Archive for the ‘food’ Category

lunch at Gino’s

August 10, 2020

After a wasted trip to Heighington for lunch, one pub closed the other so grim a lucky escape no food, I decide try Gino’s in Bailgate.

There are many Italian restaurants, depressing that few are worth a visit.

Gino’s lunchtime is usually empty, last week busier, today busier still. Whether summer visitors in Bailgate or the silly Eat Out to Help Out I do not know. Had it been busier, I would not have walked in, as reluctant to eat anywhere that is busy.

Service very very slow, bordering on terrible, though staff pleasant.

Whether normally this bad I do not know. Maybe staff on furlough, caught unawares by the sudden increase in numbers and not increased staffing levels.

I had to request the special lunchtime menu, which I had seen mentioned on the window. It was not brought to the table until I asked

It was not a lot different to the menu I was brought, the main difference the more expensive items missing and what was listed a lower price.

I had intended to order a pizza, and on the special menu significantly cheaper if chose a more expensive pizza. I changed my mind and decided to order one of the special dishes, pollo alla crema.

To say the least, pollo alla crema a grave disappointment. The sauce weak, insipid and watery, not as should be, the chips not good, and the salad limp not fresh.

I contrast with the same dish or at least similar pollo crema a fungi at Caffe Macchiato, the sauce thick and creamy, the salad always crisp and fresh.

I then made a mistake of ordering a coffee, a cappuccino. I would not usually order coffee in a restaurant and certainly not in an Italian restaurant as Italians are infamous for very bad coffee. But I was curious.

It was worse than I expected, all froth and foam. I dipped my spoon in delved deeper, froth and foam with a  slight brown stain. First sip, a mouthful of froth and foam, next try, a slight taste of the coffee, and it was vile, Italian cheap over-roasted commodity coffee.

Cappuccino left untouched.

On leaving I asked a lady at a table what she thought. She was not impressed, poor quality food, poor service, failed to mention 50% with East Out to Help Out.

Neither was it mentioned to me the 50% Eat Out to Help Out discount. At least not when menu was brought to the table nor when I ordered. If mentioned, maybe diners would do as I did and opt for a more expensive dish. It was only mentioned when the bill was brought to explain why a 50% discount on the bill.

If anyone does eat here, please do not order the coffee, walk through the grounds of Lincoln Castle or around the walls to Stokes at The Lawn, and if evening Thursday Friday or Saturday, can sit on the terrace in the evening.

I then went to the ice cream parlour in Bailgate.

After enjoying a coffee ice cream I walked down Steep Hill to take a coffee at Coffee Aroma.


Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and forty

August 10, 2020

After an abortive trip to Heighington for pub lunch, one pub closed the other so grim a lucky escape, it was head into Lincoln.

Stuck my head in Pepperdine’s to ask when were they closed? Four o’clock.

No one sat at the tables opposite 200 Degrees. Maybe lack of shade.

New fruit and vegetable stall in Lincoln Central Market lacked half of what I wanted. But to be fair only opened last week and has yet to establish regular customers therefore stock control difficult.  And since to council bully boys evicted last month the one established fruit and veg stall locals have stopped going to the market, if can call it a market.


Was tempted whilst waiting for the Walk and Ride bus to save walking up Steep Hill to eat at the Caribbean restaurant near the bus stop. Very basic, no one around, and very loud music. Covid regulation bar loud music. But dysfunctional local council that could mot organise a piss up in a brewery fails to enforce.

As no pub lunch lunch at Heighington, I decided on a pizza at Gino’s in Bailgate. I had to ask for the special menu.  I decided instead on pollo alla crema. It was not good, the service was very poor.  I made the mistake of ordering a coffee. It was undrinkable and left untouched.

An ice cream from the ice cream parlour, if for no other reason than to take way the vile taste of the coffee.

It was then walk down Steep Hill.

A coffee at Coffee Aroma. A mistake, I should have had a cold beer. Why does no one do cold brew coffee?


Pub lunch Heighington

August 10, 2020

The intention was a detour into Heighington for a pub lunch only to find the pub was not open.

I was in two minds lunch at a pub as pubs not safe places to be with covid-19 on the rise, but if not crowded or maybe sit outside in the shade, only to find the Butcher and Beast was not open. Nothing to indicate why not open or when open, but the windows so cluttered with rubbish difficult to know. There is a board that says menu, with nothing.

I thought hang around for a bus then thought try The Turks Head. Never set foot in before, never will again. A Punch Tavern, business model, find a mug to relieve of their life savings, then find next mug. Recently changed hands. Grim inside, grim outside, outside seating in the car park, no shade, no food.

I waited for the next bus into Lincoln.


Spot the customer

August 7, 2020

Louth has a thriving market. Hull has Trinity Market. Lincoln a shabby, run down, badly managed Central Market.

When think it could not get any worse, beginning of last month dysfunctional Lincoln City Council responsible for the appalling state of the market kicked out on a whim the fruit and vegetable stall that accounted for at least 80% of the market footfall. The few remaining traders saw what little business there was collapse overnight.

End of last month, the outside fruit and vegetable stall relocated to the vacated pitch. If it did not generate footfall for the market when located outside the doors to the market it was highly unlikely to generate footfall for the market when it moved by a few feet. But who can comprehend the perverse mindset of worthless jobsworths? And so it has proved to be, not a jot of difference. From empty space to a bored stallholder staring into space.

It is now a case of spot the customer.

The kicked out stall, always busy, exceptionally busy on a Saturday.

Mid-week, not a single customer at the relocated stall, Saturday a solitary customer looking lost.

The local community is angry at the treatment of their regular stall and will not buy from the relocated stall. Poor quality produce, rudeness, and reports of short-changing does not help.

What dirty little backroom deal was cooked up by the local council? When did discussions start? What rent is being paid? This scandal will not go away. Local media needs to do some digging, fire off Freedom of Information requests.  A Judicial Review would be more than justified.

A deafening silence from local councillors. Maybe they are more concerned not putting at risk their nice little earner from the local coop.

The local community has three options

If do not wish to walk up Steep Hill, pick up the Walk and Ride bus from The Stonebow and alight at Lincoln Cathedral or Bailgate.

Steve and Beth established their veg box scheme during the height of coronavirus pandemic for people who were housebound. They should have received a Civic Award. Instead kicked out by council bully boys for daring to criticise mismanagement and appalling state of Lincoln Central Market.

Please sign the on-line petition objecting to the eviction.

If live in Lincoln please contact your local councillors and local Member of Parliament Karl McCartney and ask them to investigate the eviction, and at the very least go and visit the farm and talk to the former stallholders, talk to customers and check for themselves the facts not rely on officials running a vindictive vendetta for criticism of a badly run market.

sausage pepper and pasta

August 7, 2020

Pasta with sausage and pepper, plus a few other ingredients thrown in for good measure.

A post with a Jamie Oliver dish, but no link to what they have made.

I have never understood why people do this, mention something, but lack the courtesy to provide a link.

A search on keywords, I could not find the dish, but settled on something similar in a youtube video.

I did not have the exact ingredients, decided to settle on Lincolnshire sausages and pasta from Redhill Farm shop, a pepper off new fruit and vegetable stall at Lincoln Central Market, then improvise with what I had to hand, but roughly follow what Jamie Oliver had outlined.

Redhill Farm shop has excellent Lincolnshire sausages, I chose their chipolata version they happily did the pinch and twist, leaving me with little chipolatas of the correct size.

When I have their Lincoln sausages I buy four, quite large and sufficient for two people. Therefore 300g of the chipolatas would be ideal.

Extra virgin cold pressed rape seed oil. I lacked olive oil. I would have extra virgin cold pressed from a  deli in Athens.

Into the pan the chipolatas sizzling away. A mistake I made, did not brown them enough.

Layered fresh from the garden and from local fruit and vegetable shops, runner beans, a couple of florets from a cauliflower, chopped and diced red onion, sliced red pepper, sliced stick of celery.  No herbs, I was not able to obtain fresh herbs. Maybe something to grow on the patio in terracotta pots.

Sizzled away for ten minutes.

Add red cherry tomatoes sliced in half, water, balsamic vinegar, a sprinkling of pepper.  Simmer for twenty minutes.

I was using a large frying pan. Poured into a glassware casserole dish, which I had first warmed with hot water, then into an oven for 25 minutes at 180 C.

Pasta tortiglioni not ideal, dropped into a pan of boiling water, simmered for 12 minutes.

The dish was very tasty, no fresh herbs as not able to obtain.  The pasta though a grave disappointment.

Sacrilege, replace the pasta with new potatoes would improve the dish.


New fruit and vegetable stall Lincoln Central Market

August 4, 2020

A new fruit and vegetable stall in Lincoln Central Market.

This week, a new fruit and vegetable stall Nathan Willows Fresh Produce has opened within Lincoln Central Market.

Quality, a novelty for Lincoln Central Market.

Not to be confused with the outdoor stall that has relocated within the market.

It is still a great loss, the fruit and vegetable stall that has been kicked out by dysfunctional local council bully boys. Worthless jobsworths responsible should be fired, a public apology by the council and compensation to the stallholders. Remaining traders should be compensated for loss of business and receive a rent reduction. The evicted stall accounted for at least 80% of market footfall.

Those who miss Steve and Beth, subscribe to their veg box scheme, also visit when they have their farm shop up and running.

Quality is the norm Trinity Market in Hull, but a novelty for Lincoln where the dysfunctional council could not organise a piss up in a brewery and still lacks a viable market.

But the new stall is a step in the right direction and run by a pleasant and helpful young man.

All we now need to see is renovation, more quality stalls, and kick out the tat.

For those who can remember, the new fruit and veg stall is where there was once a short lived excellent spice stall.

The new fruit and vegetable stall is not only quality produce and excellent service, it is also zero waste plastic free, fresh produce is loose, buy as little or as much as want, pop in a brown paper bag and a strong brown paper carrier bag to carry it away.

The fruit and vegetable stall compliments Forage & Fill, the zero waste stall that opened a month ago, dried goods, soap, shampoo.


Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and thirty four

August 4, 2020

Cool morning. Afternoon warmed up as the sun came out.

New fruit and vegetable stall in Lincoln Central Market. Quality, a novelty for Lincoln Central Market. Not to be confused with the outdoor stall that has relocated within the market.

Eat Out to Help Out an appalling waste of public money. It should be use to pay those who have yet to receive a penny then fund Basic Income and Green New Deal. And should we be encouraging Eat Out when covid-19 cases are rising?

We help indie coffee shops and restaurants close streets traffic free pedestrianise tables in the street.

Sickening Jeremy Hunt bragging he saved £50 on a hundred pound meal.

What of those dependent on food banks?

And did Eat Out to Help Out help Elite on the Bail? Maybe. I noticed more diners, it is never busy, but there were visitors in Bailgate and those dining were visitors. So maybe not.

Cappuccino at Coffee Aroma.


Auction House

July 22, 2020

On my last visit to Louth a year ago I noticed Auction House, it had not long closed. A pity, it would be an ideal coffee shop, was my thought at the time.

Today, one year on market day I noticed it was open. New owners. A coffee shop of sorts, also serves food.

I asked of their coffee.

Alvingham Coffee Roasters, who I had never heard of. A local roastery.

I said I would pop back after a wander around.

I popped back, did not fancy sitting upstairs, an enclosed space, downstairs, no one seemed in any hurry to leave.

Eventually what I had ordered arrived. Did I wish to eat outside? I did not know they had outside seating.

Outside seating  was located across the street in the market square. But only on market days.

Gammon and chips and garden peas and a duck egg. I did not wish for the egg. Gammon was reasonable and a good-sized portion, maybe could have been cooked a tad more. Chips excellent. Garden peas? Grown in their garden? Not fresh podded peas that was for sure.

I then ordered a cappuccino. I had noticed earlier one carpet bombed with chocolate. I said no chocolate.

Served in a cup size too large, poor quality coffee.

Depressing they are sourcing poor quality coffee, as with the right equipment, competent baristas and sourcing high quality coffee, could be an excellent little coffee shop in a prime location overlooking the square.  Commendable to source local, but not if poor quality coffee. I would suggest they check out Seven Districts, Outpost Coffee, Cartwheel Coffee,  The Blending Room and Dark Woods.

On the window coffee cocktails, or maybe it is either or. No way could make coffee cocktails with the poor quality coffee they are sourcing. For cocktails would need top quality single origin coffee.

They need outside seating. Today was market day.

Why is the street not pedestrianised?

They need to apply for outside seating. Once legalisation passed, currently on its Third Reading, apply to local district council, for Louth East Lindsey, the council has to respond within 15 days. If the council fails to respond, have requested seating by default.

As with other coffee shops and tea shops on limited hours. People will not feel safe until they can be served outside, and even that may not be sufficient to entice people out.

How to kill a market

July 12, 2020

Lessons from Lincoln City Council

Lincoln City Council has demonstrated in two easy lessons how to kill a market:

  • starve the market of investment
  • kick out the stall that drives at least 80% of the footfall

On a Saturday there would be a buzz around the fruit and vegetable stall. Not anymore. The fruit and vegetable stall now gone, all that remains a soulless empty space.

All we now wait for is collapse of a dying market.

A County Town in the middle of an agricultural county but no market worth visiting.

It is rare to see any customers at any of the stalls. How they cover their rent a mystery. And that was before the fruit and vegetable stall was kicked out on a pretext. Could count on one hand those have any customers, African wigs and hair styling, shoe repair and key cutting, butcher, fishmonger, zero waste, and the fruit and vegetable stall.

The fruit and vegetable stall kept the local community supplied with fresh produce throughout the pandemic, a veg box scheme for the house bound, all counted for nowt with the council.

One of the worst markets if not the worst in the country.

Guildford a Friday and Saturday street market if in Lincoln would be the length of Sincil Street. On the market cakes, bread, fish, three fruit and vegetable stall, flowers, French cheese.

In Winchester, specialty coffee, cheese, bread, fish, fruit and vegetables.

It is like something out of Monty Python.

Your stall is too big.

Not it’s not.

Yes it is.

It’s not.

It is.

Even for dysfunctional Lincoln City Council surely not beyond the wit of council officials to mark the stall out with chalk, then if cannot agree, go to arbitration. And in an otherwise empty market, if the stall needs more space, grant the stall more space.

What we are seeing is harassment and intimidation of a stall that dared criticise the Council for the appalling state of the market.

There appears to be a hidden Agenda. The council in cahoots with the local coop, trashed Sincil Street and the outdoor market, destroying many local businesses, Lincoln Central Market next? We only have to look to Newark, traders kicked out of the Butter Market, the market renovated, then handed to Cosy Club. Sound familiar?

Loss of the fruit and vegetable stall from Lincoln Central Market is not only the destruction of a family business that had been trading in Lincoln for 35 years, loss of jobs and impact on other traders, it is loss of fresh produce to local restaurants, it is loss of a convenient stall for the local community.

The local council does not care. They are though paranoid about criticism on social media.

Something stinks and it is not the smell of rotting cabbages.

Please sign the on-line petition objecting to the eviction.

If live in Lincoln please contact your local councillors and local Member of Parliament Karl McCartney and ask them to stop this eviction.  They could of course have paid the stall a visit before it was evicted, talk to customers and check for themselves the facts not rely on officials running a vindictive vendetta for criticism of a badly run market. Did they?

Mind-boggling pettiness eviction of market stall by bully-boys at Lincoln City Council

July 9, 2020

Covid-19 has accelerated shopping on-line by at least ten years, failing High Street chains floating on a sea of debt are falling like flies, shedding staff, and this will accelerate as furlough ends.

Enter dysfunctional Lincoln City Council in an act of mind-boggling pettiness decides to evict a fruit and vegetable market stall from Lincoln Central Market falsely claiming the stall too big.

The stall was a lifeline for many during lockdown when they carried on trading, especially for those who could not get out when they set up a veg box home delivery scheme.

Steve Sharpe has run a market stall in Lincoln for 35 years, with the help of his daughter Beth four years within Lincoln Central Market.

The stall accounts for at least 80% of the market football. If the stall goes it will hit the few remaining stalls in the market. It will also hit indie businesses in Sincil Street. It will hit those who rely on the stall for a low cost source of fresh produce, and there is nothing as fresh as grown by Steve and picked that morning. It will hit local coffee shops and restaurants that rely on the stall for their fresh produce.

All of this counts for nothing to the council bully-boys who are waging a vindictive vendetta against Steve for daring to criticise the appalling state of the market, the lack of investment.

Lincoln a county town in the middle of an agricultural county yet lacks a decent market.

Rules of the market:

  • stall within allocated space
  • rent paid monthly in advance
  • trading within specified times on Market Days
  • allotted space clean and tidy
  • eviction on a whim

The market stall always clean and tidy. If not within it allotted space, the difference must be marginal, it is not obstructing any thoroughfares, end of the stall is in line with other stalls.

Council jobsworth claims stall exceeds its allotted space, that have held extensive talks with the stallholders.

Steve and Beth dispute this.  No discussion, hand delivered letters claiming non compliance.

It is not beyond the wit of the most incompetent council jobsworth to delineate the stall boundaries with chalk lines. If there is then a dispute resolve through arbitration not eviction. And it is not as though space is at a premium in an empty dying market.

The alleged discussions, produce minutes (accuracy of which will have been checked by Steve and Beth otherwise worthless), date, time, duration, location.

Council jobsworth claim the stall is unfair to other traders in the market. Difficult to comprehend how a stall that generates at least 80% of the market footfall is placing other stalls at a disadvantage. On the other hand, eviction of the stall that generates the footfall the market will die as will lose most of its footfall.

A formal complaint has been lodged with the council leader


who to date has not had the courtesy to respond.

And just when think the council bully boys can sink no lower, are now claiming the reason for eviction is secret, cannot tell.

The market is public space, the loss of the fruit and vegetable stall is a matter of public interest.

The council in cahoots with the local coop has trashed the outdoor market, Sincil Street, Cornhill, destroyed local businesses, to attract chain stores and eateries that can find anywhere and everywhere that lose the sense of place, increase alienation, drain money out of the local economy.

The hidden agenda would appear to be to destruction of Lincoln Central Market for redevelopment.

What is the hidden agenda? Having trashed the surrounding area, destroyed local businesses, is Central Market next? A dirty back door deal with the local coop?

Look to the Butter Market in Newark where local traders were kicked out to bring in Cosy Club. Sound familiar?

Something stinks and it is not the smell of rotting cabbages.

Please sign the on-line petition objecting to the eviction.

If live in Lincoln please contact your local councillors and local Member of Parliament Karl McCartney and ask them to stop this eviction, and at the very least go and visit the stall talk to customers and check for themselves the facts not rely on officials running a vindictive vendetta for criticism of a badly run market.