London Foodies
Weber Grill Restaurant- Chicago

A few years ago the meat-eating half of London Foodies tried beer can chicken for the first time at Weber Grills’ display at Taste of London - needless to say he was hooked. Fast forward a few years and we are wondering around Chicago and spy a massive Weber Grill on the side of a building, which we found very intriguing.

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After doing a bit of research we found out that the creator of the Weber Grill, George Stephen, started out in Chicago and that the Chicago restaurant is one of four locations in the region. As soon as we saw there was beer can chicken on the menu we knew we had to check it out.

We decided to go for lunch on our last day in Chicago. The service was friendly and quick - perfect for the lunch time crowd.

We started out with some warm bread that came with a butter and a cheese spread. To be honest we could have just eaten baskets of this bread - it was delicious! 

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For our mains we had the meat-eater had the beer can chicken (surprise, surprise) with a creamy garlic mash and it was just as good as he remembered. 

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The menu also had several veggie options. Black bean veggie burgers are my favourite - so I tried out theirs with spicy chipotle mayo & pepper jack cheese served with fries on the side. The burger was MASSIVE and one of the best I’ve ever had. It was perfectly grilled (which is a good thing considering it’s from Weber) - crispy on on the outside and not at all dry and crumbly like some veggie burgers. 

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Overall, if you ever go to Chicago we HIGHLY recommend a trip to the Weber Grill Restaurant. It was our favourite meal of the trip and we’d happily return. 

Betty’s Tea Room, York

We took a trip to York right before Christmas. There was an ice sculpture festival going on & neither of us had been before.  We absolutely loved York & one of favourite parts was Betty’s (which we went to right before we climbed up to the top of York Minster - 275 steps)!

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Betty’s main tea room (they have two shops in York) almost always has a line out the door. We’d heard good things, but we didn’t have much time in York & were debating if the line was worth it - IT WAS! 

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On our last morning we had a quick breakfast at the hotel and then set out for the day. We wondered by Betty’s and lo and behold the line wasn’t that long so we decided to have a second breakfast! 

We sat in the main room right by the windows. While so many of the dishes looked delicious, we figured we should behave ourselves — we were climbing York Minster afterwards! 

One half of London foodies isn’t a tea fan - so he had a cup of delicious hot chocolate. 

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I on the other hand am always on the search for the perfect cuppa of Earl Grey. 

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We had the Alpine mac n cheese- which was AMAZING! Potatoes, mac n cheese & mushrooms (we had a veggie version with no bacon).

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We also had the Yorkshire rarebit, which had the perfect bread to cheese ratio.

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After our second brunch we climbed to the top of York Minster (in a slight food coma). We made sure to stop at their bakery shop right before we left and got this box of goodies. 

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How cute is this white chocolate snowman?

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After Christmas we had the opportunity to get more goodies from Betty’s. This time we made sure we got Betty’s famous fat rascals that didn’t disappoint!

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Their fondant fancies are our favourites though!

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Rekorderlig Winter Forest Bar

We were really excited when we saw that Rekorderlig were having a pop-up bar in the Truman Brewery. It seems a lot of other people where too because the event sold out! Luckily Rekorderlig announced that they were opening up some more time slots and we were able to get some tickets. While many of the dates are sold out you can show up and get tickets on the door after 8PM. It costs a fiver and includes 4 ciders to try and a Swedish treat. The pop-up is running until November 6th and is open from 6PM in the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.

We’ve been to several pop-ups that claim to be a secret garden or some other some other “magical” place, but many of them fail to deliver. So when we heard that Rekorderlig was doing a Winter Forest we figured there would be some trees. But, Rekorderlig went all out -  there were trees and other plants plus the floor looked like that of an actual forest. We were really impressed.

Inside the winter forest.

The ”forest” floor

The  Bar

After walking around and exploring the space, we were given our tasting trays. It included four ciders to taste (orange-ginger, apple, winter cider, & wild berries plus an Arctic Cheese Croquettes topped with Cloudberry Chutney. Our favourite cider was the winter cider, but we were also big fans of the orange-ginger and the wild berries ciders as well. 

Tasting tray

The menu 

The croquettes were so good that we decided to try some of the other food they offered. We had a sharing platter with the elk sausage roll, Swedish meatballs and another cheese croquette for good measure. All of the options were delicious. We particularly like the creme fraiche and mustard sauce for the Swedish meatballs.

Arctic cheese croquette, elk sausage roll, Swedish meatballs

We finished off our trip to the Winter Forest with Rekorderlig’s warm winter cider. We’re hoping that we will be able to find it in stores because it was delicious. I did notice that the pub by office had a Rekorderlig cider warming pot behind the bar so I’ll have to check that out.

Warm Winter Cider

We highly recommend popping in to the Winter Forest bar. In addition to the tasting trays and warm winter cider they also have a selection of cocktails and their range of cider available.

Pizza East

We decided to try out Pizza East in Shoreditch before we hit up the Illumini & Brunel Museum event, ‘Brunel’s First and Last Projects: Haunted Tunnel, Haunted Ship, ’ which included a trip into the grand entrance of the Brunel Tunnel:

Anyways back to Pizza East…

After a snafu with our booking we ended up sitting at the bar. That was fine, we just weren’t that impressed with the way the front of house staff handled it - they were quite unhelpful & not very friendly. While our night started out on a bum note, the food made up for it!

We started out with the courgette and aubergine fritti with paprika mayonnaise.

For our mains we had the mushroom, ricotta, spinach & egg pizza plus a side of garlic bread. We really like the pizza and thought the mushrooms were cooked perfectly, but we thought the garlic bread was touch to oily.

We also had the mac n cheese - which was DELICIOUS!!! One of the best we’ve ever had. We loved the fact that it was baked in the wood oven. The top level of cheese was baked to perfection and the inside was the right amount cheesy.

While we weren’t impressed with the front of house staff, our waitress was great (super friendly, attentive). We thought it was a bit pricey, but the portions were quite generous. I know we’ll be going back because I’ll be having cravings for the mac n cheese!

Pizza East on Urbanspoon

Favourite Veggie Burgers in London

Burgers seem to be all anyone is talking about right now - so I thought I’d show my fellow Veggies some love. Here is a list of my favourite veggie burgers in London. 

The portobello mushroom burger w/ sweet potato chips from Ben’s Canteen . At first glance Ben’s Canteen doesn’t seem very veg friendly, but their menu has several vegetarian options - and they seem to be adding more every time I check their menu like the veggie scotch egg. I can’t wait to go back and try the fried pickles.  They also do lot’s of good meal deals & happy hours - check out their website! 

The Draft House’s Beirut burger is a new fav (you can read about my love for it here). This burger has a chickpea and halloumi patty with picked red onion & labneh yoghurt sauce. 

The Breakfast Club’s veggie burger with smoked applewood cheese, portobello mushroom & caramelised red onion relish and a side of chips.

Another fav (that I don’t have a pic of) is the Red Dog Saloon's spicy bean burger with onion strings. 

What are your favourite veggie burgers?!

Montreax, Switzerland

Brighton

Date Nights

We love trying out new bars and restaurants, but we also have some tried and true places that we love to go to for date nights.

Gordon’s Wine Bar: Embankment/Charing Cross

Believe it or not on my first trip to London from the US back in 2006, my secondary school pointed out Gordon’s and said it was one of her favourite places in the city. Who would have thought then that I would move here and would it become one of mine?  We love going to Gordon’s and picking out a bottle of wine off the specials board.

The bar/indoor area of Gordon’s is always packed and it can be difficult to find a seat. But they have a great outdoor area with awnings,heat lamps and umbrellas. So if you don’t mind sharing a table you can usually find a spot.  

Cork & BottleLeicester Square

Earlier this year we found a new spot that we love - the Cork & Bottle in Leicester Square. We know what you’re thinking date night in Leicester Square- it’s going to be crowded with tourists. That’s not the case at all. Located right outside the tube station it’s entrance under a faded sign leads to a rickety spiral staircase that leads down to the Cork & Bottle. It has a real intimate feel and is made up of two rooms with several tucked away tables under arches. 

They have an extensive wine selection that ranges in type and price. Their food menu has been revamped since we last went, but they still have their Shepherd’s Pie & Hemingway Burger, which are both amazing. Unfortunately, their goat’s cheese & caramelized onion tart seems to have disappeared. 

St. Moritz: Tottenham Court Rd., Oxford Circus, Picadilly Circus

St. Mortiz is a Swiss restaurant tucked away down a side street off Oxford Street. It stands out from the surrounding buildings as it looks like a Swiss cottage (inside & out). It’s quite small so we recommend booking ahead. They have both sweet and savory fondues. We love trying out their different cheese fondues. 

Riverside Vegetaria: Kingston

When we feel like getting out of central London, one of our favourite places to go is Kingston. It has good shopping, restaurants & the movie tickets are cheaper! Plus it’s a 15-20 minute train ride away from Clapham Junction (30 from Waterloo). Riverside Vegetaria, located on Kingston’s High Street serves up veggie & vegan friendly food (some is wheat & gluten free too).

The restaurant is quite small, but their menu is quite extensive. Our favorites are their penne with pesto and house lasagne. Riverside Vegetaria’s outdoor seating area opens up onto a pathway along the Thames. Once finished with dinner you can walk along and visit the pubs along the river.

The Draft House (Northcote Road)

One-half of London Foodies had been trying to get the other half of London Foodies to go to the Draft House since we moved to the area in October. Well the other half ended up there on chance night out and is now obsessed with it.

Now we’ve both been (multiple times) and it’s become our go to spot when we want to meet friends in the local area. We genuinely love the food & atmosphere plus the service is great. Also, with one-half of London Foodies being vegetarian it doesn’t hurt that  the Draft House’s veggie options are delicious. 

They also have a great beer selection with locally brewed options such as Camden Town Brewery and Sambrook’s Brewery.  

Below is a selection of the dishes we’ve had:

Gratinated Macaroni & Cheese w/ Wild Mushrooms: This is some serious mac n cheese. It can be described as uber-cheesy with lots wild mushrooms throughout, not just little specks. This mac is one of the best reasons for why we keep going back.  

'The Smoke' 8 oz burger w/ smoked chipotle mayo, house-smoked cheddar & home cured bacon with a side of french fries: The carnivore half of London Foodies rates this burger as one of the best he’s ever had (and that’s a lot). He thought that the chipotle mayo, bacon & beef were a match made in heaven. 

Sweet potato & mozzarella burger with side of chips: As a vegetarian I’m always on the lookout for a great veggie burger that isn’t too dry or just a frozen patty. The Draft House’s is one of the best veggie burgers I’ve had (on both sides of the Atlantic). While crispy on the outside and the inside is perfectly gooey - not dry at all. 

The Draft House has both chunky chips and french fries. We’ve had both and we’re quite partial to the french fries especially with their tangy malt vinegar mayo.

EDIT: Unfortunately, the Draft House has taken the sweet potato & mozzarella burger, however they now have the equally delicious Beirut Burger (below). The new veggie burger has a chickpea and halloumi patty with pickled red onion & labneh. I was obsessed with their sweet potato & mozzarella burger and really disappointed when they got rid of it. But this new veggie burger more than makes up for it (especially the labneh and halloumi). 

Fish & chips w/ minted peas: We thought the fish n’ chips were you standard fare and needed some more flavour. 


Although we weren’t huge fans of the fish & chips, we really like the other dishes we tried and know we’ll be headed back. We definitely recommend checking out the Draft House. 

Events:

Hamburger Monday: burger + fries/chips + pint = £9.75

Flat Iron Tuesday: flat iron steak + green salad + pint = £12.75

Locations:

Draft House Northcote
94 Northcote Road
London SW11 6QW

Draft House Tower Bridge
206-208 Tower Bridge Road
London SE1 2UP

Draft House Westbridge
74-76 Battersea Bridge Road
London SW11 3AG

The Draft House on Urbanspoon

Zoo Lates @ London Zoo

Zoo Lates is a great night out in London. We’ve gone the past two years and have had a blast! It’s Friday nights in June & July at London Zoo. They have a great food market, silent disco, face painting, bars plus you get to see the animals. The Zoo also puts on special presentations throughout the night like feeding the penguins. 

If you can buy early bird tickets (about £10 each) or keep an eye out for Living Social or Groupon deals. Full price tickets run about £20 each (not including any of the food/drinks you buy inside). If you don’t feel like trying the international food market (we don’t know how you could resist) you can bring in your own food or order a picnic - you can’t bring in your own alcohol.

Here’s some pics from our night: 

We met this guy! 

The squirrel monkeys kept us entertained running and jumping over our heads.

The otters were super cute & very active.

We also tried Anna-Mae’s Classic Mac n Cheese at the international food market. It has a 3 cheese sauce and it’s full of super gooey deliciousness. They have several toppings choices including the Spicy Juan (Chipotle, sour cream, jalepenos & coriander), the Kanye Western (beef hotdogs, homemade BBQ sauce & chives), and the Don Macaroni (pesto, bacon, & basil).

We also had a burger from Cattle Grid and our friends picked up some Indian Food from the Indian Room