Friday, December 30, 2011

Dock Street Beer

701 South 50th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143

One of the best parts of going to Philadelphia for work was getting to see old friends. M & K moved to Philadelphia recently so it was great to see their (palatial) new apartment and also find out about their first pregnancy. We decided to have dinner in their neighborhood and they suggested Dock Street Beer - I can't remember which beer I had with dinner but it was pretty good, and dinner itself was a lot of fun. The fried calamari above plus a mixed basket of fries, sweet potato fries and fried leeks was a nice way to kick off a feast. I then had a roasted beet salad in an attempt to get some actual nutrients (but M's sausage pizza was far tastier). Not sure if I'll be back in Philadelphia any time soon, but I would recommend this place to anyone who's a bit closer...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chickie & Pete's


Philadelphia International Airport

I'd never heard of Chickie & Pete's before, but as food options in the airport were quite limited on a Sunday night, I gave it a try. I have no idea why the above basket of fries are called World Famous Crabfries, but they were decently crisp and crunchy and came with a cheese sauce for dipping that at least tasted of cheese. I also ordered a jumbo shrimp cocktail (I love how big shrimp are in the US!) and they were fresh and bouncy, which was a surprise for airport food. Don't make it a point to go here, but it was a more pleasant experience than I expected.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oscar's Wine Bar and Bistro

27 Swinegate

Since we were in York for W&W's wedding, we thought it would be a good idea to explore the city a little bit and see some sights. Of course, that also means asking for recommendations for food, and A's friend J said that he had a pretty good burger at Oscar's. When we dropped by during the lunch hour, the place was packed, so we decided to come back after 3pm when burgers went on special, 2 for £10. The picture above shows what we got when we ordered cheeseburgers - I'm ok with grated cheese, but I would think the only reason for doing that is to make the cheese melt better, so if you're not going to serve it warm enough to be melted, what is the point? The bun was overly large and dry, and the meat cooked to well done. Chips were clearly from a big bag of frozen. All in all, disappointing, but then again, also only £5, so I suppose I shouldn't be that surprised.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Diwana Bhel Poori House

121-123 Drummond Street

I really dislike being so behind with blogging, but all I can do at this point is attempt to catch up. This was a dinner with F, H and S after an interesting talk regarding speech and brain patterns at the Wellcome Collection. Apparently the three of them had been to the restaurant before and really enjoyed it, so I happily tagged along. It's vegetarian, but South Asian food is one of the cuisines that I don't miss meat in - I ordered the dosa pictured above and it was enormous and crisp and spicy in just the right way. There was a fantastic starter too, of tiny little puffed balls of dough that you broke into and then spooned in a sweet/sour chickpea sauce. If I find myself looking for food around Euston again, this will certainly be on my mind.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Matthew’s Spicy Sauteed Corn

Holy cow, if ever there was a recipe that I would scream MAKE THIS NOW, this is it. It is so so so easy, and so so so delicious, that I ate the entire bowl in one sitting and that was my dinner. And now, when I want a quick and easy dinner, this is what I have. The browned, buttery nubs of corn pop in your mouth and just release the most amazing flavor, and the lime juice cuts right through and sings. I love corn, and now I love corn even more.

Matthew’s Spicy Sauteed Corn
Adapted slightly from Spilled Milk and Orangette


3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Kernels from 3-4 ears fresh corn (I used frozen with good results)
1 small birds eye chilli, seeds removed if desired, minced
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving


Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high until bubbling. Add the corn, scallions, and jalapeno, stirring to coat with butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn begins to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes. (You might hear some kernels popping toward the end.) Add the water and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any extremely delicious brown bits. When the water has boiled off, add salt to taste. Remove from the heat, and stir in the lime juice. Serve immediately, with additional lime wedges.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Britannia

44 Kipling Street

Mr. AB had his birthday drinks here on a Saturday night - it was quiet as anything but meant that we could all have a nice conversation without shouting, which at our age is something we value ;) Anyway - since it was clear that we should eat something while downing pints, we perused the dinner menu and I have to say, considering the state of the other meals, I chose well. My grilled fish was fresh and crisp-skinned, and the pile of chips underneath was cooked, at least. Others had the burger which was a sad, grey puck of meat surrounded by overly large, stale buns, and Mr. AB even had undercooked chips with his meal. Basically - don't go here to eat - go here to have a drink and try one of their whiskies, as that is what they excel in. We asked too much and in return received too little.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Hotel Chocolat Christmas Choccies

It's cold outside and time to get ready for Christmas again! Hotel Chocolat very kindly sent this Signature Dark Collection to me for review. These rich dark chocolates should do the trick for anyone who likes the bittersweet goodness of high quality dark chocolate - my favorites being the ones spiked with chilli and the ones with gooey caramel filling. The packaging is beautiful as well, which makes it a lovely gift to take to a Christmas party; the hosts are sure to thank you. Of course, not everyone loves dark chocolate - but that's ok, Hotel Chocolat makes all different kinds of chocolate collections - check out their Christmas gift page if you need some inspiration. I'm celebrating my first British Christmas this year, and I think some Christmas crackers would be a nice addition to the traditional dinner - or this adorable reindeer would be an excellent stocking stuffer.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Delhi Grill

21 Chapel Market
N1 9EZ

P had raved about this place a while back, and I had also heard wonderful things about it, so it was an easy choice when we were thinking about places to go for dinner. I do love Tayyab's but the wait and the atmosphere can leave much to be desired - and now that I have found a place that is polite, clean, and also serves a fantastic mixed grill, there is no need to drag myself out to Whitechapel anymore! We enjoyed gnawing on the bones of that giant pile of meat and also treated ourselves to dhal and aloo gobi - all of this with pilau rice and a couple of beers came to just a little over a tenner a head, which is also just as much of a bargain as Tayyab's - so long live Delhi Grill, you've taken over as my go-to place whenever I need some tandoori lamb chops.