. However, I only ate half the sandwich and saved the other half for later. Yvonne tells me I had to make room for El Gastronomo Vagabundo’s Fish Taco. That was my full intent when I approached their food truck but I changed my mind when I saw Bangkok’s Dangerous Tacos on the menu. Thai coconut red curry braised beef short ribs with pickled lotus roots and shallots, it was a beauty to look at and to bite into. After the tacos, I had no more room for anything more. Despite this, I did swing by Cupcake Diner, to get some very cute gingerbread cookies and by Shriners Creek, to bring home a bag of caramel-coated kettle corn. Of the beautiful produce, I brought home a cauliflower with purple florets and a small celeriac. I am most curious if the cauliflower I bought tasted any different and I never had celeriac before. My lunch tomorrow would be quite interesting.

Noël Nosh goes on for two more Fridays, 16th and 23rd of December. Take the time and do the short drive I did. If anything, it extends the feeling of euphoria of summer, seeing food truck eats is still out and accessible. Good food gets this foodie out of the door even in winter ;)