Sunday, October 25, 2020

UK Trip Travel Food: London Food (Leon, Bake, Gerrard's Corner, British Library, Sushi Daily, and Pizza Express)

I took a trip to England in the summer of 2019. I spent the last two days of my trip in London. Here's some of the food I ate:


I had a breakfast box from this chain of fast food restaurants. I believe the box I tried was vegetarian, with a poached egg, beans, mushrooms, tomato, avocado slices, and a delicious type of grilled cheese called halloumi.


I ended up in Chinatown. I stopped in this bakery on my visit to London in 2016. I think they may have been renamed since my last visit. Last time, they were called Chinatown Bakery. This time, the store was just Bake. I thought the waffle fish stuffed with various fillings were enough of a novelty that I needed to get another fish when I walked by.

Gerrard's Corner:

Another restaurant in Chinatown. I know British food has a bad reputation, but this is the only meal on this trip that really was unenjoyable. I had the sliced pork with seasonal vegetables. Those seasonal vegetables included carrots and broccoli, but the pork was the bad part. Pretty sure it was undercooked. A friend ordered fried rice. The rice was crispy. Most of our food was left uneaten here. It was confusing because the restaurant was packed...

British Library:

Cinnamon roll from the cafe in the lobby of the British Library.

Sushi Daily to Go:

This was a fast food Japanese restaurant. I had a chicken noodle bowl and miso soup.

Pizza Express:

This is a chain that is very prolific in London. Seems like there's a Pizza Express every few blocks. The name is confusing, since it is a sit down restaurant and isn't very express.

Friday, October 23, 2020

UK Trip Travel Food: Grasmere Food (Co-op Food, Lucia's Coffee and Bakehouse, and Emma's Dell)

I took a trip to England in the summer of 2019. During this trip, I rented a car in York and drove to the Lake District. I wanted to see a national park outside of the United States to see how parks like this are done elsewhere. I picked a random destination within the Lake District and ended up in a town called Grasmere. 

Co-op Food:

When I arrived, I checked into were I was staying, hiked up a mountain, and then got back just in time to take shelter from a thunderstorm. By the time the storm let up, all the restaurants in Grasmere were closed for the day. That is, except for the small convenience store sized supermarket called Co-op Food. Here, I bought some of their ready-made food options for dinner. This included a Chimichurri Chicken Flatbread, olives, and biscuits. 

Lucia's Coffee + Bakehouse:

I had breakfast the next morning at a place called Lucia's Coffee + Bakehouse. I had a freshly baked Cumberland Sausage Roll, served with homemade ketchup. 

Emma's Dell:

Lunch was had at a restaurant specializing in crepes called Emma's Dell. I had a crepe called the Highland Fling. It was filled with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, and served with a chive crème fraiche. I had tea to drink. Tea leaves were served loose in a french press.

During the meal, I felt like somebody was trying to watch me eat from the next table...

Here's a picture of a Luxury Dairy Ice Cream truck in the mountains, just because mountains need to be photographed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

UK Trip Travel Food: York Food (Betty's Cafe, 29 States, and The York Roast Co.)

 I took a trip to England in the summer of 2019. During this trip, I left Newark-on-Trent and proceeded to York.

Betty's Cafe Tea Room:

As I was leaving Newark-on-Trent, a bus driver told me I had to eat at Betty's Cafe in York. Also, to avoid the main location in the city which gets huge waits and visit the location in Stonegate instead.  I followed directions and was able to be seated in the restaurant immediately. I walked by their other location a few blocks away afterwards and there was a huge crowd waiting to get in...

It was a tea room, so I started with some tea. Obviously...

I tried their special of the day. It was a breakfast dish what I was unfamiliar with called Kedgeree. This consisted of rice, fish, and dried fruit, topped with a poached egg. It was interesting, and really good. Looks like the dish has it's roots in India and became popular in England during the Victorian era. 

29 States:

I was touring Clifford's Tower in York and was distracted by the aromas of delicious smelling Indian food wafting up the hill from a restaurant somewhere below. I decided I was going to find this restaurant and eat there for dinner. Turned out this restaurant was called 29 States. I had a very good chicken dish with some naan. 
The view was nice too. It's the only Indian restaurant I've ever visited where I was able to look out the window and see a castle towering above the restaurant...

The York Roast Co.:

Having Yorkshire Pudding in York seemed like an appropriate thing to do. I did this at a fast food restaurant called The York Roast Co. They basically made wraps out of the Yorkshire pudding, rolling the bread around turkey, stuffing, cranberries, assorted vegetables, and gravy. It was a very messy thing to eat and the Yorkshire pudding didn't hold together very well as a vehicle to transport the rest of the fillings...

Monday, October 19, 2020

UK Trip Travel Food: Nottingham Food (Pieminster)

I took a trip to England in the summer of 2019. While staying in Newark-on-Trent on this trip, I took a train to Nottingham. I saw Robin Hood, then I ate.

This was a restaurant which I did not eat at, but was noteworthy. Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem was built into the side of a cliff below Nottingham Castle and claims to be the oldest inn in England.

I had lunch at a restaurant called Pieminster. As the name states, this restaurant specialized in all sorts of pies.
There was some quirky decor in here, such as potato eyes in glass cases.
I had the Saag Pie-neer. This was an Indian inspired pie filled with paneer, peas, spinach, potatos, chilli, and mango. It was served over mashed potatoes. A side of mushy peas and gravy also came on the side. It was pretty good, and the Indian influence was a nice change from the other more traditional meat pies I had on this trip.


Saturday, October 17, 2020

UK Trip Travel Food: Newark on Trent Food (The Old Post Office, The Old Bakery Tea Room, Turkish Delight, and The Sir John Arderne)

I took a trip to England in the summer of 2019. I began this trip in Brighton, left early in the morning, and took a train to Newark on Trent where I stayed for about a week.

The Old Post Office:

My first meal in the city was at a pub called The Old Post Office. I had a meat pie, served with mashed potatoes, peas, and gravy. Not the best food, but not the worst either. There was some confusion with the service where they mixed up what I had ordered, but we'll forgive them.

The Old Bakery Tea Room:

I thought tea in a royal palace was pretty cool in my last post, but this was different. This restaurant was in a building that was amazingly old from an American perspective. The Old Bakery Tea Room is located in a medieval Tudor style cottage which has been around since the 15th century. Their website lists them as one of Nottinghamshire's Most Haunted Buildings too, but I saw no ghosts... 
Started out with tea. I had Earl Grey.
I ordered the Ploughman’s Lunch. This came with a salad, various cheeses, fruit, pies, and slices of bread served with butter and chutney. Everything about this meal was delicious. 
Of all the foods I ate on this trip to England, this won as my favorite meal. The food was great, combined with the environment of eating in a restaurant who's building has been around since the middle ages...

Turkish Delight:

Middle Eastern food located next to a church which has parts dating back to the 12th century. I'm glad the crusades are over... 
I had the lamb and chicken combination doner kabab. The meats were served over chips, topped with a tzatziki style sauce, and pickled vegetables. This was a huge amount of food for the price. More than I was able to eat in one sitting. 

The Sir John Arderne:

This was the second pub I visited in Newark on Trent. The Sir John Arderne was the better of the two. Better service, better atmosphere, and I enjoyed the food more as well.
I ordered what seems to be a standard British pub food: The Chicken Tikka Masala. I guess this is a side effect of colonialism. The chicken was served alongside rice and garlic naan. No complaints at all with this meal. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

UK Trip Travel Food: Brighton Food (Brighton Zip Fish & Chips, Royal Pavilion Tearoom, Mr. Whippy Ice Cream, What the Pitta, and YHA Brighton Hostel)

I took a trip to England in the summer of 2019. I began this trip in Brighton. I flew into Gatwick, stayed overnight in London, then took a train to Brighton early the next morning. I was in the UK in 2016, and Brighton was a city several people recommended visiting that I ran out of time to see. Made it the first adventure on this UK trip. Here's what I ate:

Brighton Zip Fish & Chips: 

On my last trip to England back in 2016, I remember being told that the best fish & chips in the country could be found in Brighton. I didn't have any specific restaurant recommendations, so I found a random restaurant serving fish & chips. They were located on the beach attached to a zip line attraction. Not always promising for food when a restaurant is attached to something amusement park related, but they seemed to be doing good business and had an ocean view. 
The fish was good. It was fried in a crispy batter and was well cooked inside. The chips were nothing exceptional, but I did the thing and smothered them in malt vinegar which improved them. A generous scoop of mushy peas were served as a side. 

Royal Pavilion Tearoom: 

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton is a palace built King George IV. The palace is atypical of what I would expect from the palace of a British monarch, with a very Middle Eastern/Asian appearance. 
I took a break from touring the palace in the Royal Pavilion Tearoom. This may have been the peak of my British food experience. I had afternoon tea in a palace once owned by the royal family. The tea was served in a teapot that looked like it came out of a Japanese restaurant, which fit perfectly with the style of the building. I also had a very nice fruit tart. Afternoon tea in a palace. It's all downhill from here...

Mr. Whippy Ice Cream:

I took a long walk along the boardwalk running along the beach. During this hike, I stopped at an ice cream truck called Mr. Whippy Ice Cream.
Vanilla ice cream cone with a flake. These flake things make ice cream more interesting. Can't go wrong with adding a chocolate wafer cookie into the ice cream.

What the Pitta:

I had dinner at a restaurant called What the Pitta specializing in doner kababs. I did not realize beforehand that they were a vegan restaurant. I had their vegan döner which was made from a soy based meat substitute, veggies, hummus, and tzatziki (dairy free I'm assuming?) in a wrap. I got the combo, which included a drink and baklava. It's here that I discovered that the British pronunciation of baklava is different from the American and it took me longer than it should have to figure out what dessert the cashier was describing. American: bak-la-va. British: ba-clava.
The kabab sandwich was really good. Plenty of flavors, and if I didn't know, I don't think I would have realized it was vegan with everything going on in the sandwich.

YHA Brighton Hostel:

I stayed in a hostel called YHA Brighton. I had an early train to catch leaving Brighton so I had breakfast at the hostel's restaurant.
The breakfast was served cafeteria style, and I got a little of everything offered. There was eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, potato cakes, baked tomato, croissants, cheese, and fruit. Lots of food for a good price.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Mediterranean Street Food in Maitland, FL

Mediterranean Street Food is located in a tiny building in the middle of a strip mall parking lot in Maitland. They have been around for quite a while, but I recently gave them a try for the first time and ordered some takeout.
I had the Doner - Gyro Bowl. This was served in a container lined with a large flatbread, filled with rice, then topped with the meat, seasoned onions and tomatoes, and a salad. Tzatziki was served on the side.
Also ordered a Falafel Bowl. Very similar, with a cucumber salad replacing the onions that came with the gyro. Interesting that the falafel were flatter, more disk-like than what I typically see elsewhere.
I enjoyed the food here. The portions were huge and were a good value for the price. Everything was flavorful, and there was plenty of vegetables to counter the main item. I'll be back.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Ginther's Swirls Ice Cream in Orlando, FL

Today is apparently National Ice Cream Day. Hurray for made up food holidays! To celebrate, here's a Dole Whip from Ginther's Swirls located on International Drive near Sea World. Pineapple soft serve ice cream floating on a pool of pineapple juice. It's was just like getting the must overhyped Dole Whips at Disney without dealing with the Disney crowds!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Hungry Howie's in Deland, FL

Way back in the day, I listed Hungry Howie's Pizza pretty high on the pizza chain hierarchy. Of the big chains, Papa John's was near the top. Domino's was near the bottom of the list. Hungry Howie's was second or third on the list. Then all the nearby Hungry Howie's near me closed.

I was out in Volusia County and ended up at the Hungry Howie's in Deland. The pizza was very different than I remembered Hungry Howie's serving. The crust was thick and puffy. I remember it being much thinner than this pizza was. The flavor of the cheese and sauce were fine. It seemed like they drenched the entire pie in a disgusting amount of some sort of butter sauce. I very much did enjoy the sesame seeds on the crust.
Hungry Howie's (or at least this Hungry Howie's location) was not what I remembered at all. It was worse. If this was a good representation of the chain's pizzas, they have moved way down in my hierarchy of pizza chains.

Something else that bothered me: I ordered this pie in the days of COVID-19, but before Deland's mandatory mask order - not that it would probably make a difference since people aren't following the rule in Seminole or Orange County). Not a single person working in this store who I saw, both front of house and who I could see in the kitchen, was wearing a mask. Seems like a standard safety thing that all restaurants should be following. If Hungry Howie's ignores masks, I can imagine there's other food safety things that might be ignored. Not saying they were violating any other rules, but that seems like a logical next step...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Pizza 1905 in Lake Mary, FL

I ordered takeout from Pizza 1905 in Lake Mary. When I went in to pick up my pizza, it was promising. They had pizza by the slice on the counter that looked to be super thin NY style pies. I ordered a 16" Margherita pizza.
Pizza was mostly good. The sauce was very flavorful and the fresh mozzarella was melted nicely into the pie. The crust was unfortunately the pizza's downfall. Unlike the pie's available in the front of the restaurant, the crust wasn't exactly thin. It also seemed doughy and undercooked, like they rushed taking it out of the oven.
I want to give Pizza 1905 another try. There seemed to be potential for really good pizza, but for whatever reason, the undercooked, doughy crust on my pie was holding the pizza back from reaching that potential.

Friday, April 24, 2020

NY Food: Bagels (Pumpernickel Bagel, Zucker's Bagels & Smoked Fish, Russ & Daughters, and Liberty Bagels)

Since nobody can travel right now due to COVID-19, let's go back in time a few months and visit New York to eat. My last visit to the New York was in December for a few days. The last couple posts on this blog from New York had to do with the pizza and Indian food I ate on the trip. This post is about the Indian restaurants I visited while there. I ended up eating a lot of Indian food on my short trip.

Pumpernickel Bagel:

This was a random bagel shop I walked by in Long Island City when it was time for a bagel breakfast.
I had a whole wheat everything bagel, filled with lox cream cheese and onions.

 Zucker's Bagels and & Smoked Fish:

This bagel shop was located a few blocks away from Bryant Park. It was a chain. I ordered a sandwich called The Flatiron. This had everything seeded smoked salmon, avocado, and scallion cream cheese. I very much enjoyed this sandwich.

Russ & Daughters:

This place is a classic that I've visited before in the past. They have all sorts of delicious smoked fish here.
I had the Shteil. Smoked sable and goat cream cheese on an everything bagel.

Liberty Bagels:

This was my last bagel experience before heading back home. They were located close to the train station so I grabbed one last bagel before catching the train back to JFK. They had some interesting bagels that involved a lot of food coloring like their rainbow bagels.
They had some interesting cream cheeses as well. Can't say I've ever seen maple bacon or Oreo flavored cream cheese anywhere.
None of that matters though, because it ended up with me getting handed the wrong order. They confirmed what I ordered when I picked it up, but that's not what was in the bag. What they gave me was a sesame bagel stuffed with lox, avocado, tomato slices, onions, and capers. It wasn't a bad combination. It was almost a combination I would have enjoyed, except there was no cream cheese. Who in their right mind orders bagels with no cream cheese!? Unfortunately, I was already on the train to the airport when I opened the bag and saw I had the wrong order, so I ate it...


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