Merguez sausages with salad and flat bread

The title of this blog post really doesn’t do justice to the plate of food I bought from Kabylia at the Finzel Street Food market.

I was going to our office in Bristol more over the summer and one Wednesday in August I once more found myself in Bristol.

I popped out for a walk at lunchtime and it was nice to see the St Nicholas market bustling with people after seeing it a few months ago quite empty.

There were huge queues for Matina, Low & Slow, and the felafel place. I didn’t feel like queuing so I left the market and I popped to Finzel Reach market to see what was on sale.

There weren’t as many stalls as there was pre-pandemic and it isn’t as busy as it was on Fridays/

I decided to try Kabylia, the Algerian street food stand. 

Kabylia is a cultural, natural and historical region in northern Algeria. The Kabyle people are indigenous to Kabylia and speak the language known as Amazigh.

I had some Merguez sausages with a feta and pepper pickle, salad and flat bread. The sausages were reheated to order, placed on flat bread and then the salads were added.

Took it back to the office it was rather nice. The pickle was tasty, the salad was lovely and I enjoyed the flat bread. The Merguez sausages were a little soft, I prefer a meatier sausage and these weren’t quite to my liking, though they did taste right. Overall though it was a lovely plate of food which I did enjoy eating.

Overall I did enjoy something I wouldn’t have normally chosen.

Very nice indeed…

I have a kind of love hate relationship with Café Rouge. I really like the concept behind Café Rouge and like the menu, but then I am let down either by poor service or over seasoning.

However on my latest visit with the family, we had excellent service, great food and it was all, very nice indeed…

It was, how it should be, how I expect it to be, and what I want when I go out and pay for lunch.

My son, avoiding the children’s menu, he went for the Tartine Marocaine, an open sandwich of sautéed spicy Merguez sausages & caramelised onions with houmous and crisp chicory on grilled sourdough bread served with a minted crème fraîche.

Tartine Marocaine

I am a great fan of Merguez sausages and these, though slightly overdone for me, were very nice, and my son really enjoyed the dish. I was quite surprised how much he enjoyed the onions, the crisp chicory (which is quite bitter) and the salad. He wasn’t that impressed with the minted crème fraîche, but once he worked out that it helped cool the spiciness of the Merguez sausage he understood how it fitted into the dish. I have had this dish myself before and enjoyed it back then.

My wife went with the Salade de Chèvre, grilled goat’s cheese croutons on a bed of marinated red peppers, black olives and herb salad with a light vinaigrette.

Salade de Chèvre

She let me try the salad and I liked the freshness of the salad leaves with the marinated red peppers and black olives. The goat’s cheese had a subtle flavour, but was nice.

I went with the Tartine au Maquereau, an open sandwich of pan-fried mackerel fillets, baby plum tomatoes, horseradish mayonnaise and rocket on grilled sourdough bread.

Tartine au Maquereau

I really enjoyed this dish, the mackerel was cooked really well and the tomatoes, rocket and horseradish mayonnaise complemented the fish. The dish was full of flavour and was delicious.

My two younger ones had meals from the children’s menu, they enjoyed their food, but the fries came with salt on them… personally I think they should come without salt, especially on the children’s dishes.

So what about the service? Despite the fact it was a busy Sunday, we got a table as soon as we walked in, and the waitress was friendly and efficient. The food came within a reasonable time frame and we weren’t rushed or anything. As a result it was a very relaxing and enjoyable meal out.

Very nice indeed…

Merguez and Baguette Rouge at Café Rouge

Needing a quick lunch in Bristol, I popped into Café Rouge.

LunchI have always preferred having a starter over a desert so I went with one of their Petits Plats, Merguez, spicy beef & lamb sausage with harissa mayonnaise.

I was a little surprised as I was expecting to get a whole sausage, not a sliced one. However I guess it was presented in this way, as the Petits Plats are designed to be shared.

I felt however that as the sausage was cooked (or possibly re-heated) sliced it lost a lot of what makes a decent merguez sausage. I’ve certainly had better at Café Rouge was a little disappointed. It should be noted that the flavour was good, but the cooking process and presentation let the dish down.

LunchFor my main course I went with the chargrilled rump steak baguette with Dijon mustard & oregano mayonnaise, French fries and a salad garnish.

I asked for the steak to be rare, and it was delivered medium! Apart from that the steak was okay, there was no depth of flavour, but I kind of expect that, this isn’t a steak house, it’s a chain! I think I would have preferred the Bavette I have had before.

The fries were crisp and were not overseasoned which is normally my experience, and the salad was fresh.

Overall I enjoyed my lunch and the service was excellent, which made for a nice change and I hope is the norm rather than the exception.

Tartine Marocaine

On a recent lunch at Café Rouge I decided for my main that I would go for the Tartine Marocaine, an open sandwich of sautéed spicy merguez sausages & caramelised onions with houmous and crisp chicory on grilled sourdough bread served with a minted crème fraîche.

Those of you who have read my other blog posts on Café Rouge will know that one of the things I like about the place is that they have the merguez sausage.

This is a different dish to the times I have had it before. The sausage was great as were the onions. I was less enamoured with the chicory, but it was fresh and crisp. The bread was slightly on the thin side, but with the houmous worked well.

I did enjoy the dish and it worked well.

They’re back…

It would appear looking at the new menus from Café Rouge that started this April, their merguez sausage is back!

I lamented a few months back that

What I did notice was that the merguez sausage was no longer on the menu, which is a personal favourite.

Well it’s back!

In Café Rouge’s new Petits Plats assortment, one of the choices is

Merguez – spicy beef & lamb sausage with harissa mayonnaise

These Petits Plats look and sound a lot like Tapas.

You can also have them in a sandwich.

Tartine Marocaine £7.95
Open sandwich of sautéed spicy Merguez sausages & caramelised onions with houmous and crisp chicory on grilled sourdough bread served with a minted crème fraîche

I do like the Merguez sausage and therefore I may, just may go and try them again.

Merguez aux Lentilles de Puy

Though I always have reservations about Café Rouge there is one item on the menu that I do like that always tempts me to try the place again, and that is Merguez aux Lentilles de Puy or grilled spicy Merguez sausage on a bed of puy lentils in a ceramy sauce and topped with a rocket salad.

They do a very good merguez sausage and it is always very well done, well cooked and nice and spicy.  The lentils were quite good too.

However the dish was let down by something as simple as rocket leaves. They were not fresh, old and somewhat manky! A disappointment using not just old rocket leaves, but ones that looked as if they were verging on going off.

Once more Café Rouge disappoints, I need to learn from this.

Merguez sausages

One of my favourite sausages is the merguez sausage.

This is a North African spicy lamb and beef sausage that is really nice and meaty with a hot and spicy taste.

Merguez sausages

Merguez is made with lamb or beef, and flavoured with a wide range of spices, such as sumac for tartness, and paprika, cayenne, or harissa, a hot chilli paste that gives it a red colour.

I have had Merguez sausages in Cafe Rouge and have had trouble finding them for sale in my local suppliers.

However was pleased to find them in Taste.

Just grilled they were delicious.