Thumbs up for Haldon Forest Diner

After realising we needed to pop to Tragic Mills today, the urge for fried stuff became overwhelming.

This meant a quick visit to the Haldon Forest Diner, next door to the A38 it’s been consistently good and value for money.

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The ultimate Exeter drunk food guide

I love the Tab most of the time,  and now they’ve produced The ultimate Exeter drunk food guide which is worth a look.

http://exeter.tab.co.uk/2014/11/28/definitive-drunken-food-guide/

(Via Bloglovin’)

Las Iguanas, Queen St. Exeter

EE RecommendsLas Iguanas has been open just over a year now since it took over its prime spot on Queen St. after Pitcher & Piano abandoned it.  After extensive works, which included stripping back the years of ‘super quick renovations’ to reveal the original flooring, the restaurant opened to a fanfare of Mexican goodness.  Initially the first few months were a little shaky, and Trip Advisor was unforgiving…but time has passed and now a year on, the greased and smooth running that we saw on our visit makes me feel that this isn’t an issue anymore.
Eating Exeter was lucky enough to be invited down to sample their new Winter Menu.  We popped in on Tuesday night to catch the Happy Hour cocktails, and after that? Thankfully I didn’t drink that much…and I have notes.

It is a large menu, (not the lunch menu) given it takes dishes from Mexico and Brazil.  We needed a good 10 minutes to actually go through and really take in what we could have.  Being a Latin Restaurant we had the choice of going for Tapas should we wish and they do a rather nice deal, 3 dishes for £14.40 or 5 for £24.00, which equates to just over £4 per serving.  I can’t comment whether this is good value as I didn’t have it, but compared to other places in Exeter this is a good price for small plates of Latin food.

The thing that stood out for me was the happy hour.  The Cocktails sounded fun and there was a lot of choice again. During happy hour, two of the same cocktails or coolers for £6.80 (£3.40 per cocktail?).  The prospect of a cheeky post-work cocktail was sold and you could now very well find me in there most nights sipping on such classics as a CUBAN CHERRY (Havana Club 3 year old rum, cherry brandy, maraschino liqueur, lime, almond syrup, a little sugar & a cocktail cherry) or a BLOODY CARIOCA (Bloody Mary, re-invented, the spicy classic with a Brazilian twist, made with their own Magnifica cachaca & passion fruit).  Yes these guys have their own plantation where they make their very own Cachaca (if you’re not sure what it is look here).
In the end, and on the advice of my resident cocktail expert we had a CANA ROYALE (Las Iguanas Magnifica cachaça, raspberry liqueur & Bottlegreen elderflower, topped with Cava) which definitely had a good kick to it.

After a long examination of the menu, which wasn’t helped by the fact the cocktail went straight to my head, we finally made up our minds.  The tapas wasn’t really doing much for me and I was in the mood for chicken so inevitably it was going to be the CHURRASCO FIASCO which is skewered chicken “Marinated & flame-grilled, with honey peri-peri sauce, salad & cassava fries.”  At this point I wasn’t really sure what a cassava was so I was expecting a big bowl of fries and being the first time I had actually had cassava I wasn’t sure what to expect.  My resident cocktail expert Tori had CHIMICHANGA which was a “Crisp tortilla parcel, delivered with home-made tomato salsa, guacamole, soured cream, spring onion & garlic, rice & refried beans” stuffed with “Mexican smoked chipotle chicken, onion & cheese”.

We didn’t have to wait long, but the short wait was when I could really take in what was happening around me.  For a Tuesday night it was busy, after chatting to Tim the manager after the meal it seems that this follows the trend at the moment.  To get a table end of the week at Las Iguanas you need to book, it is popular and for somewhere less than a year old, this showed that something was right.  Yes… It is a chain, a corporate brand, but speaking to a couple of what I have come to call ‘Iguanas-heads’ it seems that each restaurant is quite different.  It seems that Las Iguanas is definitely doing something right at this restaurant, and with the Dining Quarter opening over the road next year, the impression I got was that they weren’t worried.  And after all, how many other chains do what Las Iguanas do?

The food came pretty quickly, the visual presentation was good and the portion size seemed average (nothing spilling off the plate), I felt it was just enough.  My chicken was perfectly cooked, it didn’t go dry throughout the whole meal and the salad was the dressed well.  Having thought I was going to receive a bowl of fries, the Cassava fries were a suprise (it even rhymes).  Three large fries but cooked in a way that left the inside soft and fluffy whilst retaining a crispy coating that worked really well.  For an added bonus some of the dressing from the salad made its way in to the bottom of the fries which then soaked up some of the dressing.  I’m not sure if this was intentional but for me it was a really good combination and worked together.  The Chimachanga was well received from the other side of the table, the black refried beans were well balanced with the chicken inside the package.  As is always the case Tori’s looked nicer than mine.

Given we didn’t have starters we decided to hit the pudding and coffees that Las Iguanas offer.  The pudding section of the menu was quite well sized but then in these times of belt-tightening and diets there are few places that have large pudding menus.  Also kudos to Las Iguanas for calling it ‘Pudding’.  It is one of my favourite words.

I went for the Creamy Caramel Cake (with Tres Leches. Layers of soaked sponge & caramelised cream, drizzled with dulce de leche. Topped with more caramelised cream & blueberries) which was the least latin sounding thing available, but then it had the word caramel in it which is normally a sure fire guarantee that I’ll choose it.
This was an amazing tasting flourish to the end of our meal.  It made up for the fact that the coffees that came out were lukewarm, the chocolate-fest Aztec Chocolate Fudge Cake that was being devoured with many approving noises on the other side of the table and tasted as nice as mine.  It was a shame that there was nothing overly Latin American sounding in the pudding menu, but by the time I finished my Creamy Caramel Cake I really didn’t care.

Two meals, a cocktail, two coffees and two desserts came to just under £50 which is reasonable for a meal out in Exeter. They’re not trying to be a discount Mexican as they care about the ingredients and the experience of the diner and I wouldn’t walk in and expect anything else.  The fact that they seem to have a bit of a cult following must mean they’re doing something right, and if the rest of the food on the menu was as well cooked as my chicken then you would be crazy not to give it a go.  The drinks were lovely, and our waiter’s accent was nearly as delicious as the food (Fernando, I nearly got you to read me the entire menu!) and thats coming from a married man…

Las Iguanas
79-81 Queen St, Exeter, Devon EX4 3RP
01392 210753
http://www.iguanas.co.uk/book-now/exeter

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Burger Reviews on Eating Exeter

As you might have already guessed, this post is about Eating Exeter’s side project Beer, Burger and Beyond which has recently moved over to WordPress from Blogger.

You can now read all of the Burger and Beer reviews included on Beer, Burger and Beyond from the ‘Burger Reviews’ page on the menu bar.  Click here to have a look around.

The Mare & Foal 10oz Burger on The North Devon Ale Trail

An amazing burger from The Mare & Foal in Yeoford!

Organic Christmas Hampers from Trill Farm, Axminster, Devon

The Trill Winter Seasons Box is a delicious organic hamper full of exclusive seasonal products from Trill Farm an organic farm in Devon owned by Romy Fraser OBE (founder of Neal’s Yard Remedies). The Trill Winter Seasons Box is the ideal Christmas gift for a discerning friend or loved one this year. Order now and expect delivery on Wednesday 17th December.

The Trill Winter Seasons Box costs £75 and includes organically grown and responsibly-made products from all parts of Trill Farm: food and drink, natural health and beauty, homewares and garden. Each item is a celebration of the organic and wild offerings of the land, skilfully created using minimal processing and packaging. The majority of the Trill Winter Seasons products are unique to the box, and not available to purchase through the Trill Farm Shop website.

It’s a chance to experience a selection of high-quality products based on what’s abundant right now, and share them with people who support the Trill Farm ethos; healthy and responsible living and education to teach the skills required to live lightly on the land. Look Inside The Trill  Winter Seasons Box The Trill Winter Seasons Box includes the following organic and responsibly-made products from Trill Farm (contents may vary):

TRILL FOODS
Winter Cordial There was a fantastic late autumn hedgerow harvest from the farm this year so we have bottled a host of berries and crabapples. It’s a lovely base for mulled wine and also offers a delicious non-alcoholic alternative. Quince & Crabapple Cheese Made from Romy’s garden quince and the finest sharp and tart crabapples, this sweet and aromatic delight should take pride of place on the best of cheese boards. Pickled Green Tomatoes Here we have captured the last of the green tomato crop from Kate and Ash’s garden and pickled it in Trill’s distinctive apple cider vinegar from last autumn.

The pickle is spiked with fruity Palivec chillies and goes perfectly with potted meats and pate. Celebration Cake Soaked in cider and sweetened with the last of the season’s honey, Trill’s celebration cake, best served with Devonshire cream, is the ideal way to spice up feasts.

Winter Tea Naturally spicy – can be drunk either as a tea or heated in warm red wine. Prepared with hand picked herbs and flowers grown at Trill, making the most of each season’s natural taster and goodness.  This tea features rose hip, mulberry, hawthorn berries, bay laurel, comfrey, fennel and apple. Dried Red Chillies Beautiful in the kitchen and delicious in your cooking. Three different varieties of chilli of varying heat to try out.
Palivec is a long variety originally from the Czech Republic which starts out pale green and ripens to dark red. It is not too hot, the spice is mainly in the seeds so can be left out if required! Cayenne is a well known variety often used for making chilli powder.

Alberto’s Lococo is an unusual round variety with fuzzy leaves, purple flowers and black seeds. It has a hot warming heat and lots of flavour. Potted Pheasant (Meat option) Dating back to the 16th Century potted meat was solely used as a method of preserving meat. Since then it has become one of Britain’s most iconic dishes. Served alongside the pickled green tomatoes or the crabapple and quince cheese this is a quick brunch ideal for those wintery mornings. Or Chestnut Pate (Vegetarian option) With a windy autumn on Trill there was a rush to gather and bring in the sweet chestnut harvest. These small creamy nuts are a delicious source of vitamins and minerals to keep us healthy through the colder months.

HEALTH & BEAUTY
Facial Oil A nourishing blend of omega-rich sesame and borage seed oils combined with antioxidant calendula and carrot extracts to replenish skin. Infused with a nurturing blend of pure essential oils. Winter Soap Trill Soaps are made with organic oils and herbal extracts from Trill. Packaged in sustainably sourced, screen printed wooden boxes, they are ideal for traveling and re-use. Due to the high glycerin content and rich, hydrating lather, this soap won’t dry out the skin and is gentle enough to use on the face. Herbal Bath Salts A soothing blend of winter herbs and cleansing salts. Add a handful to the water for a relaxing bath.

HOME & GARDEN
Beeswax Candles A pair of handmade Trill beeswax candles. The natural beeswax creates a gentle warming fragrance when burning – a festive ambience for winter celebrations. Ginger Biscuit Kit The gingerbread biscuit kit combines Trill’s barley flour with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and a little sugar making them a tasty companion to a warm mulled wine. Perfect for baking as a family. Trill Trust Christmas Cards Four beautiful farm-inspired designs by Tamsin Loxley.

The Trill Trust is an education charity dedicated to encouraging healthy and responsible living. Charity number 1094893. The boxes are sent overnight delivery to UK addresses only. Winter boxes will be shipped to arrive on Wednesday 17th December. Experience All Four Seasons The Trill Seasons Box is also available at a substantial discount as a subscription four times each year: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

Purchase of a year’s subscription (four seasonal boxes) includes becoming a ‘Friend of Trill’, which includes exclusive invitations to seasonal events and 20% off Trill courses in 2015. For more details of the Trill Organic Winter Box – visit the Trill Farm Online Shop.

For additional information and high resolution images of all products, contact: Trill Farm, Pudleylake Road, Musbury, Axminster, Devon EX13 8TU Tel: 01297 631 113 Email: press@trillfarm.co.uk

 

Please vote for Eating Exeter, Blog Awards 2015

To vote, click the link below:

http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/Eating-Exeter

So, this is it, the beginning of the public vote phase of the Blog Awards 2015.

Please click the link and vote for us, it’d make me a very happy bunny.  Just click the ‘Vote Now’ button on the right hand side of the page and it’ll take you through to a form where you can write your name and leave your email address.  If you’re worried about SPAM or marketing information, then feel free to use a service like www.dispostable.com, but I am sure the organisers wouldn’t sell on information.

So, if you’re wondering why you should spend the next thirty seconds of your life voting for us then here is a brief reason.

Eating Exeter is a fantastic resource for independent, well written reviews of eating places and events that happen within Exeter.  It works for the good of the community and makes no money whatsoever, providing free and effective promotion for eating places and food related events that happen in Exeter and the wider county of Devon.

If you vote, and if Eating Exeter actually gets anywhere, it will be recognition for the hard work that Pol and me have put in to the blog over the years, and the small army of guest bloggers and contributors that help out with creating amazing content for us.

We’re not professional journalists (although some of the contributors are freelance writers!) but that is the joy and attraction of blogging.

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The Seaview Inn, Falmouth

When my sister decided she wanted to go to Falmouth to study Fine Art Photography, I was overjoyed and eager to get down and have a nose around this part of Cornwall, as I have to say I have never been.  Falmouth is a lovely little town, squatting on the side of the Carrick Roads where the River Fal empties itself in to the Atlantic. The harbour is dotted with a plethora or yachts and other boats under the shadow of the National Maritime Museum.
The most important

Falmouth has three sides to its personality. It’s a harbour town, with a working dockside and a busy maritime industry and it is a local shopping centre with shops for locals and tourists wedged in to its narrow main street at the bottom of the hill. Then there is the University which incorporates the University of Exeter as well as Falmouth University on the Penryn Campus, where my sister lives in halls of residence.

So naturally as you find with university towns and cities, there are quite a few places to eat, chocked full of cafes and restaurants Falmouth is quite full of these funny little places where one can pick up something to eat. Students like places to eat, especially cheap places.

As is the tradition of visiting one of your offspring at university, the parental unit will often take them out for food. And our destination yesterday was The Seaview Inn and the carvery that they have on a Sunday. For £8.50 a head, you get a massive plate, a massive helping of meat and free reign to have a massive helping of vegetables and gravy if you want it.

Perched on top of the hill, it genuinely has a terrific sea view but you pay for the scenery as the quickest way to get to the Seaview Inn from the main street is up flights of stone steps but a quick traverse through the streets means that the Seaview Inn is also accessible to those with partially functioning legs, wheels and scooters.

There are real ales, but not that many. There are tables, but we were put in a cosy spot that involved a certain amount of maneuvering in order to fit in with the table next to us. The whole meal was reasonable and you got value for money, but the potato were not quite cooked properly. But this was made up for by the Cauliflower Cheese and the generous amount of meat you are given.

Go for: A meat laden, Sunday slap up. The View. The Real Ales

Don’t go for: A la carte food, this is a pub that serves grub!

Seaview Inn, Wodehouse Terrace, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 3EP

http://www.seaviewinnfalmouth.co.uk/

Homemade Bread!! – Rustic Pumpkin Seed Wholemeal Loaf Recipe

This looks divine 🙂 A fantastic recipe I’d love to have a go at sometime…

Starfruit Rainbow

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This was my first attempt at making bread … Not bad, if I do say so myself … Slightly lopsided but, in my eyes that just adds character! Okay so as I said this was my first attempt, and like many first attempts, there were a couple of hiccups and things that I would do differently next time. However, luckily for you, I have identified where I went a tiny bit wrong and so the recipe I am going to give you, will make a much lighter, less lopsided loaf! That is the absolute true beauty of cooking … you can really learn from your mistakes.

My main mistake was using only whole meal four, while the bread is still really tasty, it is slightly heavy and dense, so replacing about 20% of the wholemeal flour with a little plain white bread flour, will mean you get a fluffy loaf, that…

View original post 753 more words

Hearty Pumpkin Soup

Halloween is over for another year, the rain has started coming in and the winter clothes are out properly. This is the best time of year for soups, and Hearty Pumpkin Soup will help you get rid of any excess pumpkins you might have still and satisfy any soup urges…

TMI Food

soup

Origin

I was not inspired by any particular recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • small piece of ginger (about 1/2 cm in length)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup lentils (I used red lentils)
  • 1 pumpkin
  • 1 small beet
  • salt to taste
  • 1 red sweet pepper
  • a few toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish

Process

Mince the ginger and garlic and set them aside together.  Chop the onion and set it aside in another bowl.  Peel the pumpkin and remove the seeds and lists.  Chop it into cubes about 1 centimeter in size and set them aside.  Peel the beet and chop it like the pumpkin before adding it to the pumpkin.

Heat most of the oil in a large pan.  When it is hot, add the cumin and caraway seeds and let them sputter.  Turn down the heat slightly and…

View original post 197 more words

Asda’s new toffee apple sausages: sweet, savoury and all kinds of right

Sausage and toffee, surely this can’t work. Surely?

Exeter Phoenix’s Scandiland & Babette’s Feast ‘Food and Film’ evening…

 

A pop up cinema in Haldon Forest, dark and atmospheric screenings of classic thrillers, live Swedish music and a salivating food presentation; just some of the immersive cinematic experiences created by Exeter Phoenix this November. 

Scandiland: 8  – 28 November 2014
A season of Scandinavian and Nordic Cinema

This November, Exeter Phoenix presents a season of Scandinavian and Nordic cinema. Featuring films from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, audiences will journey through snowy landscapes, confront troll-infested forests, consume surreal assignments and experience moody Nordic noir.

The season launches on 8 November with a screening of the Norwegian thriller Troll Hunter.  From Exeter city centre, audiences will be taken on a bus deep into the woods of Haldon Forest.  As darkness descends they will be greeted by a Rekorderlig cider and a smorgasbord of tasty Swedish canapés before entering a bespoke cabin cinema to watch the fantasy thriller.

On 11 November, Surf Cinema presents an evening of cold-water surf films charting some of the individuals who brave the roughest of conditions to get their fix, followed by live music from Finnish folk punk band Slack Bird.  The following night sees a dark and comic bill offering a humorous and unusual insight into the Nordic countries with Of Horses and Men and In Order of Disappearance. 

On 16 Nov, set amongst a taxidermy filled cinema-hut in Heavitree and accompanied by music from a Swedish musician and storyteller, will be a screening of Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist.  Strictly for over 18s, this event offers an extraordinarily atmospheric setting to in which to watch this seminal film.

Back at Exeter Phoenix on 17 November, a screening of the Oscar-nominated Norwegian comedy Elling is screened alongside Kitchen Stories highlighting the best visual storytelling from the country, whilst two new Nordic noir titles, Tommy and Hour of the Lynx will be presented on 22 Nov.

A screening of Babette’s Feast on 24 November will include a salivating presentation by food historian Dr Annie Gray who will introduce Babette’s dishes, identifying her unusual ingredients and discussing long forgotten techniques.

Finally, Exeter Central Library will host an evening of Scandinavian storytelling by performer Emily Parrish who will share stories of Loki, a god of Nordic mythology, before a screening of Sami Jienet – Voice of Sapami, a Finnish documentary on the adventures of a Sami indigenous choir as they rediscover their rich and unique heritage and the joy of yoiking together.

Babette’s Feast
Mon 24 Nov
3.30pm, 6pm £5.50 (£4.50)
8.15pm including presentation by Food Historian Dr Annie Gray £6.50 (£5.50)

”JOIN US FOR A SPECIAL NORDIC FEAST. SAMPLE EXTRAVAGANT SAVOURY PASTRIES, SIP DELICIOUS CONSOMMÉS, INDULGE IN BEAUTIFUL BLINIS AND TOP IT ALL OFF WITH A CELEBRATORY KUGLEHOPH CAKE. £15 WHEN BOUGHT WITH A TICKET FOR THE 8.15PM SCREENING. SERVED AT 6.30PM.”

View the website for more details…  http://www.exeterphoenix.org.uk/events/babettes-feast/

Samuel Jones opens on The Quay, Exeter

It’s finally opened and I’m quite excited.  For months St Austell Brewery have been getting things ready for the Grand opening of Samuel Jones Smokehouse on The Quay.  Image mercilessly taken from their Facebook page, which is here…

Read more here… from The Express and Echo and visit their website here

Announcement: Junk mail issues

Hi everyone!

Just a quick post to let readers know that we’ve been having a few issues with our junk mail and genuine emails falling through.

If you have sent an important email in the last few weeks and not heard back, please don’t hesitate to send one again just in case.