Friday, 3 May 2013


282 James St North, Hamilton
visited Friday May 3, 2013

A beautiful sunny afternoon brought my mom and I for a walk from up the mountain down to James St North, no art crawl needed.  McCartney and Sons is a relatively new restaurant focusing on upgrading the salad bar concept.  They allow you to create your own salad with a myriad of toppings and fillings and charge $8/lb.  Most full sized salads total around $8-$9 and all the toppings looked fresh, healthy and they had great variety.  But we were enticed by the sandwich menu. 

Shane McCartney the chef and owner was helpful in explaining the menu and was fast and efficient serving our food.  My mom and I decided to share two sandwiches and a chef suggested salad.  Both our sandwiches were from the daily specials board, where the items change seasonally.  The first was The Big Daddy sandwich, filled with herb crusted striploin, stilton cheese, horseradish, arugula and honey mustard, served on Jensens cheese bread.  Three words...A-MA-ZING! The combination of flavours was unique and incredibly tasty and the bread was soft, cheesy and took this sandwich to the next level. 

The second sandwich was the PJC; sliced grilled chicken breast, roasted red peppers, baby spinach and pesto mayo.  You get to pick your choice of bread for all the sandwiches and we picked the Superseed bread for this one.  All the breads come from Cake and Loaf bakery and the buns are from Ola Bakery down the street.  Again the ingredients were super fresh, the chicken was super moist and tasted like it was just roasted and sliced.  Shane does all the deli slicing made to order so the meat is fresh and tender too.  And my mom and I couldn't stop raving about how delicious the bread was.  The sandwiches range from $6-$8 depending on size. 

Instead of creating our own salad we went for one of the chef inspired creations, the Asian salad.  It had edamame, slivered almonds, red & green onions, cilantro and rice noodles, served on romaine lettuce with a sweet schezwan dressing.  It was quite large and perfect for sharing the way we were doing or it would've definitely make a filling meal for one.  I forgot how much I love those little green protein packed beans, edamame.  This salad reminded me!  For $8 it was definitely worth it.

And to top this amazing lunch off we indulged in some Mapleton's Organic ice cream.  Shane had just gone the day prior to pick up all this local ice cream that sat in a cute sundae freezer at the front of the salad counter.  The flavours ranged from the standard chocolate to the very unique dandelion.  And you guessed it...I choose the dandelion and my mom the chai ice cream.  So if you don't come here for the amazing bread, tasty sandwiches or healthy salads...THEN YOU MUST COME HERE FOR THE ICE CREAM.   One of the best ice creams I've had in a long long time.  Super creamy not too sweet and very different without being unfamiliar.  The dandelion is a must and is really hard to explain but its not green and grassy like you'd think.  It has a slight ginger and lemon undertone and is just divine as was the chai which was subtly flavoured.  I'll be back to try the pumpkin, ginger and maple chunks ice cream.  Waffle cones are offered so I'd suggest on the next art crawl you pick yourself up a large cone here for an extra good treat.

So after all this raving about the food, the inside of the restaurant was nice and is totally James St North inspired.  This was formerly the Atlantic Seafood shop and I love how they kept the sign and erected it on the inside of the place.  They kept the tiled fish tank in the front as well, and there's
a big retro banquette that sits in the front window for 5 lucky people to watch the downtown world pass by.  There is plenty of seating for a lunchtime crowd or you can quickly take your sandwich or salad to go.  Funky artwork for sale, from a local artist decorate the walls and the north wall is all exposed brick with the mortar oozing out all over the place.   

Food 5*, Value 4.5*, Service 5*, Decor/Ambiance 5*
Overall: 4.8 This place is a great trendy spot for lunch, but it was delicious enough for a very casual dinner too in my opinion.  We enjoyed taking our time eating and watching the life of James St North pass by.  You won't be disappointed and a group with different dietary needs (gluten free, vegetarian, etc) should easily be pleased with the choices here...just make sure to make lots of pleasurable noises while eating the bread when your gluten free friends are with you! AND MAKE SURE YOU GET THE ICE CREAM!!!!
McCartney and Son on Urbanspoon

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