16 December 2015

Meat Liquor – Bristol

There's a new burger joint in town called Meat Liquor. Apparently that's a play on words. Beats me...

I went with Em (we do everything together, dontcha know?) to one of the training days a few weeks ago when everything was half price. We were so excited about this that we ended up drinking twice as much and paying the usual amount, but, of course, it was worth it.

Meat Liquor fits nicely into Stokes Croft. It's just across the road from the iconic Hamilton House where I went for a few pilates classes that one time when I moved to Bristol and tried to get flexible enough to do the splits (it never happened).

You can read more about Stokes Croft here, but for now let's get down to the real deal.

I wasn't a fan of the decor in Meat Liquor. The photos in this post are a selection of the few bits I did appreciate, but for the most part, it wasn't to my taste. The walls were laced with graffiti – to the extent where I couldn't find the toilets. But I can look past that, because it wasn't too loud or pretentious, and the food and drink was damn tasty.

These 'game over' cocktails are limited to two per person, apparently because there's so much alcohol in them. For the price, I'm not sure I'd agree, but they did taste delicious and the cherry garnish made it for me. It was sour and sweet and very easy to drink.

But what you really want to hear about are the burgers. Em and I ordered two bacon cheeseburgers and fries to share. They arrived on a tray (no plates) and were devoured within minutes. And that crispy thing right underneath the top half of the bun? That's a bacon patty. 

On top of the fact that this was one of the juiciest, most delicious beef patties I've ever had – up there with Shake Shack's – Meat Liquor's offering had the addition of this incredible bacon, too. And it wasn't just rashers. This was bacon bits, crisped up and muddled together in an entirely new format. It sounds bizarre, but Em and I were crazy about it.

Unfortunately, I have to walk past Meat Liquor every single day to get to work and it kills me every time. I need to go back and have another cocktail and burger, or perhaps some of their wings, or chilli cheese fries... It's enough to convert anyone – even the vegan on Twitter who told me I had a personality disorder last week :)


9 December 2015

Brunch at Deco Lounge – Bristol

When I was in my first year of university my sister and her boyfriend (now husband) were living in Bristol, just down the road from where I am now. I walk past the road that leads to theirs on my way to work, and their bus stop, and the place we got our nails done for Emily's hen do. All of these memories from a time when I visited them in their one up one down, completely unaware of the life I'd be living in five years' time. Nostalgia is one of my favourite feelings - a funny combination of comfort, surprise and sadness. 

One place that reminds me of Emily and James' time in Bristol more than anything is Deco Lounge. One morning we went along for brunch. I wasn't feeling well but I remember wishing I had the appetite to eat something – anything – off the menu. There was french toast, eggs and bacon as standard, but it wasn't just an ordinary cafe. It was Emily and James' place for breakfast on payday, a homely place where you can take your time and prepare for the day.

A few years on and I'm living here now and my sister and brother-in-law are not. I have't forgotten Deco Lounge though, just the name - and the location. But everyone here knows about it, and pretty soon I get to go back. It looks almost exactly the same, although I'm sure there was a chalkboard menu on the wall the last time I came here. For some reason it feels less independent, more like a chain, but my fond memories override any odd changes.

One of my absolute favourites, Anna, was visiting on this particular weekend. She used to live in Bristol (I think most people I know have at some point) and we were hungry. Food is the basis of all of my friendships. Anna and I both love pancakes so we both ordered pancakes. But before that I needed a drink. I asked for the watermelon iced tea but what I got was something that resembled more what was described on the menu as a 'lemon sherbet' – I can't put my finger on why I wasn't too keen, but Anna liked it, so perhaps you will, too.

Forever scouting out the next best place for pancakes, I was excited to try Deco Lounge's offering. What arrived was small in size but big on taste and texture. Let's talk about the fluff factor. These pancakes were soft, fluffy, melt-in-the-mouth, American-style-goodness kinda pancakes – I couldn't quite believe my taste buds. The bacon was streaky and delicious, and although I usually enjoy a touch more maple syrup, these were, overall, some of the best pancakes I have ever had. 

But pancakes are nothing without a strong coffee. Deco Lounge is one of the very few places I've visited where they actually remember your coffee when you ask for it to arrive with your food. They always remember to come back and check that everything's okay (I've been a couple of times since writing this!) and I really cannot fault the service here, it's top notch.

Have you been to Deco Lounge? On researching for this post I found out that it is in fact part of a bigger company called The Lounges – and you can find out more about them, and see if there's one near you, here :)

2 December 2015

Cocktails at Aluna – Bristol

A few weeks ago I was invited to the launch party of a new cocktail bar in Bristol. Of course, I said yes - ocktails are my favourite. Em, Libby, George and I went along to Aluna straight after work and began making our way through the drinks menu.
From classic mojitos and cosmos to the bizarre marshmallow daiquiris and lava lamps, there was something for us all. Em's Show Stopper was set alight at our table, and although performances including fire always impress me, the drink itself was a bit too sickly - like a strawberry yoghurt drink! My banoffeerama, however, was delicious.Our bartender Paddy making a drink with Aluna's special apple caviar. One of my favourites was the Mochatini. This was a chocolate version of my all-time favourite cocktail the espresso martini and it was SO delicious, like a dessert liquefied.George had a marshmallow daiquiri – it was so sweet but the marshmallow topping was ridiculously good.The very cool colour-changing cocktail – it tasted awful, though. Like medicine and chemicals :(George being a beautiful angel.

Libby loved her strawberry mojitos, and my favourite of the night was the strawberry daiquiri. Sadly, there were only so many I could drink and at about 10pm we all headed home slightly gigglier than when we arrived.Aluna also has a bar in Birmingham which, according to xAmeliax is also amazing. I highly recommend it for a night out, especially if, like me, you're not a fan of clubs.
Check out the full menu of fancy cocktails over at Aluna's website - they serve food, too.

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