Archive for the ‘lunch’ 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 twenty three

July 24, 2020

First day of mandatory face wearing in enclosed public space.

Miss a bus which turned up several minutes early. Took the opportunity for a walk along the River Witham.

Following bus no opening of door or turning off engine when bus waiting at bus stops. Bus hot, no air, made worse by wearing of face mask.

A hot day, feeling very unwell.

No one I speak to is happy wearing a face mask.

But if I visit indie businesses, in out within a few minutes, restrictions on numbers, doors open, risk minimal.

If we are to stay safe, social distance minimum 2m, avoid enclosed spaces, avoid crowded places, avoid supermarkets and shopping centres, avoid pubs, download and install German track and trace app and share with friends.

It puts the onus on the individual who will be blamed when the inevitable second wave breaks out.

Walking through Lincoln Central Market, dead. Well done dysfunctional Lincoln City Council, kick out a fruit and vegetable stall upon which people rely, destroy a local businesses, and destroy the other traders in the market who have seen business fall off the edge of a cliff. Contrast with Louth, where on a Wednesday a thriving market that brings folk into the town, what a market town should be like. But dysfunctional Lincoln City Council would rather bring in soulless chains and destroy local businesses.

As always, excellent haddock and chips at Elite on the Bail.

The Lion and Snake quiet but soon starts to kick of with rowdy drunks.

Noise in Castle Hill, horrendous noise from a busker.

Another example of dysfunctional Lincoln City Council. No action.

Same problem in High Street.

I looked in Imperial Teas on my way back down Steep Hill. Excellent bean-to-bar craft chocolate in stock from Original Beans and firetree. But very disappointed to find firetree has additives. Imperial Teas is the only stockist of quality chocolate in Lincoln. Forage and Fill in Lincoln Central Market are looking to stock quality chocolate, but not yet as too warm in the summer to stock chocolate.

Cappuccino at Madame Waffle. Opened a week or so ago. Not open Monday and Tuesday. I sat outside.

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.

Lunch at Butcher & Beast

February 15, 2020

Never go anywhere on St Valentine’s Day, at least not eat out.

I made that mistake once, ate with friends at an Indian restaurant. It was so awful, so tacky.

I thought maybe lunchtime would be ok in a village pub.

Pub was busy, lucky to find a table, but then the pub tiny.

Pub full of dogs.

Menu far too many items, which is never a good sign.

I had decided on gammon steak, but as rump streak only a pound more decided on rump steak.

Asked the young lad serving of the soup. He did not know. He went and checked. Tomato and basil

Ordered the tomato soup. A long wait, soup never came, steak arrived, followed by a bowl of chips.

Steak was ok, worth paying three times what would pay Wetherspoon on Tuesday (if add in the beer)? No, on a good day, Wetherspoon better, on a bad day worse.

Not in the same league as steak in Athens. But then that was around 30 euros.

Onion rings were cold, peas almost cold, mushroom, tomato and chips hot.

The last part of my streak tough and grisly. I shared with two cocker spaniels, making friends for life.

Beer bitter, I would far have preferred a decent craft beer. Never confuse hops with bitter.

A choice of around half a dozen real ales. Far better than most pubs which serve the output of chemical plants owned international conglomerates. Better than the average Wetherspoon, look closer and note most of the real ales are from conglomerates.

Poor though compared with a good tap room. For example BearHeadz or Growlers & Cans.

White van chiller van pulled up and offloaded as finished meal (well actually a large lorry). Across the road an excellent butcher. That pub sources from a catering supplier, says all you need to know about the pub. I then popped across the road to the butcher. I will cook something far better than the pub served.

We are currently at risk of coronavirus. No soap in the toilet to wash hands.

The Soup Dwagon

January 29, 2020

I stumbled upon The Soup Dwagon, a tiny little shop  hidden down a little alley, Chain Lane.

Serving soup, a choice of three different, and that was all the shop served.

A wonderful find. What I love to see, a shop with the emphasis on quality, not serving paninis

A choice of Stilton and broccoli, carrot and coriander or  mushroom. I chose mushroom.

The soup came with a choice of bread  rolls.

I was their only customer, sadly soup in takeaway,  for which the lady apologised. I was shown some beautiful bowls they will be using once a dishwasher installed.

My mushroom soup was excellent.

 

Paste Thai Contemporary Cuisine

December 18, 2019

We could find nowhere to eat, eventually settled on Paste Thai Contemporary Cuisine.

The exterior belies the interior, open and airy.

Attentive staff, maybe a little too attentive.

For starter we each had chicken and mushroom soup, though menu said chicken or mushroom, a few vegetables, with added coconut.

Main dishes, sweet and sour chicken and a deep fried crispy chicken with a sauce. I preferred the crispy chicken without the sauce as it changed the texture and taste. Both served with rice.

Ice cream with coconut for dessert.

Food was good, though maybe more suited to an evening meal than lunchtime.

Lunch and cappuccino Caracoli Alresford

September 25, 2019

After a wander around Alresford and missing the next bus to Winchester, I decided to take lunch and a coffee in Caracoli.

Caracoli was a small chain of half a dozen coffee shops. It came as little surprise when they went bust. Poor quality coffee and did not know what they were, a coffee shop or a deli. Now only two coffee shops, Alresford and Haslemere. Guildford closed, Farnham a greasy spoon cafe serving coffee.

Lunch was fine, the coffee ok, they need to source better quality coffee. But the best coffee in Alresdford, and would be better if sourced quality coffee beans.

I have suggested Coffee Gems, DT Roastery as two excellent coffee roasteries from which to source their coffee beans.

A few doors up the street a strange setup, DIY Coffee. Insult customers with Cupsmith coffee served from a coffee machine. No surprise empty.

Coffee #1, undrinkable coffee, poor service, poor quality food. A chain of masquerading as independent, owned by Caffe Nero.

Lunch at Ghurkha Palace

September 22, 2019

Mediocre buffet lunch at Ghurkha Palace.

https://twitter.com/keithpp/status/11757859875800555567

Always has been mediocre, the one and only advantage cheap, but even that no more, no longer cheap.

Also tried a so-called Nepalese inspired craft beer. It too was mediocre.

The Depot Eatery

September 3, 2019

The Depot Eatery in Kelham Island, a bus ride or tram ride away from Sheffield city centre.

No idea where catch a bus.

I eventually found the correct bus, long wait, 20 minutes for next bus, I wandered off to Winter Garden, only then to learn a different bus due.

I head back, catch No 7, I was earlier waiting for No 8 or 8A.

I asked bus driver, he tells me he does not know where he is going. He then tells me there is a diversion.

I follow the route on Google maps, alight at correct bus stop.

Kelham Island a desolate area. Red brick abandoned foundries and warehouses, but I see has potential if the buildings are renovated not demolished.

I find where I need to be, but first look in a cheese dairy, Sheffield Cheese Masters the only cheese maker in Sheffield.

I do not stop, head next door to The Depot Eatery.

Do they serve food food? Yes. Kitchen is now closed. I ask when does it close. Three. It is on the dot of three. This is Sheffield service.

Contrast with (from The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide):

Owner Jon’s Kiwi heritage shines through in the emphasis on quality food and drink, along with nothing-is-too-much-trouble friendly service.

That The Depot Eatery is featured in The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide is no surprise. It is little more than a scam masquerading as an independent guide to coffee shops, the coffee shops pay to be listed and write their own entries, hence the overblown bullshit.

I settle for a sandwich. Roast vegetables adulated with some vile tasting gloop. The bread was interesting.

I asked of the bread. I was told brioche bap. It was not.

Next door a bakery. But open warehouse, not ideal for a bakery, or food preparation, as impossible to keep clean.

Coffee is Ozone and Has Been. Ozone a big mistake.

Tamper (the same owner) used to use Ozone and Dark Woods coffee. Big mistake ditching Dark Woods and replacing with Has Bean. It should have been the other way around, ditch Ozone and replace with Has Bean.

I order a cappuccino. It is served with chocolate.

Why oh why does no one know how to serve a cappuccino? It is not served with chocolate.

Cappuccino ok, better than I expect for Ozone.

Something I have not seen before, Ozone produce what appears to be an annual magazine.

Not busy all the time I am there. But hardly surprising, middle of nowhere, and not somewhere would go out of the way for.

On walking in I was superficially reminded of The Barn. I say superficially, The Barn quality.

Vietnamese pop up kitchen Union St

September 3, 2019

From my experience to date no great fan of Vietnamese food, at least not that served in England and what I have tried in Berlin only marginally better.

Pho, a chain of fake Vietnamese street food restaurants, not only the food not good, bad service to match.

Mama’s Kitchen, a Vietnamese restaurant in Berlin, the food to say the least not very good.

For September, no ShuJu Kitchen Taiwanese pop up kitchen at Union St, I decided to try the Vietnamese.

Union St was the reason for my visit to Sheffield, or at least Monday for the Vietnamese pop up kitchen.

Oh what a disappointment. I have never been impressed with Vietnamese food, but never this bad. Noodles and tofu, both were stone cold, not even lukewarm, stone cold as though served straight from a fridge.

Myself and a fellow customer complained. We were given our money back. There was then an offer to hot it up. Plate was hot, food not even lukewarm.

But even had it been hot, it would still have been a very poor offering.

What though was reasonable, was the potato and pork soup. Not listed, and I only had because I asked what it was. And then perversely they offered to pour it over the stone cold noodle and tofu. I stopped them, obtained a take away cup, a and drank it from the cup.

Union St need to replace these guys.

I like the idea of a pop up kitchen, to try different food, to give the chefs an opportunity, but Union St need to exercise quality control.

There is also a need on the board, to at the very least list a twitter account to enable their offerings to be checked out. And for those running the pop up, to list what they will have available, or if not there.


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