Eats From the Street – Glasgow Fort

Last month saw the first of four Eats From the Street events at Glasgow Fort. Eats From the Street is a showcase of local & national street food vendors, providing good eats for reasonable prices.

The venture is the brain child of Richard Johnson who set up British Street Food & the namesake   awards in 2009 to get street food seen & heard. The concept of Eats From the Street was developed a few years ago & has this year, finally been put into practice. As well as the street food vendors, the ensemble also has a massive double decker London bus which has been converted into a dining area. So even if it’s raining, you can still enjoy street food in the comfort of the bus without getting soaked!

We popped along to check out the vendors & see what was a on offer. We had a dish from Mighty Mexican who have recently started out on the street food scene in Scotland. Providing fresh, authentic style Mexican food, Mighty Mexican also provide the biggest burrito I’ve ever seen! We had a chicken burrito with their Mucho Macho sauce, which is the hottest they offer (that should come as no surprise). The burrito was tasty, full of smoky & chilli flavours. We initially didn’t think much of the Mucho Macho sauce but it had been dulled down by the sour cream & guacamole but thankfully a lot had gathered at the bottom so the burrito ended in a nice spicy burst.

Mighty Mexican

We also sampled the wares of Nusou, a street food revelation, focussing on healthy street food. They also recently won Best Newcomber in this year’s British Street Food Awards. Nusou offers cooked to order Noodle Soups which are cooked & ready to eat in a few minutes. We had a chicken noodle soup with all of the trimmings & some extra chillies & peanuts added on top. I have to say, the soup was better than some of the dishes we had when we were in Thailand this year.

Nusou

Eats From the Street are back at the Glasgow Fort this weekend, 1-2 November & another 2 times before the end of the year. I’d definitely recommend popping along  & trying out some of the nation’s best street food on offer. Other outlets taking part include Glasgow’s very own Babu Kitchen & Breaking Bread.

Date Featuring:
Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 November Zoete Koek
Mighty Mexican
Bowl Food
Breaking Bread
Nusou
Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 November Zoete Koek
Mighty Mexican
Babu
Nusou
Breaking Bread
Fuel Coffee
Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 December Papaganoush
Babu
Mighty Mexican
Nusou
Breaking Bread
Fuel Coffee

Foodies Festival – Inverleith Park

I did mean to put this post up earlier this week but didn’t have the time! From my last post, you’ll have noticed I was pretty excited about finally getting to go along to the Foodies Festival this year. I decided to pop along on the Friday & Saturday with the aim of buying goodies on the Friday & enjoying the atmosphere on the Saturday.

Press Pass

I’d only been to one food festival previously, the BBC Good Food Show, last November so I had a rough idea what to expect. The one thing that struck me about Foodies was the emphasis on having a good day out! Instead of focussing on having lots of producers, often selling variations of the same items, they had less stalls of goods than the Good Food Show & a lot of areas for drinking & getting some good food to eat. There was also a bouncy castle & a kids theatre so the little ones could get involved. I particularly liked the pop-up restaurants at the festival, allowing you to get a taste of what local Edinburgh restaurants have to offer. Such a good idea!

On the Friday, we arrived around 2pm & the place was pretty busy. We immediately set off to the ticket stand to see what demos were still on offer & luckily managed to secure a ticket for Mark Greenaway. We grabbed a bite to eat first from British Sausages who had a selection of pork goodies including the posh hot dogs we opted for. Unfortunately my pork & jalapeno one was lacking in any real kick but it was still a tasty sausage. Then it was down to business & seeing what we could find to buy.

There was a decent amount of stalls with goodies ranging from gin (yay!) to cakes to fish, meat & BBQs (although I doubt you’d take it home that night!). As with most foodie festivals, there were freebies on offer, including Walker’s new Deli range of crisps, Lavazza coffee & of course, tasters of  beer, wine & gin. Over the 2 days I bought quite a few items including:

  • Dried chillies from Wiltshire Chilli Farm
  • Smoked salmon & trout from RK Spink & Sons
  • Red Pepper & Chilli dressing & garlic mayo (it is the most garlicky thing I’ve ever tasted, I had to buy it!) from Summer Harvest
  • Macarons from
  • A raspberry gin & a passionfruit fizzx marshmallow from Tipsy Mallows
  • And of course, elderflower gin from Edinburgh Gin

Salmon & Trout, Macarons, Marshmallows, salad dressing & garlic mayo

Over the course of the weekend, I managed to catch 2 demos: Mark Greenaway on Friday & Glenn Cosby on Saturday. Mark’s demo was a blackened mackerel salad with ….. He was accompanied on stage by “Big Sister” Jacqueline O’Donnell from Glasgow’s The Sisters restaurant. Glenn’s demo was a bit scattered as not all of the equipment was on stage but it made for an amusing demo & I was up on stage at one point to taste test the ginger scones that were made for answering a baking question correctly. I was fortunate enough to get some time with Glenn after the demo for an interview which will be on the blog shortly.

Foodies, Mark Greenaway, Pickerings & Glenn Cosby    .

On Saturday, we spent most of the day at the bar area enjoying the sunshine. There were lots of different drinks on offer from champagne to gin (I may have mentioned this!) to beers from all over Scotland & of course cocktails.The vibe on Saturday was really good, with everyone lounging in the sun & enjoying the festival atmosphere. A special shoutout to the guys at Stewart Brewery for making some amazing beer – Red Dragon. As you can see if the pick before, they had some grapefruit, hops & some other fruits mixed together & the pump slowly dispensed that mix to make beer. It was so fruity & I’m a bit gutted that it was a special for that day because it was so tasty! I was disappointed, however, that we were unable to secure any tickets for any other demos. This was due to the policy Foodies have that you cannot book any tickets. That is ok for the Chefs & Cakes&Bakes theatres as you can stand at the back or watch from the sides. If you want to go to one of the drinks theatre tastings, you really need to be there early to secure your ticket.

Chicken Tikka Wrap, Red Dragon beer, potato stack & posh dog

I did have a fun weekend at Foodies & will definitely be paying it a visit next year when it returns. Here’s hoping they return bigger & better!

Highlights

  • Lots of different demos available each day
  • Great festival atmosphere with the different bars available
  • Good variety of different stands to buy stuff from
  • Looooads of food to choose from for eating on the day

Lowlights

  • Not being able to book tickets for demos & afternoon demo tickets only being available from 1pm
  • Queues for the toilets – if there were some at the other side of the site, it would have reduced the queues a lot
  • Not quite a lowlight but there could be more Scottish producers available. I saw a stall selling “Yorkshire biscuits” – there are plenty of biscuits companies in Scotland that could have stepped in!!

Topolabamba

Mexican food is always one of my first choices of cuisines to go for & when I heard a new one was opening, I obviously was looking forward to trying it. I hadn’t heard of the name Topolabamba before so assumed it wasn’t a chain & was even more surprised to find out it was owned by the company who also own Glasgow favourites such as Di Maggios, Pinto & Cafe Andaluz. Before I go on with this post, I will state that we were invited along to the pre-launch night after I posted information about the restaurant opening in an earlier post.

Mexican DecorMexican Decor

On first impressions, I was taken with the decor which contained a lot of wooden wall panels dotted with authentic looking Mexican bric-a-brac. Now I love skulls & was taken with all of the sugar skulls they had dotted around the restaurant. My most favourite part of the decor was, surprisingly, in the toilets which are covered with Mexican skull themed wallpaper. Unfortunately it was custom made for the restaurant so won’t be able to get my hands on some!!

WallpaperWallpaper

Topolabamba is another restaurant centred around sharing food with lots of small plates. The menu is split into 3 sections – bar bites, street food & bigger plates. The drinks are a mix of margaritas & mexican beers along with some imported soft drinks.

Mexican Decor

When seated, we were asked if we wanted any bar bites whilst waiting for others to arrive. Since we had literally just sat down, we suggested that the waitress bring anything. From the menu we had crazy corn & nachos with both guacamole & salsa. I don’t really know what was so “crazy” about the corn since it was 3 bits of corn on the cob with some crumbled cheese over it. Nothing really jumped out. The guacamole was fantastic, with big chunks of fresh avocado & a nice kick to it. The salsas that they have range from mild to quite spicy on the scale, however we could not find much difference between the house & the spiciest salsa which was a bit disappointing.

Crazy CornNachos & Salsa

The street food section contains typical Mexican dishes such as taquitos, tacos & fajitas whereas the bigger plates have more variation with stuffed peppers, coca cola short stack ribs, burritos & baked fish. I was really pleased to see cactus on the menu in a few dishes as I’d only come across it in the Wahaca restaurants in London. As we were at a sampling night, we were encouraged to order a few dishes between us to start then order more once we had finished.

From the street food section, we sampled dishes including crab ceviche tostadas (the crab was fresh but lost in the lemon that had been added), barbacoa beef tacos (nice strong flavour from the meat but accompanied nicely with a blend of spices) & our favourite dish from that section – fish tacos which were in a light batter & accompanied by a smoky & spicy aioli.

Crab Ceviche Fish Tacos

Ever since I’d seen the menu I’d been really intrigued to try the coca cola short stack rib. However, I was quite disappointed by the dish which consisted on one large beef rib with a little sauce on the side. The meat was tender & fell off the bone but the lack of sauce meant there was no edge to it & it was at the end of the day, just a bit of beef. Other dishes we sampled went down a lot better:

  • Stuffed pepper – it contained crumbly cheese, spicy cactus, potatoes & chipolte peppers which gave it a good spice rating but you could taste the individual elements
  • Salt & Pepper Ancho Chilli Squid – this was my favourite dish filled with fresh baby squid (including some tentacles) & accompanied by such a delicious ancho chilli aioli that added so much flavour
  • Chargrilled flat iron steak with peanut mole – The steak was pink in the middle & had been seasoned with some spices. The peanut mole was so full of flavour with the spicy chocolate richness & texture & slightly salty taste of the peanuts
  • Queso Fundido – a melted cheese dish containing chorizo & roasted peppers which was a bit sickly in my opinion, with the cheese overpowering the meat & pepper.

Stuffed PeppersBarbacoa TacosSalt & Pepper Ancho Chilli Squid

I sampled a few of the margaritas they had including the house & mango versions. I have to say, that for being affiliated with Jose Curevo, the margaritas were slightly lacking in any oomph or taste. The mango version was a bit better than the house but I think that was due to it being a more fruity flavour. The Mexican beers went down well with A, with a porter, IPA & pale ale being on offer. I also liked them but only for the amazing labels!!! For dessert I sampled some of the churros which didn’t contain cinnamon sugar as you would normally expect & had been slightly overcooked since they had lost their doughy texture. I did eat some as the dark chocolate sauce that came with them was so moreish. I accompanied it with a pear & chocolate margarita which was quite sweet but a nice flavour from the traditional lime margarita.

MargaritaPear & Chocolate MargaritaMexican IPA

Churros

Overall, I quite enjoyed Topolabamba but there are clearly some areas that need to be worked on before I could class it as in the same category as Bibi’s.

Sombreros