24 April 2017
We don’t live particularly near a branch of Hungry Horse, but on a recent road trip we happened to approach one at lunch time. I was really keen to try out something a bit different and I couldn’t have hoped for more.
Spectre glanced through the menu and decided on fish and chips, but the burger section of the menu had caught my eye. In fact it exceeded my expectations and it was hard to choose, I settled on the weirdest sounding and ordered myself the Elvis Burger. The Elvis Burger consists of a beef burger topped with bacon (ok so far), and spicy peanut sauce and strawberry jam. Its served in a seeded brioche bun.
When our plates arrived I looked at the burger quite tentatively, and ate quite a few chips, and the coleslaw, before I braved an approach on the burger. If Hungry Horse has put it on menus up and down the country the theory is it must have passed some taste test by them, but peanut and strawberry jam aren’t two things I’d ever thought I needed adding to a burger.
So I picked up the burger and gave it a bite. The burger was topped with a lot of sauce and it oozed onto my hand, and was very messy to eat. You could barely see the bacon for all the sauce topping it. The flavour however was a joy. I’m not sure what I had been expecting, but the salty nutty flavour of peanut, the spices, the meaty bacon and the very subtle hint of fruitiness from the strawberry jam were a combination made in heaven. It was moreish and different, and the flavours were so different and yet extraordinarily nice that I couldn’t help but gain a big grin as I munched my way through. The burger itself was juicy with a good rich beef flavour. Yes this Elvis Burger did stay far more on the side of savoury than the strawberry jam implied, but for those brave enough to try it they are rewarded with an epic nutty topping, with just a hint of sweet to the burger giving it a fun playful touch. I’m going to have to find my nearest Hungry Horse and try more from their menu.
23 April 2017
When I picked up the last round of items for Disappointment Wars I came across these little Czech wafer things, that seem to be the Euro Wafer version of a Wagon Wheel. Essentially you get one big disk of a given chocolate (both of these are Milk) and then a tasty filling. Well that's the hope anyway. At 45p a shot I wasn't holding out too much hope. These sat in the snack basket for a little while.
Then I got hungry one day and tried the coconut variety - and it was really nice! I mean, it's not Knoppers, but it's easily one of the better wafer options I've had recently. The choc means that it hasn't dried out and the flavours are actually noticeably coconuty!
A week or so later I tried the hazelnut variety, which despite the darker pic is the same choc (I googled it) but smells like Nutella. The flavour isn't quite as strong as the coconut one, but I'd still have this again - and in searching for these online I found that they tend to be closer to 60p each so I got a bargain.
Good enough to buy for sharing with colleagues and just about interesting to talk enough here. There are actual Dark and White chocolate versions available too, so expect another brief write-up of these when I next pop to the Polish Grocers in search of treats.
22 April 2017
It's been a hot sunny day today, which makes a glorious change to the usual dark cloudy, damp and dreary ones we're used to. This Scarborough Fair IPA reminds me of summer, which isn't too far away. Produced by the Wold Top Yorkshire Brewery, the 6% volume Indian Pale Ale reminds of a few sunny holidays we have spent on the north east coast. The ruined castle and Great War gun emplacement up Tut Hill in Scarborough, the fair on the seaside, the lovely sandy beach and nearby rock pools. It's certainly a 'fair' place to visit and I'd recommend the Crown Spa Hotel if you fancy staying a few nights and a trip on the cliff railway to the beach below.
Anyway, this gluten free beer is brewed with pale and Wold grown malt, as well as maize, and triple hopped for bitterness. On opening the bottle I could instantly smell the citrus from the hops followed by the pale malt. This summery blonde ale gave and retained a decent head on account of the maize. There was an instant snap of bitter flavours from the trio of hops. The pale malt and a light sweetness follow into the aftertaste. This is a full-blooded Indian Pale Ale that screams to be heard above the waves and summer cheer along the sun kissed beach. Definitely one to be enjoyed with a good book in the garden if far from the coast, and or washing down something spicy, or a good fish and chip dinner.
21 April 2017
We had a day out shopping over the Bank Holiday weekend and decided to treat ourselves to some lunch in Selfridges Food Hall in Birmingham. There is a lot to choose from, but new on the scene is Izza Pizza.
They had a spectacular pizza over on site, covered in gold mirrored tiles, and we thought we’d see what the pizza from there was like. As I like seafood, I opted for the Pink Desire, which is smoked salmon and rocket.
The pizza came quickly enough and we munched on some seriously tasty olives while we waited. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but for some reason I had assumed there would be tomato sauce. The pizza came and it was just that a base with some salmon, some rocket, some capers and a drizzle of horseradish creme fresh. No base sauce at all. It looked a little bare, but I decided to try and cut myself a wedge. This didn’t go too well, the pizza base was firm and was a bit of an effort to cut, and when I had made it through, I picked it up and the topping immediately fell off. I tried a bit of the base, before reconstructing the topping. The texture and flavour of that base was superb, it had such a good flavour and despite the trouble cutting the texture was spot on, firm and almost spongey. Due to the nature of the topping layout there were quite a few bites where there was just base, and I didn’t mind this at all when it tasted this good. You need a proper pizza oven for that kind of dough.
The toppings were lovely too, the salmon was very fresh and full of flavour, and rocket added a lovely spice, and the capers had a good vinegar edge which jazzed things up. The star of the show was the horseradish creme fresh, that was both creamy and spicy and worked so well with the smoked salmon that I wondered why it wasn’t as standard as beef and horseradish.
I loved every bite of that pizza and cleared my plate. I just think next time I’ll ask them to cut it into wedges for me.