The Kitchen at NottCutts – some occasional lunching

Pulled Pork Baguette at NottCutts

The last week or so I have been partaking of quite a few lunches at The Kitchen at Notcutts. This is also known as The Street Kitchen and is formerly know as the café at Harry Wheatcrofts’ Garden Centre. I first came here to their new café back in November when I wrote about “Fish and Chips at The Street Kitchen Restaurant“. I recall that I said that they were really good if a tad on the pricey side. Since then I have been back and eaten here quite a bit, but often fail to get that camera out to take a picture to show you what else they have on offer.

Cheese and Onion Pie

Cheese and Onion Pie at NotCutts Garden Centre

I have on more than one occasion been tempted by and drawn in by their Pie. They often have this on the counter in a great big cast iron skillet sitting there screaming out ‘Eat me!’ It is a darn pretty goddam beauty of a pie as well. I have had the Cheese and Onion pie which is a jolly solid and comforting plateful. The pastry is great all buttery, flaky and crisp. The cheese and potato filling sticks to your ribs in a good way. I find that it goes pretty well with a side of chips and gravy (more on that in a moment). The only sad thing is that you just get a slice not the whole pie, but then I suppose that if you did that would be some sort of Man vs Food Challenge that I probably would not be able to complete during a steady luncheon sitting.

Chips and Gravy

Chips and Gravy at NottCutts

Alongside that Pie or even on its own I can recommend a plate of their lovely chips smothered in gravy. This might not be the healthiest lunch on the planet or even in the city, but you know what? it is so nice and comforting. You know you want it!? The chips are nice and crispy in the outside with lovely pillowy soft potato on the inside. Just how I like them.

Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry at NotCutts

I know that this next suggestion is not being served up at one of our excellent local Indian Restaurants, and it is only a garden centre café and so you might not be expecting too much?

But if you fancy something a little spicier or a with a bit more zing on your plate or on your bowl then might I suggest that you try the Chicken Curry? I had a bowlful and I was pleasantly surprised at how much flavour they had packed into the dish. Plenty of chicken breast, fresh tomatoes, onion, and coriander seemed to be the basis of the curry. The gravy was thick and tangy, not too spicy but spicy enough to make me blow my nose. It is certainly one up from a standard pub curry, but not quite at the level that you would be looking for up Maid Marian Way.

Pulled Pork in Onion Gravy Baguette

Pulled Pork Baguette at NottCutts

Last time out at the NotCutts Kitchen I had one of their pulled pork in onion gravy baguettes from the big red van in the Street Kitchen section of the café. I enjoyed the flavour of the meat in the gravy and I quite like the big side salad that accompanied it. The baguette itself was a bit disappointing the bread was a bit soft and a bity sweet, but hey you cannot win every time. Overall I have had some pretty nice things to eat at the garden centre café formerly known as Harry Wheatcrofts.

Just as it used to be in the old café the general consensus from my friends and I is that the food is good, wholesome, but a little bit on the expensive side for what it is.

If I have one thing to recommend? Well that would still be the Fish and Chips that I ate here when it first reopened.

The Wheatcroft Garden Centre, or The NotCuts Garden Centre as it is now known, is located at Landmere Lane in Edwalton just off the roundabout on the A52

Check out the site and direction here

Annie’s Burger Shack for a light bite on a Friday Night?

Inside Annies Burger Shack

This Friday we were out and about in the Lace Market and somehow perhaps by some kind of divine dining intervention we found ourselves at Annie’s Burger Shack. Now I have dined here before on many an occasion, and it is pretty well established that I find Annie to serve the best goddam burgers in the City, and almost everyone tells me the same thing too, so what stops us dining here more often?

Well tonight I was to find that two of the reasons for not frequenting her doors more often were in fact false, just myths. perhaps whispers that we had heard on the wind or hot air drifting across the public bar.

What are those reasons? those common things people tell me when talking about Annie’s?

You can’t get a table and it is always booked up” and “The burgers are just too big”.

Well here is the thing, I realised that is just ‘hokum and bunkum’!

I have never booked, and even on a Friday night I have just walked in around 6-7 o clock and been able to get a table for two. OK sometimes I have to wait at the bar for 15-20 mins but hey they serve excellent beer here so that is not a great hardship. Note I am quite lucky :-)

Yes if you do choose one of the burgers with a lot of toppings it will be huge, but you know if you want a burger with your Sunday dinner on top of it what do you expect? I mean its not rocket science to imagine that it might be rather a lot of food to eat.

The key then must be to choose sensibly from the menu? So this time I did and you know what it worked, as I ate comfortably and was gently replete as opposed to being stuffed.

It was a straight choice between the Bacon Blues, the Bacon Cheddar, and the Mushroom Swiss, all classic simple variations on the cheese burger.

The Mushroom Swiss won, just as it did on my first ever visit to Annie’s at the Navigation back in 2012

Mushroom Swiss

Mushroom Swiss with Cajun Fries

The Mushroom Swiss is one of my all time favourite burger toppings. It is clean and simple, with well balanced, and time tested, flavour combinations. With all of the other ‘in your face’ combinations that you can choose from at Annie’s it is sometimes just too easy to over look the classics.

Lets not forget that this is a classic burger, the simple description on the menu of ‘sautéed mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese’ is an understatement in itself. It just does not fully express the joyous way that it makes my tastebuds sing as I eat one. Having said that it does not need a clever name as it is just good as it is described.

Truly a delight to eat.

The Thin Lizzy

The lemmy burger at Annies Burger Shack

OK so we had the classic and then now it was time to play in the fun section of the menu with The Thin Lizzy which is an Annie’s classic in itself. What you have here is a burger topped with Guinness soaked sautéed red onions and mushrooms in a home made gravy topped with melted cheese.

Yum juicy and flavoursome, this could be a messy affair with gravy dripping down your fingers and cheeks. If ever there was a 5 napkin burger this could be one.

Size wise this also is quite a sensible choice here at Annie’s as you can eat one, drink a pint of one of their excellent real ales and still be able to waddle walk away from the table with your waistline an belt-buckle relatively intact .

The Menu Temptation

Annies Burger Shack Menu

So did I learn anything new today? Yes I learnt that usually when I have dined at Annie’s Burger Shack my eyes have been bigger than my belly! Although I do like to tuck into one of her larger more expansive combinations, it may well be that the key to surviving without needing a really long lie down with your top belt buckle undone is in fact moderation. Is that as much fun? well maybe and maybe not.

Just for the record I had to hold firm and strong with my mental resolve as I just settled for that modest Mushroom and Swiss burger. Just below her on the menu The New England Yankee Brisket lay in wait trying to tempt me in with it’s stack of ‘slice tender homemade brisket beef topped with melted American cheese’ and just a few inches further I my senses were being pelted with the offer of The North Carolina ‘topped with 8 hour slow cooked BBQ’d pulled pork’.

Christ on a bike, it is not easy writing this food blog with some much temptation on offer!

Annies Burger Shack

Annie’s Burger Shack is located at 5 Broadway in the Lace Market in Nottingham.

It is self described as “The original taste of New England in Nottingham”

You can follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook

You can also go old school and eat a burger there as well!

Note: although I did say that I had never booked. If you have a larger party you probably will want to make a booking (if you can)

Older Posts by MyFoodHunt

Annies Burger Shack

Other MyFoodHunt at The Nottingham Food Blog love for Annie’s

Annie’s Burger Shack in the Lace Market – New Location, Continued Burger Excellence!

Annie’s Ocean State Tavern at Annie’s Burger Shack

Old School at the Navigation

Annie’s Burger Shack Revisited

An Authentic Amercian Burger in the UK? Come to Annie’s Burger Shack

 

 

 

 

Georges Fish and Chip Kitchen – Feeding my American Friends

Georges chalkboard

Whatever the weather I can not resist the lure of a decent plate of Fish and Chips.

When I am in the City Centre I am increasingly finding myself drawn in to eat at Georges Fish and Chip Kitchen on Queens Street in the old Post office building. Back in December, when it was just opening, I visited (read about that here) and at the time I did say that it will be interesting to see how the Nottingham Public take to the place. It did seem quite expensive and there is plenty of competition either side as it is wedged in between Reds True BBQ and Bills.

“It’s a bit ‘fancy pants’ for some (in a good way), and I would like to think that it would be somewhere to come for a nice treat once in a while. I will be back myself, and already have plenty of people who want to come with me to try it out”.

In that sense I have been true to my word as I have been back and brought some of my ‘out of town’, ‘out of state’, and most recently ‘out of country’ friends from North Carolina to eat here.

Those Americans do like a plate of Fish and Chips, and while I have tried to extol the virtue of Red True BBQ and Annie’s Burger Shack, both of which I find to be quite excellent, well lets be honest its a hard task when they want to try English Food.

What I am saying really is  can they get good Fish and Chips back in the States? hell no, well not often anyway. I have found some gems on my travels including the excellent ‘A Salt and Battery’ in New York’s Greenwich Village.

But I digress we were not in NYC we were walking down Queens Street into the Square and my mission (which I had chosen to accept) was to feed them bountiful plates of Fish and Chips and any other yummy British treats that I could get away with.

Starters for Conversation

Georges Scotch Egg Menu

 

In the past I have tried to persuade my American visitors that they HAVE to try a Scotch Egg. I am biased as is it one my most favourite snacks. When I was living in New York I would ride the subway down to the village to buy one (or maybe three) from Myers of Keswick and when in Chicago for a while we could get them as a bar snack in The Globe Pub a regular haunt for the expats looking to watch football. I spent a lot of time seeking them out is the take home message here.

Anyway I have (not for the first time in this post) digressed quite badly, lets get back to the Scotch Egg or as my Friend Cindy from the States called it ‘Scottish Egg’, and see if it was actually any good?

Scotch Eggs at Georges Fish and Chips

 

Now more often than not the Scotch Eggs we get to eat in the UK are served cold and they have solid hard boiled centres. Here though at George’s we were getting them served hot and freshly cooked from the kitchen, sliced in half with the yolk all gooey and runny.

Just look how golden that yolk is and if you are not smitten with the beauty of this, well I just don’t know, I am not sure that we can be friends anymore. Sorry? what was that you said? Are you offering to eat the pickle for me? OK then lets call it quits we are friends again.

Seriously though, served like this, these are some of the best Scotch Egg I have eaten. They almost feel decadent! The Wild Boar meat encircling the soft boiled egg was a nice light juicy wrapper and the contrasting flavours of the ginger and the leek piqued the interest of my taste buds.

It may be a tad overpriced at £5.95 for just one egg, but worth it for the quality.

Verdict from the guys from North Carolina was mixed. Thumbs up from Cindy! A begrudging ‘well it was better the last one that you tried to make me eat’ from Mike, however, he did say later that they were ‘quite decent’ so I think that was progress!

Verdict from myself? heck you already know don’t you? “Somewhat Awesome

The Main Event

Haddock and Chips at Georges Kitchen Nottingham

So I did hint that we had been here to Georges Fish and Chip Kitchen a couple of times, Mike and I twice, and this visit we both wanted Cindy to try.

I am very much a traditionalist and on both occasions I had Haddock and Chips with Mushy Peas.

I am putting up the best picture, although I will say that the second time I had chunkier chips and a bigger bit of fish!

Haddock and Chips at Georges Fisha nd Chips Nottingham

Perhaps that was my imagination, but then again perhaps not. I really do quite like the Fish and Chips here, my preference always being the haddock with its chunky flakes of fish. The batter is generally pretty decent too at George’s although on one occasion it was a little soggy and soft on the inside. It didn’t detract from the enjoyment though, I just add plenty of squeezed lemon and copious vinegar onto my plate most of the time so I like it. I like it to all start of crunchy though.

Paprika battered Fish and Chips

I will be honest and say that I WOULD not have ever contemplated ordering the Haddock and Chips in a Smoked Paprika batter? but hey what do I know? Both time I have brought Mike here he has ordered this and both time pronounced it to be excellent and very tasty. I think it is the red wine and honey drizzle that makes the dish.

This last visit he did try some of the ‘plain’ or shall we say ‘traditional’ style and he liked it a little better as you can ‘taste the fish and the seasoning’. All I can say is that if he orders the one with the onion bhaji batter next time I will make him eat the bubble and squeak! :-)

Mushy Peas

Mushy Peas at Georges

The last word on the food front at Georges Fish and Chips Kitchen has to go to the Mushy Peas. I really like their efforts here it is nice and creamy and they pair really well with the fish and chips. I am not going to forgo my sampling at Goose Fair yet in preference, but they are still quite excellent. But perhaps I could be in luck? in another menu twist, there is an homage here to the famous Nottingham Fair. They have on the things in buns section of the menu The ‘Goose Fair Dip’, which is a saveloy in a brioche bun topped with sage and onion stuffing and mushy peas.

Sadly though I may never eat that as when I come here all I want is a lovely big plate of Haddock and Chips!

Georges Fish and Chip Kitchen is located at Queens Street in Nottingham, NG1 2BL

Contact them at 0115 950 5521, email  letusknow@georgesfishandchipkitchen.co.uk or on Facebook and Twitter

 

 

 

China Fu at Canning Circus for some Ma Po Tofu

China Fu in Nottingham

China Fu Restaurant up at Canning Circus on Alfreton Road has that ‘authentic’ or should I say ‘slightly worn out’ look about it when you walk on by. I had often looked curiously at the menu as I was heading into out of the Organ Grinder pub on the other side of the road and wondered if I could get some ‘real’ Chinese food there?

China Fu menu

China Fu Pug Head  Menu section

The menu certainly does imply that this a place for the diner seeking authentic local Chinese dishes as opposed to the bastardised versions typically served to the hungry westerner. Just a quick glance down the cold starter section tells us that with the offerings of ‘Marinated Pig Ear with Chilli Oil’, ‘Pig Feet Seasoned with Soy Sauce’ and ‘Pig Head with Chilli Oil’. They do know how to use the whole animal and they know how to use it very well indeed.

China Fu Pork Dishes menu

China Fu Menu

I myself have indulged in those dishes in the past, but will admit that I also am more familiar and happy with the other pork dishes on their menu such as the Gulaoru (essentially Sweet and Sour Pork with Fat), and the Braised Dong Po Pork (basically braised pork belly)

This time though I was looking for one of my ‘go to’ favourites the Sichuan classis Ma Po Tofu. I was in luck and it was their on the menu, so I ordered that

Ma Po Tofu 

Ma Po Tofu

Ma Po Tofu is essentially Stir Fried Tofu in a Hot Sauce. It is often mouth numbingly spicy and can be both a joyful and somewhat painful treat to eat. That sounds like the words of a sadomasochistic diner perhaps, but far from it.  The truly Authentic Mapo doufu dish is described as being powerfully spicy with both characteristic of the flavours of Sichuan cuisine. The feel of this particular dish is often described by cooks using the seven specific Chinese adjectives: 麻 (numbing), 辣 (spicy hot), 烫 (hot temperature), 鲜 (fresh), 嫩 (tender and soft), 香 (aromatic), and 酥 (flaky).

It is a complex beast that when done right can be quite a breathtaking experience.

Ma Po Tofu at China Fu

OK so does the dish here at China Fu match my hopes, dreams, and expectations? Well yes and no, it was good but not as good as the Mo Po Tofu that I ate at Shanghai Shanghai. It was not as hot as I would have liked and the sauce was not as clean and fresh as I have had before. This sauce here was a little thicker and more gravy like, with plenty of hot spices in it, but not really cooked through enough to bring the whole dish to life. It was good just not as good as I had had elsewhere would be my summation of the experience.

China Fu Location

China Fu is located at 10 Alfreton Road in Nottingham NG7 3NG

Homemade Café at the Pavilion 10th anniversary party and New Summer Menu Launch

Homemade cafe

TANKPR tweet

Last night we spent the evening with the lovely people at Homemade Café at the Pavilion on the Forest Recreation Ground celebrating their 10th Anniversary. As well as an alfresco party amongst the beautiful people of Nottingham we were treated to cocktails and nibbles to taste from their new Summer Menu.

I should start off by saying that it was by invitation and although I was well plied with cocktail and wine all opinions on the food are my own and any bias I may appear to exude is purely down to my love of the ethos and the food that they produce at Homemade.

 

Cocktails

It started so well with a whole lot of cocktails awaiting to greet us as we arrived. I know that we only got one (or maybe two) but I was sold when the nearest and dearest glass was a Gin and Elderflower effort with Cucumber and Pomegranite. It was very refreshing and I must confess that I went back for a second.

I was going to say that I wasn’t  a fan of cocktails in general, but then I remembered a minor predilection for Vodka Martini straight up with a twist that I developed when I was living around NYC a few years back. If I could find this Gin and Elderflower effort in town on a Friday Night then I would probably sip a couple down. Or I could just come over on the Tram to the Recreation gound and stroll to the Pavilion to sip one!

Homemade Cafe Cocktails Homemade Cafe Cocktail Procescco Homemade Cafe Cocktail Gin and Elderflower

So what did we get to sample?

Feta and Beetroot salad

First up for our delectation was a salad of Feta and Beetroot that arrived on a sharing board. I looked much prettier on that board that it did after I had forked a bit onto my side dish. It was a really nice refreshing little dish. There was some sort of balsamic glaze reduction on the beetroot which had a nice taste to it, a little sweet tang perhaps, pomegranate seeds abounded through the plate and the salty feta added a nice contrast to counteract any of that sweetness from the glaze. Lots of nice leafy green bits as well to add crunch. I quite liked this salad.

Mini Fish and Chips

Next up was a little pot of Mini Fish and Chips. The batter was really light and crispy and the fish inside was lovely and juicy still. In the base of the pot was a dollop of creamy tartare sauce and a few rocket leaves. I would have liked a little bit of salt and pepper to add some seasoning to the fish if I am being totally transparent. It was still a nice potful and if I could have found some condiments on the table I would have used them.

Chicken and Chorizo Enchilado

Another dish I enjoyed were the Chicken and Chorizo Enchiladas which also came in a sharing plate. I only had one piece and I could have eaten a whole lot more pieces. I liked the flavour of the salty and spicy chorizo and the texture of the crunchy tortilla casing. The cilantro or coriander as we call it in the UK gave a nice refreshing note to counter some of the chilli spice in the sauce. Good but I wanted more (Gosh I am so greedy am I not)

Pulled Pork Taco

I was Loving the Pulled Pork Taco which came in little samples sizes on mini round soft Taco’s. So good that I was happy to grab a couple more from the ladies carrying them to the tables. A few people said that the sauce was a bit sweet, but I liked it like that. We weren’t sure at first how this dish would come onto the menu, would it be a set of mini Tacos’? I asked Jasmine as we left and found that it would be in a Sandwich or a topping on one of their burgers.

I am secretly (or not so secreting now) hoping that they serve it as a set of three mini tacos as a starter or as a little sharing plate. Either way I really liked my Pulled Pork Taco and I am usually the first to complain that everyone is doing pulled pork these days. In this case I am happy that the Homemade Café are doing it their way as it is my kind of food!

Crabcakes at Homemade Cafe Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto at Homemade Cafe

The two other savoury dishes that we got to sample were the Crabcakes which came on a board with a mixed green salad and lime. I think that you really needed to add the lime to get the best flavour from them. They were more of a sharing plate than a dish I would have chosen to eat on my own. The other dish was the Butternut Squash & Sage Risotto. I am not expert on Risotto so cannot really comment too much apart from that it had a strong taste of Sage. It reminded me of stuffing for a Sunday Roast and I was hoping to get a side of Roasted Chicken to go alongside it.

Eton Mess

Now I really hardly ever eat a pudding so I surprised myself when I chose the Eton Mess and even more so when I ate the whole goddam thing and even scraped the bottom of the glass out too!  It did look ever so pretty on the tray so I kind of had to eat it! Very nice indeed!

It was not easy to see what the dishes that would be on offer would be like as we just had small tasting plates. It was good enough though to get a feel for the flavours and ideas and figure out what I might be ordering when I next visit for a meal on the terrace (hint pulled pork)

It was a lovely evening and I have to thanks the team at Homemade Café on the Pavilion for making us so welcome!

Homemade Cafe Contact Details

I understand that the dishes on the New Evening Menu will be as follows

The Homemade Pulled Pork topped Burger
Traditional Moules Frites
The Homemade Chicken & Brocolli Pasta
Squash & Sage Risotto w/Asparagus
The Halloumi & Mushroom Burger
Homemade Chicken Enchiladas
Roasted Beetroot & Feta Salad
The Homemade Vegan Salad
Homemade Crabcakes with Salad
The Homemade Pork Schnitzel
Breaded Brie & Mango Salad

Desserts:

The Homemade Brownie Sundae
Eton Mess
Belgian Waffle & Ice Cream
Homemade Cheesecake
Homemade Summer Fruits Sundae
A Trio of Ice Creams

They will also be having a  Fish & Fizz Fridays:
Choose from the Homemade Fish & Chips, Moules Frites or the Crabcakes with a glass of Prosecco for £12 per person

Just in case you were interested! :-)

Open Farm Weekend at Screveton Eco Centre Sunday 6th – 7th June

Open Farm Day Screveton

Hello to all, it is that time of year again when we have the Open Farm Sunday all over the country and I find myself once more suggesting to you to go out and see what is happening in your local area. I myself would emplore you to take a little journey over to the Eco-centre at Screveton to check out what they are and have been up to.

I could tell you loads about the farm but these days when I am not able to go over I read and follow the story through Simon at Quercus Community. This is the ongoing story of Life on a Care Farm in Nottinghamshire and gives a real flavour of the daily and weekly goings on at the Eco-centre. It is a great read and you should really really check it out

Ecocenter Scones

Simon tells a great story and I have known him from my bread making days. In the past I have told you all about the classes and group baking that I have done with the Community Bread club. They are always involved cooking up treats for the Ecocentre events, last year they were baking biscuits and cookies, this year they will be baking scones for Cream Teas in the Farm Kitchen.

They were practising making Scones at the last Community Baking Session and judging by the results on display I think we can be rest assured that we will be well looked after food wise if we head over to the farm on Sunday.  I would also suggest that you really should or could go over to support them on Sunday. There will also be cakes from Gail our mentors recipes. What might they be? Chocolate with Butter Cream, Farmhouse Cake, Lemon Drizzle cake and Victoria Sponge. If you go and want the recipe then mail me and I might share :-)

Have I overdone the advertorial? I hope that I have to be honest as it is such a good cause and a good day out at the Open Farm Sunday and I really hope that if you cannot make it to Screveton that you find a farm near to you to visit. If I haven’t keep reading.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
We are looking forward to welcoming you and your families to our annual Open Farm weekend – 6th & 7th June here at The Ecocentre Community Care Farm.
Look what’s on:
Saturday 6th – 10am to 1pm
1. Clay pigeon shoot – for all
2. Guided farm walks
3. Saturday Kitchen cafe
Saturday 6th – 7.30pm to mid-night
BARN DANCE – bar, farm hog roast, live band – please book tickets £12 each (email events@farmeco.co.uk)
Sunday 7th June – 10am to 4pm
1. Trailer rides £1 each
2. Meet the animals – pigs, sheep, goats, cattle and poultry
3. farm machinery
4. Sheep shearing demos
5. Bee keeping
6. Education tent and Scarecrow competition
7. Meet the farmer Q&A sessions
8. kids pizza making
9. our kitchen cafe – selling hot & cold food & refreshments
10. plus lots more…
At 11am – the event will be formally launched by local MP Robert Jenrick
This year money raised from Open Farm Sunday will be used to support young people recovering from cancer at the Teenage Cancer Trust to enjoy therapeutic days out on the farm and Ecocentre.
Please will you kindly forward this email & flyer (attached) to your friends, family and sports/social clubs
Remember – please register your attendance by emailing – events@farmeco.co.uk
THANK YOU
from Jo and team

The Barrel Drop – Awesome friendly relaxed Micro pub in Hurts Yard

The Barrel Drop Public House

The Barrel Drop can be found tucked away at the top of Hurts Yard, one of the twitchells running between Upper Parliament Street and Angel Row. It is a real hidden gem and I am almost loathe to write about it as I like the fact that it is one of the cities best secluded pubs to relax or sometimes lurk in and enjoy a pint or two away from the noise and bustle.

The Barrels at the Barrel Drop

The Barrel Drop is a pub that lives and breathes (beer) like its name. There is nothing better that walking into a bar and finding that it lives up to its name. The first thing you see through the window and as you pass though the door is a wall filled with barrels of beer behind the bar. It is like going to a beer festival in someones front room. Imagine your best mates Dad having a load of barrels of beer in his front room and you get to come over to drink a few pints from them, and that is the feeling I have when I drink here.

Inside the Barrel Drop

I have only been in a couple of times since it opened but every time I have received a warm welcome and been left to my own devices to sup a couple of tasty beers. The only downside was that it closes at 10pm so be warned if like I did you want to use this place for a little last drink. It is small yet perfectly formed, come enjoy and keep it quiet. It is just you and I OK :-)

Food options include packets of crisps and jars of nuts.

Check them out on Facebook and on Twitter

The Phat Doughnut Co – They are kind of awesome! do I need to write a whole blog post to tell you that?

Phat Doughnut Company Sign

The Phat Doughnut Co bill themselves as “Nottingham’s first independent Doughnut Delivery Company.”  Wade Smith and Megan Scaddan are the latest local producers to make waves on the city food scene. I had heard some great things about them and have been looking out for them over the last month or so.

I had narrowly missed them at the reinvigorated Sneinton Market earlier in the month when I arrived after they had sold out, so when I heard that they were having a stall at the Nottingham food and drink festival in the Castle Grounds, I made a date in my diary to hunt them down.

I tracked them down in the top tent and within moments I was at the front of the line making my selection. It was too easy I chose a Lemon Meringue Donut and even managed to get it cut into two to share. Sharing would turn out to be the only mistake I made.

 

Lemon Meringue Donut

Phat Doughnut

“Just one look, that’s all it took” or rather I just took one bite, oh man alive how could that be so goddam good I mean it’s just, well it’s just a donut! I have not even told you anything about them but after that one bite I know and knew that it was going to be one of those down and dirty guilt ridden personal food relationships that will drag on and on until … well lets not even talk about what the future may hold lets enjoy the present.

I could have chosen something else from the donut cabinets that they had on the stall, and maybe well now actually would be more accurate, I could have chosen from some of the following.

Um Yum! Lemon Meringue? White Choc and Jam? Coffee Glazed? Salted Caramel? Apple Fudge Fritter? Chocabun?

Phat Doughnut Trays

Or maybe even on one of Cookies and Cream? Coco? Banoffee Fritter? Lemon Glaze and Sprinkles? or White Choc and Biscuit?

Phat Doughnuts Tray

Perhaps even this mammoth disc sized donut?

Massive Phat Doughnut

Excessive? Oh No most certainly not. I would be happy enough to have this display cabinet in my kitchen and once I have eaten all of the contents I could use the cabinet for something less useful once I cleared out the display of left over crumbs and left over price labels.

Despite all the different possibilities I was happy with my choice, and actually if I am honest I went back on the Monday and bought another one, as it was so goddam good.

Phat Doughnut Company Logo

 

So to sum it all up I have fallen in Love with The Phat Doughnut Co and their Donuts. I don’t even like sweet things or puddings, how could this happen to me?

I blame Pam and James at the Sauce Shop and I blame Olly from Oscar and Rosie’s who both gave a big shout out to these guys and told me that I must try them. I kind of like the stuff that they both produce so I was happy to have taken that recommendation.

Check them out on their Facebook Page and on their Twitter feed

Go to their Facebook page to find out the number to place an order

Events coming up include a Doughnut Eating Competition at Bunkers Hill in Nottingham where you apparently have a chance of winning £250!

 

Notts Tweet up at the Pitcher and Piano

notts tweet up sign

This was to be my first visit to #NottsTweetUp, where ‘local tweeters meet in person every month’. OMG you mean real people and in a real place, how can this be :-) OK all joking aside it seemed like a great idea to meet up with some of the Nottingham guys and gals that are regularly tweeting out about people, places, and stuff that is happening in this great city of ours.

Nibbles at Notts Tweet Up

I was not sure what to expect, would we just sit there tweeting at each other? as it happened it was being held in a pub so really what happened was that you grabbed a cold beer or similar and just chatted away to whoever was standing next to you, with mixed success. The pub in question was the Pitcher and Piano which is in the old High Pavement Chapel in Nottingham’s Lace Market District who were providing the nibbles for the evening.

nibbles at Notts Tweet Upnibbles at Notts Tweet UpNibbles at Notts Tweet Up Nibbles at Notts Tweet Up

The Pitcher and Piano served up nibbles and tasting plates of some of the food on their new menu. I am not sure what the new dishes are or if this was just supposed to be a buffet. Most of the food seemed to get eaten so I think that it was favourably received by all on the night. Looking at their menu afterwards I think that we were given selection from their grazing menu that includes options such as ‘Chicken and Chorizo Skewers’, ‘Homemade Baby Fishcakes’, ‘Goats Cheese Bon Bons’, and ‘Cajun Spiced Calimari’. I am not sure if that was exactly what was on the trays but it was very similar. Other plates were filled with bread / toast covered in things, this was probably from their flatbread section which includes; a Spicy Chicken Flatbread, and an Avocada, Mushroom and Mozzarella Flatbread (just to mention the ones that I might order)

Pam and James aka The Sauce Shop

The Sauce Shop Team

One of the factors that had dragged me out midweek was that Pam and James from The Sauce Shop were going to be at the #TweetUp. Ever since I first met these two at (I think) the Taste in the Park, I have been following their story with great interest  and their success with great enjoyment. I am delighted that they seem to be doing so well especially as they are both really nice people.

The Notts Tweet Up range

They had their full range there for everyone to taste and the Meetup Tweetup folks all seemed to enjoy what they tasted. I was also interested to find out about their two new offerings that are coming out soon which included a Sriracha Sauce, and a North Carolina BBQ Sauce. I am very interested in the BBQ Sauce. For the record I currently have in my fridge a bottle of their Nottinghamshire Sauce, their Tomato Sauce, their Lime and Coriander Sauce, and finally (just for putting on the Ice Cream) their Salted Caramel Sauce. I bought them all because I love them all!

All in all it was quite a good evening and I was glad that I went. I got to meet Tweeters from Nottingham with many different interests and I look forward to the next one!

Notts Tweet Up @NottsTweetUp is as described

“local tweeters meet in person every month, informal & free, created by and run by

 

The Jerk Shack – Gonna get me some chicken, rice n peas

The Jerk Shack Van

Have you spotted that Food Truck Van in the Wickes Store down near the river at the Wilford Bridge crossing? I kept on seeing it n the car park, as I drove along Queens Drive, on my way to and from town and being a curious food hunting type of guy I just had to pull in to find out what it was selling.

Jerk Chicken Sign

As it happened the name of the van gives most of the story away as it was advertising one of my favourite snacks Jerk Chicken.

Guess what I was getting?

Jerk Chicken Rice and Peas

I’ll tell you what else they had on offer in a minute but lets start with the main event and the main dish on offer some of that Jerk Chicken. I was ordering this as I walked up to the counter, ooh and a side of Rice and Peas? don’t mind if I do! For your £5 you did great a really great big portion of chicken with some rice and peas in that plastic takeaway container.

Was it any good though is the big question. You know what? it was OK. You got a lot of well cooked tasty chicken on the bone. It could have been a bit spicy but it did have quite good flavour. The same could be said of the Rice n Peas. It was fine enough but also needed more spice an perhaps more seasoning. I am glad that I stopped to try it out, but to be honest I would head over to Radford to get the good stuff instead.

I had a chat with the van owner and he said that all the profit was in the bacon and sausage cobs that they sell. There wasn’t much profit in the Jerk Chicken and Jerk Pork dishes so I want really feeling the love in those dishes. Having said that the Jerk dishes were apparently popular with the nearby office trade so what do I know eh?

Maybe another time I will just ignore the name and get an All Day Breakfast Tray for £4 or just a Bacon & Egg Cob for £2.50

The Jerk Shack Menu

The Jerk Shack Menu