Friday, 29 March 2013
Ahoy there food friends - for this months package from Foodie Penpals I received a delightful box from Mary in that there London! It contained (as you can see in the picture) some Sussex Farmer's Savoury biscuits - Cheese & Wholegrain mustard - the mustard seeds in them gave a warmth which goes splendidly with the confits and cheese. If you see a box of these Sussex farmers biscuits I fully recommend you get yourself a box. On to the cheese it was a cheese called Cahill Porter which is made with porter (hence the dark look to it) - it was an excellent cheese. To accompany it Mary also threw in a couple of confits (one Fig & Thyme and one Apple & Pear) which added a nice sweetness to go with the biscuits and comlimented the cheese. The Chorizo that Mary also put in the box - I havent sampled yet, but it looks fantastic and I love a bit of Chorizo!!! I also had a lovely card from Mary - a truely delightful foodie penpal package from London. Thanks Mary.
If you like the sound of Foodie Penpals then click the link below and get yourself signed up!
Sunday, 17 February 2013
If you like chilli and enjoy Indian pickles then you should check out LovePickle!
They are available in 4 different heat strengths from mild to extra hot - and 2 greedy Mancunians got a jar from each end of the range. Having started at the mild end - we soon realised it was a nice fresh tasting pickle (all of the range are "handmade from the finest ingredients: ripe tomatoes, fresh chillies, garlic, ginger, mustard oil and seeds plus a selection of carefully selected quality herbs and spices"), but it still had a strong chilli kick. I must admit with a good dose of heat to the mild pickle I was apprehensive to try the extra hot. Yes it was hotter, but not so hot it just overshadowed any flavour - infact I felt the extra chilli in it seemed to have an affect on the flavour - it was less sharp and vinegary than the mild pickle and had a deeper & richer tomato flavour as well as the extra chilli flavour. Both were really nice good quality chutneys and are very versatile - going well with cold meats & cheeses, or served as an accompaniment or to add flavour and heat to Indian meals.
For more information and to order some pickle then visit www.love-pickle.com.
or find out more info on LovePicke at:
I'm off to have some more LovePickle with a nice warm naan bread! mmmmmmmmmm
Thursday, 31 January 2013
After reading about Foodie Penpals on a few people's blogs - I decided to sign up and join the world of sending and receiving food parcels to fellow foodies. Upon signing up I was assigned a German fellow called Marco, and I excitedly put together a box of some interesting foodie bits and pieces and got it sent off to him. He seemed pleased with what he received. On the list this month of who was sending to me, I was very happy to see my box was coming from the Netherlands (Amsterdam) & I wasn't dissapointed when it arrived.
I opened my box to see a lovely big chunk of Dutch Cheese - a 3 year matured hard gouda style cheese - not dissimilar to Reypanaer - a Dutch cheese I reviewed on my cheeseblog the mighty cheeseboard (http://www.themightycheeseboard.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/cheese-of-day-reypenaer.html)
I also got 2 packs of biscuits. One pack was like a cinamon biscuit with almond flakes on the outside. And the other was the delicious (very European style) biscuits which are half coated with a fantastic dark chocolate - the type of glorious chocolate that you can smell the instant the packet is opened.
Another item in my box was a pack of sprinkles - some dark chocolate, some milk chocolate & some hundreds and thousands style sprinkles - always good to have in the cupboard to jazz up a pudding or to decorate a cake with. The final item in the box was a little bit disappointing as it was a bag of liquorice - am not particularly a fan of liquorice, but my foodie penpal wasnt to know that - so was still very happy with my box of delights - and my Dad was a happy man as I gave the bag of liquorice to him - he thoroughly enjoyed it! So thank you Cees for being a top foodie penpal & I will look forward to finding out my penpal for February!
Right...... i have some biscuits to finish off!!!
Sunday, 20 January 2013
On a chilly winters eve (and after a few gentle pints in the Town Hall Tavern - a highly recommended drinking establishment) the Two Greedy Mancunians were back in action for 2013 with our first restaurant review of the year (incidentally Happy New Year to you all!). This honor fell to the seafood restaurant and bar "Livebait". Upon entering we noticed that for a Saturday night it wasn't overly busy, but put this down to it being freezing and also the ol' January money blues.
We were given the menus and ordered 2 Morretti's (one of our favourite Italian beers). For Starters, Alex ordered the salt & pepper squid with chilli dipping sauce (above). The squid was beautifully battered and not too greasy and not just your average squid rings, as it also had little baby ones and tentacles & the dipping sauce had just the right kick! I opted for the crispy whitebait with aioli. The whitebait actually tasted of fish which makes a nice change from the deep fried slivers of crunch you normally get with whitebait - having said that they could have done with a fraction more crunch to them, but this didn't detract from the dish overall. They were presented nicely in a small frying pot and served with the aioli mayonnaise and a wedge of lemon.
We thoroughly enjoyed our starters and were looking forward to the main event ("two more Morretti's please"). For our mains Alex ordered the line caught cod with a mushroom and bacon risotto, and I ordered the Goan fish, clam and mussel curry. Alex thought his fish was cooked perfectly with the skin nice and crispy as this was devoured also. The risotto it was served with was an utter delight as many places can get risotto terribly wrong - it was rich and creamy and in Alex's words was..... "BELISSIMO!!!". We also shared a side of cabbage and bacon - which was very tasty.
My Goan curry came bursting with colour and smelling great. Not being a particular fan of salmon, i was surprised to find that it was really tasty and worked well with the curry - I think a white fish might have been lost with all the other flavours. The curry sauce was rich and there were flavours of coconut, mango & coriander and it had a nice (but not too hot) blend of spices. All of the mussels and clams were fully open and had been properly prepared & cleaned. The dish was served with a nice sized portion of rice and some lovely cumin flavoured poppadoms.
After a 5 minute breather and another couple of Morretti's we asked to see the desert menu. Feeling nicely full we both ordered lighter deserts. Alex had a trio of sorbet and ice cream, and was persuaded to accompany it with a glass of sherry which was described as winter in a glass. The trio consisted of a blood orange sorbet, a pistachio ice cream and a vanilla ice cream. All were pleasant and sherry was sweet and tasted of christmas pudding - living up to the claims of it being "winter in a glass".
Being a cheese obsessed fanatic (see my other blog: www.themightycheeseboard.blogspot.com) I went for 2 of the 4 cheeses on offer (I was too full to go for the full selection). I went for the Stilton which was a nice strong Stilton and paired with a beetroot chutney that worked marvelously together. The other cheese I went for was one of my all time favourites - the Spanish cheese Manchego - this was served with quince. I liked the fact that each cheese was individually paired with a different chutney/jam as all too often with a cheeseboard you get a selection of cheeses and then one dollop of a generic chutney to accompany all the cheeses - thought had obviously gone into this restaurants cheese menu.
The waiting staff were all very pleasant and we had a lovely chinwag about all things food with the manager after our meal, but the only complaint we had was that they need to get the green neon sign behind the bar sorted out as it currently reads "LIVEBA.." - aside from that minor quibble, it was a good evening and a really excellent meal, and for the quality of the food reasonably priced. I would fully recommend it to anyone who likes seafood and (if the table behind us is anything to go by), anyone who doesn't like seafood also!
To see sample menus and find out more about Livebait then check out their website: www.livebaitmanchester.com
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Yes - as the name suggests the Pancake corner mainly seves pancakes and is on a corner! This pancake house can be found on Gloucester Road in Urmston (Greater Manchester).
On a recent Saturday afternoon, we decided to stop off in here to make a change from afternoon tea and cake, and afterall who doesnt like pancakes (and I had heard about their marvellous milkshakes!)
It was empty when we arrived but we didnt let that put us off. It is located on a bit of a back street, so I imagine they might struggle for passing trade, but I would happily say if you happen to find yourself in Urmston - then its certainly worth heading down for a pancake. As you can see on the menu - the prices are all very reasonable and there are plenty of varieties of both savoury and sweet pancakes.
I went for a savoury pancake - the Breakfast - which was filled with Cheese, Mushroom, Tomatoes and a fried egg. The pancake was just the right thickness to contain the filling without falling apart and despite a measly token gesture of salad on the corner of the plate was simply presented. It was pretty damn tasty too! It didnt take long to wolf the whole thing down.
Sadly, my partner in crime and fellow Greedy Manc Alex wasnt present at this particular outing. But my friends (and stand-in Greedy Mancs for the day) both went for sweet pancakes - one opting for the classic Original (sugar and lemon) and the other going for 'the Good, the Bad & the Spicy' (apple, nutella and cinnamon) - both came presented with a lovely star in the icing sugar.
Needless to say I managed to sneak a taste from both! The original Lemon and Sugar one - I felt could have done with a little more lemon juice, but as a classic pancake it was absolutly fine. The Good the Bad and the Spicy one was very nice and I think with out the apple it would have been a bit sickly, but was spot on with all its 3 ingredients combined! All in all 3 lovely pancakes!
On to the aforementioned 'legendary' milkshakes - as you can see from the menu - you can have pretty much any of your favourite chocolate bars in milkshake form! I am a big fan of dark chocolate and decided to go for the Lindt Dark Chocolate milkshake - it really did not dissapoint - one of the nicest milkshakes I've had in a long time. It was rich and creamy with that lovely frothy icecreamyness of a good milkshake with the delicious bitter taste of quality dark chocolate! Mmmmmmmm! Even if you dont want a pancake, you should definateley stop by for a milkshake!
So all in all - it really was a nice alternative to afternoon tea & cake. The pancakes were very nice and very reasonably priced - and although I probably wouldnt trek across Manchester just to go here, I would fully recommend anyone who finds themselves in Urmston to seek out the pancake corner and stop off for a bite to eat..... and of course a milkshake!
Sunday, 9 December 2012
Join the food revolution and take it Guerrilla!
Thats right there is a new collective of street food traders pooling their resources and delivering amazing food for a good price in Manchester. Two Greedy Mancunians were invited to sample the food and join the army to help spread the word - something we are more than happy to do as we think its a fantastic idea and it run by the right people - people who are genuinly passionate about food and the food they deliver! We were invited to the tasting an hour before the public opening time by the lovely Sarah from Northwest Nosh (http://northwestnosh.blogspot.co.uk) who is activly involved in helping run and promote Guerrilla Eats.
Mal from the Fire and Salt BBQ is also a key figure in organising the Guerrilla Eats movement and took some time to talk to us about it - so far they have 8 traders on board (7 were available this weekend) and are in talks with 4 more, so its growing, and the basic idea is to have a pop up market of good quality street food - no chains or low end (in tersm of quality) vendors allowed - only people who are gunuinely passionate about the food they serve are allowed. And to create a real buzz about street food in Manchester. There are good scenes in most other cities and they feel Manchester is crying out for something similar - so if you are reading this we fully urge you to "join the revolution" and support Guerrilla Eats. The plan is do bring the Guerrilla Eats market collective to Manchester once a month & you can follow on twitter (@Guerrilla_Eats) or go to their website (www.guerrillaeats.co.uk) to keep up to date about future events!
Right on to the important bit........ the food!!! Let us take you on a virtual tour of the 7 traders that were there:
SUGAR BUN SISTERS
Yes..... its true the Sugar Bun Sisters are actually sisters & their name was inspired by the Manchester band Stone Roses classic song 'Suger Spun Sister'. Their delicious cupcakes & brownies are all made using the finest ingrediants (and it shows in the tasting!) and they often have quirky, unusual and creative flavours - I can particularly recommend the apple & custard ones, the vodka ones were very unique too (you could really taste the vodka in them, but for me the baileys cupcakes stole the show!
THE BARNHOUSE BISTRO
Oh my god...... these are possibly the best burgers ever! They are made from 100% Rump Steak - these burgers are truely delicious - nicely seasoned, cooked to perfection and served up in two variations - one with roasted peppers & horseradish mayo, the other with chilli, cilantro & a lime an jalapeno mayo (the roasted pepper one selling the best on the night by 10 to 1 apparently). Both were amazing and everything about them was superb even the choice of bread was great - a nice soft floury bun but strong enough not to disintergrate in my fingers. Served up in the Barnhouse Bistro's corrugated iron clad trailer. So if you want to try a top notch burger and if you can track him down - then treat yourself to a Barnhouse Bistro 100% Rump Steak Burger! You won't be dissapointed!!! @BistroBarnHouse
The Chaat Cart (literally meaning streetfood cart) serves up lovingly made traditional fresh Indian streetfood - all made from local organic vegetables. We sampled some very tasty samosas that tasted so fresh and light - not heavy or greasy - just fresh! All the Chaat Cart food is vegitarian - mainly because (mainly due to the cost and logistics of refrigiration) a lot of traditional street food in India is actually veggie! We also tried some Masala Dosa - a type of indian crepe made with a fermented rice & lentil batter topped with vegetables and the Chaat Carts very on homemade spice mix. We also had some Chai a sweet & spiced tea with cloves and cardemons - really delicous (especially on a cold drizzly night in December), If you want some good Indian food that isn't just spicy greasy curries then seek out the Chaat Cart.
The award for biggest cooking dishes goes to...... Las Paelleras! Authentic Spanish dishes cooked up in those wonderfully big Spanish round cooking dishes - good for paellas and the Spainish dishes on offer from Las Paelleras. We got to try some of their chorizo and rocket sandwich - which was served in a crusty fresh bagguette bread that soaked up the flavour of that delicious chorizo oil. Also we had a taste of the classic Potato Bravas - always a tapas favourite - the potatoes cut up and being cooked with a nice slightly crispy outside. A taste of Spainish sunshine in Manchester!
FIRE AND SALT BBQ
By the time we reached Dirty Dogs - we were filling up fast, but one of the unwritten rules of the Two Greedy Mancunians is "there's always room for sausage"!!! And it was worth it as Dirty Dogs do quality hot dogs - their aim is to bust the myth that hotdogs are poor quality, mechanically reclaimed meat in a cheap bun. Dirty Dogs use quality Polish Frankfuters and are served in a good quality soft hotdog bun - the flavour and size of the sausage bursting out of that bun. A treat for the fan of the humble hotdog & meat you can actually bite into rather than the mushy hotdogs that are far too common. As proclaimed by fellow Greedy Manc Alex "I like a good sausage in a dark carpark!"
GINGER'S COMFORT EMPORIUM
So there you have it! A Splendid time was enjoyed by all - and with a stuffed belly we headed off to the pub! With potentially more traders getting involved - we hope it grows and goes from strength to strength and we'll be sure to make it along to the next Guerrilla Eats - hopefully if you have been reading this then we have also inspired you to come along and support the local streetfood revolution!
Sunday, 2 December 2012
Myself and my fellow Greedy Mancucian , had the pleasure of atteneding the grand opening of a new, New York vibe restaurant in the Spinningfields area of Manchester called Neighbourhood, at Avenue North. I always love events like this as it gives a chance to but my best fragrance and clothes on for the evening (as you can see from the above photos I came dressed as Inspector Cluzo & John came dressed as Compo from Last of the Summer Wine).
Myself and John met at a very cold Picadilly train station and made the short walk accross to the venue. Upon our arival into the venue we were greeted at the door by two pleasent bouncers (which can be rare these days), as we went in the place was all ready busy, with the young business types that tend to frequent Spinningfields, the sound of of modern tech house music was playing, this didnt spoil the atmosphere at all and I think it probably added to the vibe and the style i think the venue is looking for. At the desk we were greeted by two very attractive young ladies, infact the whole team were young and good looking (including the men) with a set uniform of braces, bow ties and coverse trainers for most of the staff - again this fitted in with the vibe of the place.
The decor & layout of the venue to me fitted in with what the owners were looking for - it did look like a lower east side bar in Manhattan, and it gave me the feeling that the great Andy Worhol was just about to enter followed by David Bowie - it just gave me that feeling. The bar was well stocked with good quality spirits which is always good to see behind any bar, and all the bar staff were pleasent and new what they were doing. Myself and John were given two free vouchers for drinks with which you could have a bottle of beer or the house cocktail, which was a passion fruit flavoured cocktail, but they always go down a bit to quick! We were also told that a selection of the menu would soon be comming round. We were hopeing to sample a good selection of the menu, but due to it being busy and it being opening night, we only got to try 2 of the canopees. This is the only bit of the night i was slightly dissapointed by, I say only a little, because we were fully enjoying the vibe of the place and the good time i was having with John took the edge of it. But the two selections we did get to try were both very good, the first was chicken on the bone (the only problem with serving chicken on the bone nibbles was that nobody knew what to do with their bones afterwards, so we quickly polished off our cocktails and popped the bones in the empties!) The chicken however was nice and had a lovely sauce in it, but there was a bit to much skin on for my liking, the second was a mini burger which was delicious, the taste of the burger was spot on, cooked well and well seasoned.
And that is all i can tell you about the food, because thats all we had, but while you are reading this, dont let that bit but you off, it was a opening night of the venue afterall & I think it went very well for the owners as everyone was having a great time & we met some top people and had a really good laugh - although after Neighbourhood our evening ending in Mojos on copious Brandy Alexanders was great fun at the time, but not good for the head the next morning (you know who you are!!!). Would I go back to Neighbourhood? The answer is yes, I would definately go back in the evening for drinks before moving on, & would i go back to eat? The answer is also yes, but personally i would like to go back to eat one leisurely afternoon, because i would love to have a proper taste of the menu, and try all the different foods they have availble (the full menu looked fantastic). And finally would i recommend to friends? Yes i would - i really enjoyed the atmosphere ,the music and the people that were there. So if you're reading this make sure you swing by Neighbourhood next time you're in the.......... neighbourhood!