Hamilton Small Fries is on the move again!
You know we’re #HamOnt obsessed, I mean – we named our blog Hamilton Small Fries and started it in the first place because we wanted to share our love of Hamilton restos with our friends, family and other Hamiltonians. And maybe even help drive more tourism here!
While most weekends we can be found downing hot bevvies on Locke, eating greek on John or dining on James – last weekend we ventured out of our city – and country! – to explore, courtesy of Niagara Falls US Tourism.
While there is tons of fun and adventure to be had in Hamilton, one thing we do love about Hamilton is it’s proximity to so many exciting excursion locations.
We were invited out to Niagara USA for a weekend trip full of food, activities and wine – and after our visit out to Buffalo USA, we jumped at the offer.
Where We Stayed
About the City – Most of us have been to Niagara Falls, and for us Canadians, we think it’s safe to say most of us have tended to stay on our side of the water. But don’t let border patrol stop you! (Well, unless they do, in which case please adhere to their decision – ha).
The US side of the falls was a nice change in scenery for us Canadian fries and there are lots of things to do! Check out Niagara USA’s website to learn even more about what to do in this fun city!
About the Giacomo Hotel – The Giacomo is a luxury boutique hotel in Niagara Falls, NY. They offer 41 elegantly decorated rooms combined with top-notch service. You don’t just stay at the Giacomo Hotel. You experience it. Their location is in close proximity to the Falls, Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist and State Parks – where you can experience the raging rapids and all of the magnificence of nature that Niagara has to offer.
When we got our itinerary, we were pretty excited to be staying at the Giacomo Hotel. Not that Holiday Inns and Sheratons aren’t great hotels, but it was fun to stay in a boutique style hotel with it’s lavish rooms and interior design.
The biggest plus? The free buffet breakfast! It was one of the best hotel breakfasts we’ve ever had. The hotel also has an amazing observation space, not to mention complimentary valet for your car.
What We Saw
Silo City is a blast from the past! It’s one of the world’s largest grain elevator collections and serves as a reminder of the city’s industrial heritage. Over the years the “city” of silos has evolved into an unusual and popular gathering place for craft beer festivals, literary readings, flea markets and more – See more here.
While at Silo City, we had the opportunity to participate in an interactive play put on by Torn Space Theater, called ‘They Kill Things‘. When we got to the performance, we were greeted by “The Villagers” – see picture below. We were asked to wear bandanas on our faces for the duration of the performance, and to refrain from speaking. (Two+ hours of silence for the Small Fries?! How?!)
After viewing a ritual style drum dance outside, we proceeded to break into groups and follow one of the “Villagers” on an tour throughout the Silo City. This performance definitely went over our heads (and we were both a bit scared to be honest), but the whole event helped us to appreciate the grandeur of the Silos. We’d love to visit again to hear more about the history and how the whole factory functioned….but that’s for another trip!
Becker Farms – Becker Farms; a working fruit and veggie farm, farm market, winery, restaurant, brewery, and PETTING ZOO all in one. Now that’s our kind of place!
Becker Farms is a 5th Generation family owned, 100 year old, 340 acre farm. They have a strong focus on the field to table approach and harvest all of their own fruits and veggies to add to products like hand made pies, jams, cookies, cider, fudge and wines. For all of their catered events, they serve dishes made with produce picked right from the farm or brought in from within a 100 mile radius.
On our last day in NY, we headed to Becker Farms in Gasport for an afternoon of good food, live animals and amazing scenery. The staff was super friendly and welcoming and many people stopped through to sample their locally produced, hand crafted micro brews. A fun stop for any wine/beer tour! (Pie-lovers, add this to your ‘pie-tinerary’.)
Marjim Manor – After Becker farms, we headed to Appleton, NY to check out the haunted winery that is Marjim Manor. The Manor was even featured on the show Ghost Hunters. We have yet to see the episode, but apparently the paranormal investigators found quite a lot of evidence!
Here we sampled 4 delicious wines (many named after the scary legend and an odd amount named after cats – hmm.), enjoyed a wine/lemonade slushie (Whoa! Delish.) and listened to the frightening legend that you can read here.
We can’t say we saw any ghosts, but it was certainly a fun stop for any tourist!
Whirlpool Jet Boats – We were most nervous for this portion of the trip, but also the most excited. The Whirlpool Jet Boat was an exciting afternoon of crashing through waves and getting very, very wet. It was basically the equivalent to a really wild roller coaster – water version. Let’s just say, we should have worn waterproof makeup. 😉
We suggest this exhilarating activity for families and people of all ages!
What We Ate
Websters Bistro & Bar – In North Tonawanda is a quaint, french bistro with a menu full of fresh and delicious dishes. This was our very first stop on our trip, and definitely our favourite.
The wait staff was friendly, the food was mouthwatering and the ambiance was perfect for a girls night or for a date. If you’re ever in the area, this resto needs to be a stop on your list.
Literally every morsel that we tried at Websters Bistro and Bar, we loved.
Heather started out with the Coconut Shrimp and – like the carnivore she is – tried the 12oz Bone-in Pork Chop for the main. Both these dishes were something to write home about. 😉 A surprising tidbit though, Heather’s favourite part of the meal was the sweet potato gratin. Sweet, sweet maple and brown sugar flavour…*drool*
Lindsay tried the Beet Salad (her go-to dish) to start, and had the Duck Breast with Cherry Port Wine Sauce as an entree. Everything was cooked to perfection and had a perfect balance of sweet and savoury.
Becker Farms Brewery Brunch – While at Becker Farms, we stopped into their restaurant/cider bar for an all you can eat brunch. Believe us when we say that this all-you-can-eat brunch is way more extensive than your usual breakfast joint.
For $14 you can have your pick; everything from their toast bar, and classic breakfast fare to sirloin shepherds pie, pizza, scalloped potatoes and fried chicken. There was also made-to-order breakfast sandwiches….but we were way too full by this point. Trust us when we say you will not go hungry at Becker Farms.
The cost of brunch also includes one of their specialty drinks. We tried the poinsettia – which was mixed drink of cranberry juice and made-in-house Becker cider. Yum!
All in all, it was a fun-filled trip and we can’t wait for our next visit. Perhaps more touring of the Niagara Wine Trail is in order?
Thank you to Niagara USA Tourism for inviting us out! Much appreciated! xx
Where’s your favourite place to day-trip to from Hamilton? Let us know in the comments!