Bristol vs the world

A travel (and sometimes fashion) blog about exploring Bristol and the rest of the world, one post at a time.

Tag: burgers

Food Friday: Chomp, Bristol

Chomp Bristol Interior

Unless it’s work-related, I have issues making decisions. It takes me longer than most to decide whether to take a colleague up on the offer of tea and I have to decide on my outfit the night before so I’m not late for car share. This is part of the reason we organised a wedding so quickly – if we’d looked at too many venues, considered too many dates, thought too much about any of it – then it wouldn’t be happening. I don’t even want to know what would have happened if I’d gone to more than one dress shop. (Seriously, you didn’t see the conversation I had with my bridesmaids about trying to choose a dress fabric for them.)

So long menus can send me into something of a spin, often leading to making a decision under pressure. Sometimes this works out well, but on many occasions – even if I enjoy my own meal – I have ended up with food envy of the person/people who ordered the other dish/es I was considering.

Chomp is therefore something of a relief. As you might expect from a restaurant (and former food cart) that sums itself up as ‘beef. beer. bourbon’, it has chosen to do a few things, well. Those few things being steak and burgers (vegetarian and beef), with the option of two starters and one pudding to bookend the meal.

Chomp Bristol Black Pudding Beignets

We delved into one of those starters, the black pudding beignets – essentially balls of black pudding coated in batter with (if I remember rightly) a Bearnaise dipping sauce. The black pudding possibly had the smoothest texture of any I’ve ever tasted, and the batter was perfectly crisp with no greasiness to it.

The portion was relatively generous; we shared between three, which was fine if you just wanted to try one or two – but if you’re starving hungry then maybe order a few more.

Chomp Bristol Burgers

However you’ll want to still be full enough to enjoy your main: the burger at Chomp is up there as one of my all-time favourites, juicy and served perfectly pink (though you could, I think, ask for them to be more well done). Refreshingly, chips and house ‘slaw are included in the price (£10 before toppings) – both of which were delicious. We unanimously concluded that the chips were the best of the burger restaurants we’d tried between us in the area. And while we all went for the meat option so I can’t offer an opinion on the veggie burger, I’ve read equally good things about it.

And although the menu options are limited, there are a few toppings options that you can add to your burger for £1 each, from black pudding to Stilton to jalapenos. You can also add a second patty for £2, or sides of onion rings and/or chilli cheese fries if you’re really starving.

The drinks menu is even more extensive. There’s a good selection of beers and bourbons and a few wines. My only criticism would be that there’s only one cider on offer (and in Bristol, too), but I did like that you can order 2/3 of a pint (give me a whole one, and everyone will be staring at me, waiting for – and willing – me to finish, by the end of the meal). They’re not cheap either: draft pints start at £4.50, and a small (125ml) glass of wine will set you back at least £3.

The only other negative was that it was a little dark in there (for some reason, the seemingly-very-in-at-the-moment industrial lighting didn’t seem to be on). On the plus side, I did like the addition of the fake grass along the back of the booth-style seating, and the friendly-but-not-intrusive service.

So while Bristol isn’t exactly short of burger restaurants, Chomp definitely deserves to be high up your list next time you’re looking for a place to enjoy a patty.

Chomp Bristol Interior

The Details
Chomp
10 St Nicholas Street, Bristol, BS1 1UQ
http://www.chompgrill.co.uk/

Opening Hours
Tues-Thurs: 12-2:30/6-11:30 (last food orders 9)
Fri – Sat: 12-3/6-11:30 (last food orders 10)
Sun: 12-3/6-10 (last food orders 9)
Closed Mondays

Booking
Email jake@chompgrill.co.uk/Call 01179 293322
(I got a speedy response via email)

Picture Credits
Once again, I forgot my camera, so pics are shamelessly borrowed from the following:
Header – Chomp Interior: Bristol Post
Black Pudding Beignets: HannahVJones on Tripadvisor
Classic Burgers: Don B on Yelp
Second/Final interior pic: Bristol 247

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Food Friday: Lunch and dinner in Copenhagen

Last week I highlighted some lovely spots for a bit of breakfast in Copenhagen. But woman cannot live by pastries alone (much as I’d love to)! So here are some of the places we enjoyed lunch and dinner.

DOP hotdog Copenhagen

Hot dog stands
Everyone warns you that Copenhagen is expensive, but nothing quite prepares you for just how expensive. Especially when it comes to food and drink. That doesn’t mean there aren’t cheaper options, and a good way to save a few pennies is by grabbing lunch from one of the many hot dog stands around the city. We tried two. The one sat at the top of Nyhavn won on location. We ate in the sun, lounging on some nearby steps overlooking the beautiful, much-photographed harbour. However while those hot dogs were tasty, there’s a reason that readers of Politiken, a Danish broadsheet, voted DOP the best restaurant in Copenhagen (hot dogs pictured above). This might sound a bit odd, but the real stand-out about their offering was the bun – super soft and not chewy at all. So, so good.

Stands cost from around 25DKK, though DOP’s were a bit more expensive (around 36DKK).

Kodbyens Fiskebar dessert
Kodbyens fiskebar mussels

Kodbyens Fiskebar
From the cheapest places we visited on our trip to the most expensive. But oh was it worth it. A fish and seafood restaurant, Kodbyens Fiskebar is located in ‘cool’ Kodbyen. Also known a the ‘meatpacking district’, Kodbyen is next to Vesterbro and, conveniently, less than a five minute walk from our apartment.

As you might expect from its name, this area was – and still is – home to butchers; many now stroll to work as partygoers stagger home from the surrounding bars and clubs. Strict planning laws means that the restaurants and bars who have moved in have to preserve the white-tiled outlets as they were when they were home to butchers. As a result, none of the places in the area look particularly fancy. So despite Kodbyens Fiskebaren seemingly being one of the most-talked restaurants in Copenhagen at the moment, we loved that it was also completed relaxed and welcoming and more suited to jeans than a dress.

More importantly, the staff were friendly and helpful and the food and drink was incredible. Go, go, go and eat as much as you can possibly manage!

‘Raw bar’ plates (almost like ‘samplers’, of which you need more than one dish): DK115-145 for three pieces.
Medium courses (large starters): 105-165DKK
Bigger courses (mains): 165-255DKK
Desserts: 95DKK

Reservations highly recommended (book online)

bangaw

Ban Gaw
Admittedly Thai probably isn’t the natural choice for dinner in Denmark, but Ben Gaw on Sonder Boulevard was conveniently situated and looked full every time we walked past – both big ticks. It’s not the best Thai I’ve ever eaten (that title still goes to Oli’s Thai), and I probably wouldn’t make a special trip to eat here if I wasn’t staying nearby. But the food was flavoursome and and portions were generous. And, by Copenhagen standards, it was reasonably priced too.

Starters: 50-69DKK
Mains: 124-184DKK, but most around 150DKK

Cocks and Cows Copenhagen

Cocks and Cows
You have to ignore the ridiculous name for this one, but it’s – just about – worth it. This burger restaurant has two outlets in Copenhagen, one on Sankt Peders Straese, near the university and Latin Quarter and another on Gammel Strand, just on the other side of the river from Slotsholmen. This is the one we found ourselves in.

There’s 10 burgers to choose from (mostly cow, rather than cock based, and also one veggie option). I can highly recommend the Juicy Lucy, a hunk of meat with cheese oozing out of the middle. You can also pick one of three types of bun: sesame, whole grain or Sweet American (a brioche-style sweet bread). John and I both plumped for the latter. I never normally finish burger buns, preferring to concentrate on meat and chips instead, but I polished off most of this one!

There’s also a number of sides on offer – some fairly typical (fries, curly fries, onion rings) and others less so (BBQ wings and ribs). While the latter were tempting, instead we both chose the chilli fries, which turned out to be a good decision.

There’s also a good choice of drinks. As this was looking to be our only meal of the day, we went all out and filled ourselves up on milkshakes. They were very good, but next time I think I’d be tempted to splash out on a cocktail.

Good quality burgers in central locations, Cocks and Cows is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for something simple, good-quality and filling when in Copenhagen.

Picture credits
DOP hot dog: DOP’s Facebook page
Kodbyens Fiskebar exterior: Courtesy of Tripadvisor
Kodbyens Fiskebar food: My own, please credit if using
Ban Gaw: Thai Com
Cocks & Cows: Politiken

Food Friday: The Potted Pig, Cardiff

pottedpigrest2

I graduated from Cardiff University in 2009. In many of the (numerous) photographs taken as we made our way to the ceremony at St David’s Hall, the second-most noticeable thing about them is a strong sense of change. (The first is how ridiculous I look: swamped in a gown and the red-and-white hood already falling off my shoulders, I definitely do not look like someone old and mature enough to have recently started their first ‘graduate’ (aka salaried) job.)

Not just change in the metaphorical sense (graduating into a life without 10% Topshop discount and constant lie ins, and having to work more hours in a day than I spent in lectures in a week. Why was I smiling in those photos again?). But in a very literal one too. You can see streets temporarily narrowed to pedestrians as improvement works took place, buildings clad in scaffolding.

Five years on, that part of the city centre is barely recognisable to me. These were the streets we only stumbled down to get to Walkabout* and Welsh Club and Chippy Ally (Caroline Street). The occasional visit to Hobos. The road to the train station, where I could be whisked back home for much-needed weekends of sleep and Sunday roasts (my parents’ house was still ‘home’ then). (*I would apologise for my 19-year-old self’s choice of venue here, but I can’t bring myself to: Thursdays at Bounce were both horrendous and brilliant in equal measure.)

But the extension of St David’s shopping centre has not only brought shiny chain and designer shops and restaurants to this corner of the city. It also seems to have attracted independent businesses, many of which (judging by an extremely scientific survey of those who stayed in Cardiff’s Facebook statuses over the last few years) have fast become renowned among locals for all the right reasons.

pottedpigentrance

One such place is The Potted Pig restaurant, which opened in 2011. So when my Dad asked for recommendations of places in Cardiff to take Mum for her birthday meal a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to suggest it. (They aren’t Cardiff natives, but were going on holiday to Tenby, so we hopped across the bridge to join them mid-journey for the festivities.)

Sat near the top of the High Street, The Potted Pig is situated in a former bank vault. Some of what I assume are the original features are still intact, with bars separating a lounge-y area from the more-formal-but-still-(relatively)-informal, small restaurant at the back. The walls and arched ceilings are exposed brick. This all makes it sound a bit trendy and try-hard, but it’s actually the complete opposite – relaxed, unpretentious.

pottedpigbarentry

We visited on a Saturday lunchtime and all chose to ended up eating from the lunch menu. While the main menu was tempting, we just simply weren’t in the mood for the slightly fancier food it offers on that particular occasion. The lunch menu is simpler, more ‘pub foody’ – and at 2 courses for £12 it’s amazing value.

Between us we tried the truffled Welsh rarebit and courgette and Stilton soup starters, both of which got the thumbs up from everyone. For mains, Dad and sister Hannah went for the burger and the rest of us went for the pulled pork sandwich. I’ll be honest, it’s quite hard to review this more simple kind of food in any depth so all I’ll say is that the portion sizes were huge, but it certainly wasn’t a case of quantity over quality; we all thoroughly enjoyed our feast.

If that doesn’t sound like what you’re after, do check out the wider range of choices on the main menu. They’re more expensive (starters are £6-£8 and mains are around £16-£22, stretching to £27 for the 16oz porterhouse steak), but I’m told absolutely worth it. The menu highlight has to be the fact that you can order a whole pig. Well, you can if you pre-order. And there’s eight of you. And you don’t mind paying £300. Still, it’s AN ENTIRE PIG. (And photos suggest it even comes with an APPLE IN ITS MOUTH.)

pottedpigpig

You might have noticed from all this meat-talk (and the restaurant name) that this is not a particularly vegetarian-friendly restaurant. There were a couple of meat-free option on the lunch menu, but I couldn’t see any mains that looked like they might be. So I’m afraid this might not be one for any herbivores reading.

One thing the menu isn’t lacking, however, is drinks choices. My Mum was particularly excited by the huge number of gins on offer. There’s also a decent selection of wines, ciders, beers and non-alcoholic drink.

Overall The Potted Pig turned out to be the perfect place to wile away a Saturday lunchtime. The staff were friendly, everything happened at a good pace – despite the restaurant being pretty much full, we weren’t at all rushed – and the food was tasty. I can certainly see why this fast became a firm favourite among my local friends. I’m just hoping it won’t be too long before I can go back and try the main menu – there’s some crab on toast and a steak with my name on it!

pottedpigbar

The details
Where: 27 High Street (underneath Zizzi), Cardiff, CF10 1PU
Website: http://thepottedpig.com/
How to book: You can book online or by phone on 029 2022 4817. Deposits are required for bookings of 6+, and they cannot accommodate parties larger than 8.
Menu: Lunch / Dinner / Sunday

Images
All pictures taken from The Potted Pig website.