The Lescar

November 29, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Posted in Pub Grub | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , ,

Do you find that yourself drawn to certain pubs, when the weather starts to change?

To me, the Lescar on Sharrow Vale road is an autumnal pub. It’s just one of those places that seems to get more cosy and inviting, the colder it gets outside. The Lescar is all about the real ale, comfort food, and Sunday roasts – a winning combination on a cold autumn day!

The other thing I love about the Lescar, is its ‘friendly local pub’ vibe – right down to the books they provide for customers to browse and borrow. It’s hard to believe this place is just a few minutes walk away from busy Ecclesall Road!

The Lescar is one of those places that’s much bigger than it looks from the outside. It also has a very interesting layout, with different areas that almost feel like they were separate rooms at one point. Just when you think you’ve seen everything the Lescar has to offer, you turn a corner and find a massive function room, complete with second bar.

The Lescar’s menu has a very rustic, pub rub grub feel. All the classics are present and accounted for: cottage pie, burgers, fish and chips, sausage and mash, and steak. However, the Lescar put a little twist on these comfort food classics – here, the fish is done in tarragon batter, and the mash is made from celeriac.

In addition to the pub grub mains, the Lescar also offers a variety of sharing platters, plus a good selection of small dishes ‘to start, snack or share.’ I’ve ordered a few things from the ‘start, snack, share’ menu when I’m suffering from the beer munchies, and I’ve always been impressed. I can highly recommend the salt and pepper squid, which the Lescar serves with a tangy and delicious lime mayonnaise (£5.25).

The Lescar also have a Saturday brunch menu, which I’m desperate to try. Again, it’s classic comfort food with a gastro pub twist – the boiled egg soldiers are served with bacon jam, and the Lescar’s version of mushrooms on toast is Paris Brown, Flat and Oyster mushrooms served on rye with stilton cream.

The Lescar have a lot to offer, but on this particular day it was all about the Sunday lunch. This is something I never really cook for myself, so Sunday lunch out always feels like a special treat.

The Lescar offers the usual trio of meats (pork beef, and chicken) plus the obligatory nut roast vegetarian option. I opted for the veggie nut roast (£9.75) which according to the menu is made from cashews, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cheddar, veggies and herbs.

My nut roast Sunday dinner came with veggies, stuffing, roasties, Yorkshire pud, and gravy. Don’t you just love the sight of a big plateful of Sunday dinner?

lescar sunday lunch

It’s amazing the difference good gravy makes to a Sunday dinner. The Lescar’s gravy had the perfect consistency, not too thick and not too thin, and it was really tasty. If I could make gravy half as good as this, I wouldn’t have to go out for my Sunday lunch!

The vegetables were perfectly cooked, and I loved the combination of leeks, carrots and courgettes. The roast potatoes were crispy and salty on the outside, but light and fluffy on the inside – exactly what you want from a roastie. The Yorkshire pudding was big, misshapen and ugly, the surefire sign of a homemade Yorkshire pud. It also tasted even better for having been sat soaking in that delicious gravy.

The nut roast had a nice, herby taste that reminded me of stuffing, and it was packed with nuts. The portion was also very generous, but it’s a good job because the nut roast had been overcooked to the point where I could only get my knife through the bit in the middle!

Luckily, this was such a big plateful that after eating the middle of my nut roast, plus all the trimmings, I was pleasantly full and still felt like I’d got good value for money.

I’d recommend this Sunday roast to all the veggies out there – although hopefully your nut roast won’t have spent quite so much time in the oven as mine!

At the other end of the table, it was a less traditional Sunday lunch: a West Country beef burger, sesame seed brioche bun, melted Taw valley cheddar and fries (£9.25) with smoked bacon (an extra £1.25).

the lescar burger

This is more of a gourmet burger, as oppose to the weird-combination-of-toppings burger that places like the Harley and Bungalows and Bears specialise in. The brioche bun was tasty, the meat was nicely cooked, and the smoked bacon lived up to its name, packing a really strong, smoky flavour. My Sunday lunch buddy was also impressed by how much bacon he got for £1.25.

It may not be your traditional Sunday lunch, but this burger got a big thumbs up nevertheless!

We left the Lescar pleasantly full, and plotting return visits so we could sample the Saturday brunch menu, plus an afternoon drinking session with added bar snacks. You know a place is doing something right, when you’re planning the next visit on your way home!

The Lescar serve up filling, tasty comfort food in a warm and welcoming environment that’s perfect for this time of year. If you’re craving pub grub, real ale, and relaxed surroundings, then it’s well worth paying the Lescar a visit.

three-and-a-half

Advertisements

Greedy Greek Deli

May 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Posted in Deli, Takeaway | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been meaning to tick the Greedy Greek Deli on Sharrow Vale Road off my ‘Must Try’ list for a while now, but hadn’t gotten around to it. Probably because said list is so long – and getting longer all the time!

I finally ended up trying the Greedy Greek Deli for the first time on a whim. I was surfing the World Wide Web for some takeout to accompany an afternoon of horror movies, and growing increasingly frustrated that so many places don’t offer delivery until after 5 pm, when I spotted the Greedy Greek Deli in the ‘open for deliveries’ category. It was the perfect excuse to try something new!

The Greedy Greek Deli’s menu is, well greek-themed (surprise, surprise), so expect lots of bread, dips, olives, and feta. The Greedy Greek is one of those places where the takeaway menu is the same as their eat-in menu, so at first glance the prices may seem high for takeout (£7.30 for two stuffed peppers?!) but rest assured, the quality of the food justifies the price. The olives are a perfect example of the thought the Greedy Greek Deli puts into their food, as you can get them stuffed with everything from chilli, to garlic, feta, sundried tomatoes, and even almonds.

My only criticism, is that much of the menu is very similar. If there’s a dish you like the sound of, you can look forward to lots of variations on this theme, but if you don’t spot something tempting within the first few paragraphs, then the rest of the menu probably won’t be to your taste, either. This similarity wasn’t an issue for us, as me and my movie buddy both quickly found something we wanted to try, and placed our order.

Our food arrived pretty sharpish, but I’m not sure whether this is normal for the Greedy Greek, or whether it was because we’d ordered our takeaway at such a random time. Whatever the reason, speedy delivery is always a plus!

I’d opted for the Vegetarian Mixed Plate Meal; a platter of falafel, halloumi, stuffed vine leaves, olive pate, hummus, salad, pitta bread, and chips. For £12.40, this sounded like a decent amount of grub, not to mention a chance to sample lots of different things that the Greedy Greek has to offer.

First up, was the salad. Not only did I get a decent portion of salad, but it came with olives and chunks of feta, neither of which I’d been expecting. A lot of restaurants use salad as a cheap way of filling up your plate, but this clearly isn’t the case with the Greedy Greek. In addition to the surprise olives and feta, my salad consisted of chopped peppers, tomatoes, and a variety of green leaves – no boring old iceberg lettuce here!

PreviewScreenSnapz014

I’d always thought I wasn’t a fan of salads – clearly, I’ve just been eating the wrong kind of salad.

When it came to the falafel, I’d been expecting a few pieces, but what I got was a huge portion of super-sized falafel. I’ve had falafel sandwiches with less falafel in them! At first glance, I was worried this was a case of quantity over quality, as the falafel looked slightly over-cooked and greasy. However, once I got past the crunchy exterior, the falafel inside was tasty, perfectly cooked, and completely free from grease.

Falafel

Just how filling was my falafel? Well, I actually set some aside, and had a falafel sarnie later in the afternoon. You know you’re getting your money’s worth, when you’re still eating your deli lunch at dinner time!

The pitta bread was also on the large side (do you see a theme emerging?) and arrived warm, with visible grill marks, which is always a good sign. This nicely-toasted pitta was the perfect accompaniment to the perfectly-seasoned chips, which were so plentiful, they actually took up half my plate!

Greedy Greek Deli chips

The chips were nicely-cooked, and had a crispy skin; after all the dodgy, soggy chip takeaways I’ve had over the years, this was something of a revelation. Greedy Greek Deli, you’ve restored my faith in takeaway chips!

Both the olive pate and the hummus were tasty dips; ideal for adding an extra dash of Greek flavour to my chips and pitta bread.

After so many extra-large servings of extra-nice food, I finally hit a snag. Annoyingly, my issue was with the part of the platter I’d been looking forward to the most: the stuffed vine leaves. The vine leaves themselves were slimy and tasted overwhelmingly of vinegar, and the filling of mushed-up rice had a really weird texture.

Greedy Greek Deli vine leaves

My DVD buddy’s order also included some stuffed vine leaves, and they too expressed dislike for the eye-watering vine leaves and squishy rice filling. Clearly, neither of us are cut out for the world of stuffed vine leaves!

Things improved for the final part of my epic Greek feast, as I tucked into my halloumi. This halloumi may have been a little tough on the outside, but once I chewed through the skin, the halloumi inside was deliciously soft and subtly salty. This was my favourite part of the platter and, luckily for me, there was plenty of halloumi for me to enjoy.

My Greedy Greek Deli platter was a saga of greek delights, where my only real complaint was that the portions were too large, for the type of food involved. The fried falafel, fried halloumi, mountain of chips, and extra-large pitta bread, had me wishing I could trade some of it in for extra salad. I’d order the Vegetarian Mixed Plate Meal again, but only as a sharer. This is a varied, eclectic Greek feast, and a great introduction to the Greedy Greek’s menu – but it’s a bit scary when consumed as a meal for one!

My partner in crime had shown a little more restraint and ordered a Mini Meze of stuffed peppers with feta cheese, olives, sundried tomatoes and stuffed vine leaves (£7.50).

Greedy Greek Deli stuffed peppers

The Greedy Greek seem to be on a mission to ply their customers with as much feta as possible, as not only were the peppers crammed full of feta (as advertised), but there were big chunks of feta on the side, too. That’s a serious amount of cheese!

The peppers themselves were incredibly tart. At first, this was a delicious shock to the tastebuds, but as my friend moved onto the second and third stuffed peppers, the taste of vinegar became overwhelming. With so many peppers to plough through, they’d have preferred a less-is-more approach with the vinegar. They thoroughly enjoyed the sun-dried tomatoes though, which were zingy, and packed an intense, sun-dried flavour, while still retaining a soft and chewy center.

All in all, we enjoyed our Greek Deli experience. The Greedy Greek Deli is all about quality, authentic ingredients, and super-sized portions. If you fancy a change from your usual lunchtime fodder, then the Greedy Greek Deli is well worth a go. I know where I’ll be heading, the next time I fancy a big helping of halloumi, falafel, or salad!

rating-3-star

Spotlight: Seven Hills Bakery

February 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Posted in Features, Made Locally | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , ,

bread

Specializing in sourdough and long-fermented artisan bread, Seven Hills Bakery’s menu makes for mouth-watering reading (Apricot and Hazelnut loafs, Mixed Seed Sourdough made with sunflower, sesame, poppy and millet, Linseed Sharrow with buttermilk…) and it’s not unusual to see people queuing outside their shop in Sharrow Vale road and at their stall when they pitch up at Sharrow Vale market.

I spoke to baker and co-founder of Seven Hills Bakery, Matina Mitchell, to find out the secret to making bread that the people of Sheffield are willing to queue for, and what 2013 holds for the bakery.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, pre-Seven Hills Bakery?

Matina: I worked in the NHS in Wales as a planner and for local authorities. However I have baked bread at home since I was a student and got more and more interested in it. Three months in Berlin in an organic bakery convinced me that I wanted to make bread professionally, but also underlined that there was a big difference between baking at home and for a market.

What was the inspiration behind Seven Hills Bakery?

Matina: I have wanted to open a bakery for several years but knew that I couldn’t do it alone. How to meet the right people to bake bread with and start a small business? I met Laura and John at the School of Artisan Food and we decided that we should set up together. We’d had an amazing experience as students selling Welbeck bread at Nether Edge Market and after some research decided that Sheffield was ready for a new artisan bakery! After a year John decided to move on to do other things, so Laura and I have been the two partners since last October.

I’ve seen people queuing outside your shop before – what’s the secret to baking bread that people are willing to queue for?

Matina: You’ll have to ask our customers! But we strive to produce consistently high quality bread and cakes with first class ingredients. Maybe the secret is to make what you like to eat yourself!

Where do you get the inspiration for your recipes?

Matina: We read a lot of bread books and eat a lot of different artisan bakers’ breads! We take recipes but work on them ourselves and tweak things until we are happy with the taste and the consistency of the end product.

You make your bread using locally grown and milled flours, and much of your equipment was made my local tradesman. Why is it so important, that people support local businesses?

Matina: There is good evidence that money spent locally in locally based businesses revolves round the local economy more times than if the money is spent with a big multinational and therefore leaves the area. But there is also something very satisfying about having equipment that is made by people working in local firms. Tins and trays made by Invicta, moulding table made by Andrew Marsh. We currently use both the Yorkshire Organic Millers (YOM) based on the edge of the North York Moors and Shipton Mill (further away on the Severn estuary) for our organic flours. YOM produce stone ground flours from grain grown locally and we use the wholewheat in many of our loaves.

And finally, what are your plans for 2013?

Matina: We are hoping to extend our range of bread and cakes and start making pastries e.g croissants. We also got planning permission to open a cafe at the back of our shop in Sharrow Vale Road and we are working on getting that up and running in the next months.

You can find out more about Seven Hills Bakery at www.sevenhillsbakery.co.uk

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.