Monday, June 16, 2008

Community Spirit

One of the things I look for when I chose a place to live is a sense of "neighbourhood" ... a part of town where you can drop by for your daily shopping, some dinner or a cup of coffee ... where you run into at least 2 or 3 people you know ... a place where you feel at home. For us, The Heights is that place. From Beta to Boundary, this stretch of Hastings is home to our butcher, deli, green grocer, coffee shop, and countless restaurants.

The first Saturday of June, the Heights Business Association holds "Hats Off Days," their "thank you" to the patrons of the area and an introduction to the shops and services for new visitors. For us, Hats Off Days means just one thing: FOOD. Once we get through the Show and Shine between Beta and Willingdon, we graze like we haven't eaten for a week. Some food is inspired, some is just this side of PNE food ... but it's all great. Even the dogs get into the spirit of things, their noses mere centimetres from the pavement looking for dropped delicacies.

Here then is a sampling of some of the best of Hats Off Days:

Barbecue Chicken at the Legion Hall. Also home to the only beer garden during HOD. If you missed the chicken that weekend, don't worry. The Legion holds the BBQ's several times throughout the summer. Just drive along Hastings any Saturday morning and you'll know by the smells wafting down the street if dinner is on. The food is great, and at $4.50 for lunch, the price is right too.
A recent addition to the Heights is Burrito Del Rey. While I'm thrilled to have Mexican food in the 'hood, I'm sad that it's replaced an old favorite; la Salza Deli. The HOD offering made up for my loss ... their tamales are top notch.

Even Bocuse d'Or chef Scott Jaeger and his wife Stephanie get into the act. Their contribution this year was a spot prawn ceviche. Rediculously underpriced at $3 and very refreshing .

Pulled pork sandwiches from Burgers Etc.!

Grilled sardines from Fortuna Bakery. Not photographed but equally as memorable was the elderly Portuguese gentleman playing the accordian.

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