Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Sopa en El Maná

November 25, 2016

Excelente sopa en El Maná.

Excellent watercress soup.

Excellent real ale from small local brewery.

Too late to eat, and nothing I fancied.

Cena en El Maná

November 23, 2016

Excelente cena en  El Maná restaurante vegetariano en Puerto de la Cruz.

As always excellent dinner in El Maná.

Following excellent flamenco at Teatro Timanfaya, late dinner at El Maná.

Was I too late, they close at 10-30 and I arrived not long before 10-30?

I would have been happy witha bowl of soup. It was ok, and no there was no soup.

Excellent tagalette with stir fried vegetables and chopped tomatoes.

To drink, real ale from a local brewery.

For sweet tiramisú.

And a cappuccino.

Never had before tiramisú of this quality.

A restaurant is not where would expect excellent cappuccino. El Maná that rare exception.

Also a rare exception, the only place in Puerto de la Cruz where can obtain a decent cappuccino.

They need though to replace their coffee cups.

El Maná es restaurante vegetariano en Puerto de la Cruz.

El Rastro en el Mercado

November 15, 2016
shellfish

shellfish

Todos los Sabados.

Comida y todo.

Food and junk.

Ground floor and top floor of Municpal Market.

Mainly junk, but you can find everything: books, clothes, antiques, jewelry, knives, watches, honey, clothes …

First floor is food, fruit and vegetables, fish, little restaurants, a tea and coffee shop.

Most things can be found on this market. A strange cross between a car boot sale, farmers market and craft fair.

 

 

Appalling piss-poor service in M&S

November 4, 2016

The service in M&S Guildford in their food hall is a disgrace.

Customers pay premier prices and receive piss-poor service.

With Waitrose opening, one would have expected the service to improve, but if anything it has got worse.

Queues at both tills, the only two tills open, trolleys piled up.

I tried the information counter. They refused to serve.

I asked that more tills be opened. They refused. They told me to go to the self service.

The lady there was helpful, operated the self-service. She had problems. It kept going wrong, and she had to keep resetting the machine and scanning everything again. She apologised for being slow. Not her fault, the fault lies with M&S useless management.

Where the bread is baked, overwhelming stench of disinfectant. If someone had thrown up on the floor, this would have been understandable. but no, they were cleaning the ovens. Could they not have waited until the store was closed? And it also raises questions of chemical contamination of their foodstuffs.

Is it any wonder M&S is a failing retail chain when they have this level of contempt for their customers?

Lunch at Debenham’s

November 4, 2016
roast turkey and all the trimmings

roast turkey and all the trimmings

Once again turkey. I looked Tuesday, it was turkey. Every time I have looked it has been turkey.

Debenham’s used to serve excellent roast pork, even worth a visit to Debenham’s. But now all they serve is turkey.

It is bad enough Christmas when all they serve is turkey.

It is like the Monty Python sketch, spam, spam, spam, only in Debenham’s, it is turkey, turkey, turkey.

What is the use of customer service if no one is listening?

Not the fault of the staff, the fault lies with head office who issue diktats on what must be served.

This is appalling bad management, someone at head office trying to justify their own worthless existence.

Unless the local store is doing something wrong, let locally decide what is served, they know their customers, head office does not.

It was raining, turkey it was.

The vegetables were stone cold. The kitchen, kindly hotted up, but now not fit to eat. The turkey was awful. I left the meal half eaten.

I regretted not eating elsewhere, and would have done but for the rain.

A pot of tea and a cake.  Few places in Guildford serve decent cakes. Debenham’s is one of those rare places.

cheesecake and a pot of tea

cheesecake and a pot of tea

Guildford farmers market

November 1, 2016
Secrett's Farm cauliflowers

Secrett’s Farm cauliflowers

A cold, grey, misty day.

No surprise not many people around, although the Celtic Baker stall had almost sold out.

Last week I visited a new shop in Guildford, a cheese shop cum deli, in Chapel Street. Knowledgeable staff, excellent choice of cheese. I suggested a few stalls on the farmers market whose produce they may wish to stock. I also said, as I knew them, I would have a word.

This I did. Chutney no, can barely meet demand. Little Beer Corporation and apple stall with fruit juices, yes, were interested.

It also helps with delivery, on market once a month, can drop off supplies.

Ollo Foods

Ollo Foods

Excellent dosa off chutney stall, Ollo Foods. Absolute must for Staycation Live.

A couple of stalls, maybe more, have dropped out since the car park fiasco whilst the setts were being relaid in the High Street. The excellent pie stall will be much missed, and the paella stall.

I did not check what the new paella stall was serving in, already packing up.

Low environmental standards on the market.

If London South Bank Street Food Market and many if not all music festivals can set high environmental standards, then why not Guildford for its own farmers market? Only one word, hypocrisy.

When Godalming, and many other places, have a street food market, some  like Godalming  once a year, some like Winchester every week on a Wednesday, then why not Guildford?

August or September would be ideal.

And why no coffee stall serving high quality coffee? It is not acceptable that Costa and tax-dodging Starbucks serving undrinkable disgusting coffee are allowed to dictate what happens on the High Street.

And shame on any producer who gets their coffee from these chains when Guildford has indie coffee shops, including Surrey Hills Coffee, just off the High Street in Chapel Lane. When on the one hand they expect us to support local producers, maybe time to practice what they preach.  Again one word to describe this behaviour, hypocrisy. Though I could add, stupidity.

And where are the Environmental Heath Inspectors? No problem on a cold day, but when I see meat and poultry in the sun when 30C in the shade, then there is cause to worry, as it says the stalls have not a clue how to handle food. If this is what I see in public gaze, what happens behind the scenes?

Looked in on Ben in Ben’s Records. Nothing by Agnes Obel. I suggested check her out.

cheese cum deli in Chapel Street

cheese cum deli in Chapel Street

Walked down Castle Street, popped in cheese shop cum deli. Let them know I had spoke as promised to a  few stalls.

For the last hour, getting very cold, cold mist making it worse.

cappuccino in Harris Hoole

cappuccino in Harris Hoole

Cappuccino in Harris + Hoole. I could have popped in one of the indie coffee shops, sadly Harris + Hoole now owned by Cafe Nero, but they all close early, and in Harris + Hoole I am guaranteed a constantly good coffee.  Unlike Caracoli, where the manager knows nothing about coffee and makes himself a laughing stock.  It is a tragedy the indie coffee shops close early, as in the summer they are turning away a constant flow of customers.

I was served an excellent cappuccino, but then barista said no, you deserve better.

Then when I left, served another two coffees.

Very impressed.  A barista who takes a pride in his work.

Two coffee places vie for No 1, depends who is serving, FCB kiosk on Platform 2 at Guildford Station and Harris + Hoole. Surrey Hills Coffee comes in at No 3.

Which again begs the question, why oh why, no quality coffee stall on the market, other than objections from Costa and Starbucks?

Why are pomegranates so expensive?

October 28, 2016
pomegranates on market stall in Monastiraki

pomegranates on market stall in Monastiraki

In Lidl 79p each.

Off a market stall in Aldershot, three for a pound, but small pomegranates. About the size of an apple,

Waitrose two for £2-75.

Off the market stall in Guildford, two for a pound, but as large as a grapefruit. I weighed in M&S, half a kilo each.

In M&S no pomegranates. Only seeds in a tiny plastic box, works out at £20 per kg.

On the market in Winchester, no pomegranates. I asked the stall after they had closed. The answer was what I expected, too expensive.

To think,  a couple of weeks ago, I was picking pomegranates,  last week piled up on a market stall in Monastiraki, though I did not inquire the price.

Moussaka at The Station Cafe

October 26, 2016
moussaka at The Station Cafe

moussaka at The Station Cafe outside Alton Station

Wednesday night bikers night at The Station Cafe.

A stopover on my way back from an afternoon in Winchester.

Tonight only about half a dozen bikers had turned up. Maybe too cold and dark, maybe they think now winter regime only once a month.

No special, usually a special.

In September, I had regretted not having their moussaka, as it looked good. Last week they said moussaka today. No moussaka, I had looked forward to it. The chef offered to make moussaka just for me. I thought he was joking. But no.

I popped to Waitrose, came back, and moussaka was served with a little salad.

It was delicious.

Until last week in Athens, I had never had moussaka. Sadly, it is typical pub fare, white chiller van hotted up. That is why I never have it.

In Pieros Tavern, outside Protaras, I was told customers complained if they did not have moussaka made by his wife, as they could tell the difference.

I had king prawns  one lunchtime, shared with a  friend, then on their last night before they closed, kleftiko. On both occasions their excellent red wine, first time a glass, second time, two bottles.  But did not try their moussaka.

On the side of a wall in Plaka, the recipe for moussaka, though I did not note it down.

In Restaurant Plaka, souvlaki. But I thought, I cannot be in Athens and not have moussaka, therefore one night moussaka. My first taste of moussaka.

A huge portion, served with nothing else.

It did not though compare with moussaka at The Station Cafe, which was excellent

The Station Cafe has recently changed hands. Fears that it would be downhill onwards, have proved to be unfounded.

When moussaka is the special on bikers night, The Station Cafe is a must

Soup and cappuccino at Krema

October 22, 2016
cappuccino

cappuccino

I was pleased to find, now the weather has turned cold, that soup is back on the menu at Krema.

Excellent tomato and pepper soup, with a I think they said Wenslydale cheese. Big chunk of bread. Generous portion size.

A trip to the butcher, then back for a cappuccino and flapjack.

I noticed cascara on the board. I asked. Yes, it was a new addition.

Krema serve as tea, in a tea pot. Contrast with Coffee Lab who prepare and serve cold.

Juice at nova gea

October 19, 2016
white pomegranate

white pomegranate

green juice

green juice

 

Tuesday afternoon two juices  at nova gea.

White pomegranate from three pomegranates picked fresh from the trees in Cyprus a couple of weeks ago.

Green juice, not sure of exact composition but included spinach, lemon, half a stick of celery, ginger.