Airport Coffee

Well to be honest I had quite low expectations about the coffee I ordered from Soho at Bristol Airport.

However in the end it was okay, even quite good. I didn’t have a huge amount of time following a long queue in security. So with no queue at Soho and an imminent announcement about the gate, I ordered a macchiato.

It was prepared well, good coffee and some foam. I enjoyed it. It did mean that I didn’t need to order a coffee on the plane! Now that would have been a very different story.

Another nice espresso

Was in Bristol having a walk in the harbourside in the sun. We went to the MShed for a drink.

I had a very nice espresso, accompanied with some chilled tap water. What I did like was that the tap water was chilled. Recently at various places when I have asked for a glass of tap water, it hasn’t been chilled. So it was nice to have a chilled glass this time.

Squid Ink Paella

When I was down in Ealing at La Rueda Tapas Bar in Ealing I was initially tempted by the paella choices they had, including a squid ink paella. In the end we had tapas. I would have liked to try a squid ink paella.

Recently I was working in Bristol, and went for a walk at lunchtime with a plan on getting something to eat. It was a Thursday so I headed out to the Temple Quay Market. Didn’t really fancy anything from the market, so I headed to the St Nicholas Market. It was rather busy. In the end I headed down towards La Lola for some squid or paella.

I was impressed to see that La Lola have expanded their menu and one of the choices was a squid ink paella. Well it was bit of a no-brainer, so I decided to try out their dish.

As with previous visits, I was given a warm welcome, I ordered my paella and took a seat. It arrived quite quickly, with some aioli and a slice of lemon.

You have to say that the dish is very black, very black indeed.

I have to say that it doesn’t look that appetising, however it was very tasty. There was squid and prawns in the rice.

I am not sure I would have it again, but I am glad I tried it and it was good.

Chiquito

I’ve only been to Chiquito a couple of times, but I have always liked the idea of the menu.

We went as a family and had some interesting dishes. I don’t think we were overly impressed with the experience, and I can’t see us making a return visit anytime soon. The food was okay, buy nothing special.

I had the chilaquiles, these were nachos tossed in sauce, oven baked with mozzarella until crispy on top and soft at the bottom, topped with a fried egg. I had mine with the barbacoa beef and chimichurri sauce.

It was just okay, I thought it was interesting with the egg. I didn’t really enjoy the soft nachos.

My eldest went with the chimichanga, fried tortilla packed with rice, refried beans, mozzarella and jalapeño cheese sauce. Served with guacamole, sour cream and salsa.

He did enjoy the dish.

My other son with the topped salad with a chicken + chorizo skewer. 

The salad was mixed leaves, grains, avocado, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrot, pink onions and crumbled feta cheese in a citrus dressing. Interesting salad and combination of flavours.

The other dish on the table was a 6oz juicy tender steak, mixed salad and homemade sweet potato wedges.

The steak lacked flavour, and the sweet potato wedges were undercooked.

Overall it was just okay as a meal out, the service was lacklustre.

Free Glazed Doughnut

So there I was in Cabot Circus in Bristol in the early evening, anticipating a visit to the cinema, but doing some shopping before the film.

I noticed that people were going into Krispy Kreme being given a glazed doughnut from the conveyer belt and walking out. So I went in and I got a free doughnut from Krispy Kreme. They appeared to be giving away their excess stock.

In the past I haven’t thought highly of the Krispy Kreme doughnuts, they’re okay, but nothing special. However who am I to say no to a free doughnut.

Actually this one was still warm and very fresh. It was rather nice, quite enjoyed it.

Coffee and a pistachio swirl

I decided to drive to work. Well there was a train strike, so the train was out of the question. I drove down the M5 and headed into Bristol on the A369. As I approached the junction with Bridge Road, I could see that Rownham Hill wasn’t moving due to loads of traffic, so I headed down Bridge Road to cut down Burwalls Road, with no luck. So, I turned around and headed back to Bridge Road and crossed the Suspension Bridge. There were lots of police and fire crews. There were signs saying the bridge was closed, but it was open when I crossed it. I headed down Sion Hill and then hit more traffic. 

Later I found out that there had been an issue, the police were concerned about the welfare of a man, so had closed the Portway and other roads around the Cumberland Basin, which was causing all the issues I was having.

Having given up at this point, I parked and headed into Clifton Village to get some coffee. I went to Spicer & Cole and at the counter ordered a flat white. They had some nice looking pastries so I added a pistachio swirl to my order.

I had my pastry, took a seat and waited for my coffee. I did seem to be waiting for a fair while, so much so, I went back to the counter to check. They had been prioritising takeaway orders over my coffee.

The coffee was actually rather good and I enjoyed it. The pistachio swirl was quite nice, I did feel that it was slightly dry, and there was an excessive amount of icing sugar, but there was a nice taste of pistachio. 

Overall it was nice place for a coffee break, a little more pricey than other places I frequent, reminded me of London prices. If I am back in Clifton Village I would certainly visit again.

Time for Valerie’s Welsh Rarebit

We were up at Cribbs Causeway doing some shopping and we stopped at Patisserie Valerie for a coffee and a snack. There are quite a few places you can have a coffee at Cribbs, but what I like about Patisserie Valerie is that it is table service. So we sat at our table and looked over the menu. The place was busy, but the service was excellent, and we didn’t have to wait long to order.

Whilst my son went with the traditional breakfast, my first choice was an apricot danish, however they had run out. So I went with my second choice, which wasn’t a pastry, but Valerie’s Welsh Rarebit. Our food arrived promptly, which was nice, especially as the place was quite full of diners. Valerie’s Welsh Rarebit was toasted bloomer bread topped with a poached egg, tomato chutney, cheddar, mustard & served with a side salad.

I don’t think I have ever had Rarebit before, so I was interested to see what it was going to be like. This was a nice cheesy toast dish, the mustard was subtle and added warmth. The poached egg was perfectly cooked. I liked the tomato chutney, which was on the side, I did think it was a little too sweet for me. Overall it was a really nice light meal.

I think one of the reasons I hadn’t ordered or had this dish before, was that usually I am looking for cake, or a full meal. Valerie’s Welsh Rarebit for me is more of a snack, or a light meal.

Alongside I had a flat white, not the best flat white in the world, but it was a good coffee.

Well that was nice

I was working in Bristol and for lunch I headed out to the Temple Quay Market. I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for, so looked around. I really liked the idea of Big Nath’s BBQ, however they had (basically) sold out. This was both disappointing and reassuring, in that I didn’t get my food, but it must be good if it had sold out!

I looked around, and did think about getting some fried fish from the Kingfin stall, but in the end I went to She Sells Sushi.

Having not really enjoyed the hirata bun on my last visit, this time in my bento box I went with the beef donburi and some Takoyaki in octopus and duck varieties.

The beef teriyaki donburi was delicious.

This is tasty tender beef rib on a bed of sushi rice and served with pickle and spring onions.

The Takoyaki were very nice too. Beautifully presented with sauces drizzled over them and garnished with herbs and bento flakes.

I had two duck dumplings and two octopus ones.

La Lola Calamares

Working in Bristol a few weeks back and out for a walk at lunchtime. I did consider buying some mushrooms from the food market at Finzel Reach, but they looked rather expensive, £10 for a small punnet of morels. Due to my experience last time with She Sells Sushi, I decided not to go there and headed to St Nicholas Market.

Having had some really nice food from La Lola at the St Nicholas Market it wasn’t too surprising when I was looking for somewhere for lunch that I gravitated to the La Lola stall. Having tried some of their other dishes, paella and Huevos Rotos with Iberico ham, this time I went back on an old favourite of their crispy squid.

The staff as always were friendly and welcoming, and I took a seat by the window and waited for my food.

It wasn’t very long before my food arrived. The squid was served with “chipped” potatoes, salad and aioli.

The squid had a nice crisp coating and was very tender on the inside. The chipped potatoes were cooked to perfection and the salad was nice and fresh. It was a delicious box of food, which I really enjoyed.

Salsiccia Broccoli Pizza

I have had the Salsiccia Broccoli Pizza before, which apart from the chilli I had enjoyed. On a visit to Bella Italia for my birthday back in April I decided to have the pizza again. The Salsiccia Broccoli Pizza comes with basilicata sausage, tenderstem broccoli, red chilli & garlic topped with mozzarella and pecorino cheese on a creamy mascarpone base with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

I did enjoy the white base, and toppings. I did this time remove most of the chillis.