Posts Tagged ‘lunch’

Yogurt followed by a cappuccino at Lazaris Bakery

November 4, 2019

A yogurt followed by a cappuccino at Lazaris Bakery.

Yogurt excellent, cappuccino in a league of it own for disgusting undrinkable coffee.

I have had a coffee before and knew it not to be good, but I do not recall it being this bad.

I left untouched after one sip.

Every mistake made, served scalding hot, cheap low quality coffee.

That it was served with two packets of sugar in the saucer sasy all you need to know. Sugar served as a warning sign. Our coffee is so bad you will need this sugar to mask the vile taste.

The rude guy who made the cappuccino, it would be an insult to baristas to call him a barista, was showing a girl how to make coffee. What was it, a demonstration of how to make bad coffee. Not helped by using cheap crap coffee beans.

I did not watch, but, but no attempt at precision, the beans at a guess over roasted.

Why oh why drinking outside from takeaway cups.

To sit outside pleasant but for the smoking and traffic fumes.

Needs to be No Smoking and the area pedestrianised and traffic free.

Lazaris is a sympathetic restoration of a old building. It would make an excellent coffee shop if only they served drinkable coffee.

A good place to eat, but not for coffee.

It was then on to Paul’s Coffee Roasters where at least guaranteed decent coffee.

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.

Pick a Bap Korean restaurant

September 24, 2019

Pick a Bap Korean restaurant, generous portion size, mainly takeaway but there are tables for eating in.

My dish was slightly aromatic.

The use of plastic, both for serving and for utensils is not good.

Where I sat was dirty and had not been cleaned.

The food is promoted as healthy. Meat or poultry with rice is not healthy. White rice, as with any processed carbohydrates, is not healthy.

They are though new, only been open a few weeks and are learning.

I have suggested they must make water available, either on demand, or a jug or jar of water.

Plastic they have got to have a rethink, use of plastic is not acceptable.

Dishes for eating in, some form of compostable container for takeaway.

An idea from an Indian takeaway, metal containers which buy from the restaurant, cf reusable coffee cups, have proved to be popular. Bring back, and either refill, or exchange for new clean container.

They were were willing to listen and improve, do not wish to be seen as bad for the environment.

St Modwen, who have already done an excellent job destroying Farnborough, are doing their best to destroy the evening economy by locking the main entrance to the Kingsmead shopping centre.

Busy lunchtime, mainly the lunchtime rush, then not busy. At night empty.

I have suggested at night, what food is left, sell at reduced price or give away.

Not as good as either the Indonesian street food restaurant in Aldershot or Bamboo Shoots in Guildford, but a marked improvement on the very low quality of food in Farnborough.

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.

Cappuccino at South Street Kitchen

September 3, 2019

A detour to South Street Kitchen. Stunning view across Sheffield.

South Street Kitchen easy enough to find if know how.

Take the back way out of Sheffield Station, cross the tram lines, follow the path up the slope to South Park Flats, nestled at the foot of the flats, South Park Kitchen.

South Park Flats used to be a no-go area, now renovated or in the process of renovation, South Park Kitchen the jewel in the crown.

My cappuccino weak and insipid. Could be many reasons, poor extraction, low quality coffee.

A big mistake using Dark Woods for espresso. Their single origin coffees are usually excellent, espresso blend not. A Great Taste award sticker no guarantee of quality, indeed usually the exact opposite. No self-respecting roaster would wish to adorn their coffee with such a sticker.

Though I usually get an excellent cappuccino off Motore Coffee, who use Dark Woods, but a different espresso blend. And the last visit to South Street Kitchen the coffee was excellent.

Second time I have made a mistake visiting South Street Kitchen, though not sure if the mistake is the visit or not staying to eat the food as always looks great.

Diners I have spoken to have always been very complimentary of the food.

South Street Kitchen featured in Vegan North, a guide to vegan places to eat in the North.

Now Then issue 132 had an interesting article on Park Hill Flats in ‘Struggle For Space’ on urban resistance.

Oxford street food market

June 22, 2019

An excellent street food market, spoilt for choice.

I settled on souvlaki as I had already decided, but other stalls were very tempting.

Oxford City Council needs to set higher environmental standards, assuming set any.

A fruit juice stall with moronic music blasting out should be told to cease, as they are disturbing the peace and quiet of the square.

Food served in polystyrene boxes not acceptable.

There needs to be bench seats as n York for people to sit and enjoy the food.

The street food market comparable with a street food market I happened upon in Berlin. That in Berlin market better, but still excellent choice and variety. As a street food market should be.

Half the market is a traditional market at least it is on a Wednesday when bread, fruit and vegetables. Not so on a Saturday, second-hand books, art, Jewellery, music.

Oxford street food market puts to shame the travelling circuses hosted in Lincoln.

Lunch at Indonesian street food restaurant

May 8, 2019

Aldershot is a town most people avoid.

it is easy to see why, boarded-up shops, streets deserted, utter desolation. The result of decades of bad town centre planning by the local council.

There is though one reason to visit, lunch at Indonesian street food restaurant in Upper Union Street.

That was where I was heading.

Excellent Ayam Woku.

I was not the only one.

Three very attractive Indonesian women, who had travelled from Southampton, such the reputation the restaurant has.

I had one dish. When one dish arrived, |I thought that was their meal. No, more dishes arrived until their table resembled a mini-banquet.

This is how street food should be, not the rubbish served at Chow Down in Lincoln Castle or the travelling street food circus a few weeks earlier in the High Street.

Not only street food, this is how food should be street food or restaurant.

Simple food, tasty, no PR bullshit, no gimmicks, just quality ingredients, quality cooking.

Whilst I was there a man came in claiming to be from Google, or maybe giving the illusion he was from Google, he was wearing a Google jacket, claiming they needed to be on Google Maps.

They are already on Google Maps.

I suspected scam.

Lunch at Cartwheel

April 26, 2019

Cartwheel excellent for coffee. Today I decided to try for lunch.

I would usually eat at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station. Not today, too crowded and my favourite spot overlooking Nottingham Canal was taken. I thought I would give Cartwheel a try for lunch.

It is rare, a good place to eat but not good coffee, good coffee but not good food. Cartwheel a rarity, excellent food, and excellent coffee.

Prior to placing an order, carafe of ice cold water brought to my table, poured into a glass, then knife and fork and paper napkin neatly laid at the side.

This level of service, the norm in Athens, not in England.

Avocado on sourdough bread toast with side of potato hash.

Excellent, generous portion size. Potato hash sufficient for two.

After lunch, a cappuccino. Excellent.

I was asked, did I fancy a cake? No thanks, already too full

I was tempted a V60, and liked how served, cup, carafe and card providing information on on the coffee served, but not sufficient time.

Cartwheel is featured in the latest Great Food Club Handbook.

Cobbler and shoe shop next door, Loakes shoes, is well worth popping in.

Lincoln Vegan Festival 2019

April 6, 2019

A vegan festival would expect to showcase the best of vegan food.

Er, not in Lincoln, not if vegan festival last year was anything to go by.

Visit in the morning, eat?

I decided to check, could find little help on their facebook page, asked.

There is pizza, Indian, wraps, dosa, chips, Hot dogs, Vegan Steak sandwiches, pulled Jackfruit tacos and more.

To say the least did not sound appetising.

I ate first and turned up early afternoon.

A wise move.

Last year, the only stall making any effort at quality, an Indian stall.

Today, disgusting looking junk food.

Hot dogs. Yuk.

I am used to eating excellent vegetarian food, occasional vegan food, an Indian family that prepares excellent food, Indian restaurants, a dosa off Ollo Foods at Guildford farmers market, a lady who used to prepare excellent vegetarian meals at Guildford Institute, Food for Thought in Covent Garden.

But not what was on offer at Lincoln Vegan Festival. They even had the gall to demand Lincoln Drill Hall close its own cafe.

Apart from a couple of food stalls, clothes, hunt sabateurs, candles, soap, ceramics

I was there all of ten minutes.

I spent longer at Cafe Portico. Passing by, owner waved, I thought it rude not to look in and say hello, and he offered me a coffee.

Cafe Portico, unlike Lincoln Vegan Festival, do take care with their food. As does Curry Jacks I passed on my way to the vegan festival.

It was then to Vine’s Bakery, which opened on Friday at the foot of Steep Hill. They only opened on Friday, and selection currently poor, but it was as though Lincoln had never seen a bread shop before, maybe have not, as a steady stream of people passing through the door into the shop.

A walk up Steep Hill.

Looked in Imperial Teas. Pleased to see they have added Duffy’s bean-to-bar chocolate.

Duffy’s, high quality bean-to-bar, dark chocolate vegan by definition, I am surprised no stall at the Lincoln Vegan Festival. On the other hand, the low quality food offering, maybe wise not to be associated with when have a high quality product.

Not so pleased to see Tourist Information Centre promoting Loyal Free app. Does nothing for Lincoln, even less for local businesses, but does hijack personal data from your phone.

Later, cappuccino at Coffee Aroma.

There was to be talks at the Lincoln Vegan Festival, but if there was I saw no information.

Ludicrous claims relating to environment and health on the back of the Lincoln Vegan Festival flier.

The world has been subjected to a 50-year experiment of low fat, low meat, increased carbohydrates, based upon poor quality data and biased interpretation, meanwhile we have seen an exponential rise in heart disease, obesity and type-ii diabetes. Those who dared to challenge what has now become hard wired, were smeared, denied funding, barred from publication, not invited to conferences. The few contrary studies were dismissed.

Over the last 100 years a sharp rise in the use of vegetable oils from near zero. Trans-fats are formed when we hydrogenate vegetable oils to form hard fats. The first paper alerting to the possible dangers of trans-fats, an artificial fat found in cell membranes, was followed by forty years of deadly silence as the vegetable oil industry shut down all debate. The process produces other artificial fats of which very little is known.

Cooking using polyunsaturated vegetable oils leads to oxidation products linked to cancer. Not only liked to cancer, toxic to rats and mice, damage to DNA and RNA. We breath in these oxidation products each time we visit a junk food outlet, we ingest each time we eat junk food.

Soya oils has seen use increase a thousand fold over a century.

Olive oil does not have the long pedigree led to believe. Even in Greece, use of olive oil does not stretch back into antiquity. The use of olive oil was cosmetic not culinary.

The Mediterranean Diet is recent, conferences in Mediterranean locations, good food, favourable reports, get an invite for next year, all floated on an olive oil industry slush fund.

EAT-Lancet diet for a small planet, almost vegan, good for our health, good for the planet, too good to be true, the wheels fell off within days when subject to proper scientific scrutiny. That promoted by agribusiness should send alarm bells ringing.

Yes, we should eat more fruit and vegetables, grains and nuts, less processed food, maybe less meat, but we need to take a whole systems approach, not be the latest bigot in town jumping on the latest fashionable bandwagon, the latest fad.

In many parts of the world, grazing animals is more environmentally sound than growing crops.

There is nothing intrinsically healthy about a vegan diet, especially when highly processed, indeed all the evidence is heavily stacked against.

Organic food heavily processed is still heavily processed food.

Would those tucking into the vegan hot dogs be so keen if presented with a list of ingredients?

And what of the environmental cost?

Nitrogen-based fertilisers, pesticides, palm oil, genetic modification, reliance on oil industry, just a few of the issues.

Africa, Europe, Asia, North America was covered in open woodland and grassland, savannah, prairie, across which roamed huge herds of herbivores. Man was a hunter gatherer, ate red meat, ate fat, grains did not form part of our diet.

Animals are part of the natural cycle, recycle nutrients. Contrast with ploughed fields, soil erosion.

We need to drastically reduce carbon emissions, healthy grasslands, woodlands, soils, act as carbon sinks. They also help, less radiated energy back into the atmosphere.

Try walking across soil midday day in the Middle East.

We need better farming practices that are good for planet, animals and our health.

The recent trend for fake milks, much to the annoyance of baristas as a cannot make decent cappuccino with fake milk, pause and question the environmental cost.

Where has the soya come from? Plantations where once stood rain forests. Soy can be an allergen. The soy is possibly genetically modified. Soy is bitter and has to have additives to remove the bitterness.

What of almond milk? If California, what of the water used in a state suffering from drought and over extraction of water? Five litres of water for each almond.

If do not like milk, for whatever reason, have single origin V60 pour over.

Too much fake science. For example a vegan burger compared with a meat burger, the former served with green tea, the latter served with a latte with half a dozens spoons of sugar.

There is no such thing as cheap food, we simply externalise the costs, social costs, human rights abuse, environmental degradation, climate chaos and animal welfare.

A handful of people eating plants does little to address ethics in food production.

It is not ethical when we praise quality but expensive food, nor when we praise cheap substandard food.

It is not ethical when rich folk enjoy food produced by poor folk who get poorer the harder they work. It is not ethical when the rich get richer peddling junk food to the masses.

Lincoln Vegan Festival was sponsored by a fake cheese company. If they had a stall I did not see.

Fake cheese is not cheese.

Cheese comes from the milk of ruminants, they process what we cannot eat, turn it into milk, rare breed cows out on pasture, unpasteurised milk, turned into cheese, a wholesome natural product, without any additives, flavourings, not adulterated in any way. Slow food at its best. Anything else, is not cheese.

If not made from milk, it is not cheese.

The demand for cashew nuts to satisfy vegans, especially for fake cheese, is leading to appalling working conditions for those in the Third World who shell the nuts.

Veganuary was much hyped. Was it the success it claimed to be?

Veganuary was much hyped, yes a big increase, but a big increase on a small number is still a very small number. The real measure, how many stuck to a vegan diet? A mere 16%, a tiny number on an already small number. Butchers reported no loss of business.

A vegan sausage at Greggs was much hyped. Did sales increase because their sausage rolls were so bad? Bad diet, highly processed junk food, a diet rich in highly processed carbohydrates.

South Street Kitchen

March 27, 2019

South Street Kitchen is easy enough to find if know where, a few minutes walk out the back of Sheffield Railway Station, follow the path up to South Park Flats, stunning views over the city.

The main entrance from Sheffield Station leads to the city centre. I wished to leave by the back entrance, was there a back entrance as I wished to be at the other side of the tracks?

I asked at the Information, I wished to get to the other side. They said no, only leads to trams, and signage only points to trams. They added, as if to say no one would wish to go there, leads to the estates.

When leaving by main entrance, can see flats across the valley.

I headed out to the trams, carefully crossed the tram lines, and walked up the slope towards the flats.  Luckily when I crossed the tracks, there was a sign pointing to South Street Kitchen.

South Street Kitchen is a hidden gem. Easy enough to find if know to follow the path up the slope, to find at the top nestled below the flats.

I was reminded of Puerto de la Cruz, always find a bar-cafe often more than one at the foot of a block of flats.

Very new, a little over a year old. Open, light and airy. Seeing the barista disappear, and wondering where, I followed, to find a flight of stairs, and a much larger area on the first floor.

Coffee excellent. Food looked good too, but no time to stay as I was heading back to the station, then to Union St for Taiwanese pop up kitchen.

Coffee sourced from Dark Woods, who appear to have something of a local monopoly in Sheffield. My only criticism, single origin old coffee and Dark Woods need to put roast date on their coffee, Best By is meaningless.

Occasional evening events.

South Street Kitchen is featured in The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide.

Now Then issue 132 had an article ‘Struggle For Space’ on urban resistance on Park Hill Flats.