Valentine’s at Juan Chihuahua

Mexican is definitely one of my favourite, if not favourite cuisines so when I had heard about Juan Chihuahua opening on Sauchiehall St, it went straight to the top of list of places to try. As this was our first Valentine’s as a married couple, I wanted to actually do something rather than stay in with a takeaway so we decided to head to Juan Chihuahua.

The restaurant is based in what used to be the O Couture club & is quite a large restaurant compared to others on the street. We were actually 25 mins early as we had been out for drinks but didn’t want to rush another before dinner. We were seated straight away & that was largely due to the number of free tables – only a third of tables were occupied. The restaurant looks different from the previous outfit with a bar to the right hand side as soon as you walk in, the walls adorned with mexican paraphernalia & a number of booths & tables dotted around the floor.

RoseTortillas & Salsa

As it was Valentine’s day, there were a couple of nice touches including a live Spanish singer & a rose in a bottle of tequila on the table! We ordered some margaritas (it would be rude not too) & I opted for the “skinny” margarita which in actual fact contains the same ingredients as a Tommy’s margarita which is one of the more traditional ways of mixing a margarita. The menu is quite vast, with your choice of all traditional Mexican fair including fajitas, burritos & tacos with some additional burgers & meat/fish based dishes. Our drinks arrived & I noticed mine had coffee beans on the top but when I queried it, the waitress said it was what I ordered. However, there was a language barrier as she was Spanish & in actual fact I was given a “skinny” espresso margarita which was quickly changed once I had pointed out the error. When I did get my margarita, I have to admit it was a bit disappointing as it was really sweet! There was a lot of agave syrup added to it which masked any lime flavour the drink should have.

Margarita

Our starters arrived quite quickly – I had opted for the queso fundido which was a soft taco containing marinated chicken, cheese, hot sauce & mixed peppers/onions. It was well flavoured but I couldn’t help feeling there was something missing from it as it was missing that wow factor. Al opted for quesadillas de pollo, which as it sounds, a chicken quesadilla. I tried a bit of this & in all honesty, it didn’t taste too much different from my own starter, just put together in a different way. The one good point about the quesadilla is the portion of salsa that came with it which had a nice kick to it & was really moreish! On both starters, there was a side salad with a house coleslaw on it & although it tasted a bit like the sort of potato salad you get in the supermarket, it was really addictive & I found myself scoffing the lot.

Quesadilla de PolloQueso Fundido

Our mains took a bit longer to arrive than our starters & I was glad of this as it reassured me that the food was being prepared fresh rather than sitting waiting to go out. I had opted for something I don’t normally go for, a pulled beer enchilada which was HUGE! The beef was accompanied with red jalapenos & red onions as well as the usual refried beans, cheese & sour cream on top. I have a love hate relationship with red jalapenos as I find them too sweet but they worked really well in this dish as they didn’t overpower the taste of the beef, which was melt in the mouth tender. There was also a pot of spiced rice which did have a powdery taste to it as though the spices hadn’t been fully cooked but after a squirt of fresh lime, it transformed the taste. I couldn’t finish all of my enchilada as it was just so big. Al had mixed fajitas (beef, chicken & shrimp) which came in an overflowing skillet with a cute tray with 4 portions of sides. As often with restaurants these days, the fajitas only came with 4 tiny tortillas which quickly vanished but it was made up by the fact that the tortillas were fresh & not shop bought.

FajitasBeef Enchiladas

If you are a mexican food lover, I would definitely recommend Juan Chihuahua as the food was fresh & not to mention the portions were large. Maybe some tweaks on their cocktails to refine the flavour but given that all of the juice in them is freshly squeezed, you can forgive a bit of sweetness here & there!

A Foodie Heaven!

We’re back! After a long absence (almost 7 months!!), Get Stuffed is back! Apologies for the hiatus but our wedding took precedence & with the strict diet I was on, it would’ve been posts rambling about how much I was missing pasta, cakes, bread, alcohol etc!

We’ve also joined the world of Facebook so please give the page a wee like over there: https://www.facebook.com/getstuffedfoodie

A fitting first post back is about my visit to the BBC Good Food Show at the SECC yesterday. Oh my, what a foodie heaven that place was! Both my sister & I are big fans of cooking shows & always wanted to go along to the show. This year, we finally were able to have the time (and pennies) to go along.

Before going to the show, we’d decided to go along to see James Martin in the Super Theatre but when we arrived that show was sold out 😦 Instead we opted to go & see Tom Kitchin of The Kitchin in Edinburgh. Quite fitting actually, going to see a local chef at a local show.

We had a good couple of hours to kill before the show, which I thought would be more than enough time to see all the stalls – it was only enough time to get around most of the show!! There honestly was something for everyone – from cheese to cookies to gin (a lot of gin merchants!) to kitchen gadgets. Everywhere you turned, there were queues for various stalls & lots of tasters & freebies being handed out. What more could you ask for?!

We made our way around the stalls in our agreed on path – there wasn’t much logic to it! I could go on about each stall we visited but there were too many to mention! A few that stood out for me were:

St Andrews Brewing Co – A one man brewery based in St Andrews

St Andrew's Brewing Co.  St Andrew's Brewing Co.

Dough It Yourself – They have the St idea of selling cookie mixes in jars that just need an egg & butter added. Wish I’d thought of it first!

Hebridean Sea Salt – Regular, Peat Smoked & Seaweed rock salt from the Isle of Lewis. They had run out of peat smoked by the time I got round to them but you need to try it to understand how amazing it is!

Secret Sausages – They look like sausages but are in fact veggies stuffed in veggie casing. Genious!

A shout out does have to go the The Barnados Big Bake Off for the coolest cake of the day:

IMAG1190

Finally 3pm came around, much quicker than I thought it would, so we went off to the Super Theatre to see Tom Kitchin in action. He made 2 dishes – pumpkin soup served in little pumpkins & (I can’t remember the name) mackerel & orange dish. Both looked pretty tasty & I have to admit I will be attempting a pumpkin soup in the next week.

Of course I couldn’t attend the show without picking up a few goodies:

– Black Bean Sauce, Szechuan Chilli Oil & Hot Salt & Pepper spice from Kwan’s Kitchen (had the black bean tonight & it’s soooo tasty!)

– Cairn O’Mhor Cider (Ok I’ll admit they’re a regular at my local farmers market but the cider is pretty good)

– Cute Cupcake cases from Simply Vintage Designs

– Le Mesurier Hollandaise Sauce

– Funkin Cocktail Mixer (normally I would steer clear of pre-made mixers but these were really fresh)

– And of course how could I resist some Border’s Dark Ginger Biscuits!

Barolo Grill

Barolo Grill is one of those restaurants that you pass often but never really pay much attention to given its location on Mitchell St, just off Gordon St. We ventured there last week for a belated birthday meal.

Knowing that it’s owned by the same people as Di Maggios & Cafe Andaluz, I wasn’t sure what to expect from here. I had fully expected a bog standard selection of Italian dishes. The menu, however, is pleasantly surprising with a modest selection of pasta dishes, with only one or two you would normally find on a menu in an Italian restaurant. The pizza combinations are a different take on the norm with frutti di mare (seafood) and braised beef with aubergine as a couple of examples.

IMAG0407

On ordering drinks, we went for a bottle of prosecco to celebrate the selling of my house. Priced at £23.95, the cheapest bottle of fizz is a good few quid dearer than most restaurants. Similarly, their house wine is priced at £5.75 for a large glass – not the most reasonable I have came across.

IMAG0408               IMAG0409

For starters we had king prawns with limoncello & mussels & clams with white wine & garlic. The amount of mussels & clams in the bowl could feed 2 people for a starter the portion was that massive! The shellfish was cooked perfectly, the clams being sweet & juicy. The king prawns did not twee as expected. Anyone who’s ever drank limoncello will know how tart a taste it is. So when the prawns were lacking in any lemon flavour, it was a bit of a disappointment. I would go as far to say it was more like king prawns with a slightly flavoured mayonnaise.

One thing I liked about Barolo was that you had a decent wait between meals. A lot of restaurants like to get you in & out as fast they can nowadays. I enjoyed the 10-15 minute wait between courses as it gives you a chance to enjoy the experience.

IMAG0411     IMAG0410

My main was described as large pillows of pasta which turned out to be their description of ravioli. The pasta itself was really fresh & full of flavour. The menu described it as being filled with meat but there was no meat to be seen anywhere on the plate. Having said that, it was full of flavour & deceptively filling. Al had rigatoni with Tuscan sausage which I wouldn’t normally enjoy as I’m not keen on Italian sausage. This dish changed my opinion. Instead of big chunks of sausage, it was cut up & mixed as part of the sauce so you weren’t really aware you were eating it. Instead it gave the sauce a really meaty flavour & given that there was a lot of sauce, it made a really nice dish.

Barolo may not be the cheapest Italian restaurant in Glasgow but you get what you pay for with dishes full of flavour. They also do a steak night on a Wednesday which starts from £30 for 2 rump steaks with sides & a bottle of wine to share. Definitely something I will go back to try to see if they live up to their name. Similarly, the pizzas I saw people eating were massive & looked like authentic stonebaked pizza. I would say if you’re al