Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Shanti

January 26, 2019

I tend to avoid any town on a Saturday.

The town was busy, it seemed even busier than when shoppers out Christmas shopping or the January Sales.

Everywhere was packed.

I had intended to eat at Shanti around one, arrived at two.

It too was busy, two spare seats at a table for four.

I was asked to come back in forty-five minutes.

I took a walk up The Strait, Steep Hill and into Bailgate.

I noticed yet another business on Steep Hill closing. No surprise, one of the junk shops that is rarely open,

On the way back down, a chat with Fools on the Hill, fools with a table urging people to support a Second Referendum, only they lack the integrity and honesty to call it a Second Referendum and call it a People’s Vote.  No surprise, entirely clueless the EU and having a hard time gaining any support.

No change at Shanti, but the couple on the table for four about to leave.

To my annoyance told we have to check our bookings.

It was then, ask a group of Indians on a table to move up to create space for me.

Begs the question, why not put me on table where there was room when I first walked in?

Half an hour before a couple of rostis served with a small portion of salad. I was asked vegetarian cheese or vegan cheese? In other words real cheese or fake cheese, fake cheese which actually cannot be called cheese.

A vegetarian cum vegan fake Indian restaurant.

I was looking forward to eating at Shanti, I was very disappointed.

I found it to be very cramped and claustrophobic.

The food was ok not great. Not sure what was dumped on top. It tasted like jam.

I have had a far better dosa off a stall at the Guildford farmers market, and far far better Indian food elsewhere. I have also eaten at far better vegetarian restaurants.

The irony was, I passed Curry Jacks by the river. I would but the fact a cold location, been better off trying their food.

Curry Jacks once a month an evening of their food at Coffee Aroma.

Advertisements

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.

cena en El Maná

February 29, 2016
cappuccino

cappuccino

Following a concert with OpenArt Ensemble at Abaco, I was on my way to eat at Los Gemelos. They were full, as an extremely rude waiter informed me. Their loss, and my gain, I ate at El Maná.

El Maná has very limited menu, the specials chalked up above the open kitchen.

I chose pumpkin soup for starter. It was excellent, and even included soup art.

For main, tagellete. I am no great pasta fan, but it was all I fancied.

No olives please, I hate olives.

The chef came out and explained, it was not olives, it was an olive sauce, but I would still have the bitter olive taste, would I like pesto, as otherwise I may find a little boring?

The tagellete was excellent. The only time I have had pasta of this quality was in Bassano del Grappa  cooked by a chef who was president of a northern Italian food association.

To drink, water, though I noticed they had an interesting range of local craft beers.

A young blonde pursuaded me to have a coffee. I did not expect anything other than undrinkable coffee, always the way in restaurants. I was pleasantly surprised. She knew how to make coffee, freshly ground Colombian coffee. Maybe  a tad too hot, but it was excellent coffee.

I learnt, talking to the chef, who is also the owner, of a skilled barista in La Laguna.

El Maná, vegetarian, organic, located in Calle Mequinez.

Avocado

November 18, 2015
spicy dahl soup

spicy dhal soup

Four weeks ago, my last day in Athens, a flight to catch in the evening.

Morning and early afternoon at the Ancient Agora of Athens. Time for lunch, and hopefully a visit to The Acropolis Museum, but time was not on my side.

I had passed by Avocado a few evenings ago, on taking what I hoped was a short cut from Monastiraki and finding myself in a part of Athens with which I was not familiar.

I headed in what I hoped was the right direction, and luckily my sense of direction did not let me down.

Spicy dhal soup was excellent. Sadly the same could not be said for the bean burger, or whatever it was. It was disgusting. At almost ten euros, not cheap.

The mistake that was made, and same with other menu items cannot tell the difference from real meat balls, was to try to produce meat substitutes. If I wanted a burger I would go and eat a real burger (emphasis, real burger, not the disgusting yuk served by McDonald’s).

They need to look at somewhere like Food for Thought, though not possible, as no longer in existence, or at least obtain their cookbook.

Is it ok? No.

They took it away untouched, and offered to serve me a fresh dish. They were quite embarrassed. I said no, I did not have the time.

I was only charged for the soup.

I felt a bit bad, my turn to feel embarrassed, but it was disgusting, and I could not eat it.

Atmosphere inside fine, but wrong location.

They need to be in Plaka, with outside seating, and drastically change the menu. Whey even have a menu? Do as Food for Thought, fresh menu everyday.

I found I could cut down a street that led into Plaka. It was then The Acropolis Museum, but first stop Restaurant Plaka and a small plate of chips and an ice cream off Coco’s ice cream.

Avocado claims to be the only vegetarian restaurant in Athens.  Whether true or not, I do not know, but when I stumbled across it one evening I stopped out of curiosity and had a chat, as it was the only vegetarian restaurant I had seen.

Lunch at Food for Thought

June 16, 2015
Food for Thought

Food for Thought

quiche and salad

quiche and salad

scrunch

scrunch

One last sad lunch at Food for Thought, it closes on Sunday after forty years in business, driven out of business by a greedy grasping landlord driving up the rent to an unaffordable level.

I usually enjoy my food at Thought for Thought. But not today. I think partly my choice, I chose quiche and salad, a mistake, I should have had the soup, followed by stir-fried vegetables and rice. But I think also that it was my last meal, that it was closing.

For dessert, scrunch.

I would have liked to have bought their cookbook, but they had none, try later in the week.

Food for Thought has been there since the 1970s, the food has been consistently good.

When Covent Garden market pulled out, the area was desolate, it was earmarked for redevelopemnt. Activists stopped the redevelopment. But what we have seen is a slow death. he samlll businesses that made it what it was , leaving, to be replaced by chains.

In the 1970s, there were many small businesses like Food For Thought.

Next door, was a barrow maker. In the street the barrows.

In thes ummer, we used to get our food, take it outside an sit on the barrows.

In Neal’s Yard Neal Yard Wholefood, Neal’s Yard Bakery, Neal’s Yard Dairy. All long gone.

In one of the side streets, Pret a Manger, Costa, in Neal Street sweatshop fashion chains.

Small businesses are being destroyed by property companies. Social cleansing is taking place, people kicked out of their homes, bulldozed, luxury apartments built, marketed in the Middle East, China and Russia.

There are now several empty premises in Neal Street, including one next to Food for Thought. Will the vacated Food for Thought join the list? The greedy property company will not care, one more business destroyed. If it sits empty they will offset the losses against tax.

We need political action to stop the destruct of the social fabric of our cities.

We have to have rent control as in New York. We have to have protection for small businesses as they have in France.

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.

Lunch at Guildford Institute

May 9, 2015
chickpea bake and salad

chickpea bake and salad

banoffee pie

banoffee pie

Excellent lunch yesterday at Guildford Institute.

Chickpea bake and salad.

Followed by banoffee pie.

It was very packed when I arrived.

I got the last of what little was left.

After lunch I had a chat with artist Susie Lidstone who was dismantling her art exhibition.

Lunch at the Guildford Institute

May 1, 2015
chickpea bake and salad

chickpea bake and salad

As always, excellent lunch at the Guildford Institute,

For main course, chickpea bake with three salads.

Followed by key lime pie.

A rather strange and pretentious review of eating out at the Guildford Institute in Surrey Life, written by the editor.

Insultingly compares it with a canteen, drinks diet coke (welcome to carcinogenic aspartame), insults some of the regulars by suggesting they have been dining their since the building opened.

Surrey Life lunch review

Surrey Life lunch review

Lunch at Food for Thought

April 28, 2015
quiche and salad

quiche and salad

strawberry scrunch

strawberry scrunch

A somewhat late, but nevertheless excellent lunch at Food for Thought

Quiche with four salads.

Followed by strawberry scrunch for which Food for Thought is famous.

It is a tragedy that Food for Thought is closing on 21 June 2015, driven out of business by a greedy landlord driving up the rent to unaffordable level.

It is symptomatic of what is happening everywhere.

It is also symptomatic of the gentrification and social cleansing that is taking place across London.

Walking down Neal Street to Food for Though, a Pret a Manger and Costa down a side street.

In the 1970s, after the market pulled out, the whole area was derelict. It was to be bulldozed for development, but this was stopped.

Next to Food for Thought was a shop that either built or repaired barrows, maybe both. These would line the street and in the summer it was pleasant to eat outside sitting on the barrows.

Now, down the street, trendy shops, the whole character of the street destroyed.

On my table two girls, one from Malaga, the other I know not where, had three years ago walked El Camino de Santiago, and so we had an interesting conversation about the pilgrimage and Santiago de Compostela.

Lunch at the Guildford Institute

April 24, 2015
pavlova

pavlova

Excellent lunch at the Guildford Institute.

Chickpea bake and salad, followed by a pavlova.

On the walls, an exhibition of watercolours of buildings on the Surrey-Hampshire border.

Two books recommended for the Guildford Institute Library, This Changes Everything and Revolution.