Tag Archives: food

Camden Market in the sunshine and the Urban Food Festival

123My weekend was so jam-packed with activities, fun and most importantly FOOD, that I simply had to split it across a few posts. So here is 2/3 and this is all about the time spent in Camden Market on Saturday, a gorgeously sunny day which we spent wandering around the stalls and enjoying delicious food. It was a beautiful day – lucky after a bit of rain in the morning and lots of storms elsewhere – and we headed straight for Camden so we could sit out by the river and relax. Now I love Camden Market, I feel like it is my spiritual home (jokes). I always say to myself that I need to explore more areas of London but I never get round to it because I can never resist visiting the Market. And as I’m sure you guys all know, once you are in, you’ll be stuck in there for hours looking at incredible stalls.

ssWe took a walk along the more peaceful end of the river, where families were sitting and dipping their feet in the water or eating food fresh from the stalls. It was so peaceful and the water was so calm, sitting in the sunshine, you could believe you were abroad it was so warm.

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After sharing a camel burger and a Turkish wrap, we walked back to the Tiki Bar which looked even prettier than it had the day before. We grabbed a table and a jug of Pimms to enjoy, and with live music and a DJ we stayed well entertained people-watching there for a few hours.


When it started getting closer to 6pm, we decided to start out on our tube journey to Shoreditch – which turned out to be a bit of a mission after we found out some of the tube lines were out of order. We ended up getting off at Bethnal Green and after a quick stop for a drink in the sweetest little park, we started on the ten-minute walk to Shoreditch. Our destination was the Urban Food Festival, which we soon discovered had taken over a small car park not far from the tube station. After stumbling across the website last week when looking for free things to do in London, we were so excited to go along and try some different dishes. Both big food lovers, we are always looking for new flavours from different countries and the food festival provided us with a fantastic opportunity to do just that.burgerFirst up for us to try was The Invincible Burger from the Korean stall, we spotted the huge queue and smelt the delicious combination of spice, marinade and meat and figured we couldn’t really go wrong! Everybody was tucking into these gorgeous burgers and I’m really not surprised, they were delicious with a beef burger that had been marinated in Korean spices before being stacked with equally flavoursome pulled pork on top. It packed a tasty punch and certainly had our mouths watering. It was easily the best savoury dish I tried and I wish I had another before I left! After trying this, we spotted the Italian stall and saw that they had several types of gnocchi on the menu. Now boyfriend and I have a long-held obsession with gnocchi despite neither of us having tried it before – it’s all thanks to Gavin and Stacey! Well I went straight over and picked up a gnocchi dish with a sage and pork ragu. Sorry to say but I was so disappointed, I have no real comparison when it comes to gnocchi, but I found the dish soggy and flavourless and I certainly would not bother to have it again. I really wished I had tried the semolina pasta instead.

Third up was pizza and after seeing lots of people tucking into wood-fired and crispy-based pizzas covered in chorizo, cheese, mushroom and more, we were looking forward to this one. Boyfriend went over and ordered the chorizo, cheese and jalapeno pizza which, although it took a while because there was a bit of a queue, was well worth the wait. I’m very particular about my pizza bases and yet I couldn’t have been happier with this one, just the right amount of crunch and softness. The toppings were the perfect combination and we wolfed the dish down, wishing we had more! We had a break after this and enjoyed the live music that had been playing throughout with a beer.1234After a while, the smells and sights coming from the Peruvian stall were just too much and I insisted we have one more savoury dish, just to try. I went over and ordered a steak wrap after studying the orders of those in front of me. I had been keen to order the ox heart dish, but it seemed a bit small for two people to really get the taste so I went for the steak wrap instead. Watching them prepare the food was fantastic, a show in itself. The head chef was so focused and calm despite flames flying everywhere and the orders pouring in like crazy. This was the busiest stall by the time I joined the queue but again, was most definitely worth the wait! The meat was so tender and the whole thing was just so brightly coloured and full of flavour. I can really compare the flavours as they were so unique. All I could say is that it is cooked similarly to peri-peri but the flavours taste completely different and you get the opportunity to add a variety of sauces including a cheese and chilli one, a red pepper and chilling one and another with lime, mint and yoghurt. I sloshed in all three and wow. It was incredible – kind of like eating a mojito-flavoured steak wrap – and if that doesn’t sound good, what does?!

Over on the drinks stalls they had the tasty Orchard Pig truffler and reveller ciders from Somerset and absolutely fantastic. You could taste the sweet apple flavour and it had a nice sparkle. I’d had a few people recommend the cider to me before but had never had the opportunity to try it before now. For those with a taste for ale, we also tried the brand new Indian Runner premium golden ale, which was only launched a couple of weeks ago. A perfect Shoreditch beer, their slogan is ‘refreshingly different’ and it certainly was!12345We sat for hours at the festival, watching people and their food choices, enjoying the beers and wines on offer. The live music was great and had the crowd singing along to all their favourites – the last act on, The Twelve Band, really had people dancing along and gave a great performance. The whole place was packed out from start to finish, and this really added to the atmosphere, it was lovely to see people of all ages enjoying the food, whether they had come straight from work or dropped in right before a night out. As the event was winding down, I made sure to pop by the SE Cakery & Brownie Bar where they had the most amazing cakes on sale. I had spotted and tried a tiny bit early and was determined to grab a bag of goodies to take home. We had six individual bites, a mixture of vanilla cheesecake brownie, oreo brownie, banoffee brownie and honeycomb brownie. All were just incredible – I can’t even describe how good these brownies were. I have to say, I am a baker myself and pride myself on how good my own brownies are but these just blew mine out of the water. If you get the chance, make sure you snap up some of these cakes!

It was a fantastic event, and although smaller than I expected, I have no doubt it will soon be growing in size. I was equally excited to find out that the free event is run weekly on Saturday nights from 5pm to midnight at Euro Car Parks on Shoreditch High Street. From the looks of things, the stalls change weekly so whenever you go you will get a taste of something delicious and new! If I were you, I’d make it my business to head down there often and discover some new foodie delights.

Have you been to the Urban Food Festival? What did you think and what was your favourite dish?

 

Restaurant review: Eating everything from the savannah at Shaka Zulu

sThis weekend, me and the boyfriend decided to take advantage of the empty flat in London before my sister moves in and have a weekend away to celebrate my birthday. We’ve both been so busy the last few weekends, we figured it would be good to get away and do something fun. We had originally planned to go to Zoo Lates, which is the late night opening at London Zoo where they have cabaret and entertainment, but sadly didn’t get tickets in time. I checked my phone while at work in the week and had a hilarious text from Mark saying he hadn’t managed to get the tickets so he had booked a table at Shaka Zulu, the South African restaurant in Camden Market so we could “eat the fuckers instead”.

bfNever one to pass up an opportunity for a good meal out at a fabulous restaurant, I was pretty excited to say the least. I had never really eaten much South African food but knew that I would like it, and after knowing others who had been to the restaurant and hearing rave reviews, I was certain we were in for a treat. Amusingly, Michelle Keegan was celebrating her birthday there the same night I was, although I’m sure she was on the champagne. We headed to the Tiki Bar first for a cheeky Pimms in the sunshine, while live singers performed. It was such a gorgeous sunny day and the Pimms just put us in the summer mood.

bWe arrived at the restaurant and were taken straight to our own booth, on the way to our table I couldn’t help but just stare at everything around me. Shaka Zulu is beautifully decorated from top to bottom, with giant statues of South African warriors, tribesmen and animals, engraved and carved walls with gorgeous designs and the most fantastic  furniture – I was in love with the chairs! The service was amazing, I felt like we had our own personal team of waiters ready to jump if we needed anything and eager to recommend dishes. I couldn’t resist visiting the ladies, just to have a walk around the rest of the restaurant, which was equally impressive with a champagne bar, massive group tables downstairs and another gorgeous bar. Meanwhile, Mark chose us a delicious South African wine which went beautifully with the food.fdMore importantly, what did we eat? Well, we went all out guys, both starving and desperate for some really tasty food. We decided to eat our way around the savannah and by gum, I think we did pretty well. We started with the top dishes, the left is Ham Hock & Wildebeest Terrine with Papaya Salsa and the right is Crocodile Cigars. Both were incredibly tasty dishes with an exciting array of flavours. The wildebeest had a lovely meaty flavour which worked well in contrast to the ham hock, and I loved the papaya salsa – it seemed out of place on the menu, but it certainly hit the spot on the plate. The crocodile was interesting, although I wasn’t expecting the spring roll style, I really enjoyed the taste. It has definitely left me wanting to try crocodile again, next time I would like to try the meat without the spring roll style just so I can really get the individual flavour of the meat. Both were great dishes that certainly had our mouths watering for the second course, but we didn’t have long to wait!

The second course was absolutely my favourite because both dishes were just delicious. It makes my mouth water now to remember them. We shared the Zebra Fillet and the Springbok Loin, with sides of Sugar Snaps & Red Onion, Creamy Spinach and Peri-Peri Fries. Wow. What a feast! The first time I had tried any of these meats, but as a big fan of venison and lamb, I was sure to enjoy them. The zebra was lovely, strangely it looked a lot like lamb but with a different flavour that I don’t think I can compare to anything else I have tried. It went really nicely with the spinach and the fries. My favourite was the springbok, which was just so full of flavour and really reminded me of gamier meats like venison. It was gorgeous with the red wine jus and the red onions from the sugar snaps dish. It was the kind of food where you feel like you need a few minutes to recover because each mouthful is so good. The side orders were delicious, the peri-peri fries were flavoured to perfection and the spinach really added to the tastes of the foods.meAll in all, a pretty darn good birthday meal and I’d like to say a huge thanks to the guys at Shaka Zulu for making it special. I will most definitely be going back again and I seriously recommend that you give it a try too. A perfect restaurant for a special occasion with plenty of entertainment – there was African drummers performing and dancing around us as we ate! If you like experimenting with food and you love a good steak, South African is perfect for you and will introduce you to a host of new flavours and textures – just what all of us food-lovers enjoy! It may be a tad more expensive than you might usually pay for a steak, but for me, quality speaks volumes over quantity and I would always rather a high quality piece of meat.

Have you been to Shaka Zulu – what did you think? Are you a big lover of South African food – what’s your favourite dish?

Don’t tell me healthy eating is a bore

salmonI have posted a few times (here, here and here) about the so-called “healthy eaters” of our generation – the ones who fad-diet and going on juice cleanses to starve themselves for a week and rid themselves of toxins before heading straight for McDonald’s. The ones who think a week of hardcore dieting, living off lip gloss and fresh air will even out months of eating no fruits and vegetables and packing down the crisps. I can’t stand crash dieters who do this . People like them give people like us (the healthy ones who make lifestyle changes to remain in good shape and at full strength) a bad name.

Every now and then, a few tweets will pop up on my Twitter feed, or I’ll spot Facebook statuses announcing to the world that someone is dieting, trying to lose a few pounds and is struggling. They might say something about how eating healthy is boring or how they are eating healthy but not losing any weight. First of all, take a good look at the pictures in this post – all of healthy meals and drinks that have been freshly prepared with the best ingredients and are full of flavour. Tell me that food, like the plate of salmon and salad at the top, are boring – that this riot of colour is less appealing than a squashed, greasy McDonald’s burger. Or the black linguine with king prawns and garlic below – is this just too full of flavour for you?prawnDieters need to realise that if they have been living off a diet of crap, then that is what their body has become used to, that your body now craves high levels of sugar and fat. Yes the first few weeks will always be a struggle because you are essentially trying to change a lifetime of bad habits, and you will be craving the diet your body is used to. But after this period, you body will start to crave the right foods and the longer you stick with this course, the more you will start to enjoy the foods. Your taste-buds in turn will start to relish in the diverse flavours, something they had been numbed to with a previously high sugar and fat diet. Now they will wake up and smell the bacon, or so to speak.

It is important to realise that this is not an immediate process and will not happen in the first week, but a few weeks down the line, you will start to notice big changes. It just means sticking with your health kick for long enough so that it becomes a lifestyle change. Another problem that is often voiced, is the failure to lose weight despite switching to healthier foods – well first of all, make sure that the foods you think are healthy are in fact, because if you have gone for “diet” foods and ranges, often these contain a lot of hidden sugars which turn to fat, and salt. These can cause even more health problems in the long run when actually it is very simple – lots of fruits and vegetables, less carbohydrates and stick to brown rices/breads/pasta, and go for protein-heavier meals with plenty of fish and less red meat. Cooking things yourself means cutting out the middle man, who often adds a lot of salt and preservatives that you do not want to be eating, plus cooking yourself makes you more aware of what is going in your own food.smoothieFinally, something else that those looking at changing their diet need to realise is the importance of portion sizes – if you are eating healthy but are still bigger than you feel you should be, portion sizes could be the problem. Some of us go on a health kick and while starting to eat better foods, we start to eat massive portions to fill ourselves up, in turn stretching our stomachs to make us hungrier than we should be. It is important to realise that in Western countries we are probably already eating far more than we really need, and spending a fortune on food while 1.2 billion people around the world are living on the equivalent of £1 per day – read more about this and living below the poverty line on Sarah Hardman Travels

It is important to remember that the size of each food group on your plate will need reshuffling, but also the size of your plate – if you are a pile it high kind of person, you might not be giving your stomach a chance to say it is full before shovelling a load more down. Again, much like the changing of foods, it will take a few weeks to adjust if you are usually someone who eats massive platefuls with big snacks in-between – but once you have adjusted, you will wonder how you even found time to eat so much food. I’m not saying never have a treat, or a cheeky McDonalds – I’m just saying that the healthy lifestyle should be the norm, and the treats should remain just that. Particularly if you are intent on losing weight or being healthier.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on – you might be surprised the effect eating a little less overall and some more of the right things can have on your body.

Part 2 – Sightseeing in New York City

IMG_4855The sightseeing continued over the following days with a lot of walking and making sure we took in as many of the sights we hadn’t seen before as possible. We couldn’t resist popping along to Madison Square Gardens even though we were unlucky and were unable to get tickets to any games – devastated! We would have loved to have gone to a game, but made do with checking out the building itself.IMG_4856We were keen to check out the markets and made sure to head to Brooklyn Flea Market which was lovely in the sunshine as we shuffled through old records, vintage clothing, jewellery, junk, food and much more. We were also hoping to head to Chelsea Market at some point and luckily stumbled across it when walking on the one rainy day of our trip. Of course we headed inside to take shelter, but it was also great to check out the market stalls and the different foods on offer including red velvet truffles, a lush wine cellar and spice/tea market. There was also an incredible fish market with all kinds of fish, sushi, lobsters and much more for sale including freshly prepared garlic snails! IMG_4887IMG_4889                IMG_4888Another highlight while down in Chelsea was the visit to the gorgeous puppy shop with puppies of all shapes, sizes and cross-breeds for sale at prices skyward of $1,000 – some even on special offer at $2,500! We just popped in for a cheeky play with the puppies, some of whom were loose and playing in the shop – so cute! I absolutely loved playing with the puppies and seeing them all, but after we left I felt a bit sad for them because others were cooped up in containers and desperate to get out and play. Plus I realised that these puppies are only for sale for a short time, while they are cute, then they are just given away and deemed worthless – not nice really. Hope I gave them a small bit of happiness by playing for a while even if I couldn’t give them a home!IMG_4865And finally, one of my personal highlights was visiting the apartment building that was lived in by Carrie Bradshaw in one of my all-time favourite TV series – Sex & The City. One of those series that really helped my generation fall in love with New York City – between this and Friends it had our heart, hook, line and sinker. So I was really excited to see the steps that Carrie famously tottered down in those huge, gorgeous heels of hers and to stand on them myself, albeit in my trainers because this was one hell of a day of walking!IMG_4879

Have you been to visit any of these sights? And are you a Sex & The City super-fan like myself?

 

Restaurant review: Rediscovering a taste of Italy

IMG_4959As with every visit to New York, this holiday was not complete without a return trip to Little Italy and another attempt to find the gorgeous little family-run restaurant we stumbled into one time to get out of the rain. Years ago, when we made our first visit to The Big Apple, we headed down to Chinatown, Soho and Little Italy for a wander around, unfortunately on the wettest day. It was raining so hard that it seemed like droplets were rising from the pavement to hit me in the face. Despite umbrellas, raincoats and boots, we were soaked to the skin and couldn’t seem to get out of the storm. Eventually, tired, soggy and after getting very lost, we stumbled into Little Italy and into one of the first restaurants we spotted – Amici II.

IMG_4788This cute little restaurant was only small and run by a family who serve the finest foods from their home of Napoli. The restaurant itself was simple, clean and let the walls do the talking – packed with pictures, messages and memorabilia from customers of years gone by, right up the the present. The photos were of families, couples and groups of friends with the owners who had clearly created a legacy among friends that had customers returning for all their special occasions, family meals or just a light lunch.

IMG_4958As a family, ever since that first meal we have made it our business to return to the restaurant. The second time it was again sheer luck that we stumbled across it although we had hoped to find it again – we couldn’t remember the street so it was a lot of guess-work! Since, I have refused to remember the street address, instead preferring to follow my instincts and have always managed to find it, despite entering Little Italy from various directions. I reckon it was just meant to be! The first time we were there, my dad and I kept it simple with a spaghetti with garlic, chilli and oil. Simple proved effective and it was a delicious meal that warmed us up nicely after the wet walk there. My mum had a seafood pasta dish that she said was also amazing, while my sister went for a lasagne which she loved. Sadly I can’t remember what we had the other times, but I know that we absolutely loved it and that it was one of the best Italian meals any of us has ever had – including those in Italy!

IMG_4955This visit was extra special because it was our proper celebration meal for my mum’s 50th birthday which had been a few days earlier. She was adamant that she wanted to spend her birthday meal at this lovely restaurant with a glass of red wine in hand and a plate of delicious pasta in front of her. She was determined on this visit that her dish of choice would be carbonara.

IMG_4956My sister Laura, left, and I were dying to try the food again, Laura was craving pizza while I had a fancy for some seafood and spice. We were all thrilled to be back and couldn’t wait to try out the menu, which is made up of all the classic Italian dishes with a Napoli twist and some special dishes unique to the area. All brimming with flavour and freshly cooked.

IMG_4793I was also loving the wine – house white so I’m not sure of a name, but it was delicious and from the Napoli area. Gorgeous and in a half carafe for myself, served in the lovely big glasses – the only way wine should be served! It was the perfect way to relax after a lot of walking around the shops in Soho. The restaurant was nicely busy, but not packed as it has been when we went later in the day before. There was a group who were going for several courses, and a few pairs just popping in for lunch.

IMG_4794We started with a shared platter of fried zucchinni with a spicy tomato sauce – perfect for sharing, freshly made in the tiny kitchen and so tasty. We’ve had these before in other restaurants, but never quite as crispy or delicious. When we had them before they were served as fried disks which stayed a little soggy as the vegetables (courgettes) are quite wet naturally. The crispier the better in the case of fried anything, but as someone who doesn’t usually like fried food, I found these light and non-greasy. Just full of flavour.

IMG_4957Words cannot describe my main meal – it was beyond anything I could have hoped for and had my taste buds firing on all cylinders. I went for a special dish of black linguine with shrimps after making a hard decision between several dishes including lobster ravioli. I chose this in the end because I had not yet tried black linguine and because the dish just combined all of my favourite flavours in the king prawns and garlic. The decision paid off and it really was exquisite – the best meal I have had there yet. I would really recommend you try this dish if you visit, but whatever you choose will be fantastic. Laura went for the pizza and said it was also really yummy.

IMG_4800                IMG_4799

The noises of contentment and mouth-watering dishes continued across the table where my mum was tucking into the spaghetti carbonara she had been waiting for  all those months – she couldn’t stop raving about it! I tried a mouthful and it was definitely the best carbonara I have ever tasted – so creamy and the bacon really gave it some flavour. Dad was also loving his chicken parmagiana with pasta which really says something because he makes an amazing version of the same dish! The chicken was tasty and crispy and, of course, the pasta was perfectly cooked. Happy faces and empty dishes surrounded the table – can anything show a top restaurant any better than that? If you go to Little Italy – I’m sure there are many amazing restaurants lining the streets, but I would seriously recommend Amici II if you want wholesome, good quality food that is full of Napoli flavour from a staff that will do anything to make your meal perfect. A true expression of Little Italy.

IMG_4797                IMG_4796

 

Have you got a restaurant you always return to for the amazing food and staff? What’s your favourite pasta dish?

Restaurant review: Fear and food – a lethal combination

edit 4With the constant opening of new restaurants across the city, New York foodies and tourists are always looking for the latest flavours, the place that pushes the boundaries of everyday grub and something with just a little more wow-factor. As a result, loads of entertainment-related restaurants have opened up with cabarets, live music, comedy and all sorts of entertainment. Some do it well, others less so. The problem is that so many restaurants, both in NYC and over here in the UK, put either full emphasis on the food, or the entertainment and the other is done rather half-heartedly, or, worse, they are both done badly. So when we spotted the Jekyll & Hyde Club, just off Times Square, we couldn’t resist finding out if it really was all that – or just a bit of fun.

edit 1The outside of the restaurant was what caught our eye when on the way back to our hotel one night and we had to stop and chat with the scary looking chap outside in his top hat and tails. We checked whether we would need to book for one of the following nights and were told just to turn up and prepare to be scared.

After having been to Disney in both Paris and Florida, plus theme parks like Alton Towers when they have had special events, I’ll be honest and say that we were expecting it to either be really good entertainment with average food, or really cheesy entertainment with average food. We didn’t go there expecting a gourmet meal and we weren’t even convinced the entertainment would be that amazing. How wrong we were!

edit 2Don’t worry, I won’t be giving all the shocks and surprises away. But here I just want to give you a taste of this incredible restaurant – the decor alone speaks for itself! We were led into the building – with a choice between the scary or the regular entrance – of course we chose the scary one and make sure you do as well! After being led through a series of small rooms – all of which came alive in unique ways – we were a bit giggly by the time we reached the restaurant and didn’t know where the next surprise would come from.

IMG_4933A walk round the restaurant showed us the whole room was filled with unusual items hanging from the walls, spooky portraits with eyes that followed you, crazy Siamese twins, huge elephant or mummy heads, skeletons and much more. It was an astonishing sight and there was so much to take in. In front of us, as you can see from the top picture, was the main stage where the mad scientist brought Frankenstein’s monster back to life before our very eyes in one of the many dinner shows.

IMG_4934Throughout our meal, and the evening, the walls and statues around us would unexpectedly come to life to talk to the customers, play music, as spiders scuttled across the paintings or blood dripped down the walls. There was even a robot behind my dad who nearly made him choke on his dinner when it started doing “The Robot” dance! So funny! It was just spectacular and so well done, plus all of the staff were thoroughly involved and in character the whole time which made it all the more spooky and magical.

edit 3Now for the food – the bit you’ve all been waiting for! We all dug into the best burgers that I think we have ever had in the city throughout our four trips over there. We didn’t expect to be overwhelmed by the food at all, but these gorgeous hunks of juicy meat smelt divine and the flavours were just perfectly combined. The quality of the meat made them all the more delicious, which always seems to be of such a better standard everywhere than it is in the UK.

 

I went for the barbecue burger – with a delicious bourbon barbecue sauce, plenty of cheddar, bacon, grilled red onions and salad. Wow – I normally wouldn’t go for a barbecue burger because I often find the sauce overpowering, but this bourbon sauce sounded so tasty I couldn’t resist. It was so tasty it is making my mouth water to even write about it, and served with these home cut French fries – just perfect. My mum went for the steakhouse burger to get her fix of the blue cheese crumbles after a burger she ordered elsewhere with them turned up without. She said it was worth the wait and she reckoned it was one of the best burgers she had ever had and the home-made steak sauce tied it all together. My dad went for the California burger which came with avocado and cilantro mayonnaise – it smelt lush and he certainly enjoyed it. The food was just perfection and washed down with delicious wine and local beers – all the other customers seemed to be enjoying their meals just as much. I think if I went back, I could definitely have to try a steak – I’m sure they would have been just as juicy and delicious!IMG_4926We all left with a big smile on our faces and we knew it was well worth the trip in. The night was made all the better thanks to the amazing staff and our lovely server (whose name I sadly have forgotten but I remember she was from Alaska!) who kept us entertained and well stocked with food and drinks all night. She was so lovely and friendly, chatting to us about what we had been doing on holiday and about her plans to visit London. Service like that really makes a meal out and we all really appreciated it – plus the amazing outfits they were wearing and all those involved in the shows. All of the staff worked hard to keep up the spooky atmosphere and you could tell how much they enjoyed their jobs.IMG_4935A truly awesome restaurant, not at all cheesy, and definitely one to make sure you visit when you next go to New York. It’s also great for birthdays or parties – if I ever spend a birthday in the city, I will be sure to head back!

Have you ever been to the Jekyll & Hyde Club? What did you think?

Hunks of meat and hot stuff

image (33)For those interested in something more substantial, what trip to the US would be complete without a big, fast, juicy steak? We found an incredible grill restaurant just opposite our hotel, sadly we saved it until the last night and only got to experience one of these amazing plates of meat. These steaks were just melt in your mouth, dribble down your chin good. So moist and juicy, barely any fat and simply not even comparable to the gristle you get in the UK. You could choose sides, so my mum and I chose mash potatoes and broccoli which we have always found to be our favourites after being served them everywhere in Florida with some amazing steaks. Astonishing to think, but when I met my boyfriend eight years ago, I was practically a vegetarian! Now I can’t imagine a life without a steak or a nice big burger. My sister gets a little grossed out watching us all eat steaks because she can’t deal with meat – she’s more of a tofu kind of girl, and after trying it while on holiday, I still don’t understand it (Sorry Laura!)

image (25)Laura also took us to a lovely Thai restaurant in Brooklyn after we made our way across the city in the rain with broken umbrella. Soggy and cold, we arrived and took in the menu – full of lovely hot curries to warm us up again. Plenty of wine and beer later, and I had chosen calamari with sweet chilli dip followed by a delicious Thai green curry with king prawns and coconut rice. It was absolutely lovely and well worth the trek to get there. The rest of the family had Pad Thai, Thai red curry and tofu curry.

image (26)More pictures and restaurant reviews to come in following posts with burgers and pasta dishes featured at some amazing restaurants!