YatPundit's blog

Windsor, UK, Dining - Nandos

7 Jul 2012

Nandos
10 Thames St
Windsor SL4 1PL
01753 856993

My first week of this June trip to Europe started with a class in Slough, UK. That meant flying into London Heathrow Airport, and staying in either Slough or Windsor. I opted for Windsor (at the Sir Christopher Wren). After spending the afternoon walking around the castle and Royal Windsor, I wanted something quick and tasty. Nandos fits that bill nicely.

The Nandos in Windsor is on Thames Road, directly across from Windsor Castle, and two blocks' walk from my hotel. Easy access, and fortunately it wasn't raining.

I got the "1/2 Peri Peri Chicken with 1 'Fino' side" for £9.85. I chose the mashed sweet potatoes for my "fino" side (you can get one 'fino' or two regular sides with the dinner mains.) I just had a Coke Zero for a drink.

This was my third trip to a Nandos. The first was last year in Slough, then one by King's Cross in London, now Windsor. Each trip was a good meal.

Vietnamese in #themetrys - Pho Orchid

6 Jul 2012

Pho Orchid on Urbanspoon

I haven't eaten a lot of Vietnamese food, so I let my friend @NolaNotes pick a place where she could introduce me to some, and she picked a nice place in #themetrys, Pho Orchid.

@NolaNotes ordered us a couple of these Thai Iced Teas. It's a milk base tea with lots of interesting flavors combined.

Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio - Vermicelli with Grilled Pork and Pork Spring Roll. This was incredible! The dipping sauce for the spring roll was tasty without being overly spicy. Pho Orchid had sriracha sauce on each table if you wanted to kick all or a portion of your meal.

Banh Mi Cha Lua - Vietnamese ham on a French baguette. Basically, a ham po-boy. Incredibly cheap and tasty. Most of this came home with me. I wouldn't have ordered it but my friend said I had to try a Banh Mi sandwich.

Fantastic lunch, good prices. I'll be back.

Foccacia at Reginelli's

3 Jul 2012

I was doing some research at the Notarial Archives office on Poydras Street, near Da Dome, and then went over the the main branch of the library on Loyola, so I stopped at Reginelli's Pizza on Poydras for lunch in between. I passed on my usual chicken-with-gorgonzola salad for "The Downtowner" sandwich, which has "...turkey, prosciutto, hard salami, roma tomatoes and melted mozzarella with a sun dried tomato and calamata olive pesto." It was good--they have great foccacia bread.

www.reginellis.com

Reginelli's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

London Dining: Camino by King's Cross for Tapas y Jerez!

2 Jul 2012

Camino on Urbanspoon

www.camino.uk.com/kingscross

I've been coming to Camino since a weekend trip in 2009, when I was working for 10 weeks in Altrincham.  I took the Virgin Train down from Manchester, and stayed at a hotel near King's Cross. A quick search for tapas places within walking distance came back with Camino, and now I try to include it into every trip to London or Slough I make.

Even though I've never had an issue walking up and getting a table at Camino, I decided to use their online booking. What with all that's going on in London this summer, I figured it was the safe bet. The place was busy, but there were a few seats at the bar, so I would've been OK as a single. The number of tables each server worked was a bit high, but the attitude of staff was good even if response time was a bit slow.

Wine flights! While perusing the menu, I really had no idea what I wanted to eat, so I went back to the wines first. When I saw the wine flight listings, I thought that would be a good change of pace from getting just a bottle of something cheap (since I don't usually buy a good wine all for myself). I decided to start with the dry sherry flight. Clockwise from front, Amontillado, Manzanilla, and Fino.

I paired the sherry flight with the "Tabla de Quesos," which was three lovely cheeses and various sweets, nuts, and crackers. I started with the Amontillado first, going to the Fino, then the Manzanilla last, comparing the wines with the cheeses. More research is required here; all the combinations were enjoyable.

Because of the big shift between a sherry flight and a red wine flight, I decided to have a glass of Camino's sangria (above) while waiting for the second set of tapas to come out. So, this meal became more of a starter-and-main sort of affair than just a bunch of small plates

Grilled asparagus with romesco sauce, and were they ever wonderful!

Conchinillo con Morcilla - Roasted suckling pig from Aragón with Burgos morcilla, apple purée and thyme. Morcilla is Spanish blood sausage...boudin to you New Orleanians, "black pudding" to you lot in the UK. The morcilla is underneath a generous slice of roast pork, which had a great skin and a lovely sauce. The applesauce was such a great addition, as well. Add some great brown bread to these two, and it was a real winner.

Red Wine Flight! Three Tempranillos, from Castilla y Leon, Rioja and Ribera. Lovely wines, all.

Dessert: Postel de Chocolate, a flourless individual cake with a "molten" chocolate pudding filling, ginger ice cream, and a bit of raspberry sauce. The wine is a all de Xaló Mistela, a Spanish fortified wine.

Service: this trip, a bit slow. Not sure if that's because of the crowd that evening or if there was a problem in the kitchen, but things didn't come out as fast as they have in the past. Gave me time to let all this food settle, but still, problematic.

Overall, however, this meal was a winner, continuing my appreciation for Camino.

Tarragon Turkey Cutlets with Risotto

28 Jun 2012

Turkey cutlets are great for a light dinner, but turkey alone can be a bit boring--it needs a kick!

Quick marinade of olive oil, italian seasoning, white wine, and fresh tarragon

I was going to add garlic, but one of the reasons I was going super-light with this meal was that kiddo had been sick all day, and I didn't want something too spicy upsetting his just-settled tummy.

Zuppardo's had several risotto packages from these folks, figured it would be worth a try. The rice came out nice and fluffy.

and an interesting little Pinot Grigio to go with dinner. All in all, it was a winner.

30th Anniversary Celebration at @AlonShaya's @Domenica!

27 Jun 2012

Domenica (Roosevelt Hotel) on Urbanspoon

www.domenicarestaurant.com

We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary last week, with an overnight stay at The Roosevelt Hotel and dinner at Domenica, the hotel's restaurant. Domenica, a John Besh restaurant run by Chef Alon Shaya, is an edgy Italian pizza/pasta place that serves some very creative food.


Bubbles! We started with some sparkling wine to properly kick off the fesitve nature of the meal. I'd tell you what I ordered, but the wines aren't listed as part of the online menu. oops.

Perusing the menu was a challenge, mainly because so many things sounded interesting. Antipasti choices such as Grilled Calamari, Coal Roasted Eggplant, and Chicken Liver Crostini, all sounded delightful. Keeping the mains in the back of my mind, fish, goat, veal, and chicken, I wanted to exercise caution in terms of eating too much to start. But the pastas are also attractive! And everyone's been raving about the pizza for ages, particularly because of the occasional happy hour half-off special the restaurant runs on them. Chef Alon does his Primi dishes in small and large portions, so we decided on two pasta plates and then we'd split a pizza.

While we were sipping the #bubbles, our server brought some bread to nibble on. We both poured some of the olive oil on the table for dipping, and found it to be quite spicy. Double-checking that the bread didn't have a peppery crust, I then noticed this huge pepper in the oil bottle. Beware, if you don't like spicy olive oil!

"Squid Ink Taglioni" - this is the small-sized plate. As fascinating as the dish sounded on the menu, I was well and truly afraid that Mrs. YatPundit wouldn't like the notion of "squid ink." She really liked it, though! The pasta has a very unusual taste. Coming in, I was prepared for a fishy-seafoody taste, but it was just...different. Very hard to explain, but also very good. The mixture of herbs, along with lovely lumps of crabmeat, made for a great taste when it hits the mouth.

Cavatelli, with roasted chicken, tomatoes, olives, and basil. Somewhat less adventuresome than the squid ink, but nonetheless delicious. This is the large-plate size portion; I knew we'd be splitting these back and forth, and I was also worried about how much of the tagloni would get eaten. That concern was obviously unfounded, but this was a good dish. In terms of "conservative" Italian dishes, I'd say this and the Paneed Veal are the top two on Domenica's menu.

Pizza! Prosciutto with tomato, fresh mozzarella & arugula, and me not fast enough to get a pic before the missus grabbed a piece! The choice of pizza was also difficult. Among the finalists we bandied back and forth were the "Tutto Carne," with fennel sausage, bacon, salami & cotechino, and the Roasted Eggplant, with tomato, tahini, red onion, goat cheese. The Prosciutto won out because we both love the ham, and because Mrs. YatPundit was thinking back to a pizza we shared in the food mall at Harrod's in London a couple of years ago, that was topped with rocked salad. Lots of greens on pizza is very much a European thing, and it just seemed right for this meal.

I'd love to tell you specifically which Montepulciano we drank with the pizza, but I didn't take a pic of the label, and the wine list is still not on the Domenica website. oops.

For dessert, we had the "Dark Chocolate Torta with black pepper fiore di latte gelato," and I had a cup of coffee. The torta was delicious, and the pepper on the gelato was interesting. I'm a big fan of savory ice cream, and this was a neat contrast.

After this lovely meal, we had a couple of drinks in the Sazerac Lounge, then retired for the night to this very-comfy room upstairs. What a great experience overall!

#CoffeeThursday - Nespresso storefront in downtown Oslo...

21 Jun 2012

x-posted to YatCuisine, YatTravel, and Google+

This is the storefront window display at the Nespresso store on Karl Johan's Way in downtown Oslo. I was on my way to a curry place near the Stortinget station on the Metro and noticed this when I walked by. I was thinking about all my friends who swear by their Nespresso and Keurig machines with their little cups and thought, this is the size some of y'all really need. :-)

I don't really have an opinion on the k-cup machines. I'm still on my momma's old drip pot when it comes to making coffee at home. The one time I've used a k-cup machine was at a Courtyard hotel near Times Square in Manhattan. Usualy I don't putz around with in-room coffee service, but I had to play with this machine!

Vienna Dining: Tapas at Bodega El Gusto

18 Jun 2012

Bodega-Gusto

Mahlerstraße 7, 1010 Wien, Austria
+43 1 5120673 ‎

What a lovely little tapas place! It's located just down the street from the Vienna State Opera House. On my first visit, I was seated at a table in the dining room, but it was packed on the second visit, so I ate in the bar.

Sangria kicks the evening off. Half a litre of this wonderful beverage. On my second visit, I had a version of El Gusto's sangria made with sparkling wine. It came as a quarter-litre cocktail. #bubbles

Tapas! Manchego cheese, garlic bread, chorizo sausage, and seafood paella. It's rare that you find a Spanish place that serves a small-plate portion of paella. Not only that, the restaurants usually insist you wait 20-40 minutes while it's cooked up to order. This was a lovely treat. The cheese and chorizo were very good, and the bread was outstanding.

On my second visit to El Gusto, I had a more-classic starter/main dinner. The starter was anchovies in olive oil, which I will get as part of a tapas meal on the next trip. Delicious!

Andalusian-style beef stew. Not too spicy, but not boring, either. Intense flavors.

Is it ever possible to have enough garlic bread in one's life? I'm thinking no.

Crema Catalana for dessert and a glass of Pedro Ximenez sherry to go with it. While the crema was tasty, the flan I had on the second visit was by far the better dessert.

Nothing like a Spring evening at @KatiesMidCity

16 Jun 2012

It's been a while since we went over to Katie's in Mid City, so that had to be rectified.

Erstas! Chef Scott knows how grilled oysters should be done.

Softshell crab over pasta, topped with a creamy crawfish sauce. Wicked. Just Wicked. Softsshells are seasonal, so you gotta jump on them when you can get them.

Mrs. YatPundit did Katie's "build your own" pasta, doing chicken in a cream sauce with Parmesan cheese on top. Subtle and flavorful.

"Red Velvet Elvis Cake" - yeah, it was all that.

I had a couple of Abita Ambers with dinner, and wife had some Pinot Grigio.

Twilight in Mid City...ahhhhhhh :-)

Katie's Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

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