Taste what Burlington has to offer at @TasteOfBurl
08 Feb 2014
Moving to Oakville
Wendy and I decided to move from Brampton to Oakville in 2006. The town that I grew up in went from being a small town to a large bustling city, with a larger population than the infrastructure could accommodate.
We decided on Bronte, a quiet lakeside community on the southwest end of Oakville. At the time, we didn’t realize how much we would love it. Situated on the border of Oakville and Burlington, we are close to shops and restaurants in both towns.
Since moving here, Wendy and I have tried quite a few restaurants in the Oakville and Burlington area. There are a lot of restaurants, but we always wondered what their food was like. Do we go in and try the food? Do we ask around to see if others have eaten there? Do we look for online reviews?
Taste Of Burlington
I have been to various “Taste Of” events in other towns. This is a great way to showcase the culinary offerings of local restaurants.
The Purple Heather Pub
Serving: Butternut Squash and Apple Puree with Crispy Carrot Swirl Soup and Green Thai Curry Pulled Pork Taco with Napa and Mango Slaw
I only sampled the Green Thai Curry Pulled Pork Taco with Napa and Mango Slaw. It was delicious! The flavour of the mango really popped with the Thai curry and pork flavours. Would definitely order this dish.
Serving: Garganelli with Bolognese sauce
I was a little disappointed in this dish. The bolognese sauce was very tasty. The pasta was chewy, and seemed overcooked. I do realize that they had to kep the pasta in hot water to rep it fresh, but it may have overcooked the pasta. Unfortunate, as the sauce was a hit!
Water St. Cooker
Serving: Smoked Tri Tip Ragout
This dish had potential. The smoked tri tip ragout was very tasty. The shell it was served in was like a formed Yorkshire pudding cup. It was a bit soggy (probably from sitting in a warming tray). It was tough to eat. I wasn’t sure whether i was supposed to pick it up, or try and cut through it with the provided fork. Like a few of the other dishes, I am sure this one would have been greet to try fresh at the restaurant, but they should have known that, and brought a convection oven to crisp up the cup a bit.
Serving: Award Winning Ribs
These were probably the best ribs I have ever had at a non-Southern BBQ restaurant. I was really impressed with the flavour and how tender they were.
Turtle Jacks nailed it with these bad boys… definitely the best tasting dish of the night.
Serving: Beer Braised Short Ribs with Truffled Turnip Puree
The beer braised short ribs were so good! They were very tender, and the truffled turnip puree added a beautiful finish. Definitely worth ordering.
Beaver & Bulldog
Serving: Mediterranean Burger Sliders with a Creamed Herbed Goat Cheese, Cucumbers, Bruscetta, and Red Pepper Hummus
I asked for mine without the creamed goat cheese. The rest of the slider was okay. As these are prepared ahead of time, they got kind of cold sitting there. But to be expected with sliders.
Serving: Spring Rolls
I was kind of disappointed when I approached this vendor and saw spring rolls. Another dish I would not have used to showcase a restaurant. The spring roll was not bad. It was served with a Thai chill sauce. Nothing exciting.
Serving: Beef Carpatio with Salsa Verde and Gran Padano Cheese on a Thin Crostini
This dish was just okay for me. I didn’t finish it. When looping around later on to se if I had missed any of the restaurants, I had noticed they were gone an hour early. They ran out of food. The sad part is, nothing that they were serving had to be cooked on site.
Serving: Leek and Parsnip Fritters, Butter Chicken and Rice
I am a huge fan of Indian food, so I was really looking forward to this dish. The taste of the butter chicken over the rice was nice. Just the right amount of spices. The leek and parsnip fritters had nice flavour, but were cold and chewy. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, in that they were precooked and stored in a warming tray. An addition of a small convection oven to finish these off would have been perfect, and would have given them a nice crispy outside.
Serving: Ghalieh Mahi (Tilapia and herbs and garlic over saffron infused rice)
This aromatic Southern-Persian dish had tremendous flavour! One of the only seafood offerings, this tilapia was well seasoned, and the saffron rice was delicious. A must visit if in downtown Burlington!
Serving: Angus Beef Meatballs with Mushroom Compote
These meatballs were delicious! The flavour was really nice. My only critique was that it was not served very hot.
The Naked Sprout
Serving: Prima Donna Primavera
This dish really did it for me. The zucchini pasta was very tasty! The owner took great care to talk to everyone to describe her dish. You could tell she was passionate about healthy eating. A raw vegan choice in Burlington, that is not in the downtown core? I am so there!
Red Canoe Bistro
Serving: Naturally Raised Beef & Lamb Ragout over Heirloom Beet Risotto with Goat Feta
I did not try this dish (as I don’t like feta cheese), but have eaten at Red Canoe Bistro several times. The food there is super-delicious.
Chef Tobias is very sensitive to food allergies (or picky eaters like me that don’t like feta cheese), and will prepare a custom order dish, or modify anything on the menu to suit your needs. A definite stop if you are in Burlington looking for a fine dining location with local fare.
Serving: Sin Bin Sliders
I really wanted to like these, but they were just run-of-the-mill sliders. I found the bun too overbearing for what was inside. Not a great choice for a “Taste Of” event.
Rib Eye Jack’s Ale House
Serving: Wonton Nachos (fried wontons, pulled beef, white beans, cheddar cheese, pico do gall green onions, and chipotle lime sour cream)
I asked for mine without sour cream, and they were happy to oblige. I am glad they did, because these were tasty! The wonton is much lighter, yet sturdier than the traditional nacho chip. This allowed them to pile on the beef and other toppings without it all falling off. Very cool, and very tasty.
Serving: Pork and Beans (pan roasted sweet Italian sausage in a white cannelloni bean ragu)
I was reluctant to try this dish, as it just didn’t seem too appealing. The taste was just okay for me. Not a dish I would have brought to showcase what you can expect from a restaurant.
Serving: Sweet Potato Doughnuts (filled with maple cream and topped with crushed pralines)
I wasn’t originally going to try this dish, as I was afraid it was going to be too sweet. Then I heard someone in front of me say “really good, and not too sweet”. So, I tried it. It was very good. I asked how it was prepared. The chef said the flash fried them back at the restaurant, and then baked in a small convection oven for a few minutes to keep the outside crispy and the inside tender. Normally, they are just deep fried. The fact they brought a convection oven to finish these off did it for me. They wanted to showcase a special desert they offer, and they figured out a way to make it happen without compromise. Very cool!
I did not get to sample all of the restaurants. There were a few I passed. Spencers had very delicious looking ice wine marshmallow s’mores. Christine had a double helping to make up for me not trying it. She said she would have gone back for thirds!
When is Taste of Burlington?
The winter leg of Taste Of Burlington runs from February 16th to March 9th. Be sure to check out Taste of Burlington while it is on.
Disclaimer: Burlington Tourism invited me to the media launch of Taste Of Burlington. All opinions are my own.