The Great Gatsby

August 11, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Restaurants | 2 Comments
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The Great Gatsby may not be the first place that springs to mind when you have a street food craving, but this is exactly the kind of food the Gatsby serve at their ‘Shy Boy cantina.’

If you haven’t visited the Great Gatsby in a while, you may have missed their recent makeover. This Division Street venue is now all shiny copper surfaces and contrasting blue walls. It’s a quirky look, and one that suits the Gatsby down to a T.

Great Gatsby

When it comes to food, the Great Gatsby keep things simple with a concise menu that’s split into four sections: burritos, tacos, large plates, and small plates, which are perfect for a snack or as a side to have alongside your main. And, if you have room for dessert the Great Gatsby also serve several flavours of Yee Kwan ice cream.

The Great Gatsby’s menu is on the smaller side (particularly compared to the mammoth menu on offer at fellow Sheffield cantina Revolucion De Cuba), but all the Mexican street food classics are present and accounted for, and there’s a good variety of vegetarian food too.

Case in point, my veggie chilli burrito (£7.50).

Great Gatsby veg burrito

This massive burrito is stuffed with so much good stuff, that it’s actually a challenge to try and eat it without the sauce and veggie filling dripping onto your plate. After a few awkward bites I had to resort to cutting my burrito into more manageable chunks, just to make it less messy to eat.

This is a mammoth portion of food that’s well worth the £7.50 price tag.

Great Gatsby stuff all their burritos with red rice, black beans, cheese, guacamole and sour cream, plus your choice of veggies or chicken, beef or pork. My veggie filling consisted of tomatoes, onions and peppers, which added a refreshing edge to the stodgy, comfort food flavours of the cheese, rice and thick sour cream.

My only niggle is that the Great Gatsby’s burritos aren’t particularly spicy. My veg burrito did come with a green chilli dip that had a hum of heat to it (not to mention a really unique sour note) but even after dunking my burrito into this sauce I still didn’t get that fiery kick I’d been craving.

Thankfully, if you’re like me and prefer your spicy food to verge on the side of painful, then Gatsby do provide a good selection of additional condiments that you can use to give your burrito that extra kick.

Despite the spice being on the milder side, the Gatsby’s veg burrito is a jumbo portion of pure comfort food that left me completely stuffed and very, very happy.  

Also arriving at our table was something a little bit different; courgette and quinoa fritters (£5) from the ‘Small plates’ section of Great Gatsby’s menu.

Great Gatsby courgette and quinoa fritters

These fritters reminded me of the black bean bombers that cropped up on a previous incarnation of the Gatsby’s menu, and they’re every bit as good.

Beneath their crispy coating, these fritters have a light and crumbly texture that’s clearly quinoa-based. Their unusual texture makes these tasty, savoury bites well worth trying – particularly if you have a soft spot for quinoa.

The final meal arriving at our table was a plate of wild mushroom quesadillas (£7.50).

Great Gatsby wild mushroom quesadillas

These quesadillas looked incredible to start with, but when my friend cut into them they somehow managed to look even better.

Great Gatsby close up quesadillas

The tortillas themselves were light and fluffy, and the filling was a delicious mix of wilted spinach and perfectly seasoned mushrooms, with just enough melted cheese to give this light filling a feel of creaminess and indulgence.

If you’re not feeling hungry enough for one of Gatsby’s super-sized burritos, then these quesadillas deliver all those quintessential Mexican street food flavours without making you feel like you need to have a lie down after you’ve finished eating.

I loved everything about our Mexican street food lunch, and if you have a soft spot for this sort of cuisine then the Great Gatsby should be high on your list of places to check out.

Even though the venue may not scream Mexican street food, don’t let that fool you – the Great Gatsby really do make a mean burrito!

3 and a half

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The Great Gatsby

March 29, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Posted in Restaurants | 2 Comments
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Last year, the Great Gatsby announced the launch of Shy Boy Catina; their new, distinctly Mexican-inspired menu. I’ve been meaning to give Shy Boy Catina at the Great Gatsby a go for a while now. Actually, I’ve been meaning to give it a go ever since I first heard that the Division Street pub had gone all Mexican on us, but despite being on my ‘To Do’ list for a while now, I wound up at the Gatsby last week completely by accident. I’d wandered into town hell-bent on trying a new sushi restaurant I’d heard good things about, only to discover that the place is closed on a Monday – and guess which day of the week I was stood outside, in the drizzle, trying the door handle and wondering why all the lights were off?

With no sushi in sight, the only sensible course of action was to head to the nearest pub and drink until our sushi-deprived party agreed on a Plan B. We eventually decided  that a burrito was a good substitute for sushi (obviously…), and so off to the Great Gatsby we went.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting the Great Gatsby, it’s a welcoming snug of place, that’s not too dissimilar to the Wick at Both Ends. It’s the kind of cosy spot where you can imagine whiling away an afternoon, sipping mulled wine (even in March) and watching the world go by. The Great Gatsby has a fantastic vibe too; it’s funky without being in the least bit stuffy or pretentious.

When it comes to food, the Shy Boy Catina is a festival of Mexican grub, covering burritos, quesadillas, tacos, and spicy sandwiches. There’s also some intriguing side dishes (avocado fries, anyone?) and a very authentic-sounding dessert of chocolate churros. If you’re partial to Mexican food, then prepare to be spoilt for choice.

After much deliberating, we both opted for a burrito; one Slow Braised Beef Rib burrito, and one Veggie Chilli burrito (£7 each). Our meat, and non-meat burritos were presented in exactly the same fashion, and came with an identical side order of tortilla chips and dips. First impressions were good, as the bundled-up burritos were big, fat torpedos, and when I picked mine up to unwrap it, I could feel the weight of all that rice and veg chilli.

Great Gatsby veggie burrito

Both burritos were accompanied by a handful of crunchy tortilla chips, which had clearly been cooked on the premises, as oppose to being pre-packaged. This little pile of tortilla chips was finished off with a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkling of finely-chopped tomatoes, red onion, and coriander. It’s always nice to see somewhere going the extra mile, rather than just grabbing a handful of crisps from a packet, plonking them on your plate, and calling that a side dish. The cooling mix of fresh veggies and sour cream also provided a much-needed break from those delicious, but heavy-going, burritos.

Of course, no tortilla chips are complete without dips, and our chips came with a duo of dips. The first, was a guacamole that was freshly-made, if the chunks of un-mashed avocado were anything to go by. I usually hate the texture of guacamole but I still couldn’t resist the Great Gatsby’s take on this dip. The second dip was a bit of a mystery, although there was definitely some coriander mixed in there. The dip had a sour note and a slow, spicy afterburn that I wasn’t overly keen on, so I stuck with the homemade guacamole, which was far tastier.

Speaking of burritos, it was time to peel back the wrapping and unleash the beast! There’s nothing delicate about the Great Gatsby’s veggie burrito; so even if you forgo the meat, prepare to be stuffed silly! My veggie burrito was chock-full of spicy rice, beans, and a smattering of veggies including courgette, roasted peppers, and tangy red onion. This stomach-swelling filling was perfectly cooked, with not a mushy grain of rice or burnt bean in sight.

Just to make absolutely sure you’re not going to be hungry anytime soon, the Great Gatsby lace their burrito filling with a strong, smoky cheese. I’m not sure what type of cheese they use, but I know that my life would be vastly improved if I had a block of the stuff in my fridge!

My veggie burrito had a satisfying heat to it, but if you like your food on the spicy side, then the Great Gatsby provide a barrel full of fiery condiments. If you’re a chilli freak (like yours truly) I recommend splashing some chipotle sauce onto that burrito. You won’t regret it.

Thanks to the sushi fiasco and the mid-day drinking, I was starving by the time I sat down for lunch, but even in that state I couldn’t clear my plate. If you’ve got a raging hunger, then treat yourself to a big, fat, juicy Gatsby burrito. It’s guaranteed to fill you up!

The braised beef burrito was an equally belly-filling affair.

PreviewScreenSnapz002

My dining companion had been a bit unsure what to expect from a “beef rib” burrito, but was relieved to see there wasn’t a bone in sight. The beef had been slow-cooked (for 8 hours apparently) in chipotle and coriander marinade, until it melted off the bone – and was then stuffed into a burrito. The chipotle marinade gave the tender meat a deep, rich heat, although it was difficult to make out the coriander.

In addition to juicy meat, the Great Gatsby managed to squeeze in some rice, cheese, diced tomatoes and raw red onion. The veggies were a very welcome addition, as without these bursts of freshness, the burrito might have been too heavy going to be properly enjoyable. Instead, the beef burrito felt like the perfect lunchtime blow-out.

Here, I have to make a confession. In a moment of madness (I blame those pre-lunch drinks), I’d ordered a side dish to go alongside my two tonne burrito: a portion of Corn & Black Bean Bombers (£3.50). These “bombers” are scotch egg-sized balls of sweetcorn and chunky bean mix, held together by an unexpectedly chewy batter, and served with a spicy mayo dip.

Great Gatsby black bean bombers

The chewy exterior was a bit of a surprise, but once I’d gotten over the unusual texture, the bombers are a mourish side dish that tastes even better dunked into the accompanying dip. My only regret is that I was too stuffed from my super-sized burrito, and had to enlist some help polishing off my bombers.

 Great Gatsby black bean bomber

In addition to stomach-stretching grub, the Great Gatsby do some funky cocktails. If you’re like me (i.e a sucker for a drink in a weird container), then get yourself down to the Gatsby and choose from a cocktail that’s served in a tin can, a jam jar, a paint tin, and even a treasure chest! Mexican food and treasure chests filled with booze? You’ve got to admire the Great Gatsby’s randomness.

Even before I sampled some of what Shy Boy Catina has to offer, I loved the Great Gatsby. After sampling the food, I love it even more! This Devonshire Street pub may not be the first thing that pops into your head when you get a hankering for Mexican street food, but they serve up big slabs of spiced stodge that’s the perfect hangover food, the perfect post-drinking food, and the perfect Plan B when the sushi restaurant around the corner is closed.

My advice? Go hungry. Go very, very hungry. And if you’re tempted by a side dish, be prepared to share – because you will be stuffed by the time you finish your main meal.

5-stars

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