Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Review - TABLA, Calle Doctor Ruperto González Negrin, Arrecife, Lanzarote

Myself and Nicola have been coming to Lanzarote for almost ten years and have been lucky enough to meet some great people who have chosen to settle on the island and run very successful food businesses. Benn Atkinson and Zoe Buchanan own La Cantina in the old capital La Villa de Teguise, a traditional restaurant that is proving popular with both locals and tourists alike, and place that myself and Nicola have loved eating at on previous visits to the island.

We had heard through the grapevine that Benn & Zoe along with the help of their friend Nicola, had recently opened a new restaurant in the commercial capital and as myself and Nicola always make time for a shopping day in Arrecife, we were always going to swing by to check it out.

TABLA Arrecife sits just along from the 5 Star Arrecife Gran hotel and as most tourist who drive into the city tend to park in the car park underneath the hotel, the restaurant will be easy to find as you need to walk by it to get to the main shopping stretch.

We arrived about 1:30pm and after initially sitting inside, we decided to move outside to one of the tables on the sidewalk, as the cool breeze from the sea helped take the heat out of a very hot afternoon. TABLA specialises in quality burgers but also serves up a selection of salads and tasting boards, and after a look over the menu we decided to share a couple of plates between us.

First up was our Tabla de Queso, a wonderful board of fresh, semi-cured, cured, and blue cheeses. This was presented on a bed of peppery rocket and with sun-dried tomato, pickled cornichons, olives, balsamic onions fresh bread and herby butter. Neither myself and Nicola are fans of blue cheese but we gave it a go again .... unfortunately, our minds haven't been changed yet! However that said, the rest of the board was fantastic - we both love the cheeses of Lanzarote and the fresh local cheeses served on the Tabla de Queso were great, perfectly matched by the various accompaniments on the board. We had the board as part of our lunch but it would work just as easily watching the sun go down whilst enjoying a bottle of local Lanzarote wine.
We had seen some photos on Facebook of the burgers that TABLA were serving up and despite the fact that the temperature was tipping 30 Celsius, we knew that we had to taste the main item from the menu. Nicola got to choose and selected the Funghi Burger, a six ounce prime beef patty topped with bacon, cheese, caramelised onions and tons of fried mushrooms and served in a burger bun with gem lettuce leaves. The burger is served with a chipotle dipping sauce which added a really nice spice to the plate. The burger was well cooked with just a little pink in the middle, and the combination of all of the added toppings was a perfect balance of flavour. The burger was huge and unfortunately was a little difficult to eat without making a mess, I ended up with sauce all over my face whist Nicola ended up using knife and fork to eat her half. Maybe worth giving thought to some kind of holding device to help diners, especially those who decide to double up for just and extra €3.
Would be go back? Absolutely! The food was well presented and full of flavour, our bill including a small Peroni Nastro Azzurro and a bottle of Fanta Limon was just €20 which we both thought was great value for money and definitely worth making the trip from the resort into the big city. There are a few dessert items on the menu too including Zoe's Famous Chocolate Brownie but we were both stuffed, so we'll need to find time to get back before we head home later this week.

Keep up to date with the team at Tabla on Facebook







Monday, 22 September 2014

Pinto Mexican Kitchen Edinburgh - 1000 Free Burritos Giveaway

To celebrate the opening of their Edinburgh branch of Pinto Mexican Kitchen, the staff are looking forward to welcoming new diners by giving away 1000 free burritos when they open the doors tomorrow.
Pinto offered a similar burrito givaway when they opened the doors of their third Glasgow branch with the offer proving so popular that queues ran the length of Bothwell Street.
If you want to get your hands on a free burrito tomorrow, get along to 119 Lothian Road in Edinburgh from midday on Tuesday 23rd September.
There is also the chance for one lucky diner to win a weeks worth of burritos . . . . So what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Braw BRGR’s arrive in Glasgow’s West End - BRGR Launches with FREE FOOD FRENZY

Burger lovers in Glasgow’s West End are in for a treat this month with the launch of BRGR on Great Western Road, and the team behind the new venue is inviting people to come and sample a patty to celebrate its opening on Wednesday 10 September.

BRGR, with support from Rodgers Butchers, will be giving free burgers away whilst stocks last from 12-8pm. As part of the giveaway, hungry burger fans will have the option to make a donation for Scottish charity, Unite Against Cancer should they wish, who will receive all the proceeds from the day.

The new restaurant, which takes inspiration from burger joints across the pond in America, will bring the ultimate burger experience to Glasgow including the arrival of Scotland’s first burger holder, the aptly named ‘hawder’ – because it ‘hawds’ your burger. The ‘hawder’ ensures less mess, spills and an all-round better burger eating experience for Glasgow’s diners.

The stylish new venue boasts six different varieties of meat-based burgers including three beef choices with the addition of a seventh vegetarian option. All burgers are handmade using the freshest ingredients and can be teamed with a range of sides including wings, mac n cheese, charred corn with jalapeno butter and a selection of fries.

Although owner Chris Lessani has been inspired by many of the burger joints he has encountered whilst visiting America, BRGR is firmly focused on Glasgow, celebrating the best ingredients from local suppliers throughout its menu, to make the highest quality burgers. Suppliers include Rodgers Butchers and George Mewes Cheese on Byres Road, Big Bear Bakery in Glasgow and Glasgow’s Direct Foods for fruit and vegetables.

Accompanying the burgers is a range of delicious shakes fresh from the restaurant’s very own milk station. Offering a variety of shakes including classics such as, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate to grown up shakes like chocolate and Cointreau, Malibu and a coffee inspired mix with Café Patron and Kahlua.

Commenting on the launch, Chris Lessani, owner of BRGR, said: “We are really excited to open BRGR’s doors and bring the best burgers to Glasgow. We suspect we are going to have a busy day on Wednesday celebrating our arrival and we hope to raise plenty of money for a very worthwhile cause.

“Burgers are hugely popular in Glasgow’s city centre, but in the West End there aren’t that many options if you are looking for a really high quality burger in a great dining experience. We have some fantastic suppliers in the city and we wanted to celebrate this in the creation of our braw burgers. We have kept our menu quite small but with enough variation so that people can get what they are looking for. We will also have a kids menu for our little BRGR diners.

“BRGR will offer the perfect spot for those looking to grab a quick lunch or dinner, providing great tasting burgers without the wait; but we have also created a space that we hope people can relax in and enjoy dining out with friends and family.”

Housed in a bright red exterior, BRGR will be hard to miss. The more subdued interior creates a relaxed and cosy eating space with a vintage vibe. The management of BRGR take pride in working with local suppliers and a number of Glasgow firms were involved in the design, interior and branding of the new venue. Designed by Composed Design, BRGR features a number of reclaimed materials from Glasgow Architectural Salvage and boasts a hand-drawn feature wall spanning the full side of the restaurant, providing a unique scene for diners to sit within.

Colin Smith, Founder and Trustee of Unite Against Cancer, added: “On behalf of everyone at Unite Against Cancer, we would like to say a big thanks to the team at BRGR for their support and wish them every success in their new venture. We can’t wait to try a burger or two.”

The new venue opens creating over a dozen full and part time jobs in the West End, including a new general manager and head chef, Adam Kirk whose previous experience in the city includes Etain, Kelvingrove Café and Panevino.

BRGR is at 526 Great Western Road and will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, serving food until 10pm. There will also be a live DJ on Friday and Saturday nights from 8pm. For more information, please visit www.brgr-glasgow.com or keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Eat Drink Discover Scotland, 12th-14th September

Eat Drink Discover Scotland is here!

Scotland’s largest celebration of Scottish food & drink will open its doors on Friday 12th September.

Eat Drink Discover Scotland, billed as the ultimate celebration of food and drink in Scotland, is a three-day foodie extravaganza, bringing together over a hundred exhibitors showcasing top notch Scottish food & drink, a stellar line-up of celebrity chefs and a packed programme of demonstrations, tastings, talks and sampling sessions.

Not everyone knows there is goat meat in Keith, chillies grown in Galloway, chocolate from Cowdenbeath or tea blenders in Leith – that’s why Eat Drink Discover Scotland is dedicated to highlighting the incredible produce that comes out of Scotland. The show will be laid out in eleven regional zones -, Perthshire, Grampian, Dundee & Angus, Kingdom of Fife, Highlands and Islands, Ayrshire, Arran & Argyll, Greater Glasgow & the Clyde Valley, Loch Lomond The Trossachs and the Forth Valley, Borders, Dumfries and Galloway and Edinburgh and Lothians – meaning visitors can taste their way round the country, in one day and under one roof. There’s also a specialist Chocolate Zone for those with a sweet tooth.

Organisers want visitors to engage fully with what’s on offer at the event and encourage them to take their time, savour the tastes and aromas of Scotland’s produce and explore with their noses. They are also encouraging guests to try their hand at some of the many skills classes available and take the opportunity to learn something new from the professionals.

Scotland’s Best Food & Drink Producers

From Scottish Seaweed seasonings by Mara to Celtic Cross Cider by Thistly Cross Cider, Eat Drink Discover Scotland will be showcasing artisan producers.

Wild and Scottish, Strathearn Distillery, The Puffer Food Company and Nairns Oatcakes are among the diverse range of businesses showcasing their Scottish produce at the event. What’s more, many of the exhibitors will be launching brand new products, so it’s a great opportunity to be first in line to see what’s coming to the market, whether you’re a consumer or a buyer. A full list of exhibitors can be found on the website.

With a particular focus on providing opportunities for smaller rural food producers to share centre stage with more established brands, the weekend programme will also feature a ‘Skills Cookery Theatre’ hosted by chef, cookery writer, and unofficial food ambassador for Fife, Christopher Trotter. Starring food producers exhibiting at the show, tried and tested cooking techniques will be demonstrated as well as the latest food trends. On the menu will be chocolate workshops, cocktail making, game butchery and artisan pie making.

Master Chefs

Taking regional foods to create spectacular dishes will fall to award-winning chefs Tony Singh, Adam Handling, Scott Davies, Mark Greenaway, Neil Forbes and Jacqueline O’Donnell. With numerous accolades under their belts, the sizzling six will be creating spectacular regional dishes with seasonal produce plucked from the fields and seas of Scotland. The star chefs will also lead hands-on masterclass sessions where members of the public can cook along with their culinary idols.

Full brains and tummies

Every day’s a school day at Eat Drink Discover Scotland, but Friday is the day for school pupils aged ten to sixteen to quench their thirst for knowledge! Scottish rural education charity, The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET), is co-ordinating ten food/farm workshops at the event, specifically linked to the curriculum, which will give pupils a taste of the best ways to enjoy Scottish food and drink.

The educational programme also includes workshops that will enlighten teenagers on the journey of Scottish produce from farm to fork and unearth the ‘science’ of food and how we ‘taste with our noses’. They also aim to educate pupils about the carbon footprint of food and explore the food groups that Scotland produces. There will certainly be plenty of food for thought – and with cooking demonstrations and nutrition classes too, there’s more than enough to go round!

Great for taste buds, great for business

Eat Drink Discover Scotland will play host to over a hundred food and drink companies – many of whom are smaller producers and will be showcasing a diverse product line up.

With its strong regional zoning, organisers believe this food event will give buyers a real flavour for Scotland’s produce.

Extending an invitation, organisers are hoping that buyers will attend to see what’s new in the land of food and drink and chat to the passionate producers who are innovating the industry.

In order to help exhibitors spread the word about their brand and take their business further, there will be trade-networking opportunities on the Friday of the event, with a range of workshops specially designed for food and drink businesses, which will be free to attend for exhibitors and other food and drink players.

Friday Night Feast

The Friday evening of the event has been billed as the ‘Friday Night Feast’. Open until 8pm, the public have been invited to drop in from 5pm-8pm for a reduced-price entry to kick start their weekends with foodie events, special treats or even just for a bite to eat.

Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight

Eat Drink Discover Scotland is one of the highlights of the Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight 2014. An annual celebration, this year the fortnight runs from 6th-21st September, during which there will be a calendar of events aimed at encouraging people to try some new food adventures such as foraging, visiting a pick your own farm or even just trying a new product or recipe.

Created to promote the healthy, locally sourced food and drink available throughout the country, the 2014 celebration aims to be the biggest yet. The festival will also act as an excellent introduction to the Scottish Government’s 2015 Year of Food and Drink celebrations.

Eat Drink Discover Scotland has been put together by the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS). Chief Executive, Stephen Hutt, said: “Our vision when creating this event was to provide a unique regional showcase. At Eat Drink Discover Scotland you can truly taste Scotland in one day – from Orkney Lamb to Galloway Chillies – all regions are represented.”

Tickets for the must-attend food and drink event of the year are on sale now, at www.eatdrinkdiscoverscotland.co.uk