12 August 2013

Gorging, not grumbling

Clifton suspension bridge Bristol
This week I had a really bad food experience from one of my favourite restaurants.

This is a beginning sentence I really didn't want to write. And in fact, I’m not going to go any further.

Avon Gorged is supposed to be about gorging in Bristol. So that is why I’m choosing not to write about my experience this week. It was bad, but I know that they were having an off day. So I'm going to give them another chance.

Having no individual focus for my blog this week however, gives me the opportunity to mention a couple of places/experiences I hadn't quite got around to honouring...

Bagel Boy Bristol Plough Boy bagel
Let’s start with bread-based items. Firstly, Bagel Boy. Now it’s been a little while since I hobbled down to Bagel Boy on Cheltenham Road for my lunch (I’d just had some back injections to explain said hobbling). However, the memory still burns brightly. I contribute this memory almost wholly to the fact that up until this point I had never seen, nor even thought of, putting a pickled onion in the hole in the middle of a bagel. I am doing a slow-hand clap as I write this. What absolute genius. A ploughmans filled bagel (The Plough Boy) with a pickled onion in the middle. Sold. I have to also mention that the bagels themselves were excellent, provided by Everything Bagels. Plus they might be open to suggestions for future potential hole-stopper-uppers; Scotch eggs? Falafels? A Babybell ? You never know until you ask. You can catch Bagel Boy at most of the food cart events too so there’s no excuse not to go and stuff your face. (You don’t have to stuff your face. You could just eat a normal amount).

Rocco's Italian restaurant Bristol calzone
Secondly, on the bread theme, I also had an excellent pizza experience in a tiny restaurant on Gloucester Road, Rocco’s. I had never even noticed it before and was a little dubious when we piled in, all sweaty and gross after a day at St Paul’s Carnival (excellent chicken – very long waits). However, I came out a complete convert after a couple of Peroni Rossa and a superb calzone the size of a small child. I know this because I had a small child with me to compare it to. A real gem of a place it has to be said, and also pretty different to the other places I’ve mentioned in my blogs. It feels authentic, and there’s no need for any bells and whistles - for instance, full marks for not having the option of adding a ‘frankfurter-stuffed crust’ to your pizza.
Wiper and True Amber Ale In the Pines Bristol
Cool as a Cucumber beer Wild Beer Bristol and Fyne Ales
Finally I’m going to have to travel down the beer route. Blimey Bristol loves beer! You really are just perfect. I recently took a few beers up to my parents (being in the trade as they are) and was pretty proud of what’s going on down here. I can’t big up Wiper and True enough for their fantastic Amber and Pale ales, particularly “In the Pines”, my number one beer of the moment.  I’m also super keen on pretty much everything The Wild Beer Co produces – Cool as a Cucumber (in collaboration with Fyne Ales) went down a storm at a recent  family party. My suggestion of adding a tot of Pimms has yet to be acted on however. I've recently tweeted about their new brew Shnoodlepip as I’m excited about trying the peppercorn element. I went to a little beer bar in Montreal last year where I attempted to order a tasting flight in terrible Franglais (“ummm, trois petits yeah?") and sampled an Amber beer with pink peppercorns which totally blew my mind. Glad to see more and more craft beer bars opening up too. I’ll just have to get the family down to sample some more (what a drag).

So Bristol, continue what you’re doing, so I can continue screaming your praises. I’m really no good at being grumpy.

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