This past Friday night Nottingham StrEAT were being hosted by the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham as part of the Nottingham Light Night activities. This was billed as a ‘family friendly night of entertainment to Celebrate Light Night’, judging by the crowd we saw during the evening it seemed to be the case with a lot of families there as well as a lot of people like ourselves who just wanted a bit of street food and a beer.
The advertising for the night had promised us ‘Street food & music in the Courtyard’, ‘Real Ale Bar in the Reform School’, ‘Terror Tours in the Galleries of Justice Museum‘ and ‘Surprises in the cells of the old Edwardian Police Station’
We did our best to take advantage of the first two options, how did we get on?
As soon as we entered the corridor to the courtyard our eyes were pulled through towards the street food by some chalk board action. Roast Pork? Fresh Hot Pizza? what to choose first? should we just check everything out first or just dive in? Yep you called it, we just dived in.
We adopted a two pronged attack ordering a pizza which we knew would take a while to cook and then going back to Silvio’s to get an interim Pork Cob. It was a perfect and well practised solution.
We had to walk past Silvio’s Pig Roast at his Roast Event stand to get to the courtyard. He had done well with a prime spot as you entered. I am going to suggest that almost everyone will have sampled some of his delicious pig treat. The pork meat was really juicy and there was a nice herbiness to the gravy juice. The bun had a decent amount of meat interspersed with chunks of crackling, and it was good crackling as well, the sort that you can crunch as opposed to the sort that breaks your teeth. It was a good sized bite, and also a fair price at just £3.50. Roast Event bill themselves as ‘hog roast, pig roast and game specialists with over 20 years experience of catering, from fine dining to BBQs’ You can follow them for more information on Twitter and on Facebook
Spectacular Goat Street Emporium
We were most excited to try some of the wood fired pizza from the Warwickshire based Spectacular Goat ‘Street Food Emporium’. Their website had promised pizzas ‘with a sourdough base and our secret recipe tomato sauce’. We had seen that they were going to be here serving some ‘freshly cooked wood fired pizza in their woodburning oven’ a Neopolitan style we understood and so we had ‘booked’ a little room in our stomach to sample their fare.
The menu listed their options for the night as the “Marge” which was a pizza topped with Mozzarella & Tomato with Basil, it was described as “The Queen of Pizza! This Lady is the Queen of Simplicity…Mozzarella and Basil’ and also the “Brad” which was more simply described as “Hot Sausage covered with Cheese”.
They also had the slightly more advanced offerings of the “Cousin Billy Bob” a pizza described as “Delicious Goats Cheese mixed with Mozzarella and topped with Roasted Butternut Squash and Maple Syrup Roasted Bacon” and the “Aunt Mabel”, they told us that “This Lady is sweet and full of flavour” it was essentially ‘caramelised butternut squash, creamy goats cheese and toasted pine nuts, finished with fresh rocket’ .
The last pizza option on offer was the “Buddha” which was ‘one with everything’ (not sure about that last one).
The Cousin Billy Bob
We had the ‘Brad‘ and the ‘Cousin Billy Bob’. Both were excellent, the Brad was nice and simple with the spicy sausage and tomato topping lightly covering the excellent base. The star of the Cousin Billy Bob was the butternut squash and the goats cheese, it surprised me, I would not have chosen those toppings, but you know what? they totally worked. The squash added sweetness and an almost peanut butter texture (the kids would love this) and the goats cheese, a creamy saltiness. Add to that you had the bits I knew I would choose and like; the maple bacon, the mozzarella and the tomato sauce. These were all great as well, “What a combination – More please!”
Price wise it was good and fair with both small and large available (small is good when you want to try everything at the event). The ‘Marge‘ and the ‘Brad‘ were £3.50/£6, the ‘Aunt Mabel’ and the ‘Cousin Billy Bob’ for £4/£7. Check them out on Twitter and on Facebook
Big Daddies Diner
I like the hot dogs from Big Daddies Diner, it was down to the StrEAT team that I was given my first chance to sample their fare when I had a hot dog at an earlier event (Read more here). They had a good location at the Gallery of Justice event and seemed to be proving as popular as ever which made us happy to see. They are a fixture and feature across Nottingham and that is also pleasing as I like to know that there is a good hot dog on offer somewhere in my local food hunting circuit, more pleasing is that everyone else in the city has the opportunity to eat their hot dogs!
I was interested to see that “The Edna” came with a topping of homemade chilli made with Brewdog Hardcore IPA. Over the last months I have seen that Big Daddies has been linking up on certain nights with BrewDog in Nottingham. To my mind this is a perfect combination, I have thought for some time that just due to the name “BrewDog” that “dogs” should be their food offering of choice. If it was me I would be getting a local butcher to make up ‘hot dog’ sausages made using the BrewDog beer. I know some people guys :-) or I might put a bid in myself to supply. Not for the first time I have digressed badly so lets get back to the StrEAT event. Big Daddies was going strong all night and when we popped back at about 10.15pm they were still serving, well done for having enough food to last the night! Follow then on Facebook for more information and check their website as well.
Eat Good Real Food
I was also pretty keen to try some of the food on offer at the Eat Good stall, a Nottingham based Carribean Food Catering Specialist. They had all sorts of pots on the go and I was poking my nose into all of them to see what there was. According to the StrEAT site, Eat Good were going to be serving up such goodies as ‘Fried/Steamed Fish with Rice and Veg’, ‘Curried Veg and Sweet and Sour Veg’, ‘Ackee and Saltfish’, ‘Dumplings‘ and ‘Saltfish fritters’. I am sure that the guys at the stall gave them much more exciting descriptions as they showed me all of their dishes.
I had a portion of the spicy fried fish for just £2.50. It was really excellent the fish was moist, the crumb was crisp and there was a nice spice hit that came into the palate after a short moment. This was the first time that I had met up with Eat Good and it will be interesting to try some more of their offerings in the future. You can find them on Twitter.
If you wanted something sweet you could not have gone too far wrong if you had tried one of the homemade pancakes or ‘crepes’ from Victoria Creperie. They were doing a roaring trade selling both sweet and savoury pancakes.
We were tempted by the White chocolate crepe for £3, and the Nutella and Banana for £3.50, and I don’t think that we were the only ones. There was a steady stream of people lining up for a crepe treat while we looked on. For more information and see where else they will be in the near future hunt them down on their Twitter feed and Facebook Page.
I don’t know if you have been to any of the other Nottingham StrEAT events? We have been to a few and they have all been great fun and an excellent opportunity to get your hands on good food and drink (usually from Flipside Brewery). Even before we embarked on this adventure we had a feeling it was going to be a good one. The Galleries of Justice was the perfect location, all the stalls were tucked away into the courtyard nestling in between the reformatory buildings and the old police station. Even at the start the crowds were starting to build and by the end there were still a fair amount of people hanging on eating the last bits of food and supping the end of the beer.
If you want to ensure you don’t miss the next events then I recommend that you keep an eye on the TigerTalk website and follow them on Twitter where they keep you up to date with what is coming up and often what is in progress.