Where do the rest of us like to eat? 

Bristol Food Twitter has been a mire of snide dick waving of late. To counteract the rain of scornballs I asked my Twitter followers where they love to eat and got a great response. If you want to know where people without an agenda dine out, this is the post for you.

 

 

 

Hubbox is open! 

After much excitement from my Cornish colleague, Hubbox have finally flung open the doors to their newest restaurant after a successful expansion through the South West. Hubbox has taken over the Las Iguanas site on Whiteladies Road and it’s unrecognisable, gone are the bright latin¬†themes and have been replaced with a familiar vibe. Dark, neon, tin signs on the wall, booths and a back bar heavy on the bourbon with modern tunes pumping loudly from the PA, it definitely feels like a cool place to be.

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They’ve kept the opening front windows which were a popular feature with the previous restaurant and is a tempting place to sit and drink the Hubbox version of a snakebite, a far classier affair than the one I remember from 12years ago. Otherwise, a good selection of craft beer is available from Harbour, Tiny Rebel and Siren etc, decent wines and of course Aperol Spritz in generous glasses.

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I only tried a few nibbles and so can’t comment on too much but we all agreed the beef patties were full of juicy flavour, the blue cheese and mushroom topped one being a favourite. There were also nachos, fried courgette chips, fried chicken, hotdogs and chicken nuggets. We also tried the Crack Pie which I’ve not had in ages and it was very sweet and very good. Topped with, of course, clotted cream, what a treat. Definitely¬†will be back to try a proper meal and see if the Cornish can do burgers as well as they do pasties.

Where –¬†113 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2PB

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Naasto Baasto Popup Kitchen

This is Indian food that I would guess most of you haven’t tried before!

Monica Patel is hosting an afternoon of traditional Gujarati home cooking at Bristol Spirit in Redfield. Monica and her mother will be preparing a feast of food using recipes handed down to her by generations of her family.

Monica says that; ‚ÄúNaasto Baasto is a tribute to my ba (grandmother) – who was a wonderful strong woman, and the most caring wife, mum and grandmother. As a homage to the hostess with the mostest, mum and I will be cooking some of our favourite Gujarati dishes, and we‚Äôll be turning Bristol Spirit into my grandparent‚Äôs home for the afternoon. Our guests will experience proper Gujju hospitality – recipes which have been passed down for generations, cooked with love and passion. Humble, authentic and largely vegetarian.”

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There will be a set menu costing ¬£25.00 per head. Guests can buy either a meat or veggie ticket option. The puris, chapatis, and kachori all contain gluten. You can let us know if you’d like a dairy free option after purchasing tickets. Tickets can be purchased through the Bristol Spirit Website here

All dishes will have suggested pairings of Espensen Spirit cocktails, local beers, wines or mocktails – these are not included in the ticket price.

The menu can be found via the link and I can assure you that I am positively counting down the days to get my hand on some traditional thali!

Find Naasto Baasto on Twitter and Facebook!

Pink burgers –

I got a lot of pushback from my opinions on pink burgers very briefly outlined in my Asado review  and even an anonymous commenter who seemed to think I was giving Bristol burger restaurants a kick in the head for having a preference.

Honestly, I had no idea people were so passionate about the pinkness of their burgers and, at least as far as I’m aware, the pink burger trend has only been around for a few years so assumed people didn’t have that much of an opinion but, as it’s the internet, I should have known better.

I feel this is a good place to outline my issue with the pink burger thing. I am not a health or food professional but luckily a friend of mine was and she is someone who is also wary of burgers cooked pink, regardless of where it is. If someone’s job used to be understanding the health implications of eating undercooked meat, I am going to listen.

 

 

It isn’t the quality of meat that is the issue as a lot of people assume, it’s the processing of the carcass. There will be harmful bacteria on the surface¬†of the steak or mince when it leaves the processing plant. This bacteria will multiply until it hits the restaurant. If the restaurant minces its own steaks the bacteria on the surface of that steak will be transferred throughout the mince. Whilst there are strict guidelines from field to fork to ensure the risk is as low as possible the thorough heating of the meat is the only way of killing off the bacteria. ¬†If it isn’t cooked properly you’ve created a bit of a gastroenteritis time bomb.

This is explained far better here if my wittering on doesn’t make much sense

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“But I eat burgers rare/pink all the time and I’m fine!” well yes, if you are an otherwise healthy person chances are you will be, but if you are young, elderly, pregnant or immunosuppressed the risk of eating that mince is is a high one and could kill you. There are around 500,000 reported cases of food poisoning¬†a year. I have IBS, no one knows what causes it but I can tell you when I get an attack its agony, if I can avoid food poisoning which is a 72 hour IBS attack with vomiting thrown in, I will thanks.

HOWEVER you can safely eat a pink burger if it holds a temperature of 75c for 30 seconds whilst cooking. I trust some kitchens to adhere to this (Asado say they do and I trust they do) and I don’t trust others. Maybe that is me being harsh but if I enjoy the burger cooked through, who cares? And no, I will not list where I do and not trust.

Lastly, I want to add that I don’t even like the taste or texture of pink burgers and it is perfectly achievable to sear a burger and leave it juicy and delicious if you give a crap about the beef and technique, no squishing the patty or packing it with crappy binding ingredients.

Like anything, eating pink is a risk, as is eating raw oysters (I don’t), eating dodgy chicken or not washing salads before eating. I have decided that I don’t like pink burgers enough to warrant the risk, I know a lot of you do and that’s cool.

Scientific research above

To the “anonymous” commenter ¬†– buddy, implying you know me and will “see me soon” is creepy AF and you need a word with yourself.

ew no

 

Back to lighthearted food reviews and pithy observations on pizza dips tomorrow

 

Lost and Grounded ‘The Summer Brewhouse Sessions’

Lost and Grounded haven’t been in the city long but my goodness they have got us sitting up and taking notice. With a huge site in Brislington filled with some of the most beautiful, German engineered equipment and kicking out fresh, light, flavourful beers that scream “we love what we do” they are a firm favourite¬†with the beer crowd.

This summer they are running their ‘The Summer Brewhouse Sessions’ when the brewery flings open its doors and let the nosey public in to see what they do. With a street food stall each month, a collaborative brew from some special guests and, the beer taps flowing with both the in-house¬†ambrosia and the finest offerings from the aforementioned guests, you are sure to find something you like.

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I booked myself onto one of the first tours of the year, had a big breakfast and headed over on a very windy Saturday. When you walk into the brewery you are blown away with just how big everything is! The ceilings are high, the tanks are massive and I am pleased I paid attention to the note telling me to wear sensible shoes.

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We were given the tour by Brewer¬†Matt and had the entire brewing process explained whilst clutching our beers from the bar. We were taken up to see the beautiful¬†tanks and got a great view of the party below. We were allowed to try beers at various stages of the brew and had hops, malts and cask ageing explained in detail. Matt was really good at explaining the processes in a way those of us that don’t know much about brewing could understand and I thoroughly¬†enjoyed learning something.

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You can get tickets for the tour here and it also means you get three 1/2 pints¬†to enjoy on top! The next summer session is in July with special guests Verdant Brew and if you can’t make that, their events are listed here

 

Asado Burgers – Review

Not another burger restaurant I hear you cry. Well shut up a minute, this one is good. Heavy on the Bristol and South American influence, chef and owner Lucien Gordon is serving his burgers pink & juicy, using organic, high welfare beef and topped with West Country cheese.

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Replacing Rosemarino’s¬†on Colston Street, Asado is the newest burger joint to grace the city. The place has been decked out in greys and yellows which is incredibly eye catching with plenty of seating, a beautiful new bar and steps leading down to the kitchen and loos.

We were greeted by cheery staff and seated with a drink where we had a peek at the menu. I attended a pre-opening evening so had a menu already planned for us but the buttermilk fried chicken certainly caught my eye.

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Firstly we were given chicken wings to share that were chargrilled and moist, with a spicy glaze, pickled chillies, coriander and a gorgeous mint and yoghurt sauce. Although a bit on the small side, perhaps I was spoiled with Carols Crab Kitchen  flavour was there and they were devoured in earnest by the table.

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We were asked beforehand how we wanted our burgers cooked, Asado prides themselves on cooking their beef “pink and juicy” and is served as the standard, however, if you prefer something a bit more well done, that is fine. I usually steer clear of pink burgers in most places, I can’t trust the beef is cooked well enough to not give me a stomach upset. But after hearing about how high quality the beef was and owner Lucien’s Gordon’s cv including Patty and Bun in London, I thought it best to try these burgers as they were intended.

We had a bowl of chips come up first which were plentiful and well seasoned with the advertised rosemary salt. Topped with the house-made mayo and hot sauce, the recipe of which I will trick Lucien out of someday, were a cracking addition and sadly a rarity in restaurants. I perhaps filled up too much on these as well as the wings and the burger felt a challenge when we were presented with it.

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The burger its self is a lot smaller than the monsters we are perhaps used to but what it lacked in circumference it made up with in height and sheer quality. The patty was indeed pink and juicy, too much for my personal taste but everyone else loved it, and had that beautiful charred flavour from the traditional, woodfired asado grill used downstairs. It had a generous topping of bacon and cheese, pickled red onion, tomato, lettuce and sauces of garlic mayo, chimichurri and housemade ketchup. Sadly the bottom bun struggled to stand up to the juice and I ended up with very mucky hands, not that I was that bothered. The burger tasted fantastic and I have been thinking about it ever since. I really look forward to going back to try that Pollo Libre though.

Head to the website here and see for yourself

 

New Opening РBomboloni 

As we salute goodbye to Biblos on the Hill, off to sunnier climes at the new Wapping Wharf development we welcome in its place Bomboloni.

Well respected and universally loved chef Andrew Griffin and equally talented daughter Molly of Tart, Prego and Stock Exchange Bakery fame to name a few have finally been given the opportunity to open their own restaurant on the vibrant Gloucester Road.

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Whilst Biblos was great for nipping in for a quick bite, it never made me want to stay and savour my surroundings, Andrew, Molly and the entire Griffin family have worked incredibly hard to make the dining room as relaxed and comfortable as their own living room. The walls are painted a beautiful deep grey/blue colour and are adorned with pictures and photographs that could keep one busy for a long time having a nose at.

The bar is tucked away on the right-hand side whilst the open kitchen takes pride of place at the back. The tired decking and awning has been whisked away and polished up for prime people spotting opportunities at lunch or during dinner on warm summer evenings.

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We were welcomed warmly at the preview night and stuffed full with the restaurant’s namesake¬†bomboloni¬†doughnuts¬†(incredibly¬†light and moreish!), arancini,¬†mackerel pate on toast, bruschetta and some of the best polenta chips I’ve ever tried, chunky, crisp and not at all like the sad, grainy polenta I’ve had elsewhere.

When they open officially on the 13th you can look forward to a lunch menu offering dishes under £8 including meatballs with linguine & parmesan, grilled vegetables & buffalo mozzarella panini and a pizzetta menu.

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For dinner the menu expands to include starters, mains such as pesto & straccio gnocchi with brown butter, asparagus & salted ricotta, grilled prawns with chilli, garlic & tomato and a great looking pizza menu. All mains come in under £12 too.

Opening hours are¬†9am ‚Äď 10pm Monday to Saturday and 12 noon ‚Äď 4pm¬†for Sunday lunch.

Find Bomboloni here and on Twitter here