There’s a lot to be said for making a first impression, and unfortunately, the first time we visited the recently opened Browns (Grey Street, Newcastle), we walked out after not being served at all for over twenty minutes. A good start then…
Luckily enough, customer service took charge and invited us back in only a few days later, offering a bottle of prosecco and some bar snacks, pictured. Too tempting!
Based in our very home town, it has taken us long enough to visit local take on pancakes with a twist, Pots and Pancakes (NE29 0BL), but now that we’ve been once, it might just become an addiction!
Open since 2005, and not far from North Shields Metro, hides the former Dragon’s Den contenders – no, they didn’t receive investment (boo!), episode is worth a watch here though. Nonetheless, some 25,000 pancakes on and doing better than ever, the girls even making an appearance at the recent Tynemouth Food Festival.
We go on a late Saturday afternoon, so thankfully not overrun with kids this time, but apparently they often are – probably a good place for a kid’s party. We go for a (massive) pot of tea, and a couple of the pancakes – choosing from a typical selection classic sugar and lemon (£1.95) and my choice (pictured), nutella and banana (£2.95). Also available are savoury offerings like goat’s cheese and spinach, and toasties. The pancakes should satisfy anyones sweet cravings, but the star of the show are the “pots”.
It’s that time again already? August 20-26 again sees the regions restaurants team up with NE1 and offer great deals on some great food. Somewhat disappointingly, the amazing £10 deal seems to have crept up to £15 in many cases, making some of them pretty typical menus, but some bargains are still to be found nonetheless. Check out the full list – to be updated as a few surprises tend to come on closer to the date:
** Unfortunately Garden Shed closed in 2013, but you can get much the same things at Garden Kitchen **
Since the arrival of Garden Kitchen, we have been eagerly anticipating the launch of its sister venue Garden Shed as we’re always looking for somewhere quality and reasonably priced for a quick bite in the middle of town (listening yet, Olive & Bean?).
Having been invited along to try some sandwiches at the not-long opened sandwich bar, a weekend of birthday eating and drinking was topped off with high expectations for the humble sandwich…
**UPDATE – Fisherman’s Lodge closed not long after and has not reopened**
We are big advocates for the abandonment of Tripadvisor – in fact that’s why we started Newcastle Eats in the first place. If more people would look up some decent reviews of a place before going, rather than a quick browse on TA, we’d be happy. But sometimes you can’t ignore it – especially with classic management replies like this:
“your ingratitude…demonstrates typical bad manners of some people in this region”.
“your(sic) obviously another Egon Ronay – which seeing as he has gone is good to hear”
“we could not put (fish) on the menu for anything less than £30-£40 a dish”.
“i was told (my car) would be clamped…the manager threatened to set his german shepard(sic) on me”.
Hiding away beneath the Tyne Bridge, just off The Side and across from 21 Queen Street is a new cafe, Quay Ingredient (NE1 3UG) describing itself as “a small coffee house underneath a big bridge”.
Ever in the search for a perfect sandwich in town, we’ve been to QI a few times now – welcomed by an always-cheerful Maggie and having a proper chef at the helm – formerly of Irvins – it’s a canny place to grab a sandwich, proper cup of tea, and relax away an hour. Clean decor, free wi-fi, and some funky furniture make it a quiet spot to escape the hustle.
Going hand in hand with their launch of new venture Garden Kitchen, Fresh Element and the kitchen team at Six at the Baltic have launched a new afternoon tea menu at the Baltic sixth-floor restaurant, which, if you can recall, we were fond of when we visited this time last year.
Garden Kitchen (NE1 7RA) is the latest in a series of restaurant/cafes occupying the main space in Eldon Garden which, over the years many have tried, and failed to conquer, including some big hitters such as Popolo, only lasting barely a year over 2010/11.
A new venture from Fresh Element, the same people that brought us SIX, which if you can recall, we liked a lot. Having been open only a few weeks, we were invited to check it out…
Last week we lucky enough to be invited to the launch of a new menu at “luxury restaurant and bar” just over the Tyne, Raval (NE8 2AT). Only last August we ate at the launch of the same “new platter menu” – so whether this means the new menu has been a bit of a none-starter – you decide.
A new festival for the area not far from Newcastle Eats home, Tynemouth. The little village is busting with some smaller producers and delis but has not seen any foodie specific events for a long time.
Everyone has probably heard of, or seen the Northumberland Cheese Company’s cheese – be it at the Quayside market, on any decently sourced menu throughout the region, or even eaten the raw and delicious product by itself – but who knew they had a teeny shop right at their dairy farm (NE13 6BZ)?
Visitors can arrange a tour of the dairy, though once you’ve seen one vat of milk churning, perhaps you’ve seen them all. Just upstairs, however, hides an almost treehouse-like cafe, where you can buy the cheese direct from the source to take home, in big gift packs, enjoy in a sandwich, or as we have here, melted and drizzled onto everything!
Frankie & Tony’s sandwich shops (NE1 8JN) and (NE1 5XN) have long been a favourite of mine – perfect for when you need a quick, filling and reasonably priced bit to eat.
Their range of sandwiches isn’t going to win any awards for originality, but all the classics are represented, and all come under three quid. Nothing too fancy, no fancy gourmet deli ingredients, just big ol’ honest sandwiches that’ll fill you up better than a couple of Gregg’s pasties – and probably cost less given the the recent budget. If you visit the Ridley Place shop, you’ll notice the queue is always out the door and halfway down the street, always a good sign. It’s usually quieter in the shop just off Charlotte Square, but haven’t noticed a difference in the sandwiches.
Last week Blackfriar’s Restaurant (NE1 4XN) was kind enough to invite me to one of their themed events – this time a “Food & Drink Matching” night aimed to help guests discover which combinations work best – and why so. Run by restaurant owner himself, Andy Hook, the format of these evenings is very relaxed and informal, so even those who aren’t experts should feel quite comfortable – though being a dedicated foodie helps – there’s some serious food and wine lovers in the room tonight!