Glasgow Takeaway

Tantrum Doughnuts Made My Day

 


I would class myself as a doughnut lover. When I was pregnant my sister, niece & I drove a five hour round trip to satisfy my pregnancy cravings of doughnuts and peri-peri chicken so I’m pretty sure that I qualify. 

Without sounding too like Nigella, there’s something about a warm filled doughnut that can’t be beaten – it’s so naughty and indulgent. 




The newest doughnut shop to hit my radar is in on of my favourite spots in the city, the hip without being polished Finnieston. So many foodie places have opened in the area in recent years that you don’t want to miss it. Tantrum Doughnuts is set a couple of minutes walk away from Kelvingrove Art Gallery where Cushion & Cake used to be. They appear to be primarily a takeaway but have some seats inside if you can’t wait until you get home to eat. Coffee, milkshakes and handmade doughnuts are the menu entirety and I was sure they’d do it well. 
Their Facebook page had been teasing me for weeks so I was determined to try them out. They make their own marshmallow for goodness sakes! 
 

some of their facebook photos that had been enticing me in

 

We were going to a friends house so we bought a selection of creme brulee, peanut butter & jelly and jam filled. In retrospect I should have bought a sneaky chocolate number for the next day. 
  

The doughnuts were divine! The creme brulee even cracked as you bit into it and the dough was light enough and tasty. 
  

I love their slightly unusual flavours and hope that they continue to rotate them to show their skills. The owners have a history cooking in top restaurants and it’s evident when you go in. Even the denim dresses worn by the staff go with the feel of the place, the attention to detail is incredible. 

Keep up the good work Tantrum, maybe one day in the future I’ll be back with more pregnancy cravings. 

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Being Bad At Five Guys

Cheating on someone is a horrible business. There’s this overwhelming guilt that keeps feelings cooped up inside- feelings of worthlessness and shame. How will I ever go back? 

Today I am forcing myself to be brave and put into words what I did. Here goes, please don’t judge. 

 I cheated on Bread Meats Bread… I cheated on local and I cheated on Glasgow as I knew it… I went to Five Guys for lunch. I’m sorry, really sorry. 

In my defence, we were going to go to Bread Meats Bread but the queue was long and we were pushed for time. Five Guys had been on my will-I-won’t-I radar for a while so we just did it. In my account of our visit I will be as objective as I can be & throw my guilt aside. 


  

We stepped in through the unfamiliar doors to a big menu on the wall and a counter to order at. There was no queue so we could order immediately after choosing. As you can see from the menu, you choose a basic burger type or hot dog then customise it. I asked for a cheeseburger with mayo, pickles, ketchup & onions. As much as I like vegetables, too much in a burger can make the whole experience fall apart. Fries – the only side they seem to do- completed my food order & I went for a refillable drink to wash it down. 
They gave us cups for the self serve so we helped ourselves. I like a cheeky cherry coke on occasion and this was one of those days. We then waited at the service area for our number to be called. It was nice to watch them making the burgers & quite atmospheric listening to the chefs shout back and forth. I guess it added to the American burger joint feel that I’d expected. 
  
There are three floors of seats and, as the ground floor was pretty full, we chose to go upstairs. This was the biggest mistake we made because it was VERY loud. I felt like I’d gone back to the school canteen. Between the noise of other diners (many under 20 years old & giddly on too much refillable coke) & the shouting from the kitchen downstairs, I developed a headache. A burger tends to be my hangover food but there’s no way I would choose somewhere so noisy the day after the night before so it gets crossed off that list. I went down to the basement to the toilet and it was somewhat quieter down there but I imagine with such a low roof it only takes a couple of tables of teenagers to turn rowdy. I’m only 31 so it makes me feel old writing about the noise but it just shows how loud it is – my mum would have walked straight back out. 
  

On to the burger and fries. The burger itself consisted of two thin patties and they were still juicy with lots of oozy cheese. The bun held together but didn’t have the sweetness that I prefer from a brioche. I still really enjoyed the burger and would give it 8/10. The fries were crispy outside and soft inside – a good effort indeed. One regular sized fries is enough for two people so don’t buy two or you’ll be left with lots or have to be rolled out of there. 

A couple more sides – maybe some onion rings for instance – would have added to the experience. 

  
I was disappointed to see that the fries are cooked in peanut oil considering how many people are allergic to nuts. There was no alternative to this on the board so I assume that there is none. They also give out free peanuts & they were placed in boxes with scoops around the place. If you’ve ever been on an aeroplane & it’s come over the tannoy that nuts are not being served due to another passenger with a serious allergy then surely you’ll see the flaw in Five Guys plan. Everyone loves a freebie and a novelty idea but when a reported 1 in every 100 people in the UK are allergic to peanuts* it seems nonsensical. 
  
So my visit really was full of peaks & troughs. The food was a high point but the noise and peanut thing was a real low point for me. It’s such a shame as the food was a solid effort. After speaking to a friend who thought the same thing maybe Five Guys need to look into creating a more comfortable atmosphere in the stark white building. 

I’ve been dithering about if I’d go back or not because of this & I guess it depends on availability of seats at the other nearby places on burger street. Maybe they have got their target market and I’m not it but students must have more money now than they used to if they’re to keep this place going. Parents might like the noise so they don’t feel self-conscious about their loud kids too. It falls more into the takeaway category for me but is a pricey takeaway at £13.25 for a cheeseburger, small fries & drink. 

*Source: http://patient.info/health/nut-allergy

Thai Siam – My favourite Glasgow Thai?

Mum & Dad were staying a few months ago and we were deciding where to eat. My dad loves Thai restaurants – a result of a holiday in Thailand and the sharing nature of the meal. We have been to several Thai places in Glasgow with them, but I find it difficult to make a comparison between Thai restaurants so I don’t often write about them. Since then I’ve tried a few and this was my clear favourite so wanted to share it.

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We had a sharing starter between the four of us – it was huge! There was chicken satay, battered prawns, fish cakes, chicken spring rolls & my favourite chicken in pandan leaves. It arrived with spring onions and on a bed of crunchy, shredded vegetables – excellent for cutting through fried food. The dips were fresh & they accommodated Mr S and his nut allergy.

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We had beer and wine, and I couldn’t help mention the beer coolers. They certainly keep your beer cool until the end and were a hit with the beer drinkers.

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We all chose a main course each and shared them. My dads pick was Thai sweet and sour beef. This surprised me because my dad is such a foodie & when I think of sweet and sour I think of the luminous Uncle Bens variety.
How wrong could I be? It was perhaps my favourite main course with no luminous colours to be seen. Notes of tang with a delicate sweetness running through the dish, this was miles away from what I expected.

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We had stir fry with ginger, which was a fresh tasting dish with lots of spring onion and ginger shredded throughout. I particularly liked that the veg had a good bite to it.

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My pick – the red thai curry with chicken – was also lovely. Creamy and aromatic without spice overkill.

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We ordered a couple of rice and one ‘plain’ noodles to accompany the mains. I could have eaten the noodles as a main course by themselves because they were full of flavour.
The egg fried rice was also well executed. Then there was the sticky rice that arrived in this cute wicker thing that was stuck in a block and extremely difficult to get apart! We found it hilarious and we’d over ordered so it wasn’t a big deal but they’d taken sticky rice to a new level of stickiness – not one I’d order again.

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A trip to the toilet led to me finding the first restaurant bathroom I’ve been to in years that still has a cotton towel on a towel ring to dry your hands. Slightly outdated there.

Our waiter was joking with us throughout the meal and fancied himself as a bit of a comedian. We liked him even although most of the jokes were on us so he must have been doing something right.
The high standard of food and the waiter making us feel welcome meant that I enjoyed it more than other Glasgow Thai restaurants. Without a doubt one to try if you like Thai food.

Cook Or Be Cooked For?

In February I was invited to a shop launch in Kelvinbridge on Great Western Road. The shop is called Cook and it is the brainchild of Edward Perry & Dale Penfold, who opened the first shop 17 years ago. Their concept of selling meals that you would cook for yourself at home has now reached Scotland. Most of their food is frozen and they only use ingredients that you would at home so there’s no nasty fillers involved.

 

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We arrived to a packed shop and wandered around the different ranges. I spotted the OMG meals for one range that tell you how many calories they contain (they all seemed to be around 300kcal) because healthy eating after work is my downfall so I thought they could be great for me. But then, typically me, I spotted the dessert freezer and started practically drooling over the lemon cheesecake and the chocolate truffle torte. The desserts aren’t cheap at around £15 for the big ones but they feed 10 people so it works out at £1.50 per portion. I never tried any of the desserts but I did try the Moroccan Spiced Harissa Chicken and I’d happily buy it for my dinner one night.

 

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For people that are useless in the kitchen they have a dinner party range that you could pass off as your own cooking. I’m sure the lamb tagine or salmon en croute would be great main courses for when friends come over. There is a freezer for pork dishes and one for lamb, which was nice to see because you usually only find a couple of choices for each.

 

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I met a lovely lady at the launch that runs The Wee Fudge Company and she had plenty of samples. The fudge was melt in the mouth. My favourite is the sea salt & caramel but the chocolate is a close second.

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The launch was a few days before our holiday and I wanted to try a meal before writing this – thus why this is so late.

 

When I went back to the shop today the staff were as friendly and genuine as they were at the launch. I bought a selection of dishes to try – shepherd’s pie, smoked haddock & sweet potato gratin, peas & leeks side dish, OMG paella and OMG lamb koftas. We shared the shepherds pie, haddock and the pea side tonight for dinner. A strange combination but I wanted to try more than one!

 

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The shepherd’s pie was lovely – full of flavour and the potato/meat ratio was well balanced. It is priced at £3.65 so about the same as a Tesco Finest or Marks & Spencer meal. I also enjoyed the peas & leeks with lemon & herb butter.

The gentleman in the shop had recommended the sweet potato & smoked haddock gratin when I was looking at the fish pie. I admit that I would have never picked it up otherwise. The combination worked well, especially with the broccoli but I would have preferred it without the sweetcorn.

 

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I haven’t tried the OMG pots yet but I’ll update this once I have.

Cook seems like a useful option for people who don’t or can’t cook, and for those nights when you want a night off. I like the concept but I would like it even more without any E numbers in the dishes. Can’t have everything I suppose. They do provide tasty food with lots of choices and I will be back.

Pinto – Queen Streets Hottie

Two of my best and oldest friends moved to Glasgow at the same time that I did 11 and a half years ago- it seems like a lifetime ago now. We made sure that we took advantage of ‘the big city’ and all that it offered us. I have many good memories of Glasgow with them, not least living in a cupboard in their Partick flat for a few months! They moved back to Inverness 15 months ago and I miss them immensely, not as much as Celino’s I imagine (regulars is an understatement). They have been back to visit and the last time they were back we arranged to meet up for lunch. There are so many new places here and I was excited to tell them about all of them. Even although the conversation was over text messages I could tell that they were holding something back & it turns out that out of everywhere down here they were really missing Pinto on Queen Street. I had never been to Pinto before – I guess it falls into that no mans land for me where the canteen style of it doesn’t appeal for a girly lunch but when I want that more relaxed style of place we tend to go somewhere in the car so avoid the city centre. I had always wondered about it so this was the perfect opportunity to try it out.

 

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Takeaways in Glasgow have been given a re-vamp in recent years with openings of places such as Buddy’s, Gandolfi Fish To Go, Taco Mazama and Delizique. Unless I have been drinking far too much alcohol, I do not want a stodgy mess put in front of me. Just because it is takeaway food does not mean that it should taste bad. So I was hoping for more quality, less slop from Pinto. I did some research before the day by going on to their website & learned that their whole concept was based around healthy Mexican street food. ‘No freezers, no microwaves’ is proudly plastered on the menu so I was looking forward to some tasty, homemade food. I would be interested to know if they make everything on the premises because this is more important to me than if a business uses a microwave. I am not a fan of the idea of things being bought in ready made so I hope that the no freezers, no microwave idea also means that everything is homemade because fresh can still be bought from external chain companies.

I met my friends at the door, big hugs galore and then they began to educate me on the Pinto experience. We chose a table next to the window and discussed the food choices. Two of us then queued to order because I wanted to look at the menu because there were none on the tables. It was really busy because it was just after 12pm so trying to read the menu without getting in other people’s way was a bit of a feat and I’m glad I had someone with me that knew what they were doing. I ended up choosing a burrito as the other two were raving about them.

Once we reached the counter we grabbed a tray and told the first person our order. This is one of those build your own type things so you choose your basic item – burrito, soft taco, hard taco, salad, nachos or bare burrito (no wrap). Inside you can have chargrilled chicken, chargrilled steak, barbacoa beef, slow cooked pork or flash fry veg. Then you decide on your toppings from cheese, jalapeno, rice, pinto or black beans, salsa (there are 4 types of salsa) and sour cream. After a lot of questions (the poor staff weren’t expecting a clueless me) I had a slow cooked pork burrito with pico de gallo, cheese, rice, pinto beans and sour cream. In for a penny, in for a pound!

 

The finished article £5.45

The finished article £5.45

 

My friends had almost the same but with spicier salsa/jalapenos so I was really going with their recommendations. I chose a Desperados to wash it down with as it seemed fitting then we paid up and took our tray back to our table. It was the first takeaway-but-with-seats type of place that I’ve been to that sells beer and I enjoyed that option.

My burrito was jam packed with fillings and it took me a minute to figure out how to eat it without making too much of a mess. It was spicier than I expected so if you only like very mild things then I wouldn’t recommend it. I can cope with medium spice and I’d say that’s the level of spice that the burrito reached but I definitely needed the sour cream to calm it down.

 

Not pretty but it delivered on taste

Not pretty but it delivered on taste

 

Mexican food never looks very pretty and this was no exception but it was tasty and filling. The main ingredient of pork dominated the taste but I could also taste the coriander in the rice and the beans. I don’t have much to compare it to in burrito terms but I enjoyed it. It offered optimal value for money at less than £6 and it was so big that I couldn’t finish it.

The company have also opened another Pinto on Gordon Street but it is smaller than the first one with only a couple of window seats. I am no good eating Mexican food on the move because I find it too messy so I would not use that one but they seem to get their fair share of office workers and students.

I would go back to Pinto if I was looking for a very casual and quick feed. After the school dinners delivery, you find yourself with some tasty food indeed. Post vino food has just received an upgrade.

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