Month: December 2013

Grill On The Corner’s Sunday Roast

A Sunday roast is probably my favourite meal – it’s one of the only meals that can evoke feelings of comfort, stability and contentment. It reminds me of when I was a child at home with the fire roaring, rain lashing down outside & us all inside laughing and spending quality time together. A year or so ago, Mr S and I both had a Sunday off work and I fancied a roast dinner minus the work so started looking online for places in the centre that did a tasty roast. There was a serious lack of information online for this and I ended up asking my facebook friends. One of them recommended Grill On The Corner on Bothwell Street, which is owned by Blackhouse. I looked at their website & there was a big photo with thick slices of pink beef. I phoned straight away and booked a table & I’ve been several times since.

 

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The restaurant has lots of fairy lights down the windows and is modern inside but not pretentious. I had booked a table and we arrived a little early to get out of the downpour but we were quickly shown to our seats. We knew from the offset that we wanted the Sunday roast so we just had to choose between the beef, chicken or pork. Since Grill On The Corner are beef experts, we both chose the beef. In the interest of keeping everybody happy they let you choose between having your roast medium or well-done.

 

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Your meat of choice is served with roast potatoes, carrot & swede mash, buttery shredded cabbage, yorkshire pudding all smothered in gravy.

 

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The dish is a fabulous example of a roast dinner – crispy potatoes, buttery veg, plenty of meat and gravy made from the meat juices. I really enjoyed it and my friend did too. My only negative is that there is too much on the plate – I would rather the veg is served in another dish so there is more space for cutting. It is well worth the £12.95 price tag.

We decided to look at the sweet menu and I went for another tradition of sticky toffee pudding. They serve it with a creamy vanilla ice-cream and it was a classic comfort food dish.

 

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My friend ordered the rhubarb fool, which came with honey & ginger feuilles de brick. It was an impressive looking dessert and had a creamy layer, a jelly layer and a fruit layer. She thought that it was a bit tart for her taste but nice nevertheless.

 

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In my experience, the service in here is friendly and efficient. I feel genuinely sorry for them that the company makes them take a tablet over to their customers for feedback on their meal. I always think its a pointless exercise because any server with half a brain isn’t going to take it over to a disgruntled customer so it is not a true representation. In my eyes a simple comment card on the table is acceptable but this new ‘we must waste our customers time getting feedback’ thing is just irritating.

 

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I wouldn’t want to leave it on a bad note though because we really enjoyed our lunch & the guy that served us was very sweet. There’s no doubt that I will come back here, both for steak and another roast dinner. I know from experience that the cocktails are scrummy and they do a rich bottle of Malbec that is calling me back.

Grill on the Corner on Urbanspoon

Discover Glasgow

 

I was recently asked to do an interview for the relaunch of the Discover Glasgow website so I thought I would share it on the blog.

 

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You can see the full interview here http://www.discoverglasgow.org/in-conversation-laurasimpson/4581131975

Discover Glasgow is an information website for locals and tourists alike that covers noteworthy events, tourist attractions, theatre productions and eating.

 

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My interview is in the ‘in conversation’ section on the bottom right of the homepage. They will be updating the section with different people so that eventually it will be almost like a time capsule.

 

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Go to http://www.discoverglasgow.org for the full website.

 

 

Street Feastival Pops Up Glasgow Gems

Sometimes there are so many things going on in Glasgow that I feel frustrated that I have to work because it means missing out on them. It can be pop up shops, pop up foodie places, SECC delights, George Square tent events… you name it and I’ll want to go. I have managed two out of my top four December events so far (the St Enoch Christmas market and Street Feastival) so that is just leaving Street Food Cartel, that unfortunately I won’t make it to this time, and ice-skating on George Square. It was my first time at Glasgow Street Feastival – a pop up weekend mini-festival that is a celebration of good food, drink and music – but it won’t be my last.

 

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This time the feastival was being held at The Barras Art & Design Centre which is not far from the city centre. I have been to the Barras for gigs before and to the market but had no idea where the art & design centre was. It turned out we weren’t the only ones as we met a couple looking for the same event. Trusty google maps pointed us in the right direction – a block behind The Barrowland Ballrooms and near the ice-cream shop – so we did not walk around for too long. There was a £2 entry fee at the door and they give your hand a stamp so you can go in and out as you please. The venue was a kind of indoors/outdoors mesh with no door and a high roof so it was chilly but inside enough to protect us from any rain. The pink light hue and funky music was enough to transport your mind to being in the middle of a field with a night of camping ahead!

 

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The first thing we did was visit the bar because I had heard through social media that they had mulled wine and, being December, it was freezing. They had run out of mulled wine by the time we arrived at 7pm on the Saturday (sob) so I went for hot cider instead but it was sickly sweet and I ended up discarding it and having a cold wine. Mr S enjoyed a couple of pints of Heverlee beer and we walked around all of the food vendors to see what was on offer. So La Ti Dough had a mobile pizza oven and were churning out some cracking looking pizzas then the cheesesteak & pomegranate lamb caught my eye at Roast. Habibi Kitchen had veggie stew & lamb kofta on offer as well as some sweet things. Then there was Fino Rotunda, who had a massive pan of paella as well as chorizo & tortilla espanola. Next to this Dear Green coffee roasters were keeping everyone warm and Nucoco Chocolate had chocolate fondue with marshmallows & salted crisps among other things. Breaking Bad had more lamb and falafel & Smokey & The Bandit were serving pulled pork rolls.  Harajuku Kitchen were supposed to be at the feastival with some Japanese treats but we never saw them so I’m not sure if they had already left or if we were just too focused on all the lamb. I had a look on their Twitter feed and there was no mention of it so I am going with the already left or were never there option. Finally, Smoak was dishing out chipotle beef burritos, having run out of pig cheek burritos, with chocolate pretzel for afters.

 

We decided to get a pizza to share from So Ti La Dough and then see how we got on. The carnivores choice was salami and italian sausage topped with rocket and it was a tasty pizza. I have never had such a crispy well-cooked pizza outside of a restaurant and would have loved this back in my Rockness camping days. The toppings were tasty and it was a great start to our night.

 

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I have been wanting to try Smoak for a long time now so this was our next stop. I had seen the menu on Twitter and decided on pig cheek burrito but they had run out so we went for the chipotle beef burrito instead. This was no normal burrito – the Aberdeen Angus slow cooked beef was incredibly tasty with lots of pico de gallo, green rice, black beans, sour cream aioli and monterey jack cheese to complete the wrap. Mr S was pleased to say the least.

 

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£6 (photo is of half of the burrito)

 

Finally I wanted to try Roast’s slow roasted pomegranate pulled lamb with mint yoghurt & pomegranate seeds because I am always drawn to pomegranate flavoured food. The lamb was so richly flavoured with the refreshing yoghurt complementing it & the homemade flatbread held it all without breaking up. The pomegranate seeds gave a nice juicy crunch almost – if Roast sell this every day then I’ll soon be a regular.

 

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£5

 

We had planned to share a dessert  but Mr S is allergic to nuts & most of the desserts contained nuts. There were a couple without nuts but none of them appealed to me so we decided to leave the eating at that.

 

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My only negatives were that they ran out of mulled wine & that a few of the dishes sounded quite similar (lots of lamb and nuts) so there would have been a better selection if it had been co-ordinated between sellers. The event had a great vibe with everyone enjoying themselves and tapping their feet to the music. I thought the Street Feastival was terrific and I’d love to go back with a group of friends. Now just to get someone to take me ice-skating and my December is complete.

The Tea Rooms Give Afternoon Tea A Vintage Kick

I had never had a proper afternoon tea until a few years ago but once I tried it I was hooked. I am now the proud owner of not one, but two, tiered cake stands that I really should use more often. It’s a delightfully girly activity that I tend to do when friends or family are visiting Glasgow & there are a few places here that I’d recommend but I’ll save that for another time. Last month my sister in-law was over so we went to The Tea Rooms at The Butterfly & The Pig on Bath Street. I was here for a hen night earlier in the year & we had a grand time. The Tea Rooms is about half way along Bath Street just above The Butterfly & The Pig pub. If you fancy hot food instead of sandwiches then I have also eaten downstairs and the fish cake was lovely. Both places have a quirky feel to them with lots of old mismatched furniture, crockery & decoration. Having developed a bit of a vintage look obsession in the lead up to my wedding, this suits me down to the ground. It has quite an informal feel to the place so you don’t need to dress up, which makes it perfect for a mid-shopping lunch.

 

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The building itself is very Glasgow in its tenement style and high ceilings. We were sat at the back of the room and there was a gorgeous old staircase above us with a beautiful window at the top.

 

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We went in for afternoon tea so we never even looked at the menu but, having been in before, they have a good selection of breakfast items, soups, sandwiches, savoury tart and they do high tea later on. The afternoon tea is priced at £12.50 per person or you can pay an extra £3.50 to have a glass of prosecco with it. If you want something fancier they also do it served with a glass of Moet for £20 per person. We just went for the tea option because we were chilly and wanted a nice cup of tea to warm us up. Some soft drinks were also ordered and they arrived straight away but our tea never came with them. I was freezing cold so I ended up asking for it but I think they must bring it out when your food is coming so next time I’ll ask for it when I order.

 

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Our food arrived quickly and we surveyed our feast – a mixture of sandwiches, cakes, scones, oaties and some crisps. I love the pickled cucumber that comes with it – I even made some a few days afterwards at home. Last time the oatcakes had come with smoked salmon on them but neither of us are keen on smoked salmon so we asked if we could have anything else in place of it and they gave us chicken with some chutney. They were surprisingly filling but a great start to the gluttony that is afternoon tea!

 

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We had made some changes to the sandwiches but, if I remember correctly, they usually give you a selection of coronation chicken, ham and cheese, roast beef, egg and tuna. The bread was thick and soft and the fillings were plentiful with lots of flavour & they were seasoned well.

 

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We never finished all of the sandwiches because we wanted to try the cakes before we got too full. We sliced the cakes up so that we could try a little of each. First we had blueberry scone with jam and cream – I had never tried blueberry scone but I liked it so much that I’ve been looking up recipes. The courgette and pistachio cake was moist & flavoursome and the cherry & almond slice was rich. I never tried the walnut one but Steph said it was delicious. There was a chocolate cupcake but the cake slices were definitely the winners on our table because they were so moist all the way through.

 

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Our waitress offered to box up anything that we did not eat – a welcome touch that brightened up our elevensies the next day. Even when they take you the bill they keep it in-keeping with the theme of the place.

 

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I’m looking forward to going back soon for some of that courgette cake – it’s making me hungry just thinking about it.

The Tea Rooms on Urbanspoon