When in Nashville…. You Eat Hot Chicken…

When in Nashville…. You Eat Hot Chicken…

Hey y’all!

Recently I travelled to Tennessee; Memphis, Cleveland, Chattanooga and of course Nashville. Nashville is  known for many things such as country music and of course the world renowned Hot Chicken. Now I have tasted a Canadian version of a Hot Chicken dish and it was pretty good. But while in Nashville, I had to try the authentic thing!

I met up with my homegirl Sam, who has been living in Nashville this summer and has made Nashville her home away from home while her boyfriend lives out his dream of hitting it big with his band! (Fingers crossed for them)

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Sam and I behind Draper James

She ever so graciously took me and my friend to some of Nashville’s hot spots- one being the restaurant we ate at called Party Fowl. ( Thanks again Sammy girl)

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Now I like spice and I can handle it ( Jamaican to the bone:) )  but let me tell you , I have never had spice like this in my life.

Let me backtrack and tell you a little bit about the restaurant. Party Fowl is a restaurant that has three locations: Two in the Nashville area and one about an hour outside of Nashville. Party Fowl serves to bring together three of the things the Music City is known for; Hot chicken, ice cold drinks and amazing music. The downtown location I went to had a very country/ sports bar vibe. It’s a great spot to catch a drink with your girls or just kick back and watch the game.

Let’s talk about the menu. Now I thought that it would be just hot chicken and sides but they had so many variations of hot chicken from Hot chicken tacos to Hot chicken poutine! ( You know this Canadian girl was excited by that) But I thought for my first time that I would try the plain simple dish of Nashville Hot Chicken which came served on Texas toast and a side of coleslaw.  I added an additional side of Mac and cheese because…. why not?

The Nashville to sauce comes in a few variations of heat levels. Here are the levels down below. Southern fried which is as mild as they can make it to Poultrygeist which is ( in my opinion) a severe punishment for your insides! (lol)

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I played it safe and stuck to the middle of the road level of heat with the medium spice option. Now this “medium” was not for the faint of heart. After 3 bites, I felt the back of my neck become a little flushed and my nose begin to run! While it was extremely hot in spice, the heat did not take away from the incredible flavour, seasoning and tenderness of the chicken. It was well prepared and I throughly enjoyed my meal. The tanginess of the coleslaw and just the right amount of creaminess in the Mac and cheese were the perfect complimentary sides to this meal.

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To wash it down, I went with one of Party Fowls signature frozen vodka infused lemonades. It was DIVINE and the perfect addition to cool me off while experiencing what I like to call a hot chicken hot flash!

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If I’m ever back in the great state of Tennessee and happen to pass through the Nashville area, I’ll be sure to pop in and visit Party Fowl once again!

Till next time…

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©justlovethemanyway

Food Files: Dinner At The Ship…

Food Files: Dinner At The Ship…

Hey guys!

It’s been a long time since I’ve featured a restaurant here on the blog, but with the nice weather sticking around I thought it was time for me to start exploring the amazingly quaint little restaurants in my town! So with my homegirl in tow, off we went to explore…. “The Ship”

This restaurant is located near the downtown Hamilton core district. ( 23 Augusta St.) The Ship is set inside an old historic Hamilton home that has been refurbished to house this awesome little hangout.  The ambiance is so cozy! Very intimate. Great place for some late night eats and drinks or, an early evening with someone special! I would suggest you get there early as space is limited and they do not take reservations at this time.

The hostesses are so friendly and welcoming as you enter. The bartenders really know how to make a great drink! Our server ( his name has slipped me) was just wonderful! Extremely patient with my indecisive self !:)

Ok, now on to the most important part: The food! This pub offers everything from brunch ( Sunday’s until 3pm) which features awesome things such as breakfast poutines. Dinner, which offers everything from duck wings and catfish to gourmet burgers and po’ boy sandwiches ( there’s even a salad or two) and also provides late night eats which include nachos and coconut shrimp.  Is your mouth watering as much as mine is? (lol)

We ended up deciding to try out a few of their gourmet burgers. My homegirl. chose “The Hawaiian”  which included the ingredients: grilled pineapple, cheddar, bacon, ranch lettuce and tomato. For me pineapple DOES NOT belong on a burger… or pizza… or on anything other than a fruit skewer.(I’m sorry to all the hot pineapple lovers out there!) However , my friend really enjoyed it, and pineapple aside, it looked fantastic!

 

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I chose a burger called “The Big Pickle” which featured the following components: fried pickle strings, bacon, cheddar, pickled red onion, honey lime sriracha, lettuce , tomato. I got mine without the red onion ( not a huge fan)This burger was delicious! My burger was prepared medium well which allowed all the burger to be really juicy and flavourful . The honey lime siracha sauce added just enough spice to enhance the seasoning of the patty and not overpower it. The friend pickle strings were an added bonus. This burger is definitely not for the faint of heart and its probably not first date eat worthy either! ( It can get a little messy!) You’ll  definitely have to use both hands. I would be remiss if  I didn’t mention how soft the bun was….. so good!

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What I like about this pub is that it offers a variety of different patty options such as beef, chicken, as well as vegan and gluten free options as well.  The price point is a very reasonable one where you can get one of these gourmet burgers with fries and a drink ( soda/pop) for about $25 dollars give or take a few bucks!

Would I suggest checking out The Ship? Absolutely!
Will I be returning to try more of the delicious fare The Ship has to offer? Without a doubt!

Lastly: I probably had one of the best Amaretto Sours  I have ever had in my life with this meal… Just saying! 🙂

That’s all for now!
Till next time…
xoxo
©justlovethemanyway

Food Files: World’s Easiest Pancake Recipe…

Hey guys!

I back again with another long overdue edition of Food Files! Last night I was just in the mood for some good old fashioned pancakes! Living in Canada with no IHOP nearby and with Denny’s too far away, my only resolution was to make them myself! So I went on the internet in search of a simple recipe to make some pancakes from scratch… ( yeah I had no ready made pancake mix either lol)

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and It made the most delicious pancakes that could serve about 1-3 people.  ( I had quite a bit of batter left over and I served myself and 1 other person) The recipe is as follows :

The best way to make sure your batter is nice and creamy and makes the lightest, fluffiest pancakes ever, is to mix the wet ingredients separate from the dry ingredients and then whisk them together at the end.

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Warm up your pan with the cooking oil/spray or butter of your choice and make sure it is on medium heat. You don’t want your pan too hot as it tends to burn the pancakes before they can cook all the way through and they definitely don’t taste as nice or look as aesthecially pleasing. You definitely want to make sure not to flip your pancake  until you see the batter begin to bubble. That’s how I know that the first side is cooked throughly.

I like to pair my pancakes with good ol’ maple syrup and some fresh fruit. Last night I had some super sweet strawberries that I threw on top!

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There you have it! The world’s  easiest pancake recipe! Try it out and let me know how it works out for you!

Till Next Time…
xoxo

Food Files: The Coop Wicked Chicken…

Food Files: The Coop Wicked Chicken…

Hey guys!

I’m back again with another edition of food files! This time I stopped in at another local spot called, “The Coop Wicked Chicken”.  The Coop is located in downtown Hamilton Ontario. With lots of new trendy restaurants popping up on Locke and James streets respectively, its nice to see a restaurant open on one of the main streets of the downtown core.

So what exactly is “The Coop”? You’ve probably surmised from is name, that it is a restaurant that specializes in chicken dishes.  They have everything from chicken burgers to chicken and waffle dishes. But before I talk about the food, lets talk about the restaurant itself.

When I first walked in the first place thing I noticed was the amazing graffiti artwork on the walls. I really liked the industrial/ distressed wood decor and ambiance. There were a couple of tv’s placed around the restaurant for the sports lovers. Also the dining area had a loft that would be good to book if perhaps you were having a small get together. Coop has this epic coke machine that you can choose from an abundance of different beverages! So cool!  Both times I went to Coop, I sat in the loft section and what was cool about that was that you could actually see the prep area and basically watch them prepare your meal.  This restaurant seems to be geared towards a more mature clientele, like 20+ years old. It’s not exactly family oriented as they play very mature music ( no radio edits lol) and the atmosphere is pretty loud and bar like. There is a disclaimer on the door though that explains that the music they play may contain explicit content which I thought was wise! I enjoyed the music because Im an 80’s baby and they were playing all kinds of early 90’s R and B and hip hop! Dope!

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Let’s move on to the food! The first time I went, I ordered the Nashville Chicken Sandwich.  The sides are sold separately  so I added waffle fries to my order as well as a fountain drink. The sandwich was well seasoned ( with a little bit of a kick to it) and the bun was nice and soft( which I love!)  The waffle fries were just okay. I may be biased because the best waffle fries I’ve ever had were from “Chik-Fil- A,” ( American Food Chain) and so every other waffle fry is just mediocre in comparison (lol sorry) and for the price of the side ( $2.99) and the 6 fries I got… I’d suggest you skip the waffle fries. The presentation was really cute! All in all, I would definitely get this item off the menu again. img_3640The next time I went,  I decided to try the Chicken and waffle option as well as the crispy dil pickles as a side. Guys…. These dill pickles were AMAZING! If ( and by if I mean when!) I go back I would definitely get these again.  Now the waffle was really soft and was garnished with an egg , bacon crumble and green onions.  It was presented nicely and tasted phenomenal . My only qualm with this item was that it was super teeny tiny! I would’ve enjoyed so much better if there was more of it to enjoy!

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So heres my final wrap up of Coop:

Pros:
-central location
-cool ambiance
-well seasoned food
– awesome presentation
– reasonable prices

Cons:
-very small portions
– items sold separately

I would visit again and if you’re ever in the Hamilton, Ontario ( or Burlington ) area stop in and check them out!

xoxo

Food Files: Serve Ping Pong Bar and Lounge

Food Files: Serve Ping Pong Bar and Lounge

Hey guys!

I’m finally back with another edition of food files! On this edition, I ventured to Serve Ping Pong Bar and Lounge.  Now if you’re anything like me, you are probably skeptical about a place where adults go to play ping pong. I honestly haven’t played ping pong since childhood but on a night out with the man dem (lol) we decided to try it out… and what a fantastic decision it was.. so much so that ive been there twice since!

So, think your average pool bar on an upscale level. Serve is a 10,000 square foot lounge with multiple ping pong tables, a few couches and many places to grab a bite to eat! The ambience inside Serve is bar none and to add to it, they play fantastic music for us 80’s born babies! ( think biggie, the bad boy family, tupac, lots more hip hop hits….etc…)

The experience was so cool! You didn’t have to worry about collecting your stray balls ( and I had so many of them lol) as they have a staff member who collects them and returns them to you! It was fun to let loose and let down my inhibitions and just enjoy my time!

The staff at serve are all so friendly and accommodating. Great staff can truly make or break an experience.

Let’s talk about the food! I was pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. In my visits, I tried a few items.

The menu came in a cute ping pong paddle shape. One side had the food options and the other held the beverage options.

img_2499Here are some quick snaps of the food I tried. The Nashville Hot Chicken was by far my favorite with the nachos a close second!

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If you are ever in the Hamilton/ GTA area pop on down to Serve! You won’t be disappointed! I’ll definitely be back again… and again… and again!

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xoxo

Food Files: Brunching At The Drake Hotel…

Food Files: Brunching At The Drake Hotel…

Hey folks!

Awhile back I went to brunch with some girlfriends at the Drake Hotel in Toronto, Ontario Canada.  The Drake hotel is quaint little spot in downtown Toronto that not only boasts really neat hotel rooms, but also a fantastic restaurant/lounge area for anybody looking for a great spot to grab a bite to eat!

So, this lunch in particular was a bridal party get together. Shout out to my amazing friend and bride to be for putting together such a posh get together!

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So, lets jump right in! First lets check out the brunch menu.
Nothing says weekend like brunch at The Drake Hotel! Whether you're having a family reunion, hanging with friends or lovers, our famous brunch will make your belly smile. There's always room for Drake's chicken and waffles, no matter how many eggs you've had.

I went ahead and ordered the chicken and waffle dish with a side of bacon. I had heard so many great things about it that I just had to try it out! I was not disappointed at all!The waffle itself was so light and fluffy. The chicken was well seasoned and complimented the waffle well.  Now I’m not one to deviate from basic options so I must admit the Niagara cherries kind of threw me for a loop! But, boy was I ever surprised at how much I liked it! The tart flavor of the cherries really complimented the salty flavor of chicken and the sweet taste of the maple syrup on the waffle.

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If you are looking for a cool place to brunch with your girlfriends or even a significant other, The Drake Hotel may be the place for you!

Happy eating!
xoxo

Food Files: Hamilton Hotspot HAMBRGR

Food Files: Hamilton Hotspot HAMBRGR

Hello Lovely People!

I’m back again with another edition of Food Files. This time I visited a gourmet burger spot called “HAMBRGR” in my city of Hamilton, Ontario Canada. HAMBRGR is a relatively new spot that I really wanted to try and had heard great things about. So, me and my peoples ( shout to Shanice, Shantelle and Drae! 🙂 ) ventured down there on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to test it out.

The menu appears to be broken up into five sections: Starters, Greens, Potatoes ( which details the different options of hand cut fries, baked potatoes and the Canadian classic poutines) BRGRS:(Specialty  Burger options) and Not BRGRS ( which are not non BRGR options like a chicken dish, fish grilled cheese etc..)

You also have the option of building your own burger from the list of condiments listed in the menu.  I’ll leave the menu down below, because if you are anything like me, you like to scope out the menu before you go someplace!

 

hambrgr Menu Starters

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HAMBRGR boasts that their patties are made from” custom made AAA chuck, flat top smashed and cooked to order”.  The lovely server told us that the meat is fresh made daily which I think really helped with the overall freshness of the burger its self!

The service was amazing! One thing that can make or break a restaurant for me is the customer service! If the servers don’t make it an enjoyable experience, I find it spoils the food for me. Am I the only one who feels this way? 😛

Sooooo…. I actually went to this restaurant 2 Saturdays in a row. I returned a week later after my initial visit with my bf! Had to let him try it out! So I will detail what I had on both my visits as well as some of the things my compadres had!

What I ate:  Shantelle and I actually got the same thing. We kept it simple with Cheeseburger option. The cheeseburgers toppings were: American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onion ( hold the onion) ketchup and mustard. Guys,  the cheese was perfectly melted… like melt in your mouth perfect! The bun was extremely soft and easy to manipulate. It was a little messy, but not unbearably so. Good size burger. Two thumbs up from me! We also had the hand cut fries as our side. I wasn’t overly impressed with these. I actually didn’t get them on my next visit.

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Cheeseburger 

What Shanice ate:  Shanice stepped outside the box and actually didn’t order a burger! She decided to try the  HAMBRGR Poutine. The ingredients are as follows: fresh ground chuck, caramelized onions, Quebec cheese curds and gravy. I tasted it and it was amazing! If you are looking for a non burger option, this is a great choice. Good size portion. Get extra sauce on the side for best taste!

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HAMBRGR Poutine

What Drae Got:  Drae got a specialty burger called the “HAMONT” ( which is an abbreviation of Hamilton, Ontario… clever) The HAMONT is a burger with a double patty, grilled onions, american cheese, smoked bacon, iceberg lettuce and secret BRGR sauce. Let me tell you when this burger came out my mouth literally started to salivate ( lol) it looked sooooo good! I didn’t hear any complaints and Drae said it was fantastic! It’s definitely on my list of things to try.

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The “HAMONT”

What I got on my next trip: I tried the Montezuma’s Revenge which main selling point for me was the house pickled jalapenos. This was by far my favorite burger from this restaurant hands down! If you aren’t afraid of a little spice, this is the BRGR for you!!

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Would I return to this restaurant?  Absolutely! I have already been twice! Would I suggest it for everybody to try? Without a doubt!

If you are ever in the Hamilton, Ontario area, and are looking for a bite to eat, head down to HAMBRGR and check them out! Hamilton is quickly becoming the a hotspot for cute, quaint, little restaurants  with amazing food! HAMBRGR is definitely one of those spots.

Happy eating!
xoxo

( This blog is not sponsored. The opinions in this blog are solely based on the author’s personal experience ©)

Food Files: Delicious Corn Bread Recipe…

Food Files: Delicious Corn Bread Recipe…

 

Hey guys!

Sorry about missing yesterday’s post but it was just one of those days where  a girl needed to hop in a hot bath, grab a beverage and soak my poor aching bones! However, I had a craving for something sweet, and since I’m on this healthy eating journey there is no”junk food” in my house.

So to satisfy my craving, I decided to make a cornbread. Not exactly the healthiest way to curb my craving but hey…. 🙂 !  Now, people prepare and serve cornbread in various ways. Today, I will share with you a recipe I have been making for years passed down to me from my mother! So delicious!

What you will need:

  • cornmeal
  • flour
  • salt
  • sugar( white)
  • baking powder
  • milk
  • eggs
  • butter
  • a big bowl
  • a mixer ( a simple hand mixer will do)
  • a spatula
  • a sifter/stainer

Here is the recipe: 

Dry Ingredients: 
3/4 cups of cornmeal
1 cup of flour
1/3 cup of sugar
3 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup of milk
1 egg
3 Tbsp of butter melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Using Pam or melted butter, grease a baking pan. For this recipe, I used one 8- inch pan.
  3. While your oven is preheating, go ahead and melt 3 Tbsp( tablespoon) of butter in the microwave and set it aside.
  4. You are going to want to sift your dry ingredients into your bowl first. Sifting it will help the cornbread be as smooth as possible.
  5. After, add your wet ingredients!
  6. Using your mixer, mix everything together until you have a very smooth consistency. If you don’t have a mixer, a big spoon or a whisk will do, it will just take some extra arm power!
  7. Pour your batter into your greased pan and place it into the oven
  8. Bake for 30-40 mins or until golden brown and cooked all the way through. The easiest way to check is to use a knife  and poke it straight down the middle and if it comes out clean your bread is ready!

That’s it folks! Really simple to make and even better to eat! Try it and let me know how it turns out! I’m about to enjoy a slice with a cup of Earl Grey Tea!

Have a great Tuesday!!
xoxo

Food Files: The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro

Food Files: The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro

Hey y’all,

Another “new” restaurant opened up in my city called, The Works. The Works, is a gourmet burger bar. This restaurant is new to my city but not new to me, I went to college in Ottawa Ontario and The Works was a widely popular eatery in that region. This franchise has many locations in Ontario. My girlfriends had never tried this place before, so we decided to check out the new location at one of our girls nights. ( and me being the lover of a good burger was down for the cause of course! :P)

The Works offers a variety of different meats for their burgers: Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Veggie, Mushroom Cap, Cheese-Stuffed, Lean Elk. They also offer a variety of bun choices ranging from  white, whole wheat and gluten-free options. The choices are quite extensive. The burgers range from your ordinary cheeseburger ( Ho Hum #1) to wilder choices like the Hunka Hunka which boasts peanut butter, banana slices and bacon ( eek… not my cup of tea, especially since I’m allergic to peanut  butter  🙂 )

Ho Hum #1
Ho Hum #1 : Beef Burger and Cheddar Cheese.
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Hunka Hunka ( Peanut butter, banana slices and bacon)

What I particularly enjoy  about this menu and burgers is that they are all able to be customized to your specific preferences and dietary needs. Each burger comes with a specific set of toppings, but if you want to add something you can for a very low price ( 60 cents each additional topping) , At this establishment, you can also get sandwiches, poutine, bar drinks and dessert!

On this particular visit, I decided to be a little more daring than my regular old bacon cheeseburger choices ( see my posts on Chuck’s Burger Bar and The Burger’s Priest.) I decided to try a burger called the “Jamaican Jerk” Burger: Now being Jamaican, I highly doubted the spiciness of this burger so I added hot banana peppers to mine. Boy did this burger have a kick to it! I mean, it wasn’t overwhelmingly spicy, but it certainly is not a burger for the mild tongued ( Shanice don’t eat this one lol 😛 )  I enjoyed it a lot! To accompany my meal, I had the Get Baked Poutine (Fresh cut fries, gravy, shredded cheese, bacon, sour cream & green onions) So amazing! I would go back to The Works just for that!

Overall, I really enjoyed my meal and would encourage everyone to try this restaurant! It’s not the best burger I have ever eaten, but It was totally worth my money and it was really not harsh on my pockets at all! Oh and a super funny thing happened to me while I was there. The hostess that served me was a girl who attended the child care facility I worked at 8 YEARS AGO, She is now 17 and a senior in high school….. oh my goodness, Where did time go? LOL

xoxo

Jamaican Jerk
The Jamaican Jerk Burger: Jamaican jerk sauce, caramelized onions & tomato ( i had mine minus the caramelized onions)
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                  Voila! My meal!

Food Files: State & Main Kitchen and Bar

Food Files: State & Main Kitchen and Bar

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. I am not affiliated with State & Main.

Hi guys,

I’m back again with another edition of my food files. Awhile back, a new restaurant opened up in my city called State & Main Kitchen and Bar.(It is actually a Canadian chain of restaurants I became aware as I researched it) I visited this restaurant with a good friend of mine( heyyy Jess)  on a beautiful Wednesday evening. The skies were bright, the temperature perfect, so we decided to sit on the patio. ( Side note: As soon as we finished eating, the skies opened up and began to downpour! we got inside just in the nick of time) This was a restaurant that I had never been to before but Jess had and had nothing but great things to say about it. So I tried it out.

I absolutely LOVED this place. The inside of the restaurant has a cozy yet chic atmosphere. You could go here for a family meal, date night or for a fun night out with friends or co workers.  The patio space was also really nice. It was actually quite a large outdoor space furnished with umbrellas, lights and what appeared to be heaters ( since its August there was really no need for us to use heaters.)

The menu was  awesome. So many things to choose from. It took us a really long time to decide what we wanted ( shout out to our sever, she was so patient with us) What I really liked about this place is that you can adapt your order to your specifications. I know about places gripe about making substitutions , but this place did not.

I ultimately settled on  the BUFFALO CHICKEN CHEESE STEAK which consists of:

roasted chicken simmered in buffalo sauce, served on a grilled baguette with red peppers, slivered onions, banana peppers, melted cheddar & mozzarella cheese.( stateandmain.ca) 

The nutritional details are:

SERVING SIZE299g

CAL730
FAT36g
SAT FATS14g
TRANS FAT.5g
CHOL135mg
CARBS47g
FIBER3g
PROTEIN48g
SODIUM2190mg
NOTESIncludes sandwich in its entirety, side dishes not included
I modified my sandwich and instead of having this on a white bun, I substituted the bun for a red tortilla wrap,  You get a choice of two sides and I chose the jalapeno cheddar  mashed potatoes  ( Absolutely divine) and a ceaser salad. I also ordered a drink. I originally ordered a drink that I did not like and my gracious friend switched with me so I didn’t have to send it back. She had a pink lemonade with a twist . It was okay. Let’s just say if you’re looking for spectacular drinks, this is not the place ( my opinion)
I really enjoyed my food however. I couldn’t finish it so I packed it up and took it for lunch the following day! Just as good!
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I would  totally recommend this restaurant to everybody! State & Main has locations in the following Canadian cities:

If you get a chance, check them out! You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Till Next Time!!
xoxo