Staxx Burger Chicken and Waffle House

Sometimes you just get an insatiable craving for fried chicken. I’d heard about Staxx multiple times from many Hamiltonians, some who hadn’t been in ages but remember their chicken and waffles fondly, some who visit regularly and others who hadn’t been at all. Myself and a few family friends were well overdue for a hangout and we always plan to try a great spot in Hamilton for some dinner and chatter. This time we chose Staxx. We planned this dinner about a month in advance so the anticipation was killing me by the time I got there.

A large group of us (about 12) went on a Friday night and were smart enough to make reservations well ahead of time. Being as small as the restaurant is, if you’re looking to chow down on some fried chicken, I’d recommend trying to make a reservation beforehand. Now, this is nothing new as I believe their old location only sat about 25-30 people, their new location is about the same.

Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long for our tables (about half an hour past our reservation time) and were greeted by very friendly bar and wait staff. This gave us all a chance to look over the menu, get recommendations and ask for clarification on things we had questions about.

Once we sat down, the restaurant quickly filled up and before we knew it all tables were full and people were waiting at the door to be seated. Needless to say it was a bit hectic and loud but that diminished over time. A few of us ordered starters for the table to share which included deep fried pickles, onion rings and Wagyu beef sliders. I only managed to snap pictures of the beef sliders as the other apps were snatched up real quick!

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These bad boys were absolutely delicious. The beef was juicy, perfecly seasoned and was dressed with minimal toppings which is so important with sliders. Just some gooey cheese, aioli and lettuce and tomato on the side. The bun was amazing too, soft on the insdie with crispy, buttery edges. This app came with three sliders for around $11. The sliders, along with the deep fried pickles haven’t been added to their new online menu yet.

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I ordered the Fried Chicken Platter (2 pcs) and a side Caesar salad. I really enjoyed these two hunks of meat. The chicken was piping hot, incredibly juicy and the seasoning was really lovely. I didn’t find it overly salty either, which was a big concern of mine going into this. The chicken had great flavour and such a satisfying crunch. One thing I realized at the end of the night was that I never received coleslaw that was supposed to be included in my meal. So, unfortunately I can’t speak to how that was. The Caesar salad was good. Nothing spectacular, just your average Caesar salad. I at least appreciated that it came with bacon and I didn’t have to pay extra for it!

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My uncle did his research before coming to the restaurant and read that the Jerk chicken was a popular item on the menu. It really is a beautiful looking dish. The mango salsa topping was fresh and sweet and paired perfectly with the spicy Jerk seasoning. My uncle really enjoyed the Jerk seasoning and said the chicken was tender and juicy.

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My boyfriend and I shared a large order of fries and let me tell you they were the bomb. SO good. I love skin on french fries and these were so addicting. But let me tell you, the real MVP here was the gravy. I would have drank that stuff out of the cup if I wasn’t going to be judged for it 😉 My boyfriend also ordered the fried chicken fingers tossed in buffalo sauce. I have to be honest in saying that we nearly choked when they were brought to the table. The sauce was heavy with vinegar and was very spicy, to the point where he couldn’t enjoy eating them. Someone who has a taste for very spicy things maybe wouldn’t have found it overbearing but even for myself it was a bit much.

Overall it was a great dinner. I really enjoyed the food and bustling atmosphere but there were times that the service was very lacking. It did take quite some time for our appetizers to come out and some of us had to go to the bar to get a refill on our alcoholic beverages. We sat at our tables with empty plates for quite some time while servers walked by, looking directly at us and our table and not taking anything away. I need to note that the restaurant was at capacity during this time and there were only three employees working the dining room, one of which didn’t even work there and was helping out for the night. So, with that in mind, I can understand why the service would be less than perfect. The staff was very friendly and had a very positive attitude despite the fact that they were short handed.

The next time I have a craving for fried chicken I will definitely keep Staxx in mind.

Staxx Chicken and Waffle house is located at 275 King Street East, Hamilton.

Cluck, cluk!

-Rach

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Table 34 Resto & Bar

So, I celebrated my birthday this past weekend. Another year closer to 30 (yaaaay…). I have to tell you though, I’m not that depressed about it. I’ve got a good feeling about what my 30s will bring, especially if things keep going the way they are. In any case, birthdays (for me at least) give me an excuse to eat whatever I want and share the experience with loving family and friends. One of my mothers friends suggested we try a new restaurant in downtown Burlington, Table 34. It was a great evening, with impressive food and great staff. As a new restaurant there’s a couple things to improve on, but that’s all a part of the experience. None of the issues that came up were nearly big enough to deter me from visiting again. The owner, Moe, was attentive, very accessible and present in the restaurant and quick to respond to any questions or concerns.

Note: I apologize for the terrible picture quality. I’m just starting to get comfortable with my DSLR and I hate a flashing camera in a busy restaurant. So, I held off and used my phone’s camera. Sorry!

I started off with the chef’s Caesar salad (no picture *blame hunger). It was a deconstructed salad with romaine leaves tossed in a house dressing, a slice of bacon and fried a Parmesan chip. The salad was good, however I found there was way too much dressing on the lettuce which really weighed it down. I’m also not a fan of chopping up my own salad. Especially if I’m having it as a starter, I want to be able to just dig in once it hits the table. This is just my personal preference and by no means takes away from the quality of the salad. The portion was large enough for two people to share and was a great way to start the meal. I really enjoyed the fried Parmesan chip, who doesn’t love crispy, fried cheese!

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I had the pizza special (obviously – if you don’t know me by now, I love pizza). I couldn’t believe the size of this thing. It’s definitely something you can share with someone you trust. FYI – Never share your pizza with an untrustworthy person. For the price (I believe it was around $21), I would expect it to be this big, approximately a medium. They used a bolognese sauce as the base which was incredible on the pizza. It had a perfect balance of ground beef and light tomato sauce which really added to the overall flavour of the pizza. The dough was thin crust and cooked well. Toppings included roasted red peppers, choirzo sausage and cheese curds. This pizza was full-flavoured and seriously took care of my pizza craving. I traded a few slices in return for bites of other dishes on the table and each person loved it too. I took a few slices to go and the whole drive home all I could smell was this pizza. Even though I was having a food baby, the aroma was making my mouth water.

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My partner in crime had the Alberta high river smokey mountain ground brisket & sirloin burger. Try saying that five times fast – it’s a mouthful, and so is this burger! It could feed a small country. It’s basically a meatball on a bun, and the consumer wasn’t really feeling that. There was a lot of beef and I believe if it was flattened out a bit with a more substantial bun it would improve the eating experience. Because there was so much juicy meat, the bun was ruined within a couple bites and it just became a huge mess. I had a couple bites and it definitely was delicious – obviously high quality meat and so juicy. Just a couple of adjustments will make this burger even better! The fries were also stellar.

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My bro ordered the chicken wings which came with the chef’s chili lime yogurt – the sauce of the day. They were served dry with the sauce on the side. Now, unfortunately my brother and I weren’t really impressed with these in the beginning. The wings were pretty small for what you’re paying ($18 for a pound), no seasoning on the wings and the sauce was watery and lacked any real flavour. We brought this to our servers attention and she immediately took them back to the kitchen to toss them in a different sauce. They came back with a BBQ and Sriracha sauce which was a huge improvement. This sauce had the kick my brother was looking for that the chili lime yogurt was missing.

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My g-ma had the fish & chips (from the lunch menu) which was a beer-battered haddock, side of fries and Chef’s slaw. My grams is a fish & chip aficionado to say the least. It’s basically all she ever orders, unless prime rib is available, then she’ll most definitely order that. She really enjoyed her meal and said the fish was cooked perfectly, full of flavour and the batter was light and crispy. So, two thumbs up for this fish dish – if it impressed my grandma, it should do the same for you!

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Two others in our group ordered the wild mushroom jumbo ravioli, one with meat and one without meat. The pasta was stuffed with smoked bacon and topped with sundried tomatoes, edamame beans and smothered in an amazing thyme fused cream and white truffle oil drizzle. I got to try a bite of this one and was really impressed. The sauce was so rich and flavourful and the ravioli was cooked perfectly. Definitely a must try! The only complaint here was that no freshly ground pepper was offered, which would have finished the dish off well. We notified the owner (at the end of the evening) and he ensured us he would let his staff know. Again, not a big problem!

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Another dish we ordered was the beef tenderloin. I didn’t get a chance to try it, however I was told it was delicious, cooked to their liking and had minimal traces of fat. The plating was beautifully executed with a nice variety of sides to accompany it including baked potato wedges and roasted veggies.

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We also ordered the T34 Charcuterie. This thing is so badass – there’s no better way to serve Charcuterie than on a large chopping block! I didn’t get to try any of the items as this couple arrived a bit later than us and we were all pretty well stuffed by the time it reached the table. It comes with an assortment of cured and smoked meats, pate, mustard’s and relishes, pickled vegetables, three cheese assortment, rustic bread and pickled quail eggs. A little bit of everything! A charcuterie is the perfect way to share a meal with a number of people. It encourages conversation and a shared food experience. Everything was beautifully arranged and prepared fresh. This is definitely something to try when you visit.

The bottom line here is that Table 34 is a great new spot in downtown Burlington. A few kinks need to be worked out but there’s no questioning the quality of the dishes here. You might leave with your wallet feeling a little less full in comparison to your stomach, but it’s well worth it. Everyone deserves to treat themselves once and a while and this could be the place to do that. The food was prepared fresh and served hot, the staff was incredibly attentive (shout out to our server Andrea for making our night extra special). The restaurant has such a warm, relaxing atmosphere and it’s obvious the owner really cares about the happiness of his guests. I watched Moe visit each table that night, making sure everyone was enjoying their meals and having a positive experience. I have no doubt that this restaurant will thrive and continue to grow with much success!

Table 34 is located at 1455 Lakeshore Road East, Unit 3 on the corner of Lakeshore and Locust Street.

Website: www.table34.com

Happy eating!

-Rach
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