Last weekend I took a walk up into the Park to visit the Taste In The Park. This is the latest incarnation from Toni Jarvis’s Tiger Projects strEAT team. In recent times they have set up the market in the Lace Market creative quarter and on Nottingham Light Night in the Galleries of Justice and we have enjoyed visiting them on each occasion to sample some Street Food offerings. For the next few months they are planning to try out a few new venues and the first one of those is in the Park area next to Nottingham Castle and on the Green at Newcastle Circus.
If you want to know a little bit more about their previous outings then check out the ongoing story on these other Nottingham Food Blog posts as we have followed them over the last year. First time out we found them at Nottingham StrEAT Part I – The Bistro – Lots of Street food action, and fun, and Nottingham StrEAT Part II – The Market – Street food action, and more, then last time out at Another Great Nottingham StrEAT event – at the Galleries of Justice for LightNight
Has that Whet your appetite? Well if not let us tell you about some of the people who fed us and provided us with delicious morsels at the Taste
Big Daddies Diner
I love getting a Hot Dog from Big Daddies Diner and I was trying so hard to sample something else for a change but Big Daddie’s menu board is hard to walk past, so hard in fact that I didn’t walk past, I stood next to it and ordered myself a Dog. I almost had the “Turbo Pete” as I love real BBQ and liked the sound of the ’18 hour almond-smoked pulled pork’ but at the last minute I asked for the “Edna” a dog made up of two slim jim sausages, chilli, and cheese. One of the main draws and thinking in my mind was that the board says that the Chilli was made with BrewDog Hardcore IPA. That is a beer that I am quite fond of.
Does the picture of this Edna Hot Dog have to be this big? Well not really but I just have to convey how much of a beast that this Hot Dog Combination really was. It was in reality what I can only describe as ‘Crazy Big’. I sort of guessed what to expect when I saw the scoop of chilli on the grill, it was enough for two maybe three toppings, but there was no-one else in line having an Edna so I knew it was all for me. So as you can already see from the picture, what you end up with is two ‘slim jim’ sausages in the base of the bun, that huge pile of chilli on top of that, some green jalapeno salsa type topping and a sprinkling of cheese on top of that, and then, and I almost forgot a generous sprinkling of bacon bits. The best way to describe this is to imagine a hot dog school playground, the two dogs fall on to the bun, and all the toppings yell “Pile On” and they all dive on top.
The verdict? Messy but awesome! This took the combined efforts of two of us to eat our way through the chilli, which in itself is totally amazing, before I got anywhere near being able to pick it up to eat the hotdogs in the bun (I did that by myself). Pause a moment, back to the Chilli, this could be served as a side by itself, it is not too spicy, almost a little sweet, with lots of soft bell pepper and plenty of chunky minced beef. Seriously I would buy a bowl of this, oh and if Big Daddies Diner wanted to chuck in some macaroni cheese well I could live with that as well. If you don’t ask you don’t get?
The Sauce Shop
Display of the Day would have to be awarded to The Sauce Shop, a Local Business based out of the owners kitchen in West Bridgford. You can find them on Facebook and on Twitter. Their brightly coloured bottles of sauce really drew me in and I did have to try quite a few of them. Enough to make an informed choice as to what to buy, and just about enough to outstay my welcome by eating the whole display.
I was so tickled by their fare that I was implored to Tweet Out about them
— MyFoodHunt (@myfoodhunt) April 19, 2014
The Sauce Shop Range
I took advantage of their deal of the day which was two bottles for £5 and as I said in the Tweet out I bought a bottle of the Nottingham Sauce and also a bottle of the Salted Caramel Sauce. I was quite torn when choosing as I also fancied a bottle of the ‘Lime and Coriander Sauce’ which as well as being very green and packed with flavour was as promised in the name a really nice blend of lime and coriander. It would go really well with a spicy dish to take away the heat and add some welcome acidity.
I have tried both of my purchases now and have enjoyed both. I did indeed try the Salted Caramel sauce with some ice cream and it goes really well with a scoop of vanilla. The Nottingham Sauce seems to go well with a cooked breakfast especially to dip my grilled mushrooms into, which is no surprise as one of the principal ingredients is Mushroom. Initially it was hard not to draw a comparison with the famous HP Brown sauce, but the reality is that this is quite different less emphasis on the tart worcestershire sauce note and more emphasis on the rich earthy mushroom flavour. I like it, I just need to work it into a perfect sandwich combination now.
Le pain à la main
The artisan bakery known as Le pain à la main were also here, I haven’t encountered them for a while, the last time being at an event in West Bridgford Park where I bought and ate one of their quite delightful lemon tarts. They also frequent the monthly Park Farmer’s Market which is held on the Last Sunday of the month in the same location as this event and the monthly Totally Locally Melton Road Market in West Bridgford to name just a couple of local appearances.
Their pastries did look somewhat divine and I took the last one of the Apple and Cinnamon Crumbles from the table. It was not the prettiest of the tarts on offer but it was most certainly quite tasty. There was a lot of crumble (which I like), and some soft sweet and tart apple with just a hint of cinnamon. Very nice indeed.
The basket of brioche was looking quite tempting but the cake was also looking tempting. The cake won, I think it was some sort of cherry and almond cake, all I remember was that it only just made it home and that it didn’t last long on the plate!
We also paid a visit to the Woodhouse Farm stall where they were selling Hot Food to Eat there, and also Fresh farm produce (meats) to take home. This was the scene of my only regret of the afternoon.
So this was the ‘regret’ (and it was my own fault for eating that massive hot dog from Big Daddies Diner) I really really should have and wanted to sample some of the Kentucky BBQ Pulled Pork that they had on offer. I suppose I could have bought a takeaway tray, but I didn’t read that bit until I got home and looked through the pictures I took on the day. I still do not know why I didn’t have any really?
I could have squeezed some down and on another day I will.
‘I will eat that pork oh yes I will!‘
We didn’t leave the stall empty handed though, we did buy some of their Gold award winning black pudding and a pack of their Dry Cure Smoked Sreaky Bacon (also a Gold Award Winner). Martin my constant and erstwhile dining companion did not let the side down when he returned a few moments later with one of their Roast Pork Cobs which he said was very good indeed. About 5 minutes later I saw two girls walk by with trays of that Kentucky BBQ Pulled Pork, they had smiles on their faces and smears of sauce on their face. I wanted to walk in their midst.
Picks Organic Farm & Shop
Picks Organic Farm were also here selling hot food and fresh produce to take home. I have have met these guys before at the monthly term-time Sutton Bonington Farmer’s market and have tried one of their Breakfast Rolls. I saw that they were very popular with those agricultural students.
I was fully replete by this point so I was buying produce purely to support our local producers and the strEAT market. We picked up a pack of venison burgers which screamed out at me from the table, and also a pack of their Hamilton Old Spot Pork sausages, which looked just the thing for a lazy sunday breakfast. They will be making an appearance alongside that black pudding and bacon from the Woodhouse Farm Stand.
I have just eaten those Venison Burgers cooked up at home on the griddle pan, excellent and extremely good.
Something to Drink?
The Sparkle Bar
One of the options I have to mention was the Tiger Community Enterprise’s “Sparkle Bar” which was run by some of the ‘entrepreneurial NCN students’ who were serving ‘mocktails’ and soft drinks. It is perhaps slightly naughty to say that I wish I had brought along a few minatures of vodka and gin to pop into my mocktail.
The Really Awesome Coffee Company
The Really Awesome Coffee van was parked under a Horse Chestnut Tree and for a moment I recalled that I was sure I had heard of people making coffee out of Horse Chestnuts so when I got home I googled that and I found a lovely article in the Guardian by Monty Don where he informed us that “In the second world war, conkers were roasted and ground to make a coffee substitute. By all accounts it was almost as disgusting as some of the insipid liquid that is often passed off as coffee by the various chains.”
OK forget that last idea then, but as with that last part about the passing off of insipid liquid as coffee by the chains, it is all the more reason to seek out some decent quality independent coffee makers like the Awesome Coffee Company for your fix!
This van is driven around by
@AwesomeCoffeeAS so follow Adrian on twitter to see where and when he is around the area.
Who else was there that we saw?
Cook it Up
It looked as though someone had parked their caravan at the end of the row of the food vendors but then as we got closer we found it was the Cook it Up caravan and they had a cheeky little chalk board asking us if we ‘fancied a bit of crumpet’. The Taste in The Park line up list told us that they were going to be “Serving yummy traditional tea and crumpets at Taste in the Park in their quirky vintage caravan!”. I liked the sound of their “Toon Crumpet” which was a brown ale rarebit and also the “Goat Crumpet” which was topped with Caramelised onion, goats cheese and walnut. Next time I see them I will have to try some of these.
The Green Kitchen
The Green Kitchen were also there, I have seen this team around a lot at the local Nottingham Markets and they do serve really good duck fat roasted potatoes. They always seem to be popular, so much so they had three large pans of potatoes on the go ready to feed the assembled masses. They are often to be found in the Old Market square
The Taste in The Park
I expect that I have missed mentioning someone but if I have I will no doubt track them down at the next Taste in the Park or at another one of the Tiger Community Events. If you want to keep up with news on the Taste then you can follow them on Twitter and on Facebook. Also look out for more from the Tiger by following Toni on Twitter where she will be found tweeting out all the upcoming events from the Team.
Now so that you can find the next Taste in the Park I took some photos on the way to help. To get there you walk through the main entrance to the Park and then look out for the blue posters and signs that guide you through the big posh houses up to the circle. I did wonder at one point “Should I be here?” – I felt that I should have been looking for the servants entrance to the estate. 🙂
There does not seem to be much easy parking most of the roads have double blue lines painted on them which I think is something to do with local residents parking or it might be to prevent Smurfs from parking, it is probably one of the two.
It is easy enough to walk and probably a good thing to counter all those pies and cakes that you may be tempted to sample while you are there.