Archive for the ‘lunch’ Category

Shoot the Bull

August 31, 2018

A burger does not have to be bad anymore than sausages have to be bad.

Lincoln sausages from Redhill Farm farm shop in Bailgate off the butcher in Heighton are excellent, as are their pork chops, ham and pork pies.

Similarly, a burger can be excellent, as for example Dirty Organic Burger street food stall in Brighton.

I had decided to eat at Trinity Market, followed by a coffee off Caffeinated.

Looking at all the food stalls, I was not impressed. I decided to try a burger off Shoot the Bull.

Burger was good not the usual disgusting McShit burgers or worse, far better than the poor quality burger off street food stall at Steam Punk Festival last weekend in Lincoln, but not quite in the same league as Dirty Organic Burger.

The service not so good, if not surly.

No, do not put ketchup on without asking, and no do not blame the customer for not telling you.

Putting ketchup on a quality burger is like dumping chocolate or adding syrup to speciality coffee. You do not. The only reason to add ketchup, chocolate or syrups is to mask an otherwise bad taste.

Not handed a serviette, had to request.

No mention of the offer of a meal deal with a beer.

Skip the fries, offer a decent craft beer. Brew Dog Punk IPA would go down a treat with a quality burger.

Served on some sort of card. Asked but they did not know, other than they believed it could be composted. Utensils wood.

A marked contrast to the poor environmental standards in Trinity Market. Food served in polystyrene boxes, plastic utensils.

The low environmental standards are the fault of the council. They should set minimum standards for anyone wishing to have a stall. Do not comply, do not get a stall.


Afternoon in Guildford

June 22, 2018

Strange weather, starts cool, turns hot.

As I walk up North Street by the market, arrogant idiot parks in No Parking to do his shopping on the market. When it is pointed out No Parking, he ask where am I to park when shopping? Maybe car park as everyone else.

Lunch at Bamboo Shoots, honey crunch chicken with brown rice, then back to market, but too late, strawberries gone. From another stall, two boxes of strawberries, two pineapples, £3-00.

Work on Tunsgate progressing backwards, now digging up that previously laid.

In Krema, excellent cold brew coffee. I resist the temptation to have another.

I give one box of strawberries, one pineapple, to Krema.

Walking down to The Keep, I see the work on Tunsgate is extending half way down the road.

In The Keep, Hidden Curiosities Gin have set up a gin pop up shop and free tasting.

I am no fan of gin, cannot stand the smell let alone the taste, but was curious, this was craft gin.

For some perverse reason, gin has become the in drink.

Did I wish to try?

The aroma was quite pleasant, not at all like that normally associated with gin. To drink, like drinking firewater, lacking the maturity of a good brandy. I could see why it is usually drunk diluted. It also has potential for cocktails with cold brew coffee.

Lunch at Italian coffee shop Bottega dei Sapori

June 16, 2018

Late lunch at Italian coffee shop Bottega dei Sapori where once I used to eat regularly.

The food was good, the service terrible.

A long wait, I went to the cake counter and ordered.

Soup and main course delivered together. Main course I sent back, with orders not to bring back but to cook fresh. No butter for the bread.

Baffled why each serviette stuck down.

Tea is tea pigs, another small business taken in by marketing.

Coffee has changed, now supplied by Winchester Coffee Roasters. I have had twice elsewhere, not good.

I ordered a cappuccino. Then went and told them not to dump chocolate on top, as I would only have sent it back. They would have otherwise served with chocolate and not asked.

Served too hot, not good. But then from previous experience with Winchester Coffee Roasters, I was not expecting anything better.

Bottega dei Sapori need to improve their tea, their coffee and their service.

The world has moved on, will no longer get away with poor quality tea and coffee, poor service.

Visit Winchester, see what indie coffee shops Coffee Lab and Flat Whites are serving as tea and coffee, look at their delicious mouth-watering cakes.

These little indie businesses need to get their act together, otherwise they will not exist. The day before, I had a Vietnamese dish in Pho in Guildford and it was excellent.

Afternoon in Winchester

June 13, 2018

Miss train to Alton by twenty minutes due to usual piss-poor service by Stagecoach.

At Alton run to Alton Station Cafe to inquire of tonight, bikers night, lamb casserole.

Bus to Winchester large crack in the windscreen. Why is it still in service, especially as reported this morning by another driver?

Shocked to find the excellent greengrocer in Alton has closed. Maybe they have relocated. Let us hope so.

Walk down Magdalen Hill into Winchester.

Looking forward to pasta of Sicilian stall, shocked, annoyed, angry and upset to find no pasta, only rubbish. I try, looks like a pasty but is not, the pastry like a doughnut, yuk, inside disgusting cheap ham, tomato sauce not even tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. It was as bad as it sounds.

What is wrong with these people? They start with good food, then cut corners and and serve rubbish.

On the Flat Whites stall, guest coffee. They say go to their coffee shop and try.

The coffee shop opened end of last year, hidden in a courtyard.  I notice a good selection of guest coffees, also coffee soap, made with coffee grounds (a novel use of coffee grounds).

The coffee I was recommended, no V60, but have Chemex. I notice cold brew.

The cold brew excellent, a little cloudy as not filtered. I was surprised they brew for 24 hours.

I suggest serve in a  glass carafe with a smaller glass.

They subscribe to Caffeine. I recommend do not waste your money, subscribe instead to Standart and get a free sample coffee with each issue.

It is then to Coffee Lab Academy. I am surprised to find closed at five o’clock, chairs piled on tables.

Where is Laura?

The Square.

They have opened a third coffee shop, each one street apart.

I find a long queue outside for a pizza shop opposite. Free pizza.

The Square is a lot different to the other two coffee shops, which are each different. Much larger, seating outside and out the back, seating upstairs, and packed.

I order a cappuccino. It tastes different. I query Laura. Same coffee, they have changed the grinders, and it has made all the difference to the coffee, plus they are monitoring and adjusting the grinders during the day.

Do I queue for a free pizza? No, I am tired, I will catch the bus and join the bikers at Alton Station Cafe.  I arrive and find no lamb casserole.

Burr Coffee

April 20, 2018

Alighting at York Station the final stop, wandering through  the streets, over a bridge over the River Ouse and into the city centre.

Passed a couple of coffee shops, one of which was Brew and Brownie, but too hot to sit inside.  Ended at York Minster, back tracked to Lendal and found Burr Coffee.

Excellent brunch at Burr Coffee, the same cannot be said of the coffee. The cakes looked tempting, but I did not try.

Looking at the menu outside, brunch field mushrooms and halloumi cheese with pine nuts on toasted sourdough bread. Generous portion size and excellent.

North Star Coffee on sale, espresso blend and single origin, though no single origin served, no pour over.

I have had North Star before at Canopy Coffee, not good, therefore was curious.

Cappuccino ordered. It was terrible, chocolate dumped on top, scalding hot, undrinkable.

I kept taking a tentative sip whilst eating my lunch, but my opinion did not change, it was terrible coffee.

I had been tempted to buy a bag of North Star coffee was not sure which, though my decision had been made for me, as apart from The Docks an espresso blend, the single origin which I would have preferred, was all too old.  Having experienced an awful coffee, I decided not.

Further down the street, Spring Espresso Lendal serving Square Mile Coffee.  What a difference a few steps can make.

Sometimes I wonder, is my sense of taste awry. I then have a decent cup of coffee, and realise no, I have been served bad coffee.

Burr Coffee has on sale The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide in which they are listed.  The listing opens up a whole can of worms. If not serving quality coffee, why are they listed? How independent is this guide, what credibility, when coffee shops are paying £500 to be listed?

Burr Coffee, excellent for lunch, not somewhere for coffee.  A cafe serving coffee, not a coffee shop serving food.


Afternoon in Nottingham

April 17, 2018

An hour later than I would have wished in Nottingham thanks to appalling bus service, now three weeks running late, missed my train, had to wait an hour for the next train.

On my last visit I only just made the train, but today no.

Lunch at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station overlooking Nottingham Canal.

I skipped coffee. I do not find their house blend great.  I wished to try their guest blend, which I have yet to try, though at their other coffee shop.

I headed off in roughly the right direction.  At Market Square headed off down Friar Lane, which is is not as a the name suggests a pleasant lane, though maybe once was, about to turn around, I found The Speciality Coffee Shop,  where I was greeted by Michelangelo, head barista and co-owner.

Time pressing, I headed back to Market Square to find Ideas on Paper, to pick up a copy of Coffee Shop North and inquire back copies of Standart.

He was popping out, pop back in a few minutes.

I inquired of coffee shops. I was given the same advice as the previous week, exit out of Cobden Chambers, turn left and head off down the street.

This I did, sticking my head in Wired to say hi.

I found nothing, turned on my heals and headed back.

It was then I spotted Outback Coffee.

Back to Ideas on Paper, picked up the only copy Coffee Shop North. No did not have Standart. Experiencing the same problems as everyone else, distribution issues.

Minutes to spare, a cake from 200 Degrees Nottingham Station and hopped on the overcrowded train as it was about to pull out.

Lunch at Thai restaurant

June 15, 2016
lunch at Thai restaurant

lunch at Thai restaurant

Yesterday afternoon in Guildford, excellent lunch at Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage. Unfortunately the service not to match.

No crispy snacks.

Cutlery brought to my table after meal arrived.  Had to walk to the counter to pay, no one brought bill to my table.

On board outside, 10% off. When queried, told I had to have a voucher.

Usually given peppermints with bill. As I was not, I helped myself.

The owner was not there. As always when the owner not there. the service poor.

Had the owner been there, she would have automatically given me 10% off.

Lunch at The Greco’s Project

October 15, 2015
The Greco's Project

The Greco’s Project

A modern trendy restaurant.

I expected to be expensive, surprisingly not. The quality though not great.

The Greco’s Project is in essence, an upmarket kebab shop.

Located on or near Ermou, a street like Oxford Street, with similar stores.

Ermou runs down from Syntagma. I was surprised how busy.

Lunch at The Foresters

June 18, 2015
real ale

real ale

The Foresters garden

The Foresters garden

Parked in a small car park, then five minute walk through the woods to The Foresters.

As it was a pleasant day, sit in the garden. From the garden it used to be a pleasant view of the surrounding woods, but now hidden by a hedge that has been allowed to grow too tall.

Food at The Foresters used to be good, albeit a little pricey, but on the last visit the price had gone up, the quality down.

We were not sure if we would get anything to eat, as it was a little after three o’clock and many places shut their kitchen at three. The chef was behind the bar. I asked if the kitchen was open, could we get anything to eat? No problem, take a seat and you will be brought a menu.

A girl followed us out with a menu. She asked did we want a drink? I said it was ok, we would look later at the bar.

They now have a lunchtime menu that runs until six. Same items as main menu, except you pay less and a more limited choice. £8-95 for main course, £11-95 for two courses. The two courses can be starter and main or main and dessert, although this was not clear on the menu.

I decided on crab and salmon fish cakes, until I realised it was the starter. I then decided on tomato soup, followed by veal and a salad.

tomato soup

tomato soup

The tomato soup was ok, but not good. It was tomato and oregano, which must be what gave it a rather unpleasant taste. The trick is to add, to give subtle flavours, not an awful taste.

veal dumped on a salad served on  slate

veal dumped on a salad served on slate

The veal looked disgusting and was. The coating was hard, probably overcooked, the veal dark and unpleasant. It was dumped, quite literally, on a bed of salad. And served on a piece of slate though on a piece of paper on the slate. Presentation zero. The paper became cut up and had to then be disentangled. The salad was not good either. Too much onion, and something in it that had a very unpleasant taste.

cod and chips and peas

cod and chips and peas

My dining companion had cod with chips and peas. The chips (skin not removed) were served in a little wire basket, which meant they very quickly got cold. Although served on a plate, it had paper between the cod and the plate. He said it was not very good.

fruit salad

fruit salad

For dessert he had fruit salad, which had variety and was of generous portion size. But even this, the apple had been sliced some time ago and was turning brown.

Service left much to be desired, though the serving wench was pleasant enough. I had to go off to obtain cutlery and napkins. Then when my soup arrived, off again in search of salt and pepper, which I found on tables inside.

For drinks, my dining companion had Hogs Back Tea, I a real ale (the only other real ale), but I have no idea what it was. The drinks were the only good part of the meal.

On a Sunday, a hog roast. It used to be a carvery.

Note: The menu on their website is not what we were handed, and for some perverse reason has to be downloaded as a file.

The Foresters is in the middle of nowhere, between Aldershot and Church Crookham.

After our very disappointing lunch, we crossed the road and went for a walk over Long Valley.

Lunch at Guildford Institute

May 15, 2015
mushroom and leek roll with salad

mushroom and leek roll with salad

banoffee pie

banoffee pie

As always, lunch at Guildford Institute was excellent.

Mushroom and spinach roll with salad.

Followed by banoffee pie.

The lady who does the excellent Friday lunches was leaving after Christmas. Every meal since then has been on borrowed time.

Sadly, that time has come to pass. Today was my very last lunch, as I learnt from the regulars she leaves in two weeks.

One of the best places to eat in Guildford, if not the best, will sadly be no more.

A new art exhibition on the walls. Not worth a special trip for. Primary school children could have mounted as good, if not better.

Busking at the bottom end of the High Street Dean Dyson. This guy is amazing, fantastic rendition of Scarborough Fair.

We had a long chat. I bought two signed copies of Street Songs. I said it was a must he be on bandcamp.

In Swan Lane, a shop that appears to have been abandoned by Guildford Council, has been opened as a pop up shop, Tea and Memories Guildford.

A wonderful idea. It was like going back to the 1940s.

They invite people to come in, reminisce. I suggested record, something they had not thought of.

A pity only there for a week, but that is the nature of pop up shops, they pop up, then they are gone.

We had a long chat. I mentioned social enterprise cafes, and suggested, if could find somewhere in the town centre, maybe set one up.

It was therefore all the surprising I found anything to eat at the Guildford Institute, let alone a choice, as I also stopped at the market to pick up some strawberries.

Then a cappuccino and cookie at Harris + Hoole. Too late for upstairs and had to make do with downstairs. It was very noisy, loud music, which was very unpleasant. Probably explains why it was not busy. Picked up some coffee beans, which were roasted early this month, I think they said on 8 May 2015, which means at their best. But why not record roast date on the packaging?

Sadly Friday lunch at Guildford Institute is not the only demise of an excellent place to eat.

Food for Thought in Covent garden is due to close 21 June 2015 after forty years in business. It has been there since the market pulled out of Covent Garden and the area was earmarked to be bulldozed for redevelopment. One of the best places to eat in London. Forced out of business by a greedy landlord jacking up the rent.