2 posts tagged with “sourdough”

  • Strip Mall Gems: De La Terre Kitchen

    Steve Bonin of De La Terre Kitchen

    Strip Mall Gems is a series of Eating Niagara, my column that runs in the St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review and Welland Tribune.

    It had all the makings of a Hollywood-scripted epiphany.

    Steve Bonin was mopping the floor at De La Terre Kitchen when the sun shone through the front windows of the Grimsby bakery and sandwich shop, and the proverbial light went off.

    Bonin, then a staffer, told himself he could work there forever.

    Soon after, he became a partner in the operation, running the kitchen of the De La Terre sourdough bakery empire, and feeding people sammies that are worth the drive to Niagara’s most northwestern corner.

    “I love this place. I love everything about,” Bonin said while taking a load off on a recent Thursday morning before the lunchtime rush. “The ideals are perfect, the location is perfect, Grimsby is perfect. The people here really love good food.”

    The downside? “Parking can get sketchy” at this inconspicuous strip mall at the corner of Main Street and Bartlett Avenue. And understandably so.

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  • Peach Tree
  • Sourdough svengali: John Graham of Park Road Bread

    John Graham of Park Road Bread.

    I originally wrote this story for The Hamilton Spectator.

    I have a loaf of bread baking in my oven as I type.

    One thing is certain: it won’t be as good anything John Graham bakes.

    I call the proprietor of Grimsby’s Park Road Bread a sourdough Svengali. The man makes fermented flour work for him in an almost magical way. A way that eludes me.

    Maybe it’s all the precious language around getting the all-important starter, which is simply flour and water, to … start. Most people call the festering concoction that leavens bread a mother, which is enough to scare the bejeezus out of me.

    I don’t want to do wrong by anything named Mother, and yet, I’ve inadvertently killed many mothers by not feeding them enough flour, feeding them the wrong kind, or worse, forgetting to feed them anything at all.

    “Think of it like an army,” Graham told me when we met at his home earlier this summer.

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